Mexico arrests former Veracruz police chief in graft case

The former police chief of the Gulf coast state of Veracruz was arrested Friday for alleged corruption in a case involving fugitive ex-Gov. Javier Duarte.

State chief prosecutor Jorge Winckler said Arturo Bermudez was detained on charges of illegal enrichment. Bermudez is suspected of amassing an ill-gotten fortune that allowed him to acquire at least five properties in Texas and become a hotelier in Veracruz.

He has denied the allegations in the past.

"I will show my face as many times as necessary," he told reporters before a court hearing in November. "I am in the legal process. I will be providing evidence ... to defend my innocence."

Bermudez was the public security secretary for Veracruz during the 2010-2016 administration of Duarte, who left office last year and is now sought by Mexican authorities and Interpol on charges of money laundering and organized crime.

The case against Bermudez began last summer when then-candidate and now-Gov. Miguel Angel Yunes Linares accused him and other officials of being part of a conspiracy — allegedly led by Duarte — to launder money pilfered from the state.

Bermudez resigned in August to face the allegations. Until Friday he had been allowed to remain free while the investigation proceeded, on the condition that he not leave the country.

Bermudez was also an important security official in the 2004-2010 administration of Gov. Fidel Herrera. Herrera recently resigned as Mexican consul in Barcelona amid allegations from Yunes that the state bought fake medicines for public hospitals under Herrera and later Duarte.