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Along Mexico border, drug taint on politicians lingers | McClatchy

MEXICO CITY -- In dribs and drabs, in Mexican news accounts and U.S. court documents, new allegations are surfacing of ties between politicians and drug lords along the border with Texas.

The accounts involving former top officials in Tamaulipas -- a muggy Gulf Coast state that shares a 230-mile border with Texas and is a major conduit for licit and illicit trade -- are testing an axiom of Mexican politics that says that even if politicians rub elbows with gangsters, prosecutors rarely succeed in charging them.

"These politicians are generally seen as untouchable, from the lowly municipal level on up," said Raul Gonzalez Cipriano, a political scientist at the Center for Research and Teaching in Economics, a Mexico City think tank.

So far this year, however, prosecutors have issued court orders barring three former governors of Tamaulipas -- all from the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI in its Spanish initials -- from leaving Mexico while an investigation of their alleged underworld ties unfolds. Moreover, an arrest in Texas last month of an accused bagman for one of the former PRI governors, Tomas Yarrington, has elevated his case into the national spotlight.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 01:29:51 PM EST
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