MEXICO CITY (AP): Mexican authorities arrested a former governor on charges that he had a reporter who investigated his role in a pedophilia ring illegally arrested and tortured, an official said Thursday.
Interior Secretary Olga Sánchez Cordero confirmed the arrest of Mario Marín, ex-governor of Puebla, in Acapulco the previous day. On Thursday, Marín was scheduled to appear before a judge in Cancun.
Marín, of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, governed Puebla from 2005 to 2011. He was a close friend of textile magnate José Kamel Nacif, also considered a fugitive.
Journalist Lydia Cacho had reported on Marín’s role as political protector of the pedophilia ring and published a book in early 2005. In December 2005, Marín sent police to arrest Cacho in Cancun and drive her to Puebla. During that 20-hour drive she was tortured.
For years, Marín moved freely in public despite Cacho’s allegations. Finally in 2019, a judge in Quintana Roo state issued a warrant for his arrest.
Leopoldo Maldonado, a lawyer with the Artículo 19 press freedom organization and a representative of Cacho, told Milenio TV Thursday that Marín was now held in the same Cancun prison where businessman Jean Succar Kuri, already convicted of his role in the ring, is serving his sentence.
“The accomplices reunite again, but now in very different conditions,” Cacho wrote via Twitter Thursday. “There’s no more luxury party, nor girls turned victims at the hands of the pederasts. There is no toast nor celebration. Journalism is the way toward justice.”
Cacho was subject to threats for years and currently is living outside the country because she fears for her safety. She took her case to international bodies when the Mexican justice system failed to act.
In 2018, the United Nations Human Rights Committee recognized the violation of Cacho’s human rights. In January 2019, the current Mexican administration publicly apologized to Cacho for her arbitrary arrest. At the time, Cacho said, “we want all and each one of the masterminds on trial.”
“Lydia is very excited, but conscious that the risk increases,” Maldonado said Thursday.