Javier Duarte, who was just sentenced to nine years in prison, is a household name in Mexico, symbolizing the dark side of elected democracy and the downfall of the once all-powerful PRI party.
Duarte was elected governor of Veracruz in 2010 as a golden boy of sorts — young, charismatic, and full of promises to lead the state and help the PRI regain its former glory.
But it was all lies.
He oversaw a reign of terror as thousands died in drug-cartel violence linked directly to his administration, which was tied up in embezzlement schemes of all descriptions.
Public monies went missing, and journalists who tried to find out what was going on ended up dead.
Eventually Duarte fled, but was captured in Guatemala and extradited to face justice in his own country.
Given his sordid legacy, many see his nine-year sentence as a slap on the wrist.
More significantly, perhaps, is his role in the downfall of the PRI in the public mind and at the ballot box: first in Veracruz, and then, during this year’s presidential elections, across the country.
If the PRI fades from history, it can thank Duarte for playing a major role in its demise.
Source: The Guardian