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Mexican judge issues arrest order for opposition governor

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A Mexican judge has issued an arrest order for the governor of the northern border state of Tamaulipas on organized crime and money laundering charges, a federal official said Wednesday.

The arrest order for Gov. Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca was requested by the federal Attorney General’s Office, said the official, who insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss developments in a continuing case.

Cabeza de Vaca, an outspoken critic of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has denied the accusations and decried it as a political prosecution. The federal legislature and Tamaulipas state legislature have been in a standoff over whether Cabeza de Vaca can be prosecuted.

Federal lawmakers voted to lift his immunity, but that decision has to be implemented by the state legislature, which so far has refused to do so. Last week, Mexico’s Supreme Court declined to get involved in the case. It appears to leave Cabeza de Vaca in a situation of retaining his immunity only while he remains within Tamaulipas.

The details of the judge’s decision to issue the arrest order were not clear. Tamaulipas, which borders south Texas, has long been in the clutches of organized crime. Previous governors have faced charges in U.S. courts.

The state National Action Party said in a statement Wednesday that the arrest order represents a “break in the constitutional order for political reasons.”

E. Eduardo Castillo, The Associated Press