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In July 2020, former Chihuahua governor, César Duarte was arrested in Miami on a fugitive warrant issued by México. Duarte, who was governor from October 2010 to 2016, is alleged to have stolen millions of dollars of Chihuahua state funds. Much of the money is allegedly in the United States, with El Paso families and one company embroiled in a lawsuit seeking to recover the ill-gotten money.

Duarte remains in a Florida jail fighting extradition to México.

Mexican officials have accused Duarte of diverting about $320 million on government funds. Some of those funds are in El Paso, according to an ongoing lawsuit.

On February 19, 2020, the State of Chihuahua filed a civil lawsuit in El Paso’s 448th District Court. In the suit, Chihuahua officials allege that César Duarte, several family members and CAD Construction “conspired with Cesar Horacio Duarte Jacquez to steal government funds from the State of Chihuahua.”

According to the lawsuit, Duarte was living in El Paso in a home on Crimson Cloud while hiding from Mexican officials.

CAD Construction, Inc. is registered at 343 Crimson Cloud in El Paso, according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. It is registered to Cesar Adrian Duarte. In addition to Adrian, two individuals, Bertha Isabel Duarte and Olga Sofia Duarte, are company officials. All have been named in the lawsuit, in addition to other Duarte family members who live in El Paso.

The lawsuit states that several properties in El Paso were purchased with stolen funds. Among them include properties on Crimson Cloud, Everest Dr., Stern Dr., Diamond ridges, Dr., Hidden Crest Cir., Fountain Rd., and Festival Dr.

The defendants were served in El Paso and in Miami.

Duarte’s attorney tried to have the lawsuit moved to federal court on March 30, 2020.

In July, federal judge, David Guaderrama ordered the case back to El Paso.

El Paso court records show that the case remains pending in El Paso.

Martin Paredes

Reporting on public corruption, border politics, immigration and public policy in El Paso since 2000.