MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican prosecutors plan to question the son of a former governor after a video surfaced that purportedly shows him talking with the leader of a drug cartel, a federal official said Wednesday.
The official said federal prosecutors plan to question Rodrigo Vallejo, whose father was governor of the trafficking-plagued state of Michoacan. The official, who agreed to discuss the case only if not quoted by name because he was not authorized to talk to the media, said earlier in the day that federal investigators had been talking to Rodrigo Vallejo since late Tuesday.
The video, released Monday by local media, shows Vallejo sitting with a man identified as Servando Gomez, the alleged leader of the Knights Templar cartel based in Michoacan.
Vallejo told local media on Wednesday he had been forced to attend the meeting with Gomez, and said he would willingly testify if asked to do so.
In the video, the men can be heard discussing the health of Vallejo’s father, Fausto Vallejo, who stepped down as governor last month.
Fausto Vallejo, 65, resigned his post, citing a need to take care of his health. His resignation was announced by the federal government days after local media published a purported photograph of his son in a meeting Gomez, known as “La Tuta.”
The former governor first took a leave of absence last year to have a kidney transplant, leaving then-state interior secretary Jose Jesus Reyna in charge of Michoacan’s government. Reyna later was charged with organized crime. Federal prosecutors say there is evidence that Reyna met several times with leaders of the Knights Templar.
Michoacan, a fertile agricultural state that also produces drugs and is on a key trafficking route, was long under the sway of the Knights Templar. But the cartel was chased out of many towns by vigilante groups that sprang up last year and the federal government took over control of the state in January.
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