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Tamaulipas Governor Faces Organized Crime Accusations

Francisco Javier García Cabeza de Vaca
Office of the State of Tamaulipas
Francisco Javier García Cabeza de Vaca

MEXICO CITY — The governor of a Mexican border state, and one of the most high-profile opponents of Mexico’s president, is under scrutiny. The Mexican government is accusing him of criminal activities, but he claims it's part of a dirty war before the election in June.

Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca is the governor of Tamaulipas, a state bordering Texas that has a decades-long history of corruption and drug-trafficking. 

He is accused of collaborating with organized crime in several activities such as money laundering, and even giving his blessing to the massacre of dozens of Central American migrants earlier this year.

Alejandro Gertz-Manero is Mexico’s attorney general. He said the governor will be judged fairly and transparently by Mexico’s Congress, which will determine if he will be removed from his post to face charges.

But García Cabeza de Vaca argues it’s a political move from the Mexican president before the elections to help his own party.

Rodrigo Cervantes is KJZZ’s bureau chief in Mexico City, where he was born and raised. He has served as opinion writer, contributor and commentator for several media outlets and organizations in Mexico and the United States, including CNN, Georgia Public Broadcasting and Univisión. Cervantes previously worked as the business editor and editorial coordinator for El Norte, the leading newspaper in Monterrey and a publication of Grupo Reforma, Mexico’s premier news group. In Mexico City, Cervantes served in Reforma as a reporter, special correspondent, editor and special sections coordinator. Cervantes also held the editor position at MundoHispánico, a division of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Georgia’s oldest and largest Latino newspaper. He also participated as one of the first members of the Diversity Advisory Group for Cox Media. In 2012, Cervantes was appointed as fellow for the Leadership Program of The New York Times/Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, as well as for the "Líderes Digitales" program from the International Center for Journalists. In 2010, he was awarded with the Poynter-McCormick Leadership Fellowship. Cervantes graduated with honors in communication sciences and journalism from the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM), Mexico City Campus. Later, he was granted the Fundación Carolina Scholarship from the Spanish government to obtain an MBA degree at San Pablo-CEU School of Business (Madrid). Other awards include: the Power 30 Under 30 Award for Professional and Community Excellence in Atlanta, the Outstanding Alumni Medal from ITESM, and several José Martí Awards for Journalism Excellence from the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP). Cervantes enjoys music, books, travel, friendship, good mezcal and the occasional company of his guitar.