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Political party submits formal complaint against former Sonoran governor

Members of a rival political party in Sonora are calling for an investigation into the state’s former governor over what they say are millions of dollars missing from state coffers.

The conservative PAN party in Sonora submitted a formal complaint against former Gov. Claudia Pavlovich to the state’s anti-corruption prosecutor this week.

It alleges that Pavlovich, a member of the PRI party, was responsible for diverting nearly $400 million from the state government from 2016-2019.

It’s not the first time Pavlovich has been cited in such allegations, and the current administration has said it will explore the possibility of reopening a  criminal investigation into a 2016 election scandal linked to her.

But now-Gov. Alfonso Durazo, of the president’s MORENA party, responded to the complaint with skepticism. He said many of the supposedly diverted funds are debts to suppliers that have been kicked from one administration to the next, in some cases going back more than a decade.

However, he said whether an investigation is warranted will be up to the prosecutor, and that he would comply with their findings.

Pavlovich was nominated as consul to Barcelona by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador last month, angering members of her PRI party and causing concern among some that she might be shielded from investigations through an alliance with current leaders.

Kendal Blust was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2018 to 2023.