Fugitive Veracruz Governor Authorized Fake Chemo Treatments for Kids With Cancer

Lead Photo: Photo by Cavan Images / Caravan
Photo by Cavan Images / Caravan
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As the government of Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto descends into something resembling a zombie-themed prestige television series, many have been following an ongoing subplot starring the ex-governor of Veracruz state. In this tragically real political thriller, former shining star of the ruling Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), Javier Duarte, plays a comic book villain who books to the jungles of Central America after robbing his state blind and brazenly ordering the assassination of journalists who were critical of his government.

With his robust frame; greasy, slicked back hair; and red-framed Rick Perry eyeglasses, Duarte would seem like a rather uninspired call-up from central casting, if he weren’t an actual murderous criminal who only a few years back was hailed by EPN as the future of his party. Now, his hands dripping in proverbial blood and his pockets flush with looted public funds, Duarte is the object of a rather tepid manhunt from Peña Nieto’s own Attorney General, which seemed to be perpetually one step behind the lumbering sociopath before losing his trail entirely at the Guatemalan border.

But apparently this is all just the tip of the iceberg. Earlier this week, Duarte’s replacement, Miguel Ángel Yunes, made the country privy to some truly horrifying details of the ex-governor’s tenure. According to laboratory tests, it seems the state’s Secretary of Health had been administering fake chemotherapy treatments to children with cancer for the entirety of Duarte’s tenure with the governor’s full knowledge – an effort, Yunes insisted, to cover the budget shortfalls caused by Duarte’s pathological corruption. While no one has been able to quantify the extent of the damage done, Proceso did report that Veracruz state has seen a disproportionate amount of cancer deaths during Duarte’s tenure.

Then, only a day later, it was revealed that Duarte’s Secretary of Health had also knowingly purchased and administered tens of thousands of fake HIV tests, as well as countless pirated and expired medications. Perhaps the only temper on the ex-governor’s evil is the fact that the previous governor, Fidel Herrera, had actually pioneered this practice back in 2010. But, as ex-Secretary of Health Antonio Nemi told El País, his constant efforts to call Duarte’s attention to the irregularities ultimately resulted in his dismissal after only a year.

To add insult to unfathomable iniquity, Duarte’s kleptomania has left the Secretary of Health bankrupt and unable to pay the salaries of thousands of doctors and nurses on the government payroll; meaning for many residents of Veracruz, the nightmare has just begun. Here’s hoping there’s a special circle in hell waiting for this vile monster on the other side.