UPDATE 2-Mexican judge orders property of ex-ruling party governor seized

viernes 3 de junio de 2016 21:42 GYT

(Adds comments from Medina)

By Gabriela Lopez

MONTERREY, Mexico, June 3 (Reuters) - A Mexican judge has ordered properties of a former state governor in the ruling party seized as part of an investigation into fraud and other crimes, putting the spotlight on political corruption ahead of local elections this weekend.

Ernesto Canales, the anti-corruption czar in the opposition-controlled region of Nuevo Leon, said Friday that the order was against several officials, including ex-state governor Rodrigo Medina, for suspected embezzlement, breach of office and other crimes that cost the state 3.6 billion pesos ($194 million).

"This is not a campaign against a group of officials," Canales said. "It's about highlighting conduct of a group of public officials that shouldn't have occurred."

Canales said the seizure was related to the installation of a Korean plant in the state, an apparent reference to the 2014 deal between Medina's government and carmaker Kia Motors for a $1 billion works in Nuevo Leon.

Nuevo Leon's new government says the deal violated state law by offering "excessive" incentives; it is working with Kia to end the dispute.

Senior Mexican officials say local officials profited from land deals anticipating Kia's arrival.

Medina, who was governor of Nuevo Leon from 2009 to 2015, belongs to President Enrique Pena Nieto's Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).   Continuación...