Photo: Napoleon Gomez Urrutia
A powerful Mexican labor leader forced into exile eight years ago by an indictment for embezzlement has been cleared of any wrongdoing, the judiciary said Friday.
The decision exonerating Napoleon Gomez Urrutia, head of the SNTMM Mining and Metalworkers Union, was handed down Thursday, sources with the Federal Judiciary Council told Efe.
“There is no longer any accusation against him,” the union chief’s attorney, Marco Antonio del Toro, said in comments to Radio Formula.
Gomez Urrutia fled to Canada in February 2006 after prosecutors issued a warrant for his arrest on what he claimed were politically motivated charges that he embezzled $55 million from a union trust fund.
The judges who quashed the indictment found no evidence of misappropriation in the management of the fund, Del Toro said.
Canadian officials refused Mexico’s request to extradite Gomez Urrutia, who subsequently obtained legal permanent residence in Canada.
The ruling in Gomez Urrutia’s favor comes just weeks after the Mexican Attorney General’s Office trumpeted Interpol’s decision to issue a Red Notice for the labor leader’s arrest in Canada.
From his Canadian exile, Gomez Urrutia has largely managed to maintain control of the SNTMM, which represents nearly 300,000 miners and metalworkers.