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Governor of Mexican State of Nuevo Leon Resigns

April 19, 1996

MONTERREY, Mexico (AP) _ The embattled governor of Nuevo Leon state resigned Thursday, the second ruling-party governor to quit under pressure this year.

Over the past four months, Gov. Socrates Rizzo Garcia has been plagued by a water dispute with the neighboring state of Tamaulipas, charges of influence-peddling, and the resignation of his attorney general over alleged links to drug traffickers.

In addition, his state has a debt of nearly $1 billion, double its annual budget.

The La Jornada newspaper said Rizzo announced his decision after spending several hours at the Interior Ministry, an indication that the decision likely was forced.

While governors in Mexico are elected, they sometimes are forced out by the federal government if they are considered an embarrassment.

Benjamin Clariond Reyes Retana, a former ruling party congressman and former mayor of Monterrey, was named to replace Rizzo.

Rizzo is the second governor from the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party to resign this year.

Ruben Figueroa of the state of Guerrero quit in March because of the massacre of 17 peasants there last June by state police.

Rizzo was elected in 1991. He had 16 months left to serve.

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