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Security Secretary Durazo, left, with Colosio's son at a memorial on Saturday. Security Secretary Durazo, left, with Colosio's son at a memorial on Saturday.

Security chief doubts findings of Colosio assassination probe

But the interior secretary says new evidence would be necessary for the case to be reopened

The federal public security secretary said Saturday that the investigation into the 1994 assassination of presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio should “go deeper,” reiterating that he didn’t believe the conclusion that there was only one murderer.

Interviewed after attending a memorial service in Magdalena de Kino, Sonora, to mark the 25th anniversary of Colosio’s death, Alfonso Durazo said it was necessary to reopen the case to “dismantle” the theory that only one man was responsible for the murder of the 44-year-old Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) candidate in Tijuana, Baja California, on March 23, 1994.

“I believe that we must continue to deepen the investigations . . .” he said.

Only one man, Mario Aburto Martínez, was convicted of Colosio’s murder but millions of Mexicans doubt that he was the mastermind of, or even committed, the crime.

The most widely believed theory is that the PRI is responsible for the assassination and that then-president Carlos Salinas de Gortari may have ordered it.

Seventeen days before he was killed, Colosio gave a controversial speech in Mexico City in which he was critical of the PRI and said that Mexico was thirsty for justice.

The speech is considered the moment in which Colosio broke ranks with Salinas de Gortari and signaled that he would take the party and the country in a different direction.

Durazo, who was Colosio’s personal secretary at the time of the assassination, said last week that it was “too simplistic” to believe that “in a moment of elevated political confrontation, especially in the context of the mother of all battles for power –presidential power – that the assassination of Luis Donaldo can be explained by the hand of a sole murderer.”

Despite calls for the case to be reopened, the national president of the PRI said Saturday that she saw no legal reason for that to happen, stating that justice had run its course.

Claudia Ruiz Massieu, who also traveled to Colosio’s home town for Saturday’s memorial events, said that the case “pains all Mexicans” but contended that the best way to honor the candidate’s legacy is to work to build the country that he wanted to build.

Durazo criticized Ruiz’s view that it wasn’t necessary to reopen the case, stating that it was “regrettable” that she came to Magdalena de Kino to “put the final nail in Luis Donaldo Colosio’s coffin.”

The secretary described the death of the candidate as “a wound that remains in the spirit of Mexicans, especially those of us who were close to him.”

“. . . There is a debt of justice to the family and to the country because the assassination of Luis Donaldo didn’t just hurt his family, it hurt a country that had the hope that his ideas would translate into acts of government that would allow the country to take a new direction. Mexico’s political development was delayed by many years.”

After heading a march in memory of the slain candidate in Magdalena de Kino on Saturday, Luis Donaldo Colosio Riojas said that he expected nothing of the Mexican justice system with regard to the case of his father’s assassination.

Nothing may come of it anyway given the interior secretary’s comments on the case today. Olga Sánchez Cordero said the case would not be reexamined unless new evidence came forward.

She also referred to an investigation by the attorney general’s office that was conducted by special prosecutor Luis Raúl González Pérez, now head of the National Human Rights Commission, who told her that “in reality the case is closed.” His probe ended with the release in 2000 of a 572-page report on the case.

Source: El Universal (sp), Milenio (sp) 

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