Mexican Candidate Is Shot Presidential Favorite Suffers Head Wound

Article excerpt

Luis Donaldo Colosio, the man expected to become Mexico's next president, was shot twice Wednesday during a campaign appearance in Tijuana.

Colosio, the candidate of Mexico's governing party, was rushed to Tijuana General Hospital with gunshot wounds to the head and chest.

"His health is extremely delicate," said Libano Saenz, spokesman for the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

Mexican TV reported that two people had been involved in the shooting and that both had been arrested. Their identities were not released.

Colosio had just finished speaking to about 3,000 people in a canyon area in Colonia Loma Taurinas, near Tijuana's international airport, when shots rang out. He was bleeding profusely from the head when he was put into a campaign car and rushed to the hospital, witnesses said.

Saenz, the PRI spokesman, said one bullet had gone in and out of Colosio's head, but Saenz had no details of the second bullet that hit Colosio's chest.

He was expected to be moved across the border to a hospital in San Diego, a spokesman for the University of California at San Diego Medical Center told TV station KFMB. His condition was not stable enough Wednesday night to move him.

The crowd jumped on both assailants, who appeared to be in their mid-20s, and beat them. One of the assailants' "shirt was ripped off," said Gregory Gross, a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune. "There was blood on him, but I couldn't tell if it was his or Colosio's. It was chaos."

Colosio, 44, has drawn criticism since President Carlos Salinas de Gortari chose him Nov. 28 as standard-bearer for the PRI, which has ruled Mexico for decades. Critics complained that his free-market economic policies were too close to those of the Salinas administration, policies that so far have brought little improvement to Mexico's poor. …