Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

7 Tied to Mexican Assassination

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

7 Tied to Mexican Assassination

Article excerpt

At least seven people were involved in the assassination of presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio, a special prosecutor said Monday.

Five people are under arrest, and police are searching for two unidentified men, the prosecutor, Miguel Montes Garcia, said in a statement.

Colosio was fatally shot March 23 after giving a campaign speech in Tijuana, across the border from San Diego.

The suspects include the head of security for the rally, as well as three men hired to guard Colosio, Montes said. The prosecutor said still others may be involved.

He did not discuss a motive, nor directly address the issue of a broader conspiracy that many Mexicans believe existed.

But the announcement widens the number of suspects in Mexico's most serious political assassination since 1928. As the candidate of the long-incumbent Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, Colosio was seen as a shoo-in for the election Aug. 21.

Initially, the government insisted that Mario Aburto Martinez, the gunman who confessed, acted alone. Officials later said several people might have been involved, while discounting a wider conspiracy.

Montes said Monday that Aburto, 23, still is the man accused of firing the shots that killed Colosio. But he said that four members of the security detail hired for the day were in custody and that two others are being sought.

Aburto told police that he had gone to the rally alone, but he also said he belonged to an unspecified political group that has thousands of members.

Aburto said he had intended only to wound Colosio to win news coverage for his views on a rebellion by southern Indians and other socials ills, according to a transcript of the police interrogation as published by the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Montes did not describe charges against the men, but officials earlier said Aburto was accused of murder. A second suspect - Tranquilino Sanchez - was accused of being a co-conspirator.

Montes said the suspects had helped Aburto by blocking other guards or making it easier for the gunman to reach Colosio. He said the allegations are based largely on a study of videotape and photographs, buttressed by testimony. …

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