Like the assassination of President Kennedy in the United States, the 1994 slaying of Luis Donaldo Colosio — a charismatic presidential candidate who vowed to reform Mexico’s historically autocratic political culture — has long generated doubts and conspiracy theories.
Many Mexicans have rejected the official finding that a lone gunman, Mario Aburto Martínez, a seemingly nonpolitical factory worker, was solely responsible for the shooting death of Colosio during a campaign rally in the border city of Tijuana.
The killing has generated tens of thousands of pages of testimony from hundreds of witnesses, along with books, documentaries, a TV mini-series and endless debate highlighting widespread mistrust of Mexico’s legal system.
Now, with Mexico embarking upon another national election year — and with the 30th anniversary of the Colosio assassination approaching — the incendiary case, and all its polemical parts, have been thrust back into the political scrum.
On Tuesday, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador rejected a petition to pardon Aburto, who has spent almost 30 years in prison for the crime.
“I can’t do it,” López Obrador said of the pardon during his regular morning news conference.
The assassination, the president explained, was “a matter of the state” that should continue to be investigated.
The pardon entreaty might have been dismissed out of hand had it not been for its initiator — Luis Donaldo Colosio Riojas, son and namesake of the slain candidate. On Monday, Colosio Riojas told reporters that it was time to “turn the page” on the contentious matter.
A pardon, Colosio Riojas declared, would “permit both my family and Mexico to heal … to begin to take a road toward reconciliation.”
San Miguel Times