Mexico: bishops push Posadas probe

On May 21 Jose Leopoldo Gonzalez, secretary general of the Conference of Mexican Bishops (CEM), said the Catholic bishops had voted unanimously to call for the government to make former president Carlos Salinas de Gortari (1988-1994) testify again about the killing of Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo and six people in a bloody shootout at Guadalajara’s airport on May 24, 1993. Gonzalez said Salinas’ previous testimony, on Aug. 2, 2006, was “full of omissions.”

The official account is that Posadas Ocampo was shot because the killers mistook him for someone else when he happened to be present during a fight between the Tijuana and Sinaloa drug cartels. The director of Mexico’s Forensic Medical Service at the time, Mario Rivas Souza, said the cardinal was shot directly 14 times, which casts doubt on the official explanation. On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the killing, the Guadalajara archdiocese has issued a book entitled: The Truth Will Set You Free. Don’t Be Afraid. And the Homicide of Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo? The book suggests that the killing was organized by a high official in the government’s “war on drugs” to make sure Posadas wouldn’t reveal evidence of links between Salinas and drug trafficking networks.

The book reportedly also entertains a conspiracy theory involving the Freemasons. Independent journalist John Ross reports that some people think Posadas was targeted because he himself had drug trafficking connections. (Excelsior, May 20 from Notimex; Univision, May 23 from EFE; Proceso, May 24; John Ross, Blindman’s Buff #213, May 27)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, May 25

See our last posts on Mexico and the drug war.