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so has the still-unresolved kidnapping of one of Mexico’s most influential bankers. Aguilar Carnin attempted to back-pedal. If it turns out that Colosio was killed as a result of a conspiracy, he said, we’ll never know who ordered it. I’M NEVER SURE what to make of opinion polls, but for what it’s worth, immediately following Colosio’s assas sination the magazine Este Pats reported that 73 percent of the market-savvy, demographically correct respondents distrusted the Attorney General’s version of events. Another survey of upper-income Mexico city residents indicated that only 7 percent believed that Mario Aburto, the 23-year-old former maquiladora worker and self-confessed assassin, was solely responsible. Thirty-two percent believed the PRI was involved. Among the other choices: former Mexico City mayor Manuel Camacho Solis, Salinas, the army, drug traffickers, and Zapatistas. The strangest variation is one I heard in New York from a graduate student whose mother in Mexico City told him that a taxi driver told her that Colosio was not dead; all those bloody images were just Hollywood stuff; the man who would be president was alive and living in Miami. The PRI just manufactured a martyr to win the August elections. Elvis and Luis Donaldothe surrealistic integration of North America. If Mexicans are cynical, if they are as fond of conspiracy theories as they are of comic book heroes and men with masks, they have their reasons. Top law enforcement officials have a habit of immediately solving controversial crimes in response to public pressure and manufacturing motives instead of producing evidence. Some of the most highly imaginative Latin American fiction in recent years has its origins in the fax machines of the Attorney General’s office in Mexico City. With Colosio’s death, the justice machinery rolled into action. Immediately following the assassination, there was enough confusion and contradiction between the federal Attorney General’s office, Baja California officials and the PRI in Mexico City, to cast permanent doubt on the conclusions of Miguel Montes, the special prosecutor appointed by Salinas to investigate Cblosio’s killing. \(Salinas later appointed a special commission, presumably The day after the assassination Attorney General Diego Valades announced that Mario Aburto killed Colosio by firing two shots, first to the head and then to the abdomen, with a .38-caliber revolver. Interviewed on a Tijuana radio program, the cardiologist who operated on Colosio contradicted Valades. She was later taken to the Ministerio Pilblico in Tijuana to swear an affidavit, admitting that she was not a pathologist and had no knowledge of foren sic medicine. \(“We’re not legal experts, we’re not forensic experts, but it seemed a little strange that he had one shot on the right side and one all the way on the other side…It was a little difficult to imagine how that could happen…but if that’s the official finding in the autopsy, the experts would understand how that could happen,” she Valades immediately announced that Aburto had ties to gangs in Los Angeles. The Tijuana bar association president who represented Aburto at local proceedings was happy to supply information about Marxist literature found among Aburto’s possessions. The Wall. Street Journal reported that Aburto owned a book on the JFK assassination and a book by Rafael Loret de Mola, son of a former Yucatan governor and the author of political thrillers. \(But nobody knew which book. In February Loret de Mola published Secrets of the State, which begins with the assassination of a luxuryloving cardinal and ends with the assassination of a presidential candidatethe brother In Michoacan, Aburto’s great-grandmother told reporters that federal law enforcement officials came searching for clues around one in the morning, and again in the early morning hours. They treated her nicely and asked questions about ties to the Jehovah’s Witnesses. \(Still another variation, quickly dismissed, was a link to the Branch mer girlfriends of Aburto appeared in droves to swear that he had been to Chiapas recently, that he said he was going to commit an infamous act, that he showed them his gun, and yes, indeed, it was a .38 caliber. When reporters clamored for interviews with Aburto’s mother, they were met by a nun named Madre Antonia, who spoke American-accented Spanish. Madre Antonia reminded the reporters to have pity on Aburto’s relatives; after all, the young man just killed a “hero of the Mexican people who was loved by everybody.” On Good Friday, Aburto’s mother appeared before the press with Madre Antonia at her side. The Mexico City radio station I listened to alternated live coverage of the Tijuana press conference with live coverage of the annual reenactment of the Crucifixion at Iztapalapa. There was so much doubt about the identify of the young man who appears in photographs taken at the high-security prison that the Attorney General had to officially declare that, yes, indeed, this is the same young man who was arrested at the site of Colosio’s killing, and he had the fingerprint evidence to prove it. The young man had simply consented to a new haircut and shave. The Mexico City’ newspaper Reforma ran a photograph of the scruffy, bloodied young man seized at the rally in Lomas Taurinas, together with a photo graph of the close-cropped, clean-shaven, thick-necked man with the demeanor of a martial arts instructor, identified as Aburto. The paper added a computer-generated photo of a partially cleaned up Aburto, sporting a thin mustache. A journalist called my attention to the photos and asked what I saw. “Tiene cara de militar, no?” \(He looks I F LUIS DONALDO Colosio could have written his own testament, he probably would have asked, like Aldo Moro, that no one from the PRI attend his own funeral,” wrote Teresa Jardi, a prominent human rights attorney, who worked in the Attorney General’s office to satisfy her curiosity about the machinery of justice. Writing about Colosio, she concluded, “We’ll probably never know who ordered his death, but we can begin to establish some premises. For example, it’s evident that he disturbed powerful groups in the inner circle of the party for which he was a candidate. Even the scant PRI propaganda in this capital shows the solitude in which they left him.” In Mexico, where everything is political, nothing could be more political than the lying in state of the presidential candidate, brilliantly captured by Carlos Monsivals, writing in El Financiero:”…. [Upon leaving the middle of a group of not less than 60 or 70 people, most of them journalists or at least it looked that way considering the ring of tape recorders that accompanied questions that were never meant to be answered, or even to be asked. “‘What do you think about the accusations against you? Were you in contact with Licenciado Colosio? How will the assassination affect your work in Chiapas? Do you intend to run for the presidency?’ The questions went nowhere, and it didn’t matter. The whole mass just kept advancing any way it could…The senoras, who looked like they might be from around here, they might be sidewalk vendors like the kind that Camacho used to concern himself so much with when he was mayor, were the most easily provoked…” Monsivals described a woman who approached Camacho, screaming at the peace negotiator to get lost. A cameraman then approached her to ask whether she would mind repeating what she had said for television. Not at all. The senora happily complied, repeated her rage, then calmed down and asked a well-known television personality for his autograph. Political speculation infiltrated and interrupted the eulogizing of the recently departed, wrote Monsivals, who added his own speculation about Colosio’s successor: “If there’s another Dedazo [candidate handpicked by the president], it will start all over again and it will be as if nothing had ever happened.” THE TEXAS OBSERVER 15