Mexican ruling party names new candidate

MEXICO'S ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) yesterday named 42- year-old Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon, campaign manager of the assassinated presidential candidate, Luis Donaldo Colosio, as its replacement candidate for the August presidential elections.

The choice of Mr Zedillo, like Colosio an economist and close friend of President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, was seen as a signal of the continuity of Mr Salinas's neo-liberal economic reforms. It left Mr Salinas open to further criticism, however, that his focus on economic reform has left him out of touch with political and social reality.

The announcement was almost overshadowed by growing indications that a disgruntled PRI faction may have been behind last week's killing of Colosio, 44, in Tijuana. Tranquilino Sanchez Venegas, 57, a retired policeman hired as part of Colosio's security team by a local PRI official on the day of the assassination, was arrested on Monday. He was taken from Tijuana to the same maximum-security jail near Mexico City as Mario Aburto Martinez, the 23-year- old accused of shooting Colosio. Mr Sanchez's family described him as a 'dyed-in- the-wool priista'.

Mexico's attorney-general's office said that Mr Sanchez's arrest was the result of a dramatic amateur video film that shows a gunman place a revolver virtually against the candidate's head and fire, all within a split-second. The video suggested that Mr Sanchez, seen behind the gunman, had cleared the way for him to get close to Colosio.

News of the ex-policeman's arrest and his reported close friendship with Rodolfo Rivapalacio, local PRI 'co-ordinator' in Tijuana, added fuel to conspiracy theories, most of them blaming elements within the party that has ruled Mexico for 65 years. Another former policeman, Vicente Mayoral, 47, questioned for several days, has since been released, but Mr Aburto's father was quoted as saying his son had spent a lot of time with Mr Mayoral in the weeks before the assassination.

Mr Sanchez's family denied he had been involved, but said Mr Rivapalacio had picked him up on the morning of Colosio's visit. Mr Sanchez is seen in the video wearing a dark baseball cap and a white armband with the candidate's name, marking him as part of the security team recruited locally by Mr Rivapalacio.

The attorney-general's office issued a written denial of media reports that linked Mr Sanchez with General Domiro Garcia Reyes, the officer in charge of the presidential candidate's security.

Justice officials said the team hired locally by the PRI for the day were mainly for crowd control and were not working in conjunction with Colosio's own travelling team of armed guards.

Mr Zedillo, a Yale graduate and father of five who once did a year-long course at Bradford University, is a former minister of both budget and planning and education.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Dining Room Head Chef

£32K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Dining Room Head Chef to work for one of ...

Guru Careers: Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Chef

£27K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Che...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Are you a recent graduate loo...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is a mul...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine