Friday, June 9th 2023

Who Was Luis Donaldo Colosio?

Written by

Rafael Bracho

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Who Was Luis Donaldo Colosio?

Next month will mark four years that I’ve been writing this series on Mexican historical figures—and longer writing about Mexican history in general—yet this article will undoubtedly be the hardest to write. Not because Luis Donaldo was a controversial figure, but because of the pain and anger that I, and many other Mexicans, feel about his tragic and untimely death.

Also, unlike all our other articles (except maybe my article on World War II), Colosio lived and died within living memory. I remember when I saw the news of his death on the television, the shock that we all felt—Mexicans living on both sides of the border.

But that’s the end of the story, right? Let’s start at the beginning. . .

Colosio’s Early Life

Who Was Luis Donaldo Colosio?

Luis Donaldo Colosio was born on February 10th, 1950, in Magdalena de Kino—a small pueblo in the northern-Mexican state of Sonora. The son of a meat packer who had taught himself accounting, Luis Colosio Fernandez, the young Colosio was personally educated by his father.

Luis Donaldo was exposed to politics at a young age, because his father also happened to be the mayor of Magdalena de Kino. Of his father, Colosio said, “[My father] told me one of his great joys was walking down the street with more friends than he had before taking office. . . My father taught me humility, to keep my feet firmly on the ground.”

In 1967, Luis Donaldo enrolled in the prestigious Institute of Technology and Higher Studies in Monterrey, where he graduated with a degree in economics in 1972. Then, he pursued a master’s degree in Rural Development and Urban Economics at that prestigious institution founded by Benjamin Franklin: the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated in 1976.

After graduation, he carried out a research stay at the IIASA in Laxenburg, Austria. And upon his return to Mexico, Luis Donaldo Colosio would enter Mexican politics.

The Beginnings of Luis Donaldo Colosio’s Political Career

Who Was Luis Donaldo Colosio?

Luis Donaldo Colosio joined the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in 1979—like his father had. He was introduced to Carlos Salinas de Gortari, a professor and rising star within the PRI, shortly after his return to Mexico, and the two became friends and close working associates. However, unlike others working in Salinas’ political network, Colosio wasn’t from the Mexican oligarchy.

Being from humble roots, Luis Donaldo Colosio was a man of principles—a rarity among Mexican politicians. He was a devoted follower of the PRI, but he knew that, for Mexico to change, the PRI would have to lose a major election. They had won every election in the last sixty years, and many elections showed clear examples of voter fraud.

Luis Donaldo Colosio would work as a professor of economics at the UNAM, Anahuac University, and the Colegio de México beginning in 1980. It was while working at Anahuac that he met Diana Laura Riojas, one of his students. Once the class had ended, they began dating and they married in 1982. (Two children were born from this marriage, Luis Donaldo Jr. in 1985 and Mariana in 1993.)

Then in 1985, Luis Donaldo Colosio was elected to congress in his home state of Sonora, and that same year, he was also elected internally as Deputy Director of the PRI—the political party he had joined just 6 years prior. This rise in status, in such a short time, shows us how much Colosio had impressed the most powerful members of the Mexican government, and how he was being groomed by Salinas to take the lead role as president of Mexico after Salinas de Gortari’s 6-year term.

Most of this early period in his professional career was spent working on Carlos Salinas’ campaign for the Mexican presidency. In 1988, Salinas de Gortari was elected as President of the United Mexican States—in part due to the efforts of Luis Donaldo Colosio.


Colosio as President of the PRI

Who Was Luis Donaldo Colosio?

During the election season of 1988, Luis Donaldo Colosio became senator for the Mexican state of Sonora. However, he would only be there a short time, from September to December, because he was about to get a big promotion—and with it, a chance to make some real changes in the Mexican government.

Elections for the Governorship of Tijuana in 1989

In December of 1988 came what could arguably be Luis Donaldo Colosio’s greatest achievement. He was elected President of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). During this period, among other things, one of his main duties was to win elections for the PRI—and he faced a tough electoral race in the coming months for the governorship of Baja California.

The candidate for the PRI was Margarita Ortega Villa—a young candidate that had worked in the legislative branch in the state of Baja California since 1985. In 1988, she had won the senatorial seat in Baja California, and now in 1989, she was running for governor.

The candidate who offered the greatest opposition was from the National Action Party (PAN), a man named Ernesto Ruffo Appel. He had been the municipal president of Ensenada for the last three years before deciding to run for governor of Baja California.

Previous Election Corruption

The most important thing to recognize is that these gubernatorial elections were coming right after the presidential elections, where Carlos Salinas de Gortari had won the presidency amid numerous allegations of corruption, including the fact that 45% of ballots weren’t counted, some alleged that people were being docked pay if they didn’t attend the PRI rallies and in some districts dead people were voting for Salinas.

Lending credence to these allegations was the fact that, at this time, the PRI had been in power for 60 years. In fact, they hadn’t lost a single major election in 60 years. The controversial nature of Salinas’ election gained international attention and left a stain on the PRI’s reputation.

In part, Luis Donaldo Colosio’s reputation for being a man of the people—and his close relationship with Salinas—got him the job as President of the PRI. The pressure was on for Colosio to win this election in Tijuana.

Colosio sent a political delegate to Tijuana with the strict instructions that he should make every effort to win the election for the PRI, but that there not “be one single vote in the margin of the law.”

The Results of the Election in Tijuana

Before the election, Luis Donaldo Colosio confided in his friend Agustin Basave Benitez, saying, “I’m in a dilemma, Agustin. My job is to win elections—to see that it goes well for the [PRI]. That’s my job. I want to win, and I want things to go well because that’s my responsibility, but I know that, for Mexico to change, it’s going to have to lose once.” Basave recalls that he was shocked to hear this coming from the President of the PRI.

Because it took a week to count the ballots, the citizens of Tijuana formed a private militia, risking their lives to guard the ballot boxes. Within a few days, Luis Donaldo Colosio held a press release saying that the results didn’t look favorable to the PRI—the first press release of its kind.

“We’re living in a moment of change. The winds of democracy blow through most of the world. We have recent examples of this. And we, as a party, are ready to bet everything on democracy. In this new stage for the PRI, diversity defines us, competition unifies us, democracy and good will strengthen us. We must acknowledge that the polls in the governor’s race favor the candidate for the PAN party,” said Colosio.

For the first time in 60 years, the PRI would lose a major election.

This wave of reform within the PRI that had been championed by Luis Donaldo Colosio firmly established him as an honorable “man of the people” in the Mexican mindset. This would prove beneficial when he resigned as president of the PRI to campaign for the Mexican presidency.

Colosio as Secretary of Social Development

Who Was Luis Donaldo Colosio?

In those days, it was a political custom that the PRI’s presidential candidate should rise up from the previous president’s cabinet. Thus, in 1992, the standing Mexican president, Carlos Salinas de Gortari, appointed Luis Donaldo Colosio as the Secretary of Social Development (SEDESOL)—a brand new department that had been created. Clearly, Colosio was being groomed for the position as the PRI’s next candidate for the Mexican presidency.

While working for the SEDESOL, Colosio came into contact with many grassroots organizations and formed initiatives to help the lowest classes of Mexican society. He worked hard to benefit the people and was thoroughly engaged in the SEDESOL department. He was described as having a great enthusiasm for the position.

Once such initiative was the Solidaridad program, which helped build infrastructure to provide safe drinking water and sewage systems in rural areas, thereby promoting sanitation and raising the health standards throughout all of Mexico. In addition, Solidaridad built schools and community centers in impoverished areas.

In regards to Solidaridad, Colosio said, “Let me tell you that, in this way, Solidaridad goes hand-in-hand with economic transformations. At the same time, it fosters community engagement. President Salinas has said that Solidaridad is no longer a government program, and is now society’s program.”

The Solidaridad project did have its points of critique. For example, in Chiapas, the coffee farmers were given a fantastic machine for separating the beans from the branch. It was a top-of-the-line, German machine; however, the farmers couldn’t utilize it because they didn’t have electricity.

Those working at the SEDESOL soon realized that the press conferences Colosio held were being attended by more and more people. His staff had to accommodate larger numbers as his fame grew throughout Mexico. Soon, Luis Donaldo Colosio would win the nomination as the PRI’s candidate for the Mexican presidency.

Oh, there were other candidates like Aspe and Camacho. However, Luis Donaldo Colosio was Carlos Salinas de Gortari’s personal selection to succeed him, and in those days, let’s just say, the president picked the candidate—not the public elections. Though Colosio had won the candidacy through questionable means, he privately confided in a friend that he would do whatever it took to change these undemocratic practices in Mexico.

Colosio’s Campaign for Presidency

Who Was Luis Donaldo Colosio?

The Early Days of the Colosio Campaign

During the campaign, Salinas would flex his political might. Luis Donaldo Colosio had wanted as his campaign manager, Carlos Rojas, the man who had managed the Solidaridad project with great success and with whom Colosio had an excellent working relationship. However, Salinas rejected the selection, and Colosio picked Ernesto Zedillo to manage his campaign instead for his tremendous organizational capacity, economic sense, and understanding of the social issues facing Mexico.

At the start of 1994, the campaign kept getting delayed by Salinas’ order. This was in part due to the protests of the zapatistas in Chiapas. Massive protests had gathered in Mexico City, and violence had erupted in Chiapas. The campaign had planned to start in Motozintla de Mendoza, Chiapas, which now had to be changed. Instead, the Mexican pueblo of Huejutla, Hidalgo was chosen to kick off Colosio’s presidential campaign. In short, the first months of the campaign were fraught with difficulties.

Furthermore, Colosio and Zedillo did not seem to work well together. There existed friction between the two, and rumor had it that Luis Donaldo Colosio wanted to change his campaign manager. Camacho—one of the former candidates for the PRI nomination—held the national spotlight for his work in peacefully resolving the crisis in Chiapas, and Colosio’s campaign was only being covered by the local news. In fact, the threat that Camacho would replace Colosio as a candidate for the PRI lingered in the background.

At this time, numerous reports tell us Luis Donaldo personally confided in his friends and family that the PRI wanted to change their candidate—though this is denied by former Mexican president Carlos Salinas de Gortari. Accounts tell us Colosio told his wife one night late February, “They want to screw me over. They want to take the candidacy away from me. But I won’t let them.”

The March 6th, 1994 Speech

This led to Colosio’s most famous speech—beautiful, articulate, passionate—the Mexican equivalent of America’s “I have a dream” speech, where Colosio famously said, “Yo veo un México con hambre y con sed de justicia.” (I’m a native Spanish speaker, and the translation of his famous line should read, “I see a Mexico with hunger and with thirst for justice.” You’ll see a lot of translations, but this is what he said.)

Plaza de la Republica in Mexico City was packed with throngs of people eagerly awaiting Colosio’s words. He gave his speech beneath the Monument to the Revolution, where some of the most famous figures from the Mexican Revolution were buried—which was no accident.

Numerous commentaries have been written on the significance of this speech. A majority say it was a stab at Salinas, some say it marked him unofficially announcing his break from the PRI and the political powers that be, but one thing is certain: he knew his political ember was winking out and this was his last chance to fan the flames—and boy, did he bring the bellows.

Fifty-nine times he mentions Mexico’s need for change. His intentions were not veiled. Not at all. Luis Donaldo Colosio made it plain when he said, “Today, before the PRI members of Mexico, and before all Mexicans, I declare my commitment to reform the seat of power and make it democratic, as well as wipe out any traces of authoritarianism.”

Here are some of the most famous excerpts from his March 6th speech:

I see a Mexico of indigenous communities that cannot wait any longer for the demands of justice, dignity and progress; of indigenous communities that have the great strength of their cohesion, of their culture and that are willing to believe, to participate, to build new horizons.

I see a Mexico hungry and thirsty for justice. A Mexico of people aggrieved by the distortions imposed on the law by those who should serve it. Of women and men afflicted by abuse by the authorities or by the arrogance of government offices.

As a party of stability and social justice, we are ashamed to note that we were not sensitive to the great demands of our communities; that we were not by their side in their aspirations; that we did not live up to the commitment that they expected from us. We have to assume this self-criticism and we have to break with the practices that made us a rigid organization. We have to overcome the attitudes that weaken our capacity for innovation and change [...] Let's start by affirming our identity, our militant pride and Let us affirm our independence from the government.

For 68 years, the PRI had held the presidency. Despite the changing winds, it was clear that the Institutional Revolutionary Party would win the presidential election; and now, the PRI had a candidate who wanted to change that.

*To read a fascinating article on this speech and its significance, click here.

*To watch the whole speech, click here.

The Aftermath

After Colosio’s speech, Camacho held a press conference, even stating that, “Sure, I want to be president—but not at any cost.” He publicly backed down as a lingering threat to Colosio. The population had been captivated—enthralled—by Colosio’s speech, and now he was drawing peak crowds again and enjoying the benefits of media coverage and national attention. Colosio had convinced the public, but he stepped on some toes in the process—and he had to press down on thick boots to do it. After his March 6th speech, not only had the tides turned in favor of Colosio, but you saw a change in him. He began to believe that he was going to become the next Mexican president. We all did. A friend of Colosio’s recalls that General Domiro—part of the Mexican Secret Service, head of the staff in charge of protecting Luis Donaldo Colosio—mentioned on March 22nd, 1994, “Now I’m truly worried. What’s this, that Camacho ‘doesn’t want to be president at any cost?’”

Within 24 hours, Luis Donaldo Colosio would be dead.


The Assassination of Luis Donaldo Colosio

Who Was Luis Donaldo Colosio?

In the presidency, there are days that go by like seconds, because of the fast pace of the job—because of the attention to the responsibility. . . But there are minutes that can be eternal. -Carlos Salinas de Gortari, 60th President of the United Mexican States.-Carlos Salinas de Gortari, 60th President of the United Mexican States.

Colosio was set to give a speech in Tijuana, on the 23rd of March. Ernesto Ruffo Appel, (remember the PAN candidate who won the governorship in Tijuana in 1989?) said, “they didn’t want the state police involved in Colosio’s security”.

However, Ruffo replied, “The state police will be there, but you won’t even notice they’re there.”

The words of Rodolfo Mayoral Esquer

Rodolfo Mayoral Esquer was born and raised in Tijuana, Baja California—the son of an alleged conspirator in Colosio’s murder, Vicente Mayoral. A few days before the 23rd of March, 1994, at the behest of his father, Rodolfo was registered into the PRI party and hired as an entry-level security guard. He was added to the system on the 15th of March, 1994—less than ten days before Luis Donaldo’s assassination.

Mayoral Esquer recalls,

Casually leaving the stairs, we ran into Rodolfo Rivapalacios Tinajero. So, he and my dad got to chatting on the staircase. My dad said hello to him and then introduced me. Then, Rivapalacios told him that he would be in charge of the different events the candidate would attend. So, he asked my dad if he’d like to participate. My dad said ‘yes’, and he signed me up. Later, Rivapalacios assigned us to the Lomas Taurinas event.

The Words of Yolanda Lázaro

The PRI Leader for all of Tijuana at the time, Yolanda Lázaro—a woman who is still considered a community leader today—said, “We were thrilled when we heard the candidate was coming here. We were eager to find out our community’s role in his visit. But they said we wouldn't have any role whatsoever. That we were only guests, and as the date approached they’d figure everything out.”

Colosio gave his speech on a small stage, in front of a mass of people, in the southern neighborhood of Lomas Taurinas, Tijuana. Talina Fernández, former television personality and friend of Diana Laura Colosio (Luis’ wife), was at the event.

She said, “Suddenly, someone from the government walked up to me and told me, ‘Ma’am, let’s go to the bus.’ We won’t be able to get out. It’ll be too crowded soon. So I went to the bus. Luis Donaldo had finished. They start blasting horrendous music, ‘La Culebra’ it’s called.”

Rodolfo Mayoral Esquer, who was working as security staff, said, “The candidate was about to step down after the rally. We arranged ourselves in a safety formation. The candidate stepped off the stage, and instead of using our formation, the [Mexican] Secret Service pushed him towards the crowd. They failed to lead him to the formation we’d prepared. (In the video, you can hear the security staff shouting ad hoc commands to shift the formation.)

Yolanda Lázaro, the PRI leader at the time, said that muscular Secret Service agents surrounded Colosio and pushed him through the crowd. “They were clearing a path for Mr. Colosio. They led him wherever they wanted. . . I was walking behind Mr. Colosio, when I heard someone say, ‘Step back, fucker.’ I also heard the reply, ‘I need to take a photo.’

It was then that a gunshot ran through the crowd. At 5:12pm, after Luis Donaldo had crossed 13.5 meters from the stage toward the vans, he was shot in the head with a Taurus .38 caliber special near the right ear at point blank range. This was followed by a second shot to the abdomen.

Colosio was rushed to the ambulance. They made it to the emergency room in eight minutes and he immediately underwent surgery, but despite the medical staff’s best efforts, Luis Donaldo Colosio died at 6:55pm, never having regained consciousness.

The Oddities

Who Was Luis Donaldo Colosio?

Oddities About the Neighborhood of Lomas Taurinas

Lomas Taurinas sits in a ravine near the US border—behind the airport. It’s surrounded by other popular neighborhoods. In 1994, Lomas Taurinas was inhabited by around 20,000 families who lacked access to safe drinking water, drainage, and paved streets. The area where the rally was held was a dirt park at the crossroads of four streets: La Punta, Torrecillas, López Mateos, and Mariano Arista. On the southern flank, where Mimiahuapan street ends, ran a small blackwater river called Canal de Pastejé. To reach the esplanade there was a wooden bridge—without railing—2.80 meters wide and seven meters long.

Also, the addition of Lomas Taurinas for a campaign rally seems to have been a last minute addition to the route—added on March 17th, less than a week before the murder. This implies that someone working within the highest levels of the PRI was the “nefarious mastermind” of the assassination.

Officially, the location of Lomas Taurinas was chosen because it had benefited from the SEDESOL programs, was overwhelmingly PRI, and was representative of the social demographics of Tijuana, as proposed by Jaime Martinez Veloz, a campaign logistics subcoordinator for the Colosio campaign, though conspiracy theorists have since questioned the official narrative.

Oddities in the Criminal Procedure

During the chaos in the 24 hours following the attack, there were numerous lapses in procedure. Part of the disorder arose from the fact that several different departments were on the scene from the start—which led to there being no consensus among them as to who was in charge. In effect, basic police procedure was not observed after the murder. In effect, the security staff captured the shooter and took him to the police department, while the municipal police searched the assassin’s belongings. They managed to recover the weapon and find a bullet, but this represented a sharp break in Mexican police procedure.

Still, other basic procedural failures occurred, for example, not preserving the crime scene after the shooting for the crime scene investigators. The witnesses were interviewed outside of protocol, the autopsy was conducted in front of too many witnesses, without establishing a plane of trajectory to determine the angle of the shooter—and, most bizarrely, the experts ended up washing the bullet casing found at the scene of the crime.

Naturally, conspiracy theorists believe these faults in procedure were intentional, meant to muddle the facts surrounding the case. Plus, the federal government exercised its authoritative powers in favor of the PGR (Procuraduría General de la República, the equivalent of a federal District Attorney)—although the letter of the law states that the first on the scene should have authority over the crime scene. This was most likely to exclude the state and local city governments, which held officials of the PAN party like Ernesto Ruffo Appel and Hector Osuna after the PRI’s loss of the ‘89 election.

Oddities with Miguel Montes

Within days of the murder, then-president Carlos Salinas de Gortari decided to make a special PGR commission to investigate the crime. He wanted to appoint Santiago Oñate Laborde, who was a mutual friend of both Colosio and Salinas. He asked the widow Colosio, Diana Laura, what she thought of the selection. She disagreed—feeling that he was too close to the situation—and instead picked Miguel Montes Garcia, Minister of the Mexican Supreme Court. Salinas agreed and Montes accepted the nomination.

On April 4th—the day after a meeting with Carlos Salinas de Gortari in Los Pinos (the Mexican version of the White House)—Miguel Montes held a press conference stating publicly that there was “no way that a lone gunman could have perpetrated this alone”. Instead, he implicated the Secret Service agents surrounding Luis Donaldo, alleging that they must have been involved in drawing Colosio to the gunman.

However, by June 1st, less than two months later, Miguel Montes had backtracked his statement. He now claimed that Mario Aburto Martinez was acting alone.

*Click here for more in-depth information on things that were out of place. The wikipedia article about the assassination and subsequent investigation is a great source.

The Suspects

Who Was Luis Donaldo Colosio?

There have been many theories put forward attempting to answer, “Who killed Luis Donaldo Colosio?” From the lone gunman theory to the theory that there was a criminal mastermind at work, all avenues have been explored over the last 25 years. We’ll try and give a general overview of all the major suspects and the theories behind each one.

Mario Aburto Martinez

Mario Aburto Martinez is the man who was officially charged and sentenced for the murder of Luis Donaldo Colosio. A 23-year old from Michoacan who was residing in Tijuana at the time of the murder. Though many think there may have been snipers on the rooftops, Mario Aburto Martinez is the gunman convicted of firing the weapon that killed Colosio.

There are several oddities however with the “lone gunman” theory. First of all, the interrogation was three hours long, and several investigators commented that the detectives first questioning Mario Aburto Martinez asked very superficial questions. Normally interrogations last six hours.

Second, days after the shooting, the national press started publishing that Aburto was affiliated with the PAN—the competing political party. Mario Aburto Martinez was asked if he was affiliated with any political party or dissident movement like the zapatistas in Chiapas, and he replied that he was never affiliated with any political party.

Finally, there are suspicions as to the true identity of the shooter. Since right after the shooting, numerous accounts have questioned the differences in appearance between the man who was arrested on the day of the attack, and the man shown to the press three days later. Such as:

  1. The man arrested was 1.64m tall. The man jailed three days later was 1.7m tall.
  2. Nose and shape of the skull do not match.
  3. The man arrested had a darker complexion than the man jailed three days later.
  4. The man arrested had cuts and bruises all over his face from being attacked by bystanders in the crowd, the man at the press conference three days later had no marks on his face
  5. The man arrested after the attack weighed less than the man jailed three days later

Vicente Mayoral

The theory that Mario Aburto Martinez acted alone hasn’t held up to scrutiny. Even in the early days of the investigation, it seemed increasingly likely that Aburto had simply been a hired gun acting under orders from a nefarious mastermind.

At first, Vicente Mayoral—father of Rodolfo Mayoral, who’s quoted in this article—was suspected and brought in for questioning. In fact, so was Rodolfo Mayoral and a few others. Vicente Mayoral was the security guard who threw himself atop Mario Aburto Martinez right after the gunshots were fired.

Vicente Mayoral was a member of TUCÁN (Todos Unidos Contra Acción Nacional or “All United Against “National Action”)—a group of former police officers who stood against the PAN (the National Action Party). Eventually, he was brought in for questioning as the suspected leader of a conspiracy among the security staff to kill Luis Donaldo Colosio, however, the special investigation didn’t find enough evidence to prosecute the campaign security. History has since disregarded the security guard theory in lieu of a greater authority.

Many of the issues with the security guard theory is that they didn’t have the authority to account for all the oddities. For example, the choice of holding the rally in the Lomas Taurinas neighborhood in Tijuana. It was a dangerous neighborhood, which hadn’t even met the minimum security requirements to host the presidential candidate.


Camacho is on that short list of likely suspects. He had expected to be the Mexican presidential candidate, yet had been passed over in favor of Luis Donaldo Colosio. He was a strong candidate, and one who was firmly based in the establishment. Camacho had stated publicly that he didn’t want to be president at any cost, yet even the Secret Service agent in charge of protecting Colosio doubted Camacho’s press statement before the assassination.

He may have had enough connections in the PRI to move the location of the attack to Lomas Taurinas, but did he have enough power to order the Secret Service to abandon the municipal state formation in favor of pushing Colosio through the crowd?

Also, his motivations would've had to have been pure revenge because he was too well known as Colosio's rival. After Colosio's martyrdom, those votes wouldn't have translated well, and in fact, after Colosio's death, Camacho publicly resigned from the PRI.


After the speech on March 6th, 1994, where many felt Luis Donaldo Colosio unofficially announced that he was breaking away from the PRI, this would have posed a major threat to the status quo—and the stakes were on the line, mere weeks after the ratification of NAFTA.

Who had the power to change the PRI event location, change the location of the vans, order the Secret Service to abandon the municipal government’s security formation, and even possibly change the actual suspect in jail days after the arrest? The President of Mexico.

If you watch the recording in the hospital of the press release held around 7pm that night, when the chief of Colosio’s presidential campaign announced that Luis Donaldo Colosio, during the tragic wails that gripped the crowd, some shouted, “Salinas did it!” That means, even before Colosio had been officially declared dead, the throngs of people gathered at the hospital already suspected Carlos Salinas de Gortari of perpetrating the crime.

After 25 years, the theories have mingled with legend, and Carlos Salinas de Gortari has emerged in the collective imagination as the mastermind behind the assassination of Luis Donaldo Colosio Murrieta.

*For more information on the suspects, oddities, and theories of the case, the wikipedia page on the assassination is a great source. To view it, click here. To jump directly to the conspiracy theory section, click here.


Colosio’s Legacy

Who Was Luis Donaldo Colosio?

Luis Donaldo Colosio lives on in the collective memory of the Mexican people. His speech on March 6th, where he declares, “Yo veo un México con hambre y con sed de justicia,” remains one of the most recognizable phrases in living memory—despite having been spoken 25 years ago.

And the pain we Mexicans feel lingers to this day. We had a white knight, a shining figure to champion the cause of egalitarianism and meritocracy tragically cut down in his prime, before he’d had a chance to carry out his reform in Mexico.

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