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Brother of Assassinated Mexican Party Leader Accuses Drug Organizations


November 1994

The brother of slain political leader Jose Francisco Ruiz Massieu has charged that conservative politicians working with drug traffickers were responsible for the assassination, and that other similar crimes are planned for the future (Sallie Hughes, "Politicians and Drug Lords Said to Have Plotted Mexican Assassination," Washington Post, Oct. 7, 1994, p. A27; Tod Robberson, "A Mystery Rocks Mexico," Washington Post, Nov. 20, 1994, p. A1).

Mario Ruiz Massieu, who is also a deputy attorney general and the government's prosecutor in the case, said the killing of his brother "was a strictly political affair with the help or with the financing of drug traffickers." Jose Ruiz was the secretary general of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and worked for political reform and the dismantling of narcotics syndicates.

Jose Ruiz was killed Sept. 28 when he was shot in a Mexico City street. Just weeks before, he had ordered the shutdown of the Gulf of Mexico drug cartel based in Tamaulipas.

The gunman was identified as Daniel Aguilar Trevino, a Tamaulipas resident, but the investigation soon mushroomed. There are now 12 people charged in the conspiracy to kill Jose Ruiz, and Mario Ruiz says he believes at least three others were involved.

"I believe drug traffickers have used a group of resentful or archaic politicians who don't want change or modernization of political life," Mario Ruiz said. "They have used them, and they have financed this operation and future operations that could have taken place."

Other government officials have expressed their belief that Jose Ruiz's death was a warning to reform politicians to not interfere in the business of drug traffickers and gun runners.

This killing was the second of a major reform politician in Mexico this year. Presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio was assassinated at a rally in Tijuana on March 23.