Monday, March 23, 2020
1994: They're still talking about who shot Colosio in Mexico
On Saturday, I checked with a good friend in Mexico and we spoke about the coronavirus down there. To say the least, many are unhappy with President Andres Lopez-Obrador’s casual attitude.
After that , I joked with him about another anniversary of “Who shot JR“? Like many Mexicans, my friend is a huge fan of “Dallas”.
Then he asked: “Who shot Colosio”?
Down in Mexico, they still ask that question: Do you believe the official story about the lone gunman who shot presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio?
In 1994, I left a Toastmasters meeting and got the news from the radio.
The PRI’s candidate, a 40-something man known by his supporters as Luis Donaldo, was killed in a rally in northern Tijuana, by coincidence not too far from the U.S. border.
It was quite a shock, to say the least. I can’t recall the last time that a major Mexican political figure was assassinated.
It shook up the country to such an extent that Mexicans were imagining tanks in the streets and hearing talk of President Carlos Salinas declaring martial law and a coup de etat.
Colosio’s victory in July was a done deal. Back in 1994, the PRI had a monopoly on nominating and electing presidents. They controlled every inch of the electoral process, so he was going to be the next president. They had run the country since the 1920s.
Nevertheless, Colosio inspired a lot of people with his talk about reform and ending corruption. It was a bit like today’s President Lopez-Obrador, but not so far to the left.
At times, it sounded like he was being critical of the incumbent President Salinas, something that the incoming guy never does. He didn’t sound like “uno del PRI,” someone from the PRI, as Mexicans would say.
Within years, there were books and theories about the assassination. How did a guy with a gun get that close to him? Did President Salinas have him shot over the criticism?
No one really knows, but the official word is that the guy got through security and shot him.
Every time the topic comes up, and it comes up a lot more often than you may realize, Mexicans compare this one to President Kennedy’s assassination.
They’ll say: Don’t you think that the explanation of both assassinations are a bit strange?
I always say respectfully, no. I believe that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone… but I have my doubts about the guy who ended Colosio’s life one late afternoon in 1994.
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