On this day, 18 years ago, there occurred in Mexico a national tragedy: the assassination of Luis Donaldo Colosio Murrieta, who had been chosen as the PRI presidential candidate by then incumbent President Carlos Salinas de Gortari. On March 23, 1994 Colosio arrived to Lomas Taurinas, a neighborhood in the city of Tijuana, for a public political appearance. He greeted the crowd and after walking through for a few miles, he was hit by two bullets: one into the head and one through his abdomen. Colosio was immediately transfered to the hospital, but died a couple of hours later.
The tragedy and the events it unfolded can be summed into 10 key aspects: 1) how and why Colosio was chosen by President Salinas; 2) the rise in arms of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN); 3) the difficulties in Colosio’s incipient political campaign; 4) the assassin’s crime strategy; 5) Mario Aburto Martínez, who declared himself guilty of the crime; 6) the appointment of Ernesto Zedillo as the new presidential candidate of the PRI; 7) the dismissal of Miguel Montes as public prosecutor of the case, and Olga Islas as his replacement; 8) the victory of PRI in the presidential election of 1994; 9) the decision of Raúl González Pérez (fourth and last public prosecutor of the case) to declare Aburto Martínez as the perpetrator of Colosio’s assassination; and 10) the fact that this case is filed in the Archivo General de la Nación and cannot be disclosed by anyone until the year 2035, when Aburto Martínez would have completed his 45-year prison sentence.