Luis Donaldo Colosio

Last updated
Luis Donaldo Colosio Murrieta
Secretary of Social Development
In office
8 April 1992 28 November 1993
President Carlos Salinas de Gortari
Preceded byPatricio Chirinos Calero
Succeeded by Carlos Rojas Gutiérrez
President of the Institutional Revolutionary Party
In office
3 September 1988 13 April 1992
Preceded byJorge de la Vega Domínguez
Succeeded by Rafael Rodríguez Barrera
Senator of the Congress of the Union
for Sonora
In office
1 September 1988 2 December 1988
Preceded byFernando Mendoza Contreras
Succeeded byArmando Hopkins Durazo
Deputy of the Congress of the Union
for the 6th district of Sonora
In office
1 September 1985 31 August 1988
Preceded byRubén Castro Ojeda
Succeeded bySergio Jesús Torres Serrano
Personal details
Luis Donaldo Colosio Murrieta

(1950-02-10)10 February 1950
Magdalena de Kino, Sonora, Mexico
Died23 March 1994(1994-03-23) (aged 44)
Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
Resting placeMunicipal Cemetery
Magdalena de Kino, Sonora, Mexico
Political party PRI
Spouse(s)Diana Laura Riojas
Children2, Mariana Colosio Riojas and Luis Donaldo Colosio Riojas
Profession Politician, economist

Luis Donaldo Colosio Murrieta (Spanish pronunciation:  [lwiz ðoˈnalðo koˈlosjo muˈrjeta] ; 10 February 1950 23 March 1994) was a Mexican politician, economist, and PRI presidential candidate, who was assassinated at a campaign rally in Tijuana during the Mexican presidential campaign of 1994.

Mexico Country in the southern portion of North America

Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometers (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the tenth most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity that is also the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana and León.

Institutional Revolutionary Party Mexican political party

The Institutional Revolutionary Party is a Mexican political party founded in 1929 that held uninterrupted power in the country for 71 years from 1929 to 2000, first as the National Revolutionary Party, then as the Party of the Mexican Revolution and finally as the PRI in 1946.

Assassination murder of a prominent person, often a political leader or ruler

Assassination is the act of killing a prominent person for either political, religious or monetary reasons.


Political history

Colosio was the son of Luis Colosio Fernández (1923–2010) and Ofelia Murrieta Armida García. Born into a family with a long political heritage in Magdalena de Kino, Sonora, Colosio Murrieta was the descendant of 16th century Italian immigrants to New Spain who settled in the rural territories of the northwest, in the modern state of Sonora. Colosio-Murrieta studied economics at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, better known by its initials ITESM, after which he joined the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in 1972. After that, he began postgraduate studies at University of Pennsylvania and research at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria before returning to Mexico. In 1979, he joined the Ministry of Budget and Planning under future president Carlos Salinas de Gortari.

Luis Colosio Fernández was a Mexican politician affiliated with the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). He served as Senator of the LVIII and LIX Legislatures of the Mexican Congress representing Sonora.

Magdalena de Kino City and surrounding municipality located in the Mexican state of Sonora

Magdalena de Kino is a city, part of the surrounding municipality of the same name, located in the Mexican state of Sonora covering approximately 560 square miles. According to the 2005 census, the city's population was 23,101, and the municipality's population was 25,500. Magdalena de Kino is in the northern section of Sonora 50 miles from the Mexico-U.S. border. To the north the municipality abuts Nogales; to the south, the municipality of Santa Ana; to the east, Ímuris and Cucurpe; and to the west, the municipalities of Tubutama and Sáric. Its main sectors include San Ignacio, San Isidro, Tacicuri, and Sásabe. The city was named after the pioneer Roman Catholic missionary and explorer, Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, who worked in the area, as well as in the present-day US state of Arizona.

Sonora State of Mexico

Sonora, officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Sonora, is one of 31 states that, with Mexico City, comprise the 32 federal entities of United Mexican States. It is divided into 72 municipalities; the capital city is Hermosillo. Sonora is bordered by the states of Chihuahua to the east, Baja California to the northwest and Sinaloa to the south. To the north, it shares the U.S.–Mexico border primarily with the state of Arizona with a small length with New Mexico, and on the west has a significant share of the coastline of the Gulf of California.

He was elected to Congress as the federal deputy for his home town in 1985 and, in 1987, he was selected to serve on the PRI's National Executive Committee. In 1988, Salinas chose him as the campaign manager for his presidential campaign. In the same election, Colosio was elected to the Senate, representing Sonora.

Congress of the Union bicameral legislature of the federal government of Mexico

The Congress of the Union, formally known as the General Congress of the United Mexican States, is the legislature of the federal government of Mexico consisting of two chambers: the Senate of the Republic and the Chamber of Deputies. Its 628 members meet in Mexico City.

Chamber of Deputies (Mexico) lower house of the parliament of Mexico

The Chamber of Deputies is the lower house of the Congress of the Union, the bicameral legislature of Mexico. The other chamber is the Senate. The structure and responsibilities of both chambers of Congress are defined in Articles 50 to 70 of the current constitution.

The National Executive Committee (NEC) is the governing body of the UK Labour Party, setting the overall strategic direction of the party and policy development.

In the early years of Salinas' presidency, Colosio served as the chairman of their party's National Executive Committee. In 1992, Salinas chose him to serve in his cabinet, in the newly created position of Social Development Secretary. In November 1993, the PRI announced that Colosio was to be its candidate for the upcoming presidential election.

Campaign for president

After a slow start, with the spotlight focusing on former foreign minister Manuel Camacho's negotiations with the EZLN guerrillas, Colosio appeared to get the traditional support of the political machine of the PRI. Like all the PRI's previous presidential candidates, he was greeted by large crowds throughout his presidential campaign, although the PRI's waning popularity meant some reduction in initial enthusiasm.

Víctor Manuel Camacho Solís was a Mexican politician who served in the cabinets of presidents Miguel de la Madrid and Carlos Salinas. Born in Mexico City to Manuel Camacho López and Luz Solís, he belonged to the Frente Amplio Progresista. At first he was affiliated with the PRI, later with the Party of the Democratic Center and then with the Party of the Democratic Revolution.

Zapatista Army of National Liberation far-left libertarian-socialist political group

The Zapatista Army of National Liberation, often referred to as the Zapatistas[sapaˈtistas], is a far-left libertarian-socialist political and militant group that controls a substantial amount of territory in Chiapas, the southernmost state of Mexico.

Speech on March 6 1994

On March 6, 1994, the anniversary of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (the PRI), Colosio delivered a controversial but popular speech in the nation's capital, in front of the Monument to the Mexican Revolution. In it, he spoke of indigenous communities, government abuse, and the people's independence from government, all hot button issues at a time when the Zapatistas were making similar statements. [1] The speech is widely considered the moment when Colosio broke with then president, Carlos Salinas de Gortari.

Monumento a la Revolución Mexico City monument

The Monument to the Revolution is a landmark and monument commemorating the Mexican Revolution. It is located in Plaza de la República, near to the heart of the major thoroughfares Paseo de la Reforma and Avenida de los Insurgentes in downtown Mexico City.

Camacho vs Colosio

Since Mexico's constitution permits presidents to remain in power for only one term, and as an extralegal rule presidents (until Salinas) handpicked their own successors (the party's first primary election in history took place in 1999), Colosio apparently continued to enjoy the president's favour, expressed in his famous declaration No se hagan bolas: el candidato es Colosio ("Don't get confused: Colosio is the candidate" would be an appropriate translation, literally it means "Don't entangle yourselves: Colosio is the candidate").

Constitution of Mexico supreme norm of the Mexican united states.

The Constitution of Mexico, formally the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States is the current constitution of Mexico. It was drafted in Santiago de Querétaro, in the State of Querétaro, by a constitutional convention, during the Mexican Revolution. It was approved by the Constitutional Congress on 5 February 1917. It is the successor to the Constitution of 1857, and earlier Mexican constitutions.

A primary election is the process by which voters, either the general public or members of a political party, can indicate their preference for a candidate in an upcoming general election or by-election, thus narrowing the field of candidates.

Salinas' declaration was motivated by persistent rumors that highly visible Camacho would replace Colosio, who was not doing well in his campaign. Camacho let speculation grow for some time, but eventually declared he wouldn't run for office, concentrating his attention on the Chiapas rebellion instead. The day after Camacho's statement, Colosio was killed.


At 5:05 PM PST, on 23 March 1994, at a campaign rally in Lomas Taurinas, a poor neighborhood of Tijuana, Baja California, Colosio was shot in the head with a .38 Special at a distance of a few centimeters from a nearby person recording a video. Colosio collapsed, and was subsequently rushed to the city's main hospital, after plans to fly him to an American hospital across the border were canceled. His death was announced a few hours later, amid contradicting eyewitness reports that remain to this day.

The shooter, Mario Aburto Martínez, was arrested at the site and never wavered from his story that he had acted alone. Nonetheless, many theories still surround Colosio's assassination. The authorities were criticized for their poor handling of Aburto, having shaved, bathed and given him a prison haircut before showing him to the media, which started rumors about whether that man, who looked so different from the one arrested, was really the murderer. Colosio received three bullet wounds, and it was never clear if they could have been fired by a single person or not. The case was officially closed after many different prosecutors investigated it, but after the many mishandlings of the investigation and contradictory versions, the controversy continues. Aburto remains imprisoned at the high-security La Palma facility in Almoloya de Juárez.

There are a number of conspiracy theories about the assassination, including that it was by narcotraffickers. [2] However, the most accepted theory among the Mexican people is that he was betrayed by his own party and that the murder was orchestrated by high members of Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) including the president Carlos Salinas de Gortari as Colosio's speech was flouncing away from Salinas's political agenda to maintain influence during further Mexican Administrations.

On 18 November 1994, Diana Laura Riojas, the wife of Colosio, died while investigating the murder of her husband; officially she died from pancreatic cancer. [ citation needed ].


Monument to Luis Donaldo Colosio in Mexico City's Paseo de la Reforma. MONUMENTO A LUIS DONALDO COLOSIO MURRIETA.jpg
Monument to Luis Donaldo Colosio in Mexico City's Paseo de la Reforma.

With only four months before the election, the PRI found itself hamstrung by the constitutional requirement that no presidential candidate can hold public office during the six months immediately prior to the election; this effectively disqualified the entire cabinet, where most of the more promising replacements were. Of the few potential candidates available, Salinas eventually chose Ernesto Zedillo, who had just resigned as Education Minister to serve as Colosio's campaign manager, because Manlio Fabio Beltrones, a very close collaborator of the murdered candidate, showed a video where Colosio praised Zedillo. This stroke of luck for Zedillo, who would have never been a candidate under normal circumstances, gave rise to even more rumours – unfounded or not.

A few months later, Salinas' brother-in-law, José Francisco Ruiz Massieu, president of the PRI, was also murdered in plain daylight in Mexico City, eliminating the two most visible and powerful official heads of the PRI in Mexico, Colosio and Ruiz Massieu. Eventually Ernesto Zedillo was elected president.

Monument to Colosio. Luis Donaldo.jpg
Monument to Colosio.

Eight months after Colosio's assassination, his wife, Laura Riojas, died of cancer. News magazine Proceso reported Colosio's widow's first words upon learning of her husband's assassination: "Who did it?" Two children, now cared for by relatives, survived. Colosio's father continued determined to uncover what he strongly suspected are hidden truths behind his son's very public murder and, in 2004, he published a book about the case. He died in 2010.

Colosio: El asesinato (2012), directed by Carlos Bolado, explored the aftermath of the assassination of the candidate and various conspiracy theories. It notes that two investigations were conducted, and details the 15 associated people who were killed following the investigation, as well as widespread violence and unrest.

Mexican rock group El Tri wrote a song about the assassination of Colosio called "Con la cola entre las patas" (With the tail between the legs).

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Politics of Mexico

The Politics of Mexico take place in a framework of a federal presidential representative democratic republic whose government is based on a congressional system, whereby the President of Mexico is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system. The federal government represents the United Mexican States and is divided into three branches: executive, legislative and judicial, Anahis term as established by the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States, published in 1917. The constituent states of the federation must also have a republican form of government based on a congressional system as established by their respective constitutions.

Carlos Salinas de Gortari President of Mexico (1988–1994)

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José Francisco Ruiz Massieu was a Mexican political figure. He was governor of Guerrero from 1987 to 1993. He then served as the secretary-general of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in 1994. His term ended with his assassination.

Mario Aburto Martínez is a Mexican man who was convicted for assassinating presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio in 1994. He confessed to the murder and was sentenced to 42 years in prison. Despite the confession and conviction, the New York Times reported that there was widespread belief within Mexico that the conviction involved a conspiracy and coverup mainly by Carlos Salinas de Gortari and Manuel Camacho Solís. A later Mexican film called Colosio, el asesinato alleged that the Salinas government was behind the crime.

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Fernando Francisco Gómez Mont Urueta is a Mexican lawyer and politician who served as Secretary of the Interior. He was appointed by President Felipe Calderón on November 10, 2008, following the death of secretary Juan Camilo Mouriño in a plane crash on November 4. Gómez Mont was a member of the National Action Party until his resignation from the party on February 10, 2010. He presented his resignation on July 14, 2010 and President Calderon appointed Francisco Blake Mora to take charge of the Secretary of the Interior.

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Events in the year 1950 in Mexico.

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  1. Discurso de Luis Donaldo Colosio, durante el acto conmemorativo del LXV Aniversario del PRI en el Monumento a la Revolución. Marzo 6, 1994
  2. Patenostro, Silvana. "Mexico as a Narco-democracy." World Policy Journal 12.1 (1995): 41-47.

Further reading

Party political offices
Preceded by
Carlos Salinas
PRI presidential candidate
1994 (assassinated)
Succeeded by
Ernesto Zedillo