Drug Investigator Killed In Guadalajara

THURSDAY, MAY 11, 1995

A former state prosecutor who helped to investigate the killing of a Roman Catholic cardinal in 1993 and a series of other drug-related crimes was shot to death Wednesday in the western city of Guadalajara.

The former prosecutor, Leobardo Larios Guzman, 50, was slain by one or more gunmen who were waiting outside his home as he left to teach a morning class at the University of Guadalajara law school, Jalisco state officials said.

He had stepped down as the state’s attorney general after the conservative opposition swept the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party from power in elections there last February.

The killing was the latest in a series of incidents that have shaken people in Jalisco since the killing of Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo outside the Guadalajara airport in May 1993. Last week, 7 inmates were killed and 58 people were wounded during a two-day riot at the main state prison.

The attack also rattled the financial markets in Mexico City. Values on the Mexican stock exchange fell slightly after the shooting, and the main market index closed at 2,024 points, down about 1 percent.

Radio reports from Guadalajara quoted government officials as saying the investigation into Larios’ death was focusing on a well-known hitman who worked for two of the several major drug-trafficking organizations long based in Jalisco.

But a spokesman for the state attorney general’s office, Sergio Villa, said in a telephone interview that none of the four men seen leaving the scene in a silver Nissan sedan had been apprehended and that there was still “nothing clear” about their identity.

“One of the hypotheses is that this was done by people tied to drug trafficking,” Villa said. “Drug traffickers were involved in the killing of Cardinal Posadas, and there have been any number of clashes among traffickers in the state.”

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