February 18, 1997 in Nation/World

Ex-Mexican President Denies Link To Drug Trade But Salinas Fails To Defend Brother Charged With Murder

New York Times
 

Former President Carlos Salinas de Gortari and his brother, Raul, strongly have denied charges made by witnesses in a federal case in Texas that they had links to drug traffickers.

Responding to published reports in a statement issued by his lawyer Sunday night, the former president said he and his family are victims of an “ambush” because of what he called “simplistic accounts” given in the United States.

Sunday, the weekly newsmagazine Proceso published documents showing that in an upcoming civil forfeiture case, American prosecutors intend to present evidence and testimony that implicate Raul Salinas in the protection of narcotics dealers.

The documents suggest that Raul Salinas was present at a 1993 meeting on the Salinas family ranch in Nuevo Leon when a payoff was made to Mexican drug officials by traffickers they were protecting.

In addition, a witness has said Carlos Salinas had socialized with notorious traffickers.

Carlos Salinas said he is considering legal action against the sources of the charges against him.

But notably absent from his letter was any defense of his brother, who is in prison here awaiting trial on fiscal fraud and murder charges.

In a separate letter late Sunday, Raul Salinas categorically denied any relation with traffickers. The testimony against him, he said, was fabricated by former Attorney General Antonio Lozano Gracia.

Lozano was dismissed in December 1996 for having mishandled the Raul Salinas case.

Raul Salinas is accused of masterminding a murder in September 1994.


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