Guadalajara Archbishop Hands Over New Evidence

´93 Assassination a «State Crime,» Cardinal Says

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MEXICO CITY, JUNE 5, 2001 ( The 1993 assassination of the archbishop of Guadalajara was a «state crime,» says his successor, who turned over new evidence to back up his contention.

Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez on Saturday gave the local Justice Department new evidence that he said supports his affirmations into the murder of Cardinal Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo.

Two weeks ago in Rome, Cardinal Sandoval briefed John Paul II on his evidence, the Mexican press reported.

Cardinal Posadas Ocampo was assassinated on May 24, 1993, at Guadalajara´s international airport.

A report last year by the Procurator General of the Republic blamed the murder on confusion between drug trafficking gangs. Cardinal Sandoval publicly disagreed with this conclusion. Moreover, the report was full of unanswered questions.

The Procurator General´s investigation was, in fact, «on reserve,» meaning that it could be reopened if new evidence was brought to light.

Now that Mexico has undergone a new political party in control — Vicente Fox is the first president in 70 years who is not a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party — Cardinal Sandoval presented the procurator of Jalisco, the state in which Guadalajara is located, a large number of documents, along with testimonies on nine compact discs.

Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, archbishop primate of Mexico, supported Cardinal Sandoval´s initiative, telling the press that «any Mexican who gives evidence does good to the fatherland, because what we want is the truth about these great crimes.»

In an article published May 18 in the Archdiocese of Guadalajara´s magazine Nueva Sintesis, Father Juan Carlos Viteri Salinas, director of the Bulletin of Pastoral Information, noted three key points that go beyond the Procurator General´s report.

–Cardinal Posadas Ocampo´s reputation remains absolutely clean. Following the assassination, some of the media connected to former Mexican politicians tried, unsuccessfully, to link the deceased cardinal to drug trafficking.

Father Viteri noted that the Procurator General´s report itself concluded that the cardinal «had nothing to do with illicit actions, as his life was exemplary, authentic, as a man of the Church and good pastor, he followed a clear, correct and firm line when it came to defending the faith and morality.»

–The conclusions of the Jalisco government, which prepared a parallel report contradicting that of the Procurator General, prove, with juridical certainty, the hypothesis of a plot against Cardinal Posadas Ocampo.

–The investigations done to date make it possible to identify who was behind the murder and who carried it out.

It was this conclusion that moved Cardinal Sandoval to hand over the documentation he has gathered in recent years.

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