Holy See Presses for Truth About Cardinal´s Murder

Notes Mexican Authorities´ Interest in Case

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 8, 2001 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See has asked Mexican authorities to get to the bottom of the 1993 murder of Cardinal Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo.

In statements to the press, Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro-Valls said: «From the beginning, the Holy See manifested its interest in knowing the truth regarding the tragic death of Cardinal Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo; it is also important to emphasize the Mexican authorities´ interest in achieving this objective.»

Cardinal Posadas Ocampo was gunned down May 24, 1993, at the Guadalajara international airport. A 2000 report by the Office of the Procurator General of the Republic attributed the death to a mix-up among drug traffickers.

Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, the deceased cardinal´s successor, as well as the Justice Department of the state of Jalisco, which includes the city of Guadalajara, have rejected that conclusion.

Last week, Cardinal Sandoval handed the Procurator´s Office in Jalisco a large quantity of documents and testimonies which, he says, show that the murder was a «state crime.» On Tuesday the cardinal revealed that he had been poisoned two years ago, and he attributed the attempt on his life to his criticism of investigators´ conclusions about the 1993 murder.

Last month he briefed John Paul II and Roman Curia officials about the murder case.

The Milan newspaper Il Giornale reported that documents given to the Pope by Cardinal Sandoval reveal that Posadas Ocampo was assassinated by a high-ranking drug official of the Mexican republic.

Reporter Andrea Tornielli wrote that Cardinal Posadas Ocampo was killed because he had documents that implicated then President Carlos Salinas Gortari and his brother Raúl in drug-trafficking activities.

The newspaper report coincides with the results of the probe by the state of Jalisco.

Joaquín Navarro-Valls said that now «the Holy See expects complete and authoritative clarity from the competent judicial authorities, on the assassination of Cardinal Posadas Ocampo.»

María de la Luz Lima Malvido, an official with the Procurator General´s office, said her office now has the necessary elements to consider reopening the murder case.

Procurator General Rafael Macedo de la Concha said that Cardinal Sandoval could be called to testify before the Federal Public Ministry.

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