Investigators testing skeleton
found on Raul Salinas' ranch
October 10, 1996
Web posted at: 10:00 p.m. EDT
MEXICO CITY (CNN) -- Mexican investigators Thursday began
tests on a skull and bones dug up Wednesday on the ranch of Raul Salinas, the brother of Mexico's former president Carlos
Salinas de Gortari. Raul Salinas is already in prison and awaiting trial
for the assassination of a senior Mexican politician, Jose
Francisco Ruiz Massieu, who was shot outside his hotel two
The remains are believed to be those of Manuel Munoz Rocha,
the man authorities believe helped Salinas plot Ruiz Massieu's
murder two years ago. Munoz Rocha disappeared shortly
"Through information we obtained, we were able to locate
precisely the place where Mr. Munoz Rocha was allegedly
buried," said Mexican Attorney General Antonio Lozano.
Mexican authorities are trying to determine whether the human
remains found on his property are those of Munoz Rocha, and
whether they implicate Salinas in the murder. Salinas has
been in jail since February 1995, but up to now, detectives
had found no hard leads to tie him to the Massieu
of evidence until now has prompted Salinas' defense attorney
to cry foul.
"We believe highly this body could have been planted in that
site, since the way the attorney general's office found it,
through an anonymous call, which is unbelievable for an
accusation of this degree," said Salinas' attorney, Eduardo
Salinas' attorney isn't the only skeptical party in Mexico.
Mexican journalists, often suspicious of official
investigations because they have seen the government lie in
the past, pointed out that the skull was cut in two and had a
surgical incision around its circumference. Such marks would
be unusual in a murder.
Lozano admitted that investigators have been saddled in this
case with a poor reputation, but suggested that the surgical
cuts could have been made to confuse investigators and make
the body harder to identify. In any case, he said, the
accusation of planting evidence is nonsense.
"When the forensic evidence is handed down, I think the facts
will become clear. The allegations of body planting are
irresponsible," he said.
The forensic evidence he refers to, a positive identification
of the body, could take up to a month.
Correspondent Lucia Newman and
Reuters contributed to this report.
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