Monday, June 13, 2005
I've been avoiding it for as long as possible. The news for the last week has been saturated with Raul Salinas and his imminent departure from prison after serving 10 years of a 27 year sentence for murder.
Raul Salinas is the older brother of former president Carlos Salinas. He was convicted on ordering the murder of an in-law who happened to be the #2 in command of the PRI in 1994. There were problems with the case, including a $500,000 payment by the government to witnesses against Raul. In any event, Raul is only waiting now for his friends and family to put together the 32 million pesos (about 2.9 million US$) for his bail. (Don't ask me why he has to pay bail if his case was dismissed...I have no idea.)
His brother and other allies are said to be putting together the money. Raul has at least that much frozen in Swiss accounts, which he claims he was organizing to begin an investment firm. Swiss authorities have ended their investigation of the money, which began after Raul's wife tried to remove millions of dollars with fake identification. The accounts, however, are still frozen, at the request of the Mexican government. Raul is still under investigation in France for related money laundering suspicion.
Of course, the reaction to the change in Raul's case has been received with some dismay and skepticism. Last week, PRD leaders suggested that the change in Raul's case reflected Carlos Salinas's increasing maneuvering behind the scenes in Mexico and his ability to pressure the Fox government. (Some claim Salinas was behind the desafuero efforts, too.) Many Mexicans find it hard to swallow that Raul will be released after only 10 of a 27 year sentence and still doubt his innocence. Powerful families, including that of the deceased, are now asking, if it wasn't Raul, then who is responsible?
posted by Michelle @ 10:09 AM,