Who killed Colosio?

That is the subject of the Spanish-language docudrama “Historia de un crimen: Colosio“. (For your reference, more details about this entertaining 2019 Netflix series are available here, via Wikipedia.) In summary, Luis Donaldo Colosio was the presidential candidate of Mexico’s ruling party, the PRI (“Partido Revolucionario Institutional”), for the August 1994 elections. (Amazingly, this political dynasty had ruled over Mexico for 71 straight years(!), from 1929 to 2000.)

But on March 23, 1994, a day that will live in infamy in Mexico’s political history, Colosio was assassinated at a political rally in Lomas Taurinas, a poor neighborhood close to the U.S.-Mexico border in Tijuana. (A video of his last speech is embedded to this blog post below.) By all accounts, the candidate was hit by two bullets: one to the head, the other in the abdomen. Although these two bullets were fired from different directions, and although several individuals were detained immediately after the assassination, only one man (the mysterious Mario Aburto) was charged with Colosio’s murder. Furthermore, if the Netflix series is to believed, corrupt officials in Mexico’s national government covered up evidence of a possible conspiracy against Colosio, a conspiracy that may have been set in motion at the highest levels of the Mexican government, i.e. then-President Carlos Salinas de Gotari.

How credible are the allegations in the Netflix series? Before watching the Colosio docudrama, I had put the odds of a conspiracy against Colosio (or against JFK, for that matter) at 50/50 or 51/49. Why even odds, or odds slightly in favor of the conspiracy hypothesis? Because of an epistemological principle often referred to as “Okham’s Razor“–the simplest explanation is more likely to closer to the truth than a complex or convoluted story with many moving parts.

Spoiler alert: Now that I have watched the Colosio crime series for myself, I put the odds at 99 to 1 in favor of the conspiracy hypothesis! Like JFK, Colosio had a lot of enemies, and the official investigations into both of the their assassinations are full of anomalies and contradictions.

About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a business law professor at the University of Central Florida.
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