Salinas de Gortari, Raúl (1946–)

views updated

Salinas de Gortari, Raúl (1946–)

Salinas is the oldest son of Raúl Salinas Lozano and Margarita de Gortari and older brother to the former president of Mexico Carlos Salinas de Gortari. He studied civil engineering at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (1965–1969) and earned two master's degrees in France (1972–1974). After 1977 he held various public positions. In private business he was a planning assistant with the civil engineering company Ingenieros Civiles Asociados (1970–1972). During his brother's presidential administration (1988–1994) there were rumors that Raúl would run for an elected position, but instead he was accused of masterminding the murder of the leading political figure and former president of the PRI, José Francisco Ruiz Massieu (brother-in-law of Carlos Salinas), and of illicit personal enrichment. He was incarcerated in a high security prison on February 28, 1995.

The investigations and public debate about his rampant corruption intensified on November 15, 1995, when his wife, Paulina Castañón, was arrested in Switzerland trying to withdraw millions of dollars from Raúl's secret accounts, using a false passport. She was freed, but the $130 million in their accounts was frozen and then investigated by Swiss authorities, who suspected potential money laundering from drug trafficking. The Mexican Congress also held hearings on Raúl's shady dealings when he was an official in government institutions addressing food poverty (Conasupo and Diconsa).

The Swiss authorities concluded that part of the money had come from drug trafficking and confiscated $90 million. In addition, the federal government of Mexico determined that former President Salinas had transferred some $38 million to accounts under various pseudonyms of his brother Raúl. The investigations lurched along until January 21, 1999, when a federal judge declared Raúl guilty and sentenced him to fifty years in prison for the murder of Ruiz Massieu. The sentence was later reduced to twenty-seven years and Salinas was released on bail on July 14, 2005.

See alsoSalinas de Gortari, Carlos .


Bruce, Ian. "Mexico Frees Ex-Leader's Brother." BBC News, June 10, 2005. Available from

Hernández, Ignacio. El clan Salinas; o, La persistencia en el poder. Mexico: Col. Héroes de Padierna, Seri Editores y Distribuidores, 2000.

Oppenheimer, Andres. Bordering on Chaos: Guerrillas, Stockbrokers, Politicians, and Mexico's Road to Prosperity. Boston: Little, Brown, 1996.

Trueba Lara, José Luis. Raúl Salinas de Gortari: El abuso del poder. Mexico: Grupo Editorial Planeta, 1996.

                                        Encisco FroylÁn

About this article

Salinas de Gortari, Raúl (1946–)

Updated About content Print Article