The murdered brother of former Mexican President Carlos Salinas was probably killed because of a business feud rather than a political dispute, prosecutors said Tuesday.
The body of Enrique Salinas, 52, was dumped in a car in an affluent suburb of Mexico City on Monday. He suffocated when his killers put a plastic bag over his head.
Prosecutor Alfonso Navarrete said speculation that the killing may have been political was off the mark.
“We are sure that this affair is related more to his personal life, probably of a business or professional nature,” he told W radio.
Carlos Salinas led Mexico between 1988-1994. Lauded for modernizing the country and taking it into the North American Free Trade Agreement with the United States and Canada, he is also widely blamed for the “Tequila Crisis” financial collapse that hit shortly after he left power.
Another brother, Raul Salinas, is in prison for ordering the murder of a leading politician in 1994.
Enrique Salinas was a businessman who stayed out of politics.
“It is not a political issue. This person did not participate in politics,” President Vicente Fox told foreign journalists.
Was killing an accident?
Prosecutors said the killers may have accidentally murdered Salinas during an attempt to scare him for extortion.
“By suffocating someone you are trying to prolong the agony or get some kind of information, which points more toward some kind of extortion,” said Navarrete.
Mexican prosecutors said French authorities investigating financial crimes had asked Mexico last month via Interpol for information of his whereabouts.
Police have video of a four-wheel-drive vehicle leaving the scene where the car with Salinas’ body was found, prosecutors say.