Ethics Panel Urges Raul Salinas Be Ousted From Mexico's Ruling Party

Times Staff Writer

The ethics commission of Mexico's long-ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party recommended Thursday that the party expel former President Carlos Salinas de Gortari's elder brother from its ranks.

In announcing the immediate suspension of Raul Salinas de Gortari's party rights and privileges, the party's Honor and Justice Commission stopped short of recommending disciplinary action against the former president himself. Instead, it stressed that the case against Carlos Salinas is still open.

A ruling party official said the final decision on the Salinas brothers now rests with the party's central committee, which will convene again after the New Year. But he added that the commission's "judgment is an important factor." Analysts said the party leadership most likely will follow the recommendation.

Raul Salinas, who has been jailed since Feb. 28, is now on trial for allegedly masterminding last year's murder of the party's secretary-general. He faces additional charges of official corruption and forgery after Swiss, U.S. and Mexican authorities confirmed that they linked more than $123 million in bank accounts throughout Europe to the former public official.

Carlos Salinas, who left Mexico soon after his brother's arrest, faces no criminal charges, but he is widely blamed for leaving behind the nation's worst economic crisis in recent memory. The crisis erupted three weeks after he left office on Nov. 30, 1994.

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