murder money and mexico
family tree
mexican news


In its suit against Mario Ruiz Massieu, the US Department of Justice began -- starting on Wednesday, 5 February -- to roll out testimony which implicates ex-president Carlos Salinas de Gortari, his siblings Adriana and Raul, his father Raul Salinas Lozano, his ex-brother-in-law Jose Francisco Ruiz Massieu and even Luis Donaldo Colosio in drug trafficking operations.

Statements by protected witnesses, undercover agents, DEA and FBI investigators, Customs, INS and Intelligence officers are being used by the US Attorney in the preliminary hearings taking place in Houston, Texas.

Also being weighed are statements by former PJF commandants which implicate a general in the Mexican Army and a former state governor.

Beginning next March 10, a Grand Jury will decide whether testimony like the statements printed in this issue of Proceso constitute valid evidence.

For the present, the US Department of Justice has found that statements made to present contain sufficient evidence to charge Mario Ruiz Massieu with drug trafficking and money laundering. The department believes that there was a conspiracy entered into by members of drug trafficking gangs and individuals with posts in the [Mexican] government who used their positions to assist the movement of drugs into the USA, and that Mario Ruiz Massieu was a member of this conspiracy.

In one of the first statements, Raul Salinas Lozano appears as head of a group which included his children Carlos, Adriana and Raul (the "operator"), protected by the former Mexican Deputy Attorney General for Special Affairs, Mario Ruiz Massieu, all in league with the main druglords, including Juan Garcia Abrego, Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, the Arellano Felix brothers and Amado Carillo.

It is alleged that a number of events took place with Juan Garcia Abrego at a ranch belonging to Raul Salinas de Gortari in the presence of the then President of Mexico, Carlos Salinas de Gortari, his brother Raul and the Ruiz Massieu brothers, and that Salinas and Mario Ruiz Massieu knew that Juan Garcia Abrego was a major drug trafficker.

According to the statements, there were also many discussions during which Salinas Lozano, Raul Salinas de Gortari, Mario Ruiz Massieu, Jose Francisco Ruiz Massieu, Adriana, the Governor of Guerrero (Ruben Figueroa) Alcocer and Juan Garcia Abrego were present.

The US Attorney's evidence includes a statement by Magdalena Pelayo to the effect that the late Luis Donaldo Colosio and Jose Francisco Ruiz Massieu stole a large amount of money originating in the drug trade.

In the version advanced by the Justice Department, the more than nine million dollars seized from Mario Ruiz Massieu's account at the Houston Commerce Bank are proceeds from the sale of drugs to be laundered by Mario Ruiz Massieu on behalf of Jose Francisco Ruiz Massieu.

The documents reproduced in the following contain several imprecisions and errors of fact, including the statement that Raul Salinas de Gortari was "Director of Commerce" during his brother's term of office and the reference to Jose Francisco Ruiz Massieu as "Presidential candidate."

The following are preliminary documents for the upcoming trial.




CIVIL CASE No H-95-3182

The Government of the United States of America



$9,041,598.68 (Nine Million and Forty-One Thousand Five Hundred and Ninety-Eight Dollars and Sixty-Eight Cents) [sic]



The US herewith supplements its answers to questions attached to the present document.

Respectfully submitted:

Gaynelle Griffin Jones, US Attorney (713) 567-9563

Susan Kempner, Assistant US Attorney

FBN: 6507/TBN: 11259700/A.P. 61129/Houston TX 77208

Departmental Certification

The undersigned hereby certifies that a copy of the additional answers was submitted to [Ruiz Massieu's attorney] Tony Canales by fax on 9 February 1997.

Susan Kempner

[The answers reprinted in the following were issued by the US Attorney's office, at the request of the judge, for disclosure to the defense for purposes of its trial preparations.]


State the name, address and telephone number of every individual who might have relevant information concerning the facts of this case and, for each individual, state the conditions, circumstances, subject and substance of this information.


Juan Garcia Abrego, Amado Carillo Fuentes, Felix Gallardo, Jorge Stergios, Maria Dolores Mota Rubio, Mario Ruiz Massieu, Frank Miller Luna, Raul Salinas de Gortari, Victor Patino, Carlos Pineda, Victor Lerma Durazo, General [Arturo] Acosta Chaparro.

Stephen Guillot, William Metzger, Robert Rutt, Peter Jackson, Mark Klemm, Marcy Forman, Laura Simpson, Robert Gracia [sic], Brad Courtnay, Scott Menger, Vincent Iglio (all US Customs), Tom Williams (US Customs, retired).

Anderson Jackson, Bob Whalen, Gilbert Garza (all IRS).

Peter Hanna, Kim Waxman, Jeff Tarpinian (all FBI), Stanley Pinmental, James Wells (FBI, retired).

Chris Gardner, Moses Ambriz (all DEA).

Joe Nieto, David Oldfield (Texas Commerce Bank, 5177 Richmond, Houston); Tandy Fisher (Continental Airlines).

Persons in the answers to Questions Nos. 5 and 9.

Members of the PGR, confidential informants.

US Attorney, Southern District of Texas, and Assistant US Attorney, Southern District of the USA.

Subject: Massieu, presumed drug trafficking and money laundering and accounts at Texas Commerce Bank and Bank One.


Identify, by name, address and telephone number, each person who might be called during the trial for presentation of evidence under rules 702, 703 or 705 of the Federal Rules on Evidence.


Vicente Iglio (US Customs); J.J. Nieto and David Oldfield may also express opinions on the basis of their experience.


For each person identified in the answer to Question 2, give a complete declaration of all opinions expressed by each individual and each consequent reason [?].


Vincent Iglio will be called to testify to his opinion concerning the generation of profits from drug trafficking and the use of such profits to facilitate the movement of drugs in the USA, and that the deposits of such profits into the account of the TCB constitute a violation of statutes on money laundering.


For each person identified in the answer to Question 2, describe in detail the facts or any other information taken into consideration by the individual in forming his or her opinion.


The information on the TCB's account summarized in the chart prepared by the IRS, which has been submitted, includes the dates of deposits, amounts deposited, cash deposits, denominations, manner in which the money was bundled, manner in which it was transported, legitimate entry, the requesting party's explanatory statements and information received from confidential informants and disclosed.


Describe in detail each occasion upon which the government claims that Mario Ruiz Massieu received protection payments from drug traffickers, stating the date on which each payment was made and the amount of each payment. Identify each person present at the time of each payment and state the reason for which the government claims the payment was made.


1) 1993, Raul Salinas's ranch, $4 million: Marco Torres, Raul Salinas, Mario Ruiz Massieu, Ysidro Cruz.

Shield Torres from public scrutiny following the seizure of 1,200 kg of cocaine in Tampico.

2) 1990 (approximately), Hotel Las Brisas, Acapulco, $1 million: Frank Miller, Magdalena Pelayo, Mario Ruiz Massieu.

Drug profits to be laundered by Mario Ruiz Massieu on behalf of Jose Francisco Ruiz Massieu.

3) 1990 (approximately), Doubletree Hotel, Austin, TX, $300,000-$400,000: Mario Ruiz Massieu, Juan N. Javier Castro, Jose Luis Rodriguez, Magdalena Pelayo.

Drug profits paid to prevent police interference.

4) 1990 (approximately), Cerrada Cinco de Mayo 201, Mexico City, $1 million: Victor Patino, Mario Ruiz Massieu, Enrique Montano.

Mario Ruiz Massieu's share from the division of 2 1/2 tons of cocaine transported from Mexico City to Mexicali and turned over to drug trafficker Miguel N. [sic]

5) May 1993, Massieu's home, Acapulco, $2 million: Mario Ruiz Massieu, Commandant Pizarro, Commandant Pizarro's brother (alias "El Flaco" ["Skinny"]), Commandant Pizarro's adjutant Raul Nava Arontes, Chief Commandant Cadena, Enrique Montano, the Chief of Police of Acapulco (General Acosta Chaparro), Ruben Figueroa Estrada.

Payment to Massieu for the "detouring" of part of approximately 22 tons of cocaine seized near Acapulco.

6) Early 1994, PGR Headquarters, Mexico City, $2 million: Mario Ruiz Massieu, Juan Garcia Abrego, Enrique Montano, others unknown.

Obtain freedom for Garcia Abrego.


For each deposit listed on page 5 of the petition against the granting of bail, describe in detail the exchange of controlled substances for which the government claims the money was to be used, specifying the date and location of exchange of the controlled substance, identifying each person present at any time during the transaction(s), describing the nature and quantity of the narcotics in question and specifying each act in which, according to the government, Mario Ruiz Massieu was involved.


Objection. The form of the question is misleading. The government's petition cites Art. 881, Para. A, Sec. 6 in full. This objection notwithstanding, the US points out that the defendant's money was deposited in the Texas Commerce Bank at the time it was seized in accordance with an order issued by the Southern District of Texas. The US does not argue that the money was being used, or was intended to be used, for the purchase of drugs. On the contrary, the US argues that the money on deposit prior to seizure was a product of the sale of drugs in the USA.


Describe in detail the bases of fact for the government's claim that all or part of the money was derived from profits obtained directly or indirectly from a crime against a foreign country involving the production, distribution, importation or sale of controlled substances. Specify the date and place of each criminal act, the name of each person involved in the criminal act, the nature and quantity of the controlled substance involved. Describe all acts or omissions giving rise to the criminal offense, specify the amount of money derived and specify each act which, according to the government, shows Mario Ruiz Massieu to be involved in each of the crimes.


Payments by drug gangs to Mexican government officials antedate the appointment of Ruiz Massieu as Deputy Attorney General of Mexico, at which time he entered into the conspiracy. The conspiracy includes members of drug trafficking organizations and persons who hold, or have held, government posts and who use these posts to assist the movement of drugs to the USA, and includes Mario Massieu. The drug traffickers transport the drugs across Mexico to the USA.

[Questions 8 through 15 are not included in the documents obtained by Proceso].


Describe in detail each transaction involving, in whole or in part, the seized $9,041,598.68 and which the government argues originates in violation of Title 18 of US Code, specifying the following: a) date, place and nature of each transaction; b) quantity and denominations of money involved; c) names of each person involved in each transaction; and d) the facts argued by the government to establish a relationship with Title 18.


See Answers 5 and 7. Furthermore, the manner in which the money was packed and the denominations involved, the inconsistencies in the statements of Jorge Stergios to customs inspectors and bank inspectors, Stergios' one-day round-trip travels, the difference between the amount declared and the amount deposited, Stergios' midnight telephone call to a bank officer, the type of account, etc., are all explained in greater detail in the government's petition and are reflected in other documents...



9 February 1997

Mr. J.A. "Tony" Canales

601 Morgan

POB 5624

Corpus Christi, TX 78465

Re: Case No. H-95-3182/USA vs $9,041,598.68

Dear Mr. Canales,

In the following please find a list of persons the US government believes might be called at the time of the trial: Brad Courtnay, Scott Menger, Vincent Iglio (US Customs); Anderson Jackson, Gilbert Garza (IRS); Stanley Pinmental, James Wells (FBI, retired).

In addition to government employees, The US will also present testimony by the following individuals: Tandy Fisher, Custodian of Records, Continental Airlines, Air Canada, US Air and Holiday Inn; J.J. Nieto; David Oldfield, Custodian of Records, Texas Commerce Bank and Bank One; David Martinez, Terry Ford, Keller Williams, Realty Company [sic].

Furthermore, along with those persons mentioned in the supplementary answers to Question No. 9 -- Marco Torres, Magdalena Pelayo and Enrique Montano -- the US intends to call Juan Antonio Ortiz at the time of court proceedings.

Please send me the rest of the Chase account records as soon as possible, so that I can pass them on to Anderson Jackson, who is analyzing the documents exhibited at the time his client was deposed.


Susan Kempner

Assistant US Attorney



In the following we reproduce two FBI documents. Both are interrogation reports. The first, numbered 00000876, is dated 16 January 1996 at Houston, and is signed by agents Orlando G. Munoz, Michael A. Sutton and Kim M. Woxman, as well as INS officer Michael McMahon.

The bottom margin bears the warning: "This document does not contain recommendations or conclusions by the FBI. It is the property of the FBI and is on loan to your Agency. Its contents should not be divulged to anyone outside of your Agency."

The pages obtained by Proceso contain large blank spaces, obviously a result of censorship exercised by the FBI or the US Attorney's office.

Following are the legible portions:


Transcription date: 1/16/96

Between 12/28/95 and 1/5/96, the cooperating witness (CW) {evidently Marco Torres - GA} provided the following information concerning Carlos Salinas de Gortari, Raul Salinas de Gortari and Mario Ruiz Massieu, in accordance with an offer made by the US Attorney's Office in the Southern District of Texas.


CW stated that, in 1993, a cargo container full of tennis shoes and containing 1.2 tons of cocaine was seized from a ship in the port of Tampico, Tamaulipas, in spite of the fact that the port director, the head of customs and others had been bribed. CW was implicated in statements to the police, who went to question him. CW phoned Raul Salinas at the Salinas ranch at Agualeguas, Nuevo Leon. CW was flown to the ranch in a plane belonging to Isidro Cruz and explained the problem to Salinas. CW stated that he told Salinas that he, the witness, didn't want them to return the cocaine to him, but only that no publicity should be given to the seizure.

CW stated that he heard Salinas phone Mario Ruiz Massieu and explain the CW's problem.

CW stated that Salinas [censored]

CW stated that Garcia Abrego paid between 15 and 20 million {dollars!} each month for protection for his drug trafficking activities and, on the basis of CW's conversations with other drug traffickers, CW estimated that Salinas and Ruiz Massieu collected 150 million monthly in payments from the drug mafias. Other traffickers who paid off Salinas and Ruiz Massieu included Mayo Zambada, Amado Carillo Fuentes and the Arellanos (noting that Arellano Felix is Baltazar Diaz' godfather {compadre}). CW estimates that Salinas would have a couple of billion dollars in the bank, based on what CW knows about the money that Salinas received.

CW participated at various social gatherings at Raul Salinas' ranch. The following were present at some or all of these events: Carlos Salinas, Raul Salinas, the late Francisco Ruiz Massieu, Mario Ruiz Massieu and Juan Garcia Abrego. These social events took place during the period in which Carlos Salinas was president, Mario Ruiz Massieu was Assistant Attorney General and Raul Salinas was Director of Commerce. CW stated that the Salinas' and the Ruiz Massieus knew that Juan Garcia Abrego was a major drug trafficker.



Transcription date: 07/17/96

On 7/11/96, Magdalena Ruiz Pelayo (DOB 7/22/52) was interviewed in a federal prison in [censored] where she is currently being held. Present during the interview were Special Agent Kim M. Woxman, US Customs Special Agent Steve Allaire (Tucson, AZ), US Customs Special Agent Steve Guillot (Houston, TX), and Assistant US Attorney Jesse Rodriguez. Pelayo's attorney, Peter Ryan, was also present during part of the interview.

[One and one-half pages censored]

Pelayo stated that, in approximately 1982, Jose Francisco Ruiz Massieu was a member of the PRI and wanted to become governor of Guerrero state. [NOTE: JFRM was murdered in September 1994, while a candidate for the Mexican presidency]. Ruiz Massieu was married to Adriana Salinas, daughter of Raul Salinas Lozano and sister of Carlos and Raul. Pelayo stated that when [Ruiz Massieu] married Adriana, Salinas Lozano "brought him into the business." Pelayo stated that they wanted to control Guerrero. Shortly after Pelayo became acquainted with Ruiz Massieu, she began to take money to him. She gave him money to buy property in Acapulco for Salinas Lozano, Juan N. Guerra, Juan Garcia Abrego and others. Pelayo stated that this money came from drug trafficking. Pelayo stated that Frank Miller Luna was very close to Ruiz Massieu during this period. Miller became even closer to Ruiz Massieu during the time they were buying this property. Pelayo stated that she handed over money to him [sic] at the Las Brisas Hotel in Acapulco. She stated that Ruiz Massieu turned this money over to Miller. Pelayo stated that she took money to Jose Francisco Ruiz Massieu on various occasions, from the time he was campaigning for governor to when he was arrested in January 1992. Pelayo stated that Salinas Lozano and Juan N. Guerra were in the drug business together during this period, and that the money she gave Ruiz Massieu came from the two.

Pelayo stated that she got to know Mario Ruiz Massieu, Jose Francisco's brother, in 1986 or 1987. Pelayo described Mario as being different from Jose inasmuch as he was quiet and watchful. Pelayo stated that Mario and Raul Salinas de Gortari were very close. Pelayo recalls having given money to Mario on two or three occasions, on orders from Salinas Lozano. She recalls having given him between $300,000 and $400,000 on one occasion, and $1 million on another. The money was in US banknotes. Pelayo recalls having met him and Frank Miller once in the Las Brisas Hotel in Acapulco. Pelayo stated that the money came from drugs and had to be laundered. Pelayo was unable to remember when exactly she gave the money to Mario, but recalled that at the time he had something to do with tourism. She believes that it might have been in 1990 or 1991.

Pelayo recalls another occasion on which she brought money to Mario; she did this after having given him money in Acapulco. On instructions from Salinas Lozano, she flew from Mexico City to Reynosa, then crossed into the US at McAllen, Texas. Pelayo stated that she then flew from McAllen to Austin [NOTE: US Customs has advised that it has a plane ticket corroborating this statement]. Pelayo stated that she stayed at the Doubletree Hotel in Austin, registering under her true name. She believes that she paid for her room with a credit card [censored].

Pelayo was met in Austin by Juan N. and Xavier Castro, who had traveled to Austin by car with the money. Pelayo stated that Mario had also made reservations at the Doubletree and arrived while she was in the dining room. Pelayo, Mario, Castro, Juan and Jose Luis Rodriguez (alias "Juan") went to her [his?] room. Rodriguez was working for Mario. Pelayo stated that she gave Mario three bags that she believes contained between $300,00 and $400,000.

Pelayo stated that Mario had a house near the Doubletree, with a small dock and a boat. Pelayo stated that Mario took her for a boat ride. Pelayo stated that Mario was going to use the money to buy houses near the lake in Austin.

Pelayo stated that she knew that Salinas Lozano had sent money to Mario on other occasions because Salinas Lozano had told her so. Pelayo stated that Mario knew the money came from drug trafficking, because he was present during many discussions revolving about airplanes, about packing cocaine in chile cans. (Pelayo stated that the DEA had made a seizure of cocaine packed this way in Mexico).

Pelayo stated that there were many discussions of this nature at which the following were present: Pelayo, Salinas Lozano, Raul Salinas de Gortari, Mario Ruiz Massieu, Jose Francisco Ruiz Massieu, Adriana (Jose's wife), the governor of Guerrero (Ruben Figueroa) Alcocer and Juan Garcia Abrego.

[One page censored]

Pelayo stated that a split eventually arose between the Salinas and Ruiz Massieu families because Jose Francisco was caught in bed with a man while he was still married to Adriana Salinas. Pelayo stated that Mario remained loyal to the Salinas family nonetheless.

[The document concludes:]

Pelayo stated that Luis Donaldo Colosio and Jose Francisco Ruiz Massieu stole a lot of money from Salinas Lozano, Salinas de Gortari and other drug traffickers. [Censored]

Pelayo also pointed out that Enrique Fuentes Leon, now forty-some years old and presently held in a Federal prison, has a lot of information about Ruiz Massieu.

[Copyright Comunicacion e Informacion S.A. de C.V.]

home · interviews ·  family tree ·  readings ·  maps ·  chronology ·  mexican news ·  links ·  discussion
tapes & transcripts ·  press
FRONTLINE ·  wgbh ·  pbs online

web site copyright 1995-2014 WGBH educational foundation