Objections to former president's presence


TWO hundred and fifty-eight people have objected in a letter to the presence in Ireland of Mr Carlos Salinas de Gortari, president of Mexico until December 1994. Mr Salinas has had an address in Dublin for almost 10 months.

The letter was circulated by the Irish-Mexico Group, a solidarity organisation which champions Mexico's increasingly marginalised majority. It says:

"We wish to make it clear that whatever the attitude of the Irish elite we do not want Salinas here."

The letter accuses Mr Salinas whose elder brother, Raul, is being tried for the high-profile murder of a politician and embezzlement of corruption. It says that "his regime inflicted torture, detention, extra-judicial execution and the `disappearance' of community workers".

Mr Salinas was interviewed in Dublin last month by a Mexican special prosecutor investigating the murder of Mr Salinas's intended successor as president.

Mr Salinas was interviewed as a witness, not a suspect, and faced over 300 questions without his lawyer.

He was recently in contact with the Aliens Registration Office to regularise his status, a source close to him has said.

A "wanted" poster campaign against Mr Salinas has been in evidence in recent months, but the Irish Mexico Group denies any involvement in that.

The poster gives a summary of the accusations against Mr Raul Salinas and finishes "50 million Mexicans live in poverty".

Mr Ramor Dagg, a spokesman for the group, attributed the posters, which list prominent Dublin hotels and restaurants as his "known hangouts", to "young teenagers".