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Former Suspects in Mexican Assassination Seek Asylum

February 08, 1996|SEBASTIAN ROTELLA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

TIJUANA — A father and son who were acquitted last year in the assassination of a Mexican presidential candidate have requested political asylum in the United States, fearing that they are once again suspects, officials said Wednesday.

Vicente and Rodolfo Mayoral, former volunteer security guards who were charged with helping a gunman push through a crowd and shoot Luis Donaldo Colosio at a campaign rally in 1994, went to the San Ysidro port of entry Wednesday evening and applied for political asylum, according to Rudy Murillo of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

It has not yet been determined whether they will be allowed to remain in the United States while their claim is evaluated, he said.

Lawyer Marco Antonio Macklis said the Mayorals came to his house in Tijuana on Wednesday and told him that they were going to flee to San Diego because of reports that new witnesses implicated them in court hearings near Mexico City on Tuesday.

"They asked me if I could assure them they would not be arrested again, and obviously I could not assure them of that," said Macklis, the head of a Tijuana lawyers association that represented the Mayorals.

Vicente Mayoral and his son Rodolfo spent more than a year in prison before a federal judge cleared them of aiding convicted gunman Mario Aburto Martinez. In 1994, six of Aburto's family members crossed the border illegally and requested political asylum, saying they feared for their lives in Mexico.

An accused second gunman is now on trial in the Colosio case. But as the two-year anniversary approaches in March, the authorities have yet to identify a mastermind in the slaying.

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