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MEXICAN LINKS OFFICIALS, CARTEL TO ASSASSINATION

A former top law enforcement official has given documents and testimony allegedly linking government officials and drug traffickers to the assassination of presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio, according to a newspaper report.

The former official, Eduardo Valle, said Colosio was murdered March 23 in Tijuana by members of the so-called Gulf cartel of cocaine traffickers, with the involvement of a Colosio campaign official close to Communications and Transportation Secretary Emilio Gamboa, the daily Reforma reported.Included in the documents provided by Valle was a report by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency about telephone calls last December by cartel members to the offices of the presidency, the news-paper said.

A spokesman for President Carlos Salinas de Gortari was not available for comment.

Reforma's report was based on a transcript of testimony given by Valle Aug. 25 at the Mexican consulate in Washington.

Valle was a key drug investigator at the attorney general's office until resigning shortly after Co-lo-sio's death. He fled to the United States, saying he feared reprisals and wanted to protect important documents.

Valle, according to Reforma, said documents given to the consul general "put in evidence, in my opinion, the protection or complicity of officials of the Secretary of Communications and Transportation" with the Gulf cartel.

The newspaper said Valle specifically blamed Raul Zorrilla, a friend of Gamboa and a former deputy secretary in his department, as well as the coordinator of special events for Colosio's campaign, for involvement in Colosio's murder.

Zorrilla, he said, detained some of Colosio's key personnel at the Tijuana airport so they could not be with Colosio at the campaign rally where he was shot in the head and stomach.