octubre 02, 1989

Manuel J. Clouthier, 55; ran for Mexican presidency in '88

Chicago Sun-Times
Octubre 2, 1989

MEXICO CITY Manuel J. Clouthier, the conservative National Action Party's candidate in the 1988 presidential election, was killed Sunday in an auto-truck accident in northern Mexico, highway police reported.

Carlos Salinas de Gortari, the candidate of the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), won the presidency with slightly more than 50 percent of the vote, while Clouthier placed third with 17 percent.

Clouthier, a wealthy businessman, was 55.

A police report said Clouthier and another politician of the National Action Party (PAN) were killed when their car was in a head-on collision with a truck on the highway between Culiacan and Mazatlan in Clouthier's home state of Sinaloa. It said the accident occurred shortly before noon, but gave no other details.

Silvino Silva, editor of the newspaper Noroeste in Culiacan, said police identified the other victim as Javier Calvo Manriquez, the National Action state chairman.

"Apparently, Calvo was driving. They were on their way to Mazatlan to meet with Ernesto Ruffo (governor-elect of Baja California)," Silva said in a telephone interivew.

Although Clouthier's third-place finish in 1988 had been disappointing for PAN, his party made history with Ruffo's July 2 win in Baja California.

Ruffo will become the first opposition state governor in Mexico in six decades when he is installed in office on Nov. 1.
Clouthier and Ruffo were campaigning in Sinaloa for their party's candidates in races for 18 city mayors Oct. 15.

After his defeat in 1988, Clouthier continued to campaign against election fraud, which he said had kept the PRI in power for 60 years. At one point, Clouthier staged a hunger strike at a major highway intersection in downtown Mexico City.

In the 1988 balloting, Cuauhtemoc Cardenas, a breakaway member of PRI, came in second at the head of a leftist coalition with 31 percent of the vote.

Clouthier had worked to unify his fractious PAN into a growing political force and rally Mexico's splintered conservatives.

Born June 13, 1934, in Culiacan, the Sinaloa capital, Clouthier ran for governor there in 1986 but lost to a PRI candidate.

He was a fan of American football, which he played in high school and for six years in a football league. He was graduated from the Technological Institute of Monterrey and was a leader of the Mexican Employers' Federation council for more than 10 years.

He is survived by his widow, Leticia Carrillo de Clouthier.

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