MEXICO CITY – Enrique Salinas, the youngest brother of former Mexican president Carlos Salinas de Gortari (search), was found dead in a car on the outskirts of Mexico City on Monday, with a plastic bag tied over his head in an apparent murder, officials said.
Authorities said Salinas' death may have been related to personal problems, rather than politics.
"He was a businessman with financial problems," said Alfonso Navarrete Prida, the attorney general of the State of Mexico, which borders Mexico City and where the body was found.
There were also indications that Salinas may have been killed as part of a revenge killing, or a bid to get information. Navarrete Prida said the killing appears "to have been related to his personal life, possibly his work."
"It appears that someone was either trying to prolong his agony, or get some information out of him," said Navarrete Prida, adding "I don't think we're talking about a politically motivated crime."
President Vicente Fox (search) sent a message of condolence to Carlos Salinas, a rare gesture toward a man who has been largely sidelined from politics and public life by a series of scandals.
"I ask you to offer my sincerest condolences to the entire family, and I express my solidarity," Fox wrote. "Events like this fill us all with indignation and renew our commitment to act with greater firmness against impunity and violence."
Enrique had long maintained a low profile, in contrast to the stormy lives of two of his brothers. Raul Salinas (search) is serving a prison sentence of nearly 27 years for masterminding the murder of his former brother-in-law.
But French police had been investigating Enrique Salinas for undisclosed reasons, Attorney General Rafael Macedo de la Concha said.
Carlos Salinas is widely hated in Mexico because of the economic collapse that immediately followed his 1988-1994 administration. Raul Salinas has been investigated for alleged corruption and money laundering during his brother's administration.
Enrique and a fourth brother, Sergio, stayed out of the spotlight, dedicating themselves to business activities — though their business were investigated by European and Mexican officials, with no charges ever brought against them.
The body was found in the front passenger seat of the car; police said they did not think Salinas died at the site where his body was found.
Officials said the body showed some bruises to the face and elbows, but said Salinas had probably not been the victim of a kidnapping for ransom.
"There were no marks of torture, beyond a few bruises," Navarrete Prida said.
"There had been a missing person report the day before, because he had not come home," Navarrete Prida said, adding Salinas was not accompanied by a bodyguard.