The book, Señal de Alerta, focuses a great deal on the shenanigans of Manlio Fabio Beltrones. Espino implicates Beltrones, perhaps the most powerful opposition politician in Mexico and a likely presidential candidate in 2012, in the protection of Amado Carrillo, the cover-up of the murder of Luis Donaldo Colosio, and the ascension of Ernesto Zedillo (which, unlike the others, was not a crime). Zepeda wonders if Beltrones is some sort of malign species of Forrest Gump, always in the right place at the right time.
Here's where Mexican politics can be so frustrating. Espino can make these accusations, and, even if they are wildly exaggerated or categorically false, it won't have much of an impact on his political fortunes. At the same time, Beltrones will surely be able to shrug of these attacks as the ramblings of a madman, so the neither man really suffers, and a lot of books get sold. But Beltrones does have a history here. This appeared in 1997 in The New York Times:
Officials said this conclusion was based on a wealth of evidence, including ''highly reliable'' informers' reports that the Governor, Manlio Fabio Beltrones Rivera, took part in meetings in which leading traffickers paid high-level politicians who were protecting their operations.
If he runs for president, Beltrones will be able to paint the Times story as part of the same hysterical smear campaign as Espino's book, even though one is credible and one is not. Accusations of corruption, regardless of their veracity, too often have no impact on anyone, so there's no disincentive against accusing an honest man of being a cartel bagman, and there's no disincentive against actually being a cartel bagman. Mexicans don't really know what to believe, there's never a proper accounting of who did what when and with whom, so this vacuum of truthlessness prevails. And Mexicans, understandably, are perpetually disenchanted with their politicians.