Mystery still surrounds the murder of Cardinal Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo, Archbishop of Guadalajara, who died in a barrage of bullets at Guadalajara International Airport on this day 30 years ago (May 24, 1993).

The assassination sparked outrage in the deeply Catholic country and is inextricably linked to Mexico's fearsome drug cartels.

Posadas Ocampo was inside his car when the shootout took place. He was hit with 14 bullets and died alongside six others.

READ MORE: Mum 'lured by shopping trip' then tortured and dismembered by drug traffickers

The FBI's version of events is one of mistaken identity, with the Archbishop tragically caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It was thought that the Tijuana Cartel, then headed by the infamous Arellano Félix crime family, mistook him for Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán – then leader of the rival Sinaloa Cartel.

The FBI maintained this version of events in a confidential cable obtained by The Houston Chronicle.

Juan Francisco Murillo Díaz, known as 'El Güero Jaibo', and Édgar Nicolás Villegas, known as 'El Negro', were the members of the Tijuana Cartel identified as the masterminds behind the botched attack.

However, there have been long-standing rumours that Posadas Ocampo was actually taken out by the Mexican state.

The conspiracy theory posits that the Archbishop had uncovered information linking senior politicians from the then-ruling PRI party, a dictatorial regime that maintained power for seven decades, to the country's drug trafficking elite.

The case was reopened in 2000 after Vicente Fox from the PAN party won the presidential election and brought an end to one-party rule.

New leads emerged, including testimony from a childhood friend of Posadas Ocampo who claimed the Archbishop was summoned and threatened by then-President Carlos Salinas just weeks before the killing.

"There is a lot of proof that leads us to conclude that we are before a crime of state, prepared, organised and with the participation of state security forces," a legislator said.

Posadas Ocampo's successor as Archbishop of Guadalajara, Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, remains convinced that the murder was politically motivated.

Despite the reopening of the case, the official version of events remains that Posadas Ocampo was killed by cartel gunmen who mistook him for El Chapo.

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