Return to home1970 Nov 6,
Augustin Lara (b.1897), Mexican composer, died. At the time of his
death, Lara had written more than 700 songs.
1970 Dec 1, In Mexico Pres.
Luis Echeverria succeeded Gustav Diaz Ortaz and continued to 1976.
He began with populist approach and later devalued the peso,
starting a tradition of currency instability and economic crises.
(WSJ, 12/5/95, p.A-14)(WSJ, 8/13/97, p.A12)
1970 Work began in Cancun,
Mexico, to develop a tourist attraction.
(SFEC, 5/17/98, p.T10)
1970 In Mexico under the rule
of Luis Echeverria the military launched the so-called "Friendship
Operation" in Guerrero. A 2006 report said there was evidence the
army conducted "illegal searches, arbitrary detentions, torture, the
raping of women in the presence of their husbands, and the possible
extrajudicial executions of groups of people."
1970 Mexico overhauled its
(Econ, 11/3/12, p.37)
1970s The government
expropriated thousands of acres of ejido (collective) land
nationwide to promote tourism and other development.
(SFC, 1/31/97, p.A14)
1971 Mar, Mexican fisherman
Rudesindo Cantarell took geologists of Petroleos Mexicanos to an
site where oil impacted his nets. The Cantarell field turned out to
be one of the largest offshore oil fields ever found. In 2006-2006
production fell 20% as the reserve declined.
(WSJ, 4/5/07, p.A1)
1971 Jun 10, In Mexico City a
paramilitary group descended on student demonstrators and at least
11 people were killed. In 2002 criminal complaints were filed
against 14 former federal and Mexico City officials for their
involvement in the massacre. Mayor Alfonso Martinez (d.2002 at 81)
denied any involvement in the massacre that left over 30 protestors
dead. In 2004 charges were filed against former Pres. Echeverria,
but a judge blocked his arrest.
(SFC, 6/13/02, p.A14)(SFC, 11/9/02, p.A19)(SFC,
7/24/04, p.A3)(WSJ, 7/26/04, p.A1)
1971 Aug 18, Joel David Kaplan
(44), a NY businessman and Carlos Antonio Contreras Castro, a
Venezuelan counterfeiter, escaped by helicopter from Mexico’s Santa
Maria Acatitla Federal Prison. Vasilios Basil Choulos (d.2003), SF
lawyer, plotted out the helicopter jailbreak. Kaplan was allegedly
framed and serving 28 years for murder in the Mexican prison. The
successful break led to the book "Ten-Second Jailbreak" and the 1975
1971 The documentary film
"Walls of Fire" by Herbert Kline was about Mexican artists Diego
Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros (d.1974).
(SFC, 2/13/99, p.A24)
1972 Oct 6, In Saltillo,
Mexico, a 22-car train carrying 2,000 religious pilgrims derailed
and caught fire. 208 people were killed.
(SFC, 6/4/98, p.A15)(AP, 2/18/04)
1972 Mexico’s National Fund for
Worker’s Housing was created.
(Econ, 8/28/04, p.33)
1972 Jose Kahn, a Chilean-born
US citizen, opened Metales & Derividos in Tijuana. The plant
smelted old US car and boat batteries. In 1987 it was told to clean
up its waste. In 1994 it was closed following years of ineffective
(WSJ, 1/16/02, p.A12)
1972 In Mexico after guerrillas
ambushed and killed 18 troops, the army detained at least 90 men in
the village of El Quemado and took many of them to 3 different
military bases that served as "concentration camps." A 2006
government report on Mexico’s “dirty war" said 7 of the men died
from being tortured.
1973 Aug 28, More than 600
people died as an earthquake shook central Mexico.
1973 Peasants in Baja (Mexico)
formed a cooperative called the Ejido Coronel Estaban Cantu and
leased lots to developers, residents and retirees who built
expensive homes other structures. In 1999 officials tried to carry
out an eviction notice in favor of the original landowners. In 2000
the Supreme Court ruled in favor of several private companies,
including Purua Punta Estero SA, and began evicting US retirees.
(SFEC, 11/21/99, p.A23)(SFC, 10/31/00, p.A12)
1973 In Mexico the New
Jerusalem community was founded in Michoacan state by Nabor
Cardenas, "Papa Nabor," a defrocked parish priest who said it was
based on messages from the Virgin Mary relayed by an illiterate old
woman. The renegade Catholic priest objected to the abandonment of
Latin masses and other modernization moves.
1974 Jan 6, David Alfaro
Siqueiros (b.1896), Mexican artist (muralist), died. His work
included the 1933 mural "Ejercicio Plastico" (Plastic Exercise),
completed in Argentina at the home of newspaper magnate Natalio
Botana (d.1941). In 1994 the 650-square-foot work fell into a legal
1974 Jan 13, Salvador Novo
(b.1904), gay Mexican writer, poet and official chronicler of Mexico
1974 Aug 25, In Mexico Rosendo
Radilla, a guerrilla sympathizer and folk singer, disappeared after
being stopped at an army checkpoint near Acapulco. In 2009 the
Inter-American Court of Human Rights ordered the government to
apologize, pay damages to relatives and investigate the case.
Mexico’s Interior Department apologized on Nov 17, 2011. Three
unsuccessful attempts were made to find Radilla's remains at a
former army base in Guerrero state.
1974 Sep 18, Hurricane Fifi
struck Honduras with 110 mph winds and killed about 8,000. The
hurricane made landfall as a Category 2 storm in Belize on the next
day, and continued through Guatemala and Mexico as a tropical
system. After weakening to a depression, Fifi emerged into the
Pacific Ocean, becoming the first crossover storm since Hurricane
Irene-Olivia in 1971.
1974 Dec 2, Lucio Cabanas,
leader of a communist rebel group called the Party of the Poor, was
killed in a shootout with Mexican soldiers. In 2002 his remains were
found in a makeshift grave in Atoyac de Alvarez, a city outside a
major military base near the Pacific coast resort of Acapulco. Lino
Rosas Perez and Esteban Mesino Martinez were killed along with
Cabanas, in a gunbattle with authorities in the village of Otatal in
southern Guerrero state. Perez and Martinez were identified in 2006
using DNA evidence.
(AP, 8/13/02)(AP, 11/15/06)
1974 The book "Palinuro of
Mexico" by Fernando del Paso (b.1935) won the Premio de Mexico in
manuscript form but was not published in Mexico until 1980. The 1st
edition was published in Spain in 1977.
(SFEC, 10/6/96, BR
1974 Quintana Roo became a
state of Mexico.
(SFEC, 5/16/99, p.T4)
1974 The first hotel in Cancun
opened with 72 rooms.
(SFEC, 5/17/98, p.T10)
1975 Jan 2, Ken Brugger,
searching on behalf of Canadian entomologist Dr. Fred A. Urquhart,
found that vast numbers of monarch butterflies, wintered at Cerro
Pelon, an inactive volcano a hundred miles west of Mexico City.
Urquhart had been tagging butterflies and searching for their winter
quarters since 1954. In 1986 the Mexican government established some
protection over 5 sites where monarchs were known to overwinter.
(ON, 4/07, p.12)
1975 Apr 18, Jesus Ibarra
Piedra, a member of a Mexican leftist urban guerrilla group, was
kidnapped and never seen again. On Nov 8, 2004, Juventino Romero
Cisneros, a former agent of the Federal Security Directorate, was
arrested for the kidnapping. Carlos Solana Macias, ex-director of
the Judicial Police for the northern state of Nuevo Leon, was
arrested Dec 29, 2005. In 2006 both Cisneros and Solano were
released from prison.
1975 Oct 20, Mexico City's 1st
major subway accident took 20 lives.
1975 The first UN Women’s
Conference was held in Mexico City.
(SFEC, 6/11/00, p.A27)
1975 The Mexican Museum in San
Francisco, the first in the US to feature Mexican and Chicano art,
was founded by Peter Rodriguez 1926-2016) in a storefront on Folsom
St. In 2001 ground was broken for a new building near Yerba Buena
Gardens. In 2016 a cornerstone was unveiled for the new $63 million
museum at 701 Mission St.
(SFC, 5/26/96, DB p.27)(SFC, 10/27/01, p.F1)(SFC,
1976 Juan Jose Arreola
(d.2001), nationalist author, won the National Linguistics and
Literature Prize. His books included "La Feria" (1962).
(SFC, 12/5/01, p.A23)
1976 The peso was devalued and
caused a financial crises.
(WSJ, 12/20/96, p.A17)
1976 The world’s last major oil
field, yielding over a million barrels a day, was found in Mexico.
(WSJ, 6/28/05, p.D8)
1976-1982 In Mexico Jose Lopez Portillo served as
president. It was an era marked by anti-guerrilla campaigns,
ultra-nationalist foreign policies, and state-dominated
(SFC, 11/28/98, p.C2)
1977 In Merida the governor’s
residence reopened as the Museum of Anthropology and History.
(SSFC, 5/6/01, p.T6)
1977 Sinaloa, Mexico, became
about this time the birthplace of Mexican drug smuggling.
(SFEC, 3/2/97, p.A14)
1977 Sister Antonia Brenner
(50), an American nun born as Mary Clark in Los Angeles, moved into
Mexico’s La Mesa State Penitentiary, just across the border from San
Diego, to provide aid to prisoners.
1978 Jun, The FBI confronted
anthropologist Gilberto Lopez y Rivas of Mexico as a spy for the
Soviet Union. Agents were tipped by US Army Sgt. Joseph Cassidy, who
spent some 20 years as a double agent. In 2000 David Wise authored
"Cassidy’s Run." In 1997 Rivas was elected to Mexico’s Congress.
(SFC, 4/8/00, p.C1)
1978 Oct 18, Jaume Ramon
Mercader del Rio Hernandez (b.1914), aka Jacques Mornard, Spanish
Communist and murderer of Leon Trotsky, died in Cuba. Declassified
archives showed that he was a Soviet agent. In 1940 Mercader fatally
wounded Trotsky with an ice axe in his study at his home in
Coyoacan, then a village on the southern fringes of Mexico City.
1978 A Mexico City utility
worker found a stone slab that lay 15 feet below street level. He
had discovered the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. The ruins appeared
to be those of the capital's great pyramid, the Templo Mayor.
1979 Jun 3, Ixtoc 1, an
exploratory oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, blew and spilled an
estimated 3.3 million barrels of oil by March 1980.
(SFC, 11/20/02, p.A14)(Econ, 5/8/10, p.69)
Oct 31, A US DC-10, flown by Western Airlines, crashed at Mexico
City when it struck a vehicle and 74 were killed.
1979 Pennsylvania Prof. William
T. Sanders (d.1008 at 82) authored “The Basin of Mexico: Ecological
Processes in the Evolution of a Civilization." He wrote the book
following an aerial survey with colleagues Jeffrey R. parsons and
Robert S. Santley.
(SFC, 7/18/08, p.B10)
1979 The village of Nueva
Jerusalem in Michoacan was founded by ex-communicated Catholic
priest, Nabor Cardenas. Six years earlier a peasant woman claimed to
have seen the Virgin Mary there. Nabors ran the village as a cult to
the virgin told villagers that the PRI was the party of the Holy
(SFEC, 8/9/98, p.A18)
1980 Jan 25, A US-Mexico
Extradition Treaty, signed by Pres. Carter in 1978, went into
effect. It allowed Mexico to refuse extradition of suspects
facing the death penalty in the US.
1980 Dec 28, Mexico ended a
bilateral fishing agreement with US in a dispute over tuna.
1980 A US-Mexico Extradition
Treaty allowed Mexico to refuse extradition of suspects facing the
death penalty in the US.
(SSFC, 8/10/03, p.A1)
1980-1989 US bottlers of Coca-Cola switched from
cane sugar to high-fructose corn syrup in the 1980s to cut costs.
Mexican bottlers continued to use cane sugar.
(WSJ, 1/11/06, p.A1)
1981 Jul-Aug, Some $9 billion
in capital leaked out of Mexico due to falling oil prices, the
collapse of the peso, and a foreign debt of $80 billion and rising.
(Econ, 3/6/04, p.77)
1981 Pronatura, a Mexican
non-governmental conservation organization, was founded. One of its
projects was to monitor bird migration through southern Mexico.
(NH, 10/96, p.50)
1981 Mexican crude oil peaked
at $38.50 a barrel.
(Econ, 3/6/04, p.77)
1982 Feb 18, Mexico devalued
the peso by 30 percent to fight an economic slide.
1982 Mar 24, In Mexico a fire
burned down the National Film Archive.
1982 Mar 29, In Mexico the
presumed dormant El Chichon volcano erupted in Chiapas state. It
produced three plinian eruptions (March 29, April 3, and April 4th).
The eruptions generated a substantial amount of sulfur dioxide and
particulates into the atmosphere.
1982 Jul 4, Miguel de la Madrid
Hurtado (b.1934) was elected president of Mexico. Madrid was chosen
by Pres. Portillo as his successor. De la Madrid took office in a
year when inflation had surpassed 100 percent and Mexico had a
foreign debt of $87 billion, much of it short-term.
1982 Aug 20, In Washington, DC,
Mexican Secretary of Finance, Jesus Silva Herzog, declared that
“Mexico did not have means to pay its due foreign debt and thus his
Country was assuming a moratorium." US Fed Chairman Paul Volcker
immediately established a severe control upon money flow and
practically the immobilization of domestic or external credits. The
crisis lasted 1,717 days. Volcker lent money to Mexico and arranged
a moratorium on repayment of bank loans.
(http://tinyurl.com/37xdmy)(WSJ, 8/30/07, p.A3)
1982 Aug 22, Alfonso Portillo,
a Guatemalan professor at Mexico’s Guerrero Autonomous Univ., shot
and killed 2 political adversaries outside a party. In 1999 Portillo
ran as a presidential candidate for the Guatemalan Republican Front
and said he had acted in self defense.
1982 Sep 1, Mexico’s President
Lopez Portillo nationalized the private banks. There was an economic
catastrophe that has been labeled the Mexican debt crisis. Mexicans
sent hundreds of millions of dollars abroad amid devaluations and
1982 Nov 10, The IMF lent
Mexico $3.8 billion due to threatened bankruptcy. The Mexican
economy began to be run under the guidance of the World Bank and the
Int’l. Monetary Fund.
(SFC, 9/16/96, p.A21)
1982-1990 Raul Salinas was an official of
Conasupo, a state-owned foodstuffs distributor and commodities
(WSJ, 6/25/96, p.A11)
1983 Mar 18, Mexico's financial
crisis was causing a surge of illegal aliens over the border into
1983 The La Paz Treaty was
signed whereby the US and Mexico agreed to reduce pollution within
60 miles of their common frontier
(SFC, 10/10/98, p.A8)
1983 In Mexico Jesus Leon (17)
co-founded CEDICAM, the Center for Integral Small Farmer Development
of the Mixtec.
(SSFC, 4/13/08, p.A4)
1983-1988 Manuel Bartlett Diaz was the Interior
Minister and oversaw the Federal Security Directorate (DFS).
(WSJ, 3/5/97, p.A16)
1984 Nov 19, Near Mexico City,
Mexico, 5 million liters of liquefied butane exploded at a storage
facility killing some 500 people.
(HSAB, 1994, p.46)(AP, 11/19/07)
1984 William Flanagan, head of
Arriba Ltd., signed a deal with Mexico’s Petroleum Worker’s Union
for at least 6 million barrels of slop oil. The union failed to
deliver and Flanagan won a suit in 1986. The judgement ballooned to
nearly $250 million in 2002 with still no settlement.
(WSJ, 2/20/02, p.A1)
1985 Feb 7, US drug agent
Enrique “Kiki" Camarena Salazar was tortured and killed at a house
in Guadalajara in the presence of a half-dozen top Mexican
officials. Mexican authorities found his body on March 6 at a ranch
east of Guadalajara. In 1992 Ruben Zuno Arce, the brother-in-law of
former president Luis Echeverria, was convicted and sentenced to
life in prison. In 1989 Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo was arrested for
complicity in the murder along with drug charges and sentenced to 40
years in prison. In 2000 Gallardo received a 2nd 40-year sentence
for smuggling and bribery.
(WSJ, 3/5/97, p.A1)(SFC, 4/20/00, p.A10)(SFC,
1985 Mar 6, In Mexico
authorities found the body of kidnapped US drug agent Enrique
Camarena Salazar and a Mexican pilot at a ranch east of Guadalajara.
1985 Sep 19, The Mexico City
area was struck by the first of two devastating quakes (8.1) that
officially claimed 9,500 lives. Some 40,000 people were injured.
(HFA, '96, p.38)(SFC, 12/31/96, p.C9)(AP,
9/19/97)(SSFC, 4/16/06, p.F4)
1985 Mexico’s military opened
its Museum of Drugs.
(SFC, 1/15/10, p.A5)
1985 Samuel Joaquin Flores
succeeded in getting his Light of the World evangelical church
affiliated with the National Confederation of Popular Organizations,
an umbrella body for PRI-linked political groups.
(SFC, 2/19/98, p.A10)
1985 The Mexican environmental
organization Group of 100 was founded.
(SFC, 3/13/99, p.A14)
1985 Albert Radelat (32) and
John Walker (36), US tourists, were tortured and killed by drug
traffickers in Guadalajara. In 2001 Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo was
sentenced to 30 years in prison for the torture slayings.
(SFC, 5/5/01, p.D2)
1986 Jun 19, Argentina beat
West Germany 3-2 in soccer's 13th World Cup in Mexico.
1986 Jun, In Mexico Gustavo
Petricioli Iturbe was named treasury secretary by Pres. Miguel de la
Madrid. The foreign debt was near $100 billion due to the collapse
of oil prices earlier in the decade.
(SFEC, 10/11/98, p.D10)
1986 The Sian Ka'an Biosphere
on the Punto Piedra peninsula in Quintana Roo was created by a
(SFEC, 5/16/99, p.T6)
1986 Julio Baldenegro, a
Mexican-Indian leader who opposed logging in Tarahumara mountains of
northern Mexico, was killed. His unsolved murder marked the
beginning of a wave of killings.
1987 Nov, In Mexico the peso
was devalued and caused the 3rd financial crises since 1976.
1987 Virginia Reade Belmontez
(d.1998 at 68) authored "Mexico Barbarro 1987," a book that exposed
the past of Mexico’s Pres. Salinas and his party’s oppression of the
(SFC, 11/7/98, p.C2)
1987 PRI chairman Munoz Ledo
led a political split from the PRI party and helped form the PRD.
(SFC, 9/2/97, p.A7)
1987 Ricardo Salinas Pliega
became president of his family-founded Grupo Elektra. He transformed
it into a major retailer.
(WSJ, 12/8/05, p.A11)
1988 Feb 13, President Reagan
and Mexican President Miguel de la Madrid met in the Mexican resort
1988 Apr 20, Hector Felix, a
muckraking Mexican journalist, was murdered. He had dubbed Jorge
Hank, owner of the Tijuana Agua Caliente Racetrack, as “the
Abominable Snowman" for a reputed cocaine habit.
1988 Jul 6, In Mexican
elections the PRI declared itself the early winner without an
official vote count. The true results of the election were never
made public. Gortari, candidate for the ruling Institutional
Revolutionary Party, was losing badly to opposition candidate
1988 Jul 7, The candidate of
Mexico's ruling party, Carlos Salinas de Gortari, claimed a
"national victory" one day after presidential elections that
opponents charged were riddled by fraud.
1988 Jul 10, Opposition party
activists in Mexico blocked a bridge linking their country to the
United States, charging that Mexico's recent presidential election
was marked by widespread fraud.
1988 Sep 14, Hurricane
"Gilbert" slammed into Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula after forcing
thousands of residents to flee.
1988 Sep 15, Thousands of
coastal residents from Mexico to Louisiana were fleeing to higher
ground, a day after Hurricane Gilbert pounded the Yucatan Peninsula.
1988 Sep 16, Hurricane Gilbert
slammed into the Mexico coast for the second time in three days, its
center sweeping ashore north of La Pesca, 120 miles south of
1988 Nov 22, Louis Barragan
(b.1902), considered the most important Mexican architect of the
20th century, died in Mexico City. A 1996 book: "Barragan: The
Complete Works" focuses on 119 works and projects.
1988 Dec 1, Carlos Salinas de
Gortari was sworn in as president of Mexico. He succeeded Pres.
Miguel de la Madrid. One of his first acts was to turn Agualeguas,
the lost family patrimony, into his official retreat.
(WSJ, 2/8/96, p.A-6)(SFC, 9/2/97, p.A7)(AP,
1988 Dec 11, Sixty-two people
were killed when tons of illegal fireworks exploded in a Mexico City
1988 The Miguel Agustin Pro
Human Rights Center was founded to support peasants and Indians in
Guerrero, Oaxaca and Chiapas.
(SFC, 11/24/99, p.C2)
1988 The government privatized
Masa, Mexicana de Autobuses SA.
(WSJ, 8/7/96, p.A10)
1988 The Democratic
Revolutionary Party (PRD) was founded. [see 1989]
(WSJ, 12/11/96, p.A18)
1988 Hurricane Gilbert
devastated the Yucatan peninsula and left 225 people dead.
(SFC, 10/10/97, p.A15)
1988-1992 Dante Delgado was Governor of the
oil-rich Gulf-coast state of Veracruz. He was jailed in 1996 for
amassing a $57 million fortune while in office.
(SFC, 12/19/96, p.C5)
1988-1994 Carlos Salinas was president of Mexico.
His secretary, Justo Ceya, was ordered to be arrested in 1998 on
charges that he illegally amassed a fortune while in office.
(SFC, 4/8/97, p.A6)(SFC, 7/23/98, p.A10)
1989 Aug 9, A train fell into
the San Rafael River after a bridge collapsed, killing 112 people.
1989 Nov, In Mexico Jose
Madariaga joined Raul Salinas and TV exec Abraham Zabludovsky in
buying Mexicana de Autobuses SA, a bus manufacturing company, for
(WSJ, 8/7/96, p.A10)
1989 The Democratic
Revolutionary Party (PRD) was founded.
(SFC, 3/25/02, p.A9)
1989 Mexico City
officials expropriated a 745-acre chunk of land on Mexico City's
gritty east side to build low-income housing. In 2003 Mayor Andres
Manuel Lopez Obrador defied a court order to pay $160 million for
1989 Carlos Peralta (chairman
of Grupo Iusacell SA) received a lucrative government cellular
concession that gave him the key franchise in Mexico City and three
(WSJ, 1/30/96, p.A-11)
1989 Raul Salinas under the
name of Juan Guillermo Gomez Gutierrez approached the Swiss Pictet
Bank to open an account. News also surfaced that Jose Madariaga
Lomelin, chairman of BBV Probursa SA, a banking group, and Abraham
Zabludovsky, an executive with Grupo Televisa SA, invested in a bus
manufacturing company with Raul Salinas.
(WSJ, 6/7/96, p.A11)
1989 Pres. Carlos Salina jailed
the union boss of the Oil Worker’s Union (STPRM) and slashed the
number of workers to 139,022 from 210,000.
(WSJ, 6/14/96, p.A15)
1989 Ernesto Zedillo as a
Cabinet secretary granted a $7 mil payment to Maseca, a corn-flour
maker, run by Roberto Gonzalez Barrera, a close friend of Pres.
Carlos Salinas. It was supposed to be compensation money for
government failure to pay subsidies in the late 1980s, although 16
mil was paid in 1988.
(SFC, 7/6/96, p.A10)
1989 Gerardo de Prevoisin led
an investor group in the buyout of Aeromexico. In 1994 he was forced
out as chairman and in 1996 was accused of embezzling $72 mil.
(WSJ, 7/1/96, p.A6)
1989-1990 Javier Coello Trejo served as deputy
attorney general and was the first drug czar under Pres. Carlos
Salinas de Gortari.
(SFC, 2/19/96, p.A11)
1989-1994 Pres. Carlos Salinas de Gortari led a
private autobahn spending spree that built 3,600 miles of
superhighways at a cost of $15 billion. Drivers avoided the toll
roads and the projects faced financial collapse. Public sector
bailout was required.
(WSJ, 4/4/97, p.A9)
1990 Oct 11, Octavio Paz was
named the winner of the Nobel Prize for literature, the first
Mexican writer so honored.
(SFC, 4/20/98, p.A17)(AP, 10/11/00)
1990 Mexico created a National
Human Rights Commission.
(Econ, 2/16/08, p.44)
1990 Mexican physician Humberto
Alvarez Machain was abducted by operatives of the US government. He
had been indicted in LA for involvement in the 1985 kidnapping and
murder of US drug agent Enrique Camarena. Machain was later
acquitted. In 2001 a US federal appeals court ruled that the
abduction violated an int’l. human rights law.
(SFC, 9/13/01, p.C2)
1990 In Mexico Telefonos de
Mexico (Telmex) was privatized.
(WSJ, 8/7/96, p.A10)
1990 Compartamos was
established in Mexico as a non-profit group to make small,
uncollateralized business loans to the poor (microcredit).
(Econ, 3/17/07, p.84)
1990 Manuel Moreno Rivas
(b.1909), founder of Sinaloa’s El Debate newspaper, sold it.
1990 Carlos Hank Rhon won a
concession for an independent cellular license in western Mexico. He
paid $10 million for the right with BellSouth of Atlanta as a
(WSJ, 11/1/96, p.A6)
1990 The Laguna Verde nuclear
power plant near Xalapa in Veracruz state opened under popular
protests. By 1997-1998 issues of corruption, mismanagement and
disregard for safety regulations plagued the plant.
(SFC, 1/12/98, p.A10)
1990-1992 Raul Salinas was a consultant at the
anti-poverty agency known as Sedesol.
(WSJ, 11/1/96, p.A6)
1991 Jun 24, Rufino Tamayo
(b.1899), a Zapotecan Indian artist born in the Mexican state of
Oaxaca, died in Mexico City. His painting “Tres Personajes," sold in
1977 to a Houston couple for $55,000, was stolen in 1987. In 2003 it
was found amongst street trash on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
1991 Dec 14, President Bush and
Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, meeting at Camp David,
Md., renewed their commitment to conclude quickly the North American
Free Trade Agreement.
1991 The Mexican banks were
(WSJ, 4/1/96, p.A-10)
1991 Mexico shut down an oil
refinery in Mexico City. It was said to have belched out 7$ of the
city’s air pollution.
(Econ, 7/31/10, p.27)
1991 The city of Tuxtla
Gutierrez in Chiapas state opened Zona Galactica, a sector for
(SFEC, 8/20/00, p.A14)
1991 Miguel Aleman Velasco,
billionaire from Veracruz State, sold his stake in the media giant
Televisa before entering the Senate. His eldest son Miguel Aleman
Magnani quickly purchased a new stake.
(WSJ, 11/19/96, p.A18)
1991 Carlos Enrique Cervantes
de Gortari, cousin of Pres. Carlos Salinas, lost his job at the
National Institute of Nuclear Investigations following a scandal of
(WSJ, 4/15/97, p.A15)
1991 Telmex was privatized and
sold to Carlos Slim Helu, a stockbroker and the richest man in Latin
America. Telmex was sheltered from competition for 6 years and in
2002 controlled 96% of local phone service.
(WSJ, 10/23/98, p.A1)(WSJ, 5/16/02, p.A1)
1991-1995 The Publico newspaper reported in 1998
that Jalisco state officials had shifted almost $20 million out of
accounts meant for charity and that at least $7 million went into
PRI coffers during this period.
(SFC, 6/6/98, p.A11)
1992 Jan 16, Officials of the
government of El Salvador and rebel leaders signed a pact at
Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City ending 12 years of civil war that
had left at least 75,000 people dead.
(AP, 1/16/98)(Econ, 1/21/17, p.25)
1992 Feb, The Sada family won a
bid for Grupo Financiero Serfin SA, a big banking firm that was
being privatized by the government of Carlos Salinas. Mr. Sada also
around this time received a $15 mil payment from Raul Salinas to be
used for some business venture that Sada said was not used and that
the funds were returned to Raul Salinas.
(WSJ, 7/8/96, p.A6)
1992 Apr 22, In Guadalajara,
Mexico, more than 200 people were killed by a series of sewer
1992 Raul Salinas and Carlos
Hank Rhon set up an appointment with Citibank private banker Amy
Elliot in New York to establish an account with Citibank for Mr.
(WSJ, 11/1/96, p.A1)
1992 May, A 2nd meeting took
place between Ms. Elliot and Raul Salinas, this time in Mexico City,
to establish an investment program that would move funds of Mr.
Salinas outside of Mexico.
(WSJ, 11/1/96, p.A6)
1992 Jun, The first deposit to
Mr. Raul Salinas’ Trocca account came from Mr. Hank. The amount was
for $2 million that Mr. Hank supposedly owed Mr. Salinas after a
cellular-phone business deal did not work out.
(WSJ, 11/1/96, p.A6)
1992 Aug 11, In
Washington, D.C., negotiators for the United States, Canada and
Mexico continued to work out final details of the proposed North
American Free Trade Agreement.
1992 Aug 12, The North American
Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was announced in Washington, D.C. after
14 months of negotiations between the United States, Mexico and
Canada. It created the world's wealthiest trading bloc.
(AP, 8/12/97)(HN, 8/12/02)
1992 Oct 7, Trade
representatives of the United States, Canada and Mexico initialed
the North American Free Trade Agreement during a ceremony in San
1992 Dec 17, President Bush,
Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Mexican President Carlos
Salinas de Gortari signed the North American Free Trade Agreement in
1992 James Michener wrote his
novel "Mexico" and "My Lost Mexico."
1992 Mexico’s Finance Minister
Pedro Aspe finally cut off government funding of the PRI party late
(WSJ, 4/19/96, p.A-11)
1992 Pres. Carlos Salinas de
Gortari signed into law a reform of Article 27 of the Mexican
Constitution dismantling reform provisions that called for land
redistribution to the poor.
(SFEC, 1/4/98, BR p.4)
1992 In Cancun, Mexico, Ana
Lucia Salazar (8) told her parents that Fernando Martínez Suárez, a
priest from the Legion of Christ religious order, had digitally
raped her. It was later learned that Legion founder Rev. Marcial
Maciel had sexually abused at least 60 seminarians, fathered at
least three children and built a secretive, cult-like order to cater
to his whims and hide his double life. Martínez was one of nearly a
dozen Legion priests who were childhood victims of the founder and
went onto molest other minors. The multi-generational chain of abuse
was only acknowledged by the Legion in late 2019.
1992 Carlos Cabal Peniche led a
group of several leading Mexican agricultural families in the
purchase of Fresh Del Monte from Polly Peck Int’l. PLC after the
British conglomerate collapsed.
(WSJ, 6/12/96, p.A13)
1992 Servando Ramirez, a social
activist, was murdered in Novalato. Jorge Aguirre Meza was appointed
special prosecutor to investigate. Meza eventually swore out a
murder warrant against Rios Felix.
(SFEC, 2/28/99, p.A18)
1992 Magdalena Ruiz Pelayo was
convicted of drug trafficking in Newark New Jersey. From 1982 she
had worked as the private secretary to Raul Salinas Lozano, father
Pres. Carlos Salinas. She later told US authorities that Salinas
Lozano was a leading figure in narcotics dealings that also involved
his son, Raul, and his son-in-law, Jose Francisco Ruiz Massieu
(assassinated in 1994).
(SFC, 2/26/97, p.A6)
1992-1994 Bank records showed that Raul Salinas de
Gortari made more than 150 cash deposits totaling $80 million in the
Mexico City branch Banca Cremi.
(WSJ, 5/30/97, p.A1)
1992-1994 The Fund for Bank Savings Protection
(Fobaproa) was set up. It was used to absorb bad loans as the
country’s banks were being privatized.
(SFC, 8/3/98, p.A13)
1992-2000 Environmental groups say wealthy
landowners and power brokers, profiting from logging Mexico’s
Petatlan Sierra, destroyed 40 percent of 558,000 acres of woodland,
some of the worst deforestation on the planet. In 2005 after a
month-long blockade by peasants, Boise Cascade canceled contracts
for massive cutting operations in the Petatlan mountains, citing
supply problems, and 15 logging permits were revoked. Since then at
least a dozen peasant leaders have been targeted. Some have been
arrested and jailed on what are widely seen as bogus charges
engineered by political and economic interests profiting from
logging. Others have gone into hiding and some have been killed.
1993 Apr 20, Mario Moreno (81),
Mexican comedian known as Cantinflas, died in Mexico City. His films
included "Around the World in 80 Days."
1993 May 24, Juan Jesus Posada
Ocampo (66), Roman Catholic Cardinal, and six other people were
killed at the Guadalajara, Mexico, airport in what was described as
a shootout involving drug gangs. Gunmen of the four Arellano Felix
Brothers murdered Ocampo apparently mistaking him for a rival drug
lord. Drug cartel leader Hector Luis Palma was charged and sentenced
in connection to the killing on Jan 3, 1997. In 1998 members of a
San Diego street gang were indicted as hired hit men in the slayings
that left 7 dead. In 2005 a court sentenced Humberto Rodriguez
Banuelos, a former police commander, to 40 years in prison for his
role in the murders. In all, 12 gunmen, including Rodriguez, were
convicted and sentenced in the attack on the cardinal. In 2008
Araujo Avila, an alleged drug cartel hit man, was arrested in
Tijuana in relation to Ocampo’s murder.
(WSJ, 10/7/96, p.A16)(SFC, 1/9/96, p.A12)(SFC,
2/11/98, p.A3)(AP, 5/24/98)(AP, 12/9/05)(AP, 1/27/08)
1993 May, Mr. Raul Salinas
began sending out large quantities of money into his New York
concentration account with Citibank. He was afraid the unstable
markets and the possibility of a peso devaluation.
(WSJ, 11/1/96, p.A6)
1993 Jun, Raul Salinas married
(WSJ, 11/1/96, p.A6)
1993 Jul, Ricardo Salinas
Pliego won a privatization auction of Mexico’s government-run TV
Azteca with a bid of $643 million. It later emerged that he had
borrowed nearly $30 million from Raul Salinas, the brother of
then-Pres. Carlos Salinas (no relation), prompting some to question
whether the sale had been rigged.
(WSJ, 8/7/96, p.A10)(WSJ, 12/8/05, p.A11)
1993 Aug 11, Pope John Paul II
1993 Aug 13, Negotiators for
the US, Canada and Mexico announced they had resolved side issues
concerning the proposed North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
1993 Sep 9 - 1993 Sep 14,
Hurricane Gert caused 76 deaths. It affected Mexico, Honduras, Costa
Rica, and Nicaragua.
1993 Sep, Raul Salinas lent
$29.8 mil for 6 years at 12% to Ricardo Salinas Pliego to buy TV
Azteca, Mexico’s 2nd largest network, from the government for $669
(SFC, 7/9/96, p.D1) (WSJ, 8/7/96, p.A10)
1993 Nov 22, Mexico's Senate
overwhelmingly approved the North American Free Trade Agreement.
1993 Dec, Mario Ruiz Massieu,
deputy attorney general from 1993-1994, opened an account at the
Texas Commerce Bank and began to deposit cash that eventually
totaled some $9 million.
(SFEC, 3/16/97, p.A14)
1993 Mexico created its Federal
Competition Commission (CFC), an antitrust agency.
(WSJ, 4/21/02, p.A12)
1993 In Mexico Rogelio
Montemayor was elected governor of Coahuila state.
(WSJ, 6/16/99, p.A1)
1993 Gen’l. Jose Francisco
Gallardo called for the creation of a human rights ombudsman within
the military. He was jailed in 1993 and court-martialed in 1998 on
charges of corruption, destroying files and using army funds for
personal use. he was sentenced to an additional 14 years in prison
for illegal enrichment after failing to demonstrate the origin of
1.2 million pesos in his bank accounts. Gallardo was freed by Pres.
Fox in 2002.
(SFC, 3/31/98, p.B3)(SFC, 4/13/98, p.A14)(SFC,
1993 Mexico’s PRI held a secret
meeting with 30 major industrialists who committed a total of $750
million to finance the presidential campaign in 1994.
(WSJ, 4/19/96, p.A-11)
1993 In Mexico Joaquin Guzman
Loera (aka "El Chapo"), head of the Sinaloa cartel, was arrested. In
2001 he escaped from the maximum-security prison in Jalisco state.
(Econ, 9/18/10, p.105)
1993 Raul Salinas and Jose
Madariaga cashed out of their investment in Mexicana de Autobuses SA
for $36 million.
(WSJ, 8/7/96, p.A10)
1993 Mexico’s Carlos Peralta
closed a 1.04 billion deal for a 42% investment from Bell Atlantic
Corp. of the US.
(WSJ, 1/30/96, p.A-11)(WSJ, 8/7/96, p.A10)
1993 In Mexico El Barzon, which
means "The Yoke," began as a farm movement opposed to high interest
rates on loans. It was founded by Maximiano Barbosa.
1993 In Mexico’s Baja the San
Ignacio Lagoon and Laguna Ojo de Liebre were deemed a Natural World
Heritage Site. The area was a spawning site for gray whales.
(SFEM, 5/7/00, p.8)
1993-1994 In 1998 Adrian Carrera Fuentes, former
director of the Mexican Federal Judicial Police, was allowed to
travel to the US to testify. In Houston he told a grand jury that he
had collected nearly $2 million in drug bribes in 1993-1994 and
turned the money over to Mario Ruiz Massieu, who fled Mexico in
(SFC, 7/15/98, p.A8)
1993-2001 An estimated 300 sex killings of young
women took place in the Juarez area along the US border, across from
El Paso. In 2002 Lourdes Portillo, filmmaker, completed a
documentary on the killings: "Senorita Extraviada" (Missing Young
(SFC, 3/11/99, p.A12)
1994 Jan 1, The North American
Free Trade Agreement went into effect. Under the system a complaint
is referred to a panel of experts who debate it and render a
decision. The losing nation must then change its practices or offer
compensation to the injured nations. Members who refuse to comply
can be subjected to trade retaliation, such as tariffs to their
exports. It was run out of Geneva by Renato "Rocky" Ruggiero. GATT
gave poorer countries 10 years to strengthen their drug-patent laws
and a similar period for the US to lift its textile quotas. The
World Trade Organization (WTO), founded as the successor to the
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), a relatively weak
regulator of int’l. trade, was a product of the Uruguay Round of
negotiations (1986-1994). In 2000 John R. MacArthur authored "The
Selling of "Free Trade:" NAFTA, Washington, and the Subversion of
American Democracy." In 2004 David Bacon authored "The Children
NAFTA: Labor Wars on the US/Mexico Border.
(SFC, 10/17/96, A9)(WSJ, 12/3/96, p.A1)(WSJ,
12/13/96, p.A1)(AP, 1/1/98) (SFC, 11/24/99, p.A1)(SFEC, 7/2/00, BR
p.3)(SSFC, 4/4/04, p.M2)
1994 Jan 1, Some 2,000
Zapatista guerrillas under the leadership of Subcommander Marcos
rose up against the government in the state of Chiapas. The
Zapatista National Liberation Army launched a rebellion to press for
better living conditions for Indian peasants in Chiapas.
(SFC, 7/2/96, p.A8)(SFC,12/18/97, p.C2)(AP,
1994 Jan 12, After an initial
hard line, the government agreed to a cease-fire with the Zapatista
1994 Jan, Poor Maya farmers
staged an uprising at the Lancandon rain forest near Palenque,
(SFC, 5/19/96, T-9)
1994 Mar 2, The government of
Mexico and Indian rebels reached a tentative accord on most
insurgent demands for the ending the rebellion, including sweeping
1994 Mar 23, The ruling party's
pres. candidate, Luis Donaldo Colosio, was murdered while
campaigning in Tijuana, Mexico. Mario Aburto Martinez later
confessed to shooting Colosio twice and was sentenced to a 45-year
sentence. The events were later examined by Sebastian Rotella in his
book: "Twilight on the Line: Underworlds and Politics at the
(WSJ, 12/5/95, p.A-14)(SFC, 4/18/96, p.a-13)(SFC,
8/8/96, p.A8)(SFEC, 1/25/98, BR p.9)
1994 Mar 29, Mexico's ruling
party picked Ernesto Zedillo to be its new presidential candidate,
replacing the assassinated Luis Donaldo Colosio.
1994 Jun 11, A car bomb blew up
outside a luxury hotel in Guadalajara, Mexico, killing five people
in an apparently drug-related attack.
1994 cJun, Carlos Peralta
claimed in Jan of 1996 to have given Raul Salinas 50 mil at this
time to help set up an investment fund. He said that 20 other
prominent Mexicans contributed.
(WSJ, 1/30/96, p.A-11)
1994 Aug 21, Mexico held its
presidential election, which was won by Ernesto Zedillo.
1994 Aug, Federal police
bodyguard Raul Macias passed 2 cash filled suitcases to the car
trunk of Mario Ruiz Massieu, a deputy attorney general. The drug
money was received from police commander Jesus David Grajeda Lara
(SFC, 3/13/97, p.A14)
1994 Sep 28, In Mexico Jose
Francisco Ruiz Massieu, the No. 2 man of the governing Institutional
Revolutionary Party (PRI) was murdered. Raul Salinas de Gortari was
later arrested and accused of masterminding the murder. Manuel Munoz
Rocha, a federal congressman, disappeared after the 9/28/94 slaying
of Ruiz Massieu. Prosecutors later said that Salinas and Rocha
conspired to kill Massieu. Raul Salinas was convicted in 1999.
(WSJ, 4/15/96, p.A-15)(SFC, 10/10/96, p.A12)(SFC,
1994 Nov, In the tiny oil state
of Tabasco the government party spent $38.8 million to win the
elections. Roberto Madrazo won over leftist opponent Andres Lopez
Obrador. The money spent was 38 times the legal spending limit and
$37 million more than the campaign declared. The population of
Tabasco is only 1.5 mil. Paul Karam, later identified as a money
laundering suspect with links to banker Carlos Cabal Peniche,
contributed some 12.4 million pesos to the ruling party trust fund.
Peniche in 1999 said he donated $25 million to the PRI.
(SFC, 6/8/96, p.A10) (WSJ, 6/11/96, p.A12)(SFC,
1994 Dec 1, Pres. Carlos
Salinas de Gortari left office. Within weeks speculators began to
attack the overvalued peso.
(SFEC, 6/13/99, p.A13)
1994 Dec 20, Mexico’s President
Ernesto Zedillo announced a 13-15% devaluation of the peso. Over the
next 4 months the peso fell 50% in the so-called “tequila crisis."
Tighter monetary policy in the US and instability at home
contributed to the country’s economic problems.
1994 Dec, New owners of Radio
13 in Mexico City switched to an all-talk format. By 1997 there were
7 AM stations on an all-talk format.
(SFEC, 4/20/97, p.A14)
1994 US Prof. Stanton L. Catlin
(d.1997 at 82) shared a Grammy Award for the book "Mexico: Its
Culture Life in Music and Art," that was accompanied by a Columbia
Records Legacy Collection on Mexican music. He helped the Mexican
national university compile a record of Mexican murals.
(SFC, 11/29/97, p.A21)
1994 The Westin Regina hotel
was built in San Jose del Cabo in Baha, Mexico. It was the most
expensive Mexican hotel at the time.
(SSFC, 2/6/05, p.F8)
1994 In Chiapas, Mexico, Maya
farmers organized into the Zapatista National Liberation Army.
(SFC, 5/19/96, T-10)
1994 The Mexican government
started peace negotiations with the Zapatistas.
1994 Mexico joined the
Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
(WSJ, 8/10/05, p.A9)
1994 Mexican banker Carlos
Cabal Peniche after being accused of an elaborate self-lending
scheme involving hundreds of million of dollars through his two
banks, Banco Union SA and Banca Cremi SA, fled the country. He was
also a large investor in southeastern Mexico and maintained a banana
plantation in Tabasco.
(WSJ, 6/11/96, p.A12)
1994 In Mexico the Union for
the Social Wellbeing of the Triqui Region (UBISORT) was set up by
the ruling PRI party to enforce its authority in the mountains of
Oaxaca. It fought the Movement for the Unification and Struggle
(MULT) resistance group.
(Econ, 8/7/10, p.36)
1994 In Mexico the Tlachinollan
Center was founded in the town of Tlapa de Comonfort by Abel Barrera
Hernandez to fight to give voice to members of the many indigenous
communities in Guerrero whose rights are often overlooked and
1994 Del Monte entered into an
ill-fated agreement to sell the company for $1 billion to an
investment group led by Mexican banker Carlos Cabal Peniche, who was
later charged with fraud by the Mexican government.
(SFC, 3/1/97, p.B1)
1994 Rigoberto Gaxiola Medina
was indicted on marijuana trafficking charges by a federal grand
jury in Detroit. Some 183 million dollars were identified in his
banking accounts but by Jan 23, 1997 only 16.7 million was seized by
Mexican officials. The family had large legitimate holdings in
(WSJ, 4/1/97, p.A15)
1994 Alfredo Harp Helu,
president of Banamex, was kidnapped. He was ransomed after 3 months
for $30 mil. Angel Losada Moreno, head of Mexico’s largest
supermarket chain, was also kidnapped and ransomed for a rumored
similar amount. In 1996 authorities claimed to have recovered nearly
$10 mil of the Helu ransom.
(SFC, 8/28/96, p.A10)
1994 The cellular license owned
by Carlos Hank Rhon and BellSouth was sold to Grupo Iusacell , owned
by the Peralta family, for over $100 million.
(WSJ, 11/1/96, p.A6)
1994 The "Metales y Derivados"
plant, a car battery recycling facility in Tijuana, was closed for
failure to properly dispose hazardous waste. Investigations into
pollution from the plant were demanded in 2000.
(SFC, 5/19/00, p.D4)
1994 The El Vizcaino Biosphere
Region in Baja California was declared a UN World Heritage Site.
(SFC, 3/13/99, p.A14)
1994 Socorro Island, one of the
Revilagigedo Islands south of Baja, was declared a ‘biosphere
(SFC, 6/14/00, p.B2)
1994 A disease called Zebra
chip, which affected potatoes and caused potato chips to develop
stripes, was first noticed in Mexico. By 2000 it had spread to
Texas. It was later found that an insect called the potato psyllid
served as a vector for the disease.
(Econ, 8/2/08, p.81)
1994 A drought began in
(SFC, 5/15/99, p.A11)
1994 Mexico declared black
bears a protected species. They were hunted out of about 80% of
their original habitat in Mexico in the last half of the 20th
1995 Jan 3, Mexican President
Ernesto Zedillo announced an emergency plan for wage and price
controls and budget cuts to stabilize the peso and combat spiraling
inflation. The peso had lost 37% of its value since Dec. 20, 1994.
(WSJ, 1/13/95, p.A-3)(AP, 1/3/00)
1995 Jan 4, Eduardo Mata (52),
Mexican conductor, died in air crash.
1995 Jan-1995 Jun, Almost 9,000
companies went bankrupt and 1 million Mexicans were thrown out of
(SFC, 8/3/98, p.A13)
1995 Feb 21, The United States
and Mexico signed an agreement to unlock $20 billion in U.S. support
to stabilize the peso, but under tough conditions.
1995 Feb 28, Raul Salinas de
Gortari was arrested for masterminding the murder of Jose Francisco
Ruiz Sep 28, 1994. He was imprisoned in Almaloya prison, Mexico’s
highest-security facility. In 1998 Raul Salinas was acquitted of
money laundering but remained in jail on murder and
(WSJ, 4/15/96, p.A-15)(SFC, 4/8/97, p.A6)(SFC,
5/22/98, p.D4)(SFC, 1/22/99, p.A10)
1995 Feb, Mexico borrowed $20
bil from the US.
(WSJ, 1/29/96, p. A-1)
1995 Feb, The Mexican
government identified Subcommander Marcos of the Zapatistas as
former university Prof. Rafael Sebastian Guillen. A government
offensive reduced the amount of territory controlled by the rebels.
1995 Mar 10, The Clinton
administration released $3 billion to support Mexico's faltering
economy. Former Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari fled to
the United States.
1995 Mar 23, Former Mexican
deputy attorney general Mario Ruiz Massieu, brother of slain
Francisco, was arrested in Newark N.J. after failing to declare
$46,000 in cash.
(SFC, 3/13/97, p.A14)(SFC, 7/15/98, p.A8)(SFC,
1995 Mar, Secret negotiations
took place in Mexico between Pres. Ernesto Zedillo and his
predecessor Carlos Salinas They struck a deal to protect Salinas
from prosecution or interrogation on corruption and murder charges.
The episode was described in "Bordering On Chaos: Guerrillas,
Stockbrokers, Politicians and Mexico’s Road to Prosperity" by Andres
(SFC, 6/3/96, BR p.12)
1995 Jun 23, Hector "El Guero"
Palma, reputed head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, was arrested after
his plane crashed near Guadalajara. He faced 9 counts of murder for
the killing of 9 relatives and associates of his rival Miguel Angel
Felix Gallardo. Gallardo had earlier decapitated Palma’s first wife
and arranged the murder of his 2 children.
(SFC, 7/18/97, p.A11)
1995 June 28, Mexican police
fired on a group of peasants at Agua Blancas in Guerrero. An edited
video aired nationally showed that the peasants were armed, but raw
video later showed police shooting unarmed peasants, who were than
filmed with planted weapons on their corpses. 17 peasants from the
leftist Southern Sierra Campesino Organization were killed and 23
others wounded. In 1996 Virgilia Galeana Garcia testified that Gen.
Mario Arturo Acosta Chaparro was at the scene of the massacre.
(SFC, 4/28/96, A-16)(SFC, 6/15/96, p.C12)(SFC,
1995 Sep 27-Oct 6, Hurricane
Opal caused at least 50 deaths in Guatemala and Mexico and 20 deaths
in the United States. The storm hit Central America before striking
Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina.
1995 Oct, An earthquake of 7.8
magnitude shakes Mexico's Pacific coast killing at least 90 in
southern Jalisco state.
(WSJ, 10/10/95, p.A-1)
1995 Oct, The country's
currency plunged to its lowest level in seven months. Finance
Minister Guillermo Ortiz was trying to complete an economic plan for
1996. President Ernesto Zedillo sent Congress a bill to set up an
independent agency to audit federal spending in the hopes of
combating official corruption.
(WSJ, 10/27/95, p.A-10) (WSJ, 11/30/95, p.A-12)
1995 Oct, Aaron Lopez Smith
allegedly murdered 2 brothers in Sonora and fled across the border
to Arizona. He was extradited in 1998.
(SFC, 2/16/98, p.A11)
1995 Nov 15, Swiss police
arrested Paulina Castanon, wife of Raul Salinas, a former government
official and brother of former president Carlos Salinas. Raul is now
in jail for involvement in the murder of Jose Francisco, the No. 2
official in the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party. Paulina
was arrested for trying to withdraw money under false identification
from accounts holding $84 mil. Carlos Salinas is currently a
director of Dow Jones & Co., publ. of the Wall St. Journal.
Raul's $14 million in Mexican real-estate holdings along with the
bank deposits are being used to prove that he committed financial
improprieties as a government functionary.
(WSJ, 11/27/95, p.A-13) (WSJ, 2/8/96, p.A-1,6)
1995 Nov 29, The attorney
general, Antonio Lozano Grazia, says that perhaps 80% of his federal
judicial police are corrupt.
(WSJ, 12/29/95, p.A-11)
1995 Nov, A congressional
commission on government corruption was set up.
(SFC, 9/28/96, p.A9)
1995 Dec, The Garza Sadas
family dominates the glass business in Mexico.
(WSJ, 12/1/95, p.A-10)
1995 Dec, The Mexican
government was investigating fraudulent business practices of
Adriana Salinas. Jose Francisco Ruiz Massieu was the ex-husband of
Adriana Salinas, sister of the ex-president, Carlos Salinas de
(WSJ, 12/1/95, p.A-10)
1995 Dec, The Mexican
government planned to take control of Grupo Financiero Inverlat SA
to recapitalize the ailing bank. Equity will be severely diluted or
perhaps wiped out.
(WSJ, 12/1/95, p.A-10)
1995 Dec, Banamex, Mexico's
largest banking group, planned to sell nearly $2 billion in bad
loans to the government.
(WSJ, 12/15/95, p.A-1)
1995 Dec, Eight of Mexico's 18
largest banks have sought government assistance. They plan to
transfer $5.6 bil in bad loans to the government.
(WSJ, 12/21/95, p.A-5)
1995 Mexico’s GDP fell by 6%
(Econ, 10/11/08, SR p.26)
1995 In Mexico a new
pension-revision program was aimed at increasing domestic savings to
22% of gross domestic product by the year 2000.
(WSJ, 11/10/95, p. A-6)
1995 Mexico’s Pres. Ernesto
Zedillo signed a law creating the Cabo Pulmo National Marine Reserve
off the Baha Peninsula in the Gulf of California.
(SFC, 1/17/06, p.A10)
1995 Santiago Levy, Mexico’s
deputy finance minister, began a program in Campeche to pay poor
mothers to keep their children in school and take their kids to the
health clinic. The program called Progresa was successful and went
national in 1997. Under Pres. Fox it was renamed Oportunidades. It
was scrapped in 2019 by Pres. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
(Econ, 11/18/06, Survey
1995 Mexico began privatizing
its railroad freight lines.
(Econ, 3/15/14, p.61)
1995 Mexico created Cintra, a
holding company to rescue Aeromexico and Mexicana airlines.
(Econ, 3/26/05, p.63)
1995-1997 Oscar Espinosa Villarreal served as the
PRI-appointed mayor of Mexico City. In 2000 corruption charges were
filed with allegations that he embezzled some $46 million during his
3 years in office.
(SFC, 3/31/00, p.E4)
1996 Jan 1, Two buses collided
in northern Mexico, killing 25 people.
1996 Jan 15, Juan Garcia
Abrego, a top drug suspect, was arrested and deported to the US for
trial. He allegedly headed a syndicate with links to cocaine
operations in Columbia. Horacio Brunt, Mexican policeman, collared
Juan Garcia Abrego, a Mexican drug kingpin. Abrego ‘s gang raked in
more than $10 bil a year in revenue.
(WSJ, 1/16/96, p. A-1)(WSJ, 4/12/96,
1996 Jan 29, Mexico paid the
US $1.3 billion. It was the second payment of a $20 bil US loan from
(WSJ, 1/29/96, p. A-1)
1996 Jan, The FAC-NLN was
founded as a nationwide leftist coalition.
(SFC, 12/10/96, p.A13)
1996 Feb, In San Andres
Larrainzar in Chiapas the government signed a partial peace accord
on indigenous rights with the Zapatistas.
1996 Mar, Gov. Ruben Figueroa
of Guerrero stepped down after the Supreme Court began an
investigation over the June-’95 killing of peasants.
(SFC, 6/15/96, p.C12)
1996 Apr 4, The average
negotiated wage in Mexico has been 19%, far below the inflation rate
of 27-30% forecast by independent economists. The government just
raised the minimum wage 12% but also implemented a 27% raise in the
cost of tortillas.
(WSJ, 4/4/96, A-10)
1996 Apr 10, A protest group of
about 500 peasants was fired on by police with one killed and dozens
wounded. They were headed to the annual Zapata commemoration in
Tlaltizapan, the site of Zapata’s headquarters.
(SFC, 4/13/96, p.A-10)
1996 Apr 12, A judge in Toluca,
Mexico ordered that Raul Salinas de Gortari stand trial on charges
of hiding millions of dollars in unexplained income during his
career as administrator of food-subsidy programs in the 1980s.
(WSJ, 4/15/96, p.A-15)
1996 Apr 17, The former chief
prosecutor, Jose Arturo Ochoa Palacios, in the initial investigation
of the murder of pres. candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio was gunned
down in a Tijuana park.
(SFC, 4/18/96, p.a-13)
1996 Apr 22, Edwin Bustillos
was a Goldman Award winner for his work as defender of native lands
and culture in Mexico.
(USAT, 4/22/96, p.4-D)
1996 Apr 30, Five climbers were
burned to death by a blast from Popocatepetl volcano.
(SFEC, 11/29/98, p.A27)
1996 Apr, Three brothers from
Michoacan died in Temecula, Calif., when their hired coyote drove a
van over a cliff while being pursued by the Border Patrol. In 2001
Ruben Martinez authored "Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the
Migrant Trail," an account of their story.
(SSFC, 11/11/01, p.M6)
1996 May 7, Indian supporters
of the Zapatista rebels occupied two radio stations in Chiapas and
demanded the release of Javier Elloriaga, a TV journalist who was
sentenced to 13 years in prison last week on charges of being a
Zapatista commander. Sub-commander Marcos later signed his
communiqués "speedy Gonzalez."
(SFC, 5/8/96, p.A-19)(SFEC, 7/20/98, p.A10)
1996 May 8, A government task
force in the state of Sinaloa issued a report on the mysterious
chupacabras or "goat-sucker." An unknown creature has been killing
goats and leaving fang marks. The report said: There is no goat
sucker, but pollution is now so bad that it is driving animals mad,
giving them the behavioral trappings of crazed alien creatures."
(SFC, 5/11/96, p.A-10)
1996 May 10, A plane crashed
and killed 16 people in the rugged mountains of northwestern Mexico.
The twin-turboprop De Haviland Twin Otter DHC-6 was flying from
Durango and crashed in Santa Maria de Otaes, a small mining town.
(SFC, 5/11/96, p.A-10)
1996 May 16, The government
announced a plan to pay debt-strapped home-owners up to 30% of their
monthly mortgage payments thus easing the pressure on the country’s
(SFC, 5/17/96, p.A-15)
1996 May 18, Sergeo Moreno
Perez, regional head of the Attorney General’s office in Baja was
found shot with his son on the outskirts of Mexico City.
(SFC, 5/20/96, p.A-9)
1996 May 23, In Mexico a
teacher’s march turned into a bloody confrontation with police and
40 teachers were injured. Pres. Zedillo later fired Police Chief
David Garay for his heavy-handed action.
(SFC, 6/1/96, p.A12)
1996 May 24, In Paris a meeting
of 21 donor countries agreed to a $49 bil emergency bailout fund to
deal with future Mexican economic crises.
(SFC, 5/24/96, p.A14)
1996 May 31, Tens of thousands
of teachers marched in Mexico City for a pay raise and to protest
the police crack-down on a previous march last week. Most teacher
salaries are about $400 per month.
(SFC, 6/1/96, p.A12)
1996 May, Police official Jesus
Carolla and others were reported by Mexican intelligence to have met
with the Arellano Felix brothers, alleged leaders of the Tijuana
1996 Jun 3, Navistar Int’l will
open an assembly plant and parts distribution operation this year.
(WSJ, 8/8/95, p. B6C)
1996 Jun 8, General Enrique
Salgado assumed Mexico City’s top police job and indicated that he
would appoint military officers to key public security posts. He
also said that he will stress citizen participation in forming
(SFC, 6/10/96, C16)
1996 Jun 10, A report on Mexico
estimated that 800,000 children under 14 worked in different sectors
of the economy. The Mexican constitution and federal labor law
prohibits the employment of children under 14. Based on a 1990
census, the Sec. of Public Education estimated that 2.5 million
children between 6 & 14 do not attend school.
(SFC, 6/10/96, C3)
1996 Jun 11, A Chilean-based
fruit company signed a letter of intent to purchase Fresh Del Monte
Produce NV for $534 mil. A subsidiary of United Trading Company
Desarollo & Comercio SA of Santiago signed the letter. Mr. Cabal
remains a minority shareholder through a Netherlands Antilles fund
called Trumpet Vine where he and the state-owned development bank,
Nacional Financiera SA, placed an 8.5% equity stake in 1992.
(WSJ, 6/12/96, p.A10)
1996 Jun 16, Gov. Ruben
Figueroa of was cleared by the judicial authorities of Guerrero
after an investigation over the June-’95 police killing of peasants.
(SFC, 6/15/96, p.C12)
1996 Jun 19, Mexico will repay
$4.7 billion of the $10.5 billion in US Treasury borrowings from
(WSJ, 6/19/96, p.A1)
1996 Jun 28, A new guerrilla
group, The People’s Revolutionary Army (EPR), disrupted a political
meeting in the state of Guerrero.
(SFC, 7/2/96, p.A8)
1996 Jun, Near Alamos in
southern Sonora state the 225,000-acre Sierra de Alamos-Rio
Cuchujaqui Flora and Fauna Protected Area was established.
(NH, 4/97, p.38)
1996 Jul 9, Mexico City’s
police chief announced that every top official in his department was
replaced with military officers. The move was made to break up
corruption and abuse in the old "brotherhood."
(SFC, 7/10/96, p.A7)
1996 Jul 25, Mexico said it
will repay $7 bil of the remaining $10.5 bil borrowed from the US
Treasury, partly through a $6 bil issue of securities.
(WSJ, 7/26/96, p.A1)
1996 Jul, Congress passed
constitutional amendments designed to control fraud and reduce the
advantage of the PRI.
(SFC, 11/16/96, p.A11)
1996 Aug 16, In Mexico Attorney
General Antonio Lozano fired 734 members of the Mexico City judicial
police in an attempt to reform the drug-fighting force. Police
official Jesus Carolla, was on the list, but resigned before being
(SFC, 8/17/96, p.A14)(SFC,12/11/97, p.C3)
1996 Aug 17, Federal
prosecutor, Jesus Romero Magan, was killed. He was the first
prosecutor to interrogate the gunman who killed Luis Colosio, the
pres. candidate in 1994.
(SFC, 8/19/96, p.A9)
1996 Aug 28, In Mexico the EPR
struck at government targets in 6 states and left at least 6 dead
and 28 injured.
(SFC, 8/30/96, p.A1)
1996 Aug, Andres Manuel Lopez
Obrador (43) became president of the PRD party.
(WSJ, 12/11/96, p.A18)
1996 Aug, The Zapatista rebels
pulled out of peace talks and accused the government of stalling.
1996 cAug, The US Army began a
training program for Mexican officers to develop an elite
(SFC, 2/27/98, p.A18)
1996 Sep 13, In Mexico Juan
Francisco Ealy, editor of El Universal, was arrested on allegations
of tax fraud. His paper had recently begun strong criticism of the
(SFC, 9/14/96, p.A10)
1996 Sep 15, Federal police
officer Ernesto Ibarra Santes (50) was gunned down in Mexico City.
He was in charge of drug trafficking in Baha California del Norte,
the center of operations for the narcotics cartel of the Arellano
Felix brothers. He had only taken the position on Aug 16.
(SFE, 9/16/96, p.A9)
1996 Sep 17, In Mexico Razhy
Gonzalez, editor of the small Contrapunto weekly, was abducted in
(SFC, 9/19/96, p.A10)
1996 Sep 22, Mexico’s Civic
Alliance began asking questions of accountability of the leadership.
Pres. Zedillo claims to make $8,000 a month, but he has a secret
fund of $86 million approved by Congress.
(SFC, 9/22/96, Parade p.30)
1996 Sep 23, Financing was
expected to enable the start of the $551 million channel project, a
272-mile Tamaulipas Intracoastal Waterway on the east coast to link
Mexico to US cargo channels.
(WSJ, 9/23/96, p.A17)
1996 Sep 27, PRI deputies
presented a final report on government corruption and voted to end
the commission of corruption. A separate government panel said $1.34
billion was missing from the 1990 privatization of Telefonos de
(SFC, 9/28/96, p.A9)
1996 Oct 2, Mexican and US
authorities captured 5 alleged hit men of the Arellan Felix brothers
drug cartel in a series of raids in Mexico and California.
(SFC, 10/3/96, p.A8)
1996 Oct 9, Police found a
human skull and bones on a ranch owned by Raul Salinas. Police were
led to the site by Francisca Zetina, aka "La Paca" a self proclaimed
witch. They suspected that it was Manuel Munoz Rocha, a federal
congressman who disappeared after the 9/28/94 slaying of Ruiz
Massieu. Prosecutors say that Salinas and Rocha conspired to kill
Massieu. An official autopsy showed that the found body had
undergone a previous autopsy. Later examination found that the body
was not that of Munoz Rocha but of Zetina’s father-in-law (d.1993).
In 1999 Zetina was sentenced to 9 years in prison.
(SFC, 10/10/96, p.A12) (SFC, 10/12/96, p.A11)
(SFC, 12/3/96,p.A12) (SFC, 2/1/97, p.A12) (SFC, 10/9/99, p.A11)
1996 Oct 10, It was reported
that Mexico had the highest rate of deforestation in the world with
2.5 million acres of forest and jungle felled each year.
(SFC, 10/10/96, p.A12)
1996 Oct 11, Zapatista
Commander Ramona, a 4 foot 4 inch Tzotzil Indian, arrived in Mexico
City to plead the rebel cause.
(SFC, 10/15/96, p.A10)
1996 Oct 25, The opera
Florencia en el Amazonas premiered in Houston. It was composed by
Daniel Catan of Mexico with libretto by Marcela Fuentes-Berain.
(WSJ, 11/1/96, p.A11)
1996 Oct 27, The EPR announced
the end of a cease-fire with the federal government.
(SFC, 11/2/96, p.A9)
1996 Oct, Eli Aguilar, leader
of the Francisco Villa Patriotic Front, Mexico City’s largest slum
organizing committee was arrested on year-old charges for clashing
with the police.
(SFC, 12/10/96, p.A13)
1996 Nov 1, Five police
officers were slain in southern Mexico and another outside Mexico
City. The EPR claimed responsibility.
(SFC, 11/2/96, p.A9)
1996 Nov 7, Police and army
units arrested 14 men as suspected leftist guerrillas in Oaxaca. In
Chiapas state 27 members of humanitarian groups working with rebel
villages received death threats.
(SFC, 11/8/96, p.A18)
1996 Nov 10, In Chiapas police
and federal soldiers killed 3 protestors during a clash over corn
(SFC, 11/11/96, p.A10)
1996 Nov 14, PRI deputies
approved the rewritten "all-party accords" that had been initially
designed to stem their power.
(SFC, 11/16/96, p.A11)
1996 Nov, A new insurgency
group called ERIP (Revolutionary Army of Popular Insurgence) was
reported in the mountains of the Papalopan region of Oaxaca.
(SFEC, 12/1/96, p.T9)
1996 Nov, In Loxicha, Oaxaca,
police and army troops arrested the mayor, the municipal council and
40 others. They were members or supporters of FAC-MLN, the Broad
Front for the Construction of a National Liberation Movement whose
goals included a new constitution, state regulated economic policies
with more social spending, and an end to government crackdown on its
(SFC, 12/10/96, p.A12)
1996 Dec 2, Pres. Ernesto
Zedillo fired Attorney Gen’l. Antonio Lozano Gracia, the only
non-PRI cabinet member. He was succeeded by Jorge Madrazo Cuellar,
the head of the human-rights commission.
(SFC, 12/3/96, p.A12)(WSJ, 12/3/96, p.A1)
1996 Dec 3, Fernando Balderas,
lawyer-journalist, and his wife Yolanda Figueroa and 3 children were
beaten to death. The couple had reported exposes on drugs and
corruption in the government. Balderas published the magazine Fourth
Power. Alejandro Perez, the family chauffeur, later confessed to
participating in the killings with 2 others because Balderas had
raped the gardener’s wife and attempted to rape his wife. Balderas
had helped his wife write "The Boss of the Gulf," about drug cartel
leader Juan Garcia Abrego.
(SFC, 12/7/96, p.A10)(SFC, 12/26/96, p.B4)
1996 Dec 15, Humberto Roque
Villanueva was sworn in as the new head of the ruling Institutional
Revolutionary Party (PRI).
(SFC, 12/18/96, p.A25)
1996 Dec 18, Former Veracruz
Governor Dante Delgado was jailed for amassing a $57 million fortune
while in charge of the oil-rich Gulf-coast state.
(SFC, 12/19/96, p.C5)
1996 Dec 26, The Dept. of
Commerce announced a 15% price hike in the cost of tortillas and
(SFC, 12/27/96, p.B3)
1996 Dec, Carlos Fuentes
published "A New Time for Mexico."
(SFC, 12/31/96, p.C9)
1996 Mexico changed its
constitution to allow émigré nationals to vote, but no law was
passed to enable the change.
(Econ, 6/26/04, p.40)
1996 General Jesus Guitterez
Rebollo allegedly attended a meeting between military officials and
(SFC, 3/26/98, p.B3)
1997 Jan 1, Long-distance
telephone competition began and ended a 49-year monopoly.
(SFC, 1/1/97, p.B3)
1997 Jan 3, A Jalisco state
judge dismissed drug trafficking charges against Hector Luis Palma,
leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel. He was sentenced to 6 years on
(SFC, 1/9/96, p.A12)
1997 Jan 5, At least 26 people
were arrested in Sinaloa state, many of them police officers, at the
wedding party for the sister of Amado Carrillo, the reputed top drug
trafficker in Mexico. Carillo was tipped of and escaped. This
prompted the government to replace 10 police chiefs with army
(SFC, 1/8/96, p.A7)(SFC, 1/20/96, p.A13)
1997 Jan 11, In Mexico a 7.3
earthquake shook the western and central areas.
(SFEC, 1/12/97, p.A2)
1997 Jan 12, Four generals and
a colonel met with Mr. Gonzalez Quirarte, the right-hand man of drug
lord, Carillo Fuentes, to arrange protection according to later
statements made by Gen. Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo. This was the 3rd
meeting that Rebollo attended.
(WSJ, 10/2/97, p.A12)(SFC, 3/26/98, p.B3)
1997 Jan 15, Mexico announced
the final $3.5 billion payment on the [Feb, 1995] $13.5 billion US
(SFC, 1/16/96, p.A1)
1997 Jan 19, Riot police broke
up a hunger strike on behalf of 300 street sweepers laid off in
Tabasco. Two workers declared they would fast "to the death" had
already gone for 96 days on just water and glucose.
(SFC, 1/20/96, p.A13)
1997 Jan 22, Officials agreed
to pay back wages or give back jobs to the street sweepers of
(SFC, 1/24/97, p.A15)
1997 Jan 27, Police arrested
Benigno Guzman, president of the Peasant Organization of the
Southern Sierra, an anti-government alliance of poor farmers near
Acapulco on charges of belonging to the EPR guerrilla group.
(SFC, 1/28/97, p.A8)
1997 Jan, At a 2nd meeting
between military officials and drug smugglers, Gen’l. Juan Humberto
Salinas Altes, the army’s chief of staff, was allegedly in
(SFC, 3/26/98, p.B3)
1997 Feb 18, General Jesus
Guitterez Rebollo was dismissed from the armed forces and held for
charges of collaborating with Amado Carillo Fuentes, leader of the
most powerful Mexican drug cartel. He was the head of the National
Institute for Combating Drugs (INCD), which became defunct.
(SFC, 2/19/96, p.A1)(SFC, 7/28/97, p.A11)
1997 Mar 10, Mexico named a new
drug czar, lawyer Mariano Federico Herran Salvatti.
(SFC, 3/11/97, p.A11)
1997 Mar 14, Five Zapatista
guerrillas were killed in a clash with the police in Chiapas. Four
were injured and 27 wounded when police dislodged hundreds who had
been squatting on a farm near San Pedro Nixtalucum.
(SFC, 3/17/97, p.A8)
1997 Mar 17, Army Brigadier
Gen’l. Alfredo Navarro Lara was arrested for trying to buy off
authorities in Baha. He offered payments of $1 million a month to
Gen’l. Jose Luis Chavez Garcia to allow cocaine to pass into the US.
(SFC, 3/18/97, p.A10)
1997 Apr 8, Raul Gutierrez,
director of the capital’s nine prisons, resigned. More resignations
in light of corruption and special privileges for imprisoned
powerful drug traffickers followed.
(SFC, 4/10/97, p.A14)
1997 Apr 16, Emilio Azcarraga
Milmo, former president and chairman of Grupo Televisa SA, died at
(SFC, 4/18/97, p.E2)
1997 Apr 24, Forty specially
trained soldiers of the Special Forces (GAFE) were assigned to the
int’l. airport to question and search passengers for drugs. In 1998
they and 15 civilians were withdrawn on suspicion of drug and
(SFC, 9/10/98, p.C3)
1997 Apr 27, Two federal police
agents, Roberto Espinoza and Marco Vasquez, were found shot dead
with signs of torture in Mexico city. They had been investigating
Amado Carrillo, Mexico’s most powerful drug lord.
(SFC, 4/28/97, p.A12)
1997 May 6, US Pres. Clinton
made a state visit to Mexico and spent some time meeting with the
leaders of Mexico’s main opposition parties.
(SFC, 5/7/97, p.c3)
1997 May 21, A half-ton of
cocaine was stolen from a police station in Sonora. Seven government
employees were later charged with the theft.
(SDUT, 6/6/97, p.A1)
1997 May 27, In Guerrero a
government anti-drug patrol was attacked by some 25 armed men of the
EPR. At least nine men were killed. A truce was to have lasted until
the Jul 6, parliamentary elections.
(SFC, 5/29/97, p.A11)
1997 May 28, Francisca
Cervantes (b.1879), the oldest lady in Mexico, died in Chiapas at
(SFC, 5/30/97, p.A26)
1997 Jun 20, Authorities
announced the discovery of 53 properties, 36 bank accounts and 4
aliases for Raul Salinas.
(SFC, 6/21/97, p.A11)
1997 Jun 21, Fidel Velasquez
Sanchez (1900-1997), first head of the Confederation of Mexican
Workers, died in Mexico City.
(SFEC, 6/22/97, p.D8)
1997 Jul 1, Popocatepetl
erupted 33 miles Mexico City and covered the capital in ash.
(SFC, 7/2/97, p.A9)
1997 Jul 4, From Mexico it was
reported that Amado Carillo Fuentes (41), Mexico’s reputed top drug
trafficker, died following extensive plastic surgery. His operations
were centered in Juarez, across the border from El Paso. He was
called "Lord of the Skies" for using passenger jets to bring in
cocaine from Columbia. It was later reported that his death was an
inside job arranged because a massive manhunt for him had become a
liability to his cartel’s business.
(SFEC, 7/6/97, p.B4)(SFC, 7/7/97, p.A10)(SFC,
1997 Jul 6, In Mexico City
Cuauhtemoc Cardenas Solorzano, leader of the opposition Party of the
Democratic Revolution, declared victory in the race for mayor. The
PRI lost its majority in the lower house of Congress. The four
opposition parties banded together in a coalition to inaugurate the
new Congress on Aug 30.
(SFC, 7/7/97, p.A1)(SFC, 9/1/97, p.A14)
1997 Jul 13, The book
"Endangered Mexico: An Environment on the Edge" by Joel Simon was
(SFEC, 7/13/97, BR p.3)
1997 Jul 16, Benjamin Flores
Gonzalez (29), a newspaper editor of La Prensa, was gunned down in
San Luis Colorado across the border from Yuma, Ariz.
(SFC, 7/17/97, p.A9)
1997 Jul 18, Police arrested
Rolando Arroyo Palacios, aka "Long Hair," in San Luis Rio Colorado
for the murder of journalist Flores Gonzalez. He had been supposedly
hired by Ismael Guttierrez, brother of Jaime Gonzalez Guttierez, who
was arrested last month.
(SFC, 7/19/97, p.A11)
1997 Aug 4, It was reported
that the Lacandon Jungle rain forest was 40% destroyed from its
original 4 million acres. Poor peasants were clearing the jungle by
fire to provide for agricultural needs.
(SFC, 8/4/97, p.A8)
1997 Aug 4, Gunmen killed 6
people in the Max Fim restaurant in Ciudad Juarez.
(SFC, 8/5/97, p.A9)
1997 Aug 7, In Mexico City Jose
Paoletti Moreda and his son Renato were arrested on charges of
leading an operation that smuggled deaf people into the US and
forced them to work under virtual slavery conditions.
(SFC, 8/8/97, p.A3)
1997 cAug 15, The Saba family’s
22% stake in Television Azteca SA was sold through an IPO. The
family led by Isaac Saba Raffoul was reputed to have a cash
equivalent of a billion dollars with the sale.
(WSJ, 8/22/97, p.A10)
1997 Aug 16, Alejandro Ortiz
Martinez, brother of the finance minister Guillermo Ortiz, was shot
and killed by three gunmen in Mexico City.
(SFEC, 8/17/97, p.A21)
1997 Aug 28, The government’s
National Human Rights Commission recommended that the Durango State
Attorney Gen’l. Francisco Arroyo be fired for negligence. This was
in response to the suicide 2 months ago of 16-year-old Yessica Diaz
Cazares who had been gang raped some 5 months ago. Yessica had spent
3 months recounting her story to officials under threats from her
attackers and pressure from authorities to drop the charges.
(SFC, 8/30/97, p.A14)
1997 Sep 8, The Fox and Jaguar
SWAT police in Mexico City engaged in a gun fight with a
neighborhood gang. One young man and one police officer died. Police
seized 6 youths and 3 were found dead the next day with gunshot
wounds to the head. Three more were found dead on Sep 29. On Oct 3
nineteen members of the police force were arraigned for the
executions. Three ranking officers were later arrested due to
contradictory and misleading statements.
(SFC, 10/4/97, p.A8)(SFC,11/19/97, p.A14)
1997 Sep 12, Tens of thousands
rallied in the central square of Mexico City in support of the
(SFEC, 9/14/97, p.A24)
1997 Sep 13, A national
Zapatista civilian movement was inaugurated.
(SFEC, 9/14/97, p.A24)
1997 Sep, In Chiapas gunmen
demanded a "war tax" of $1.25 from villagers every couple weeks and
threatened them if they refused. It was reported that the PRI had
distributed guns to allies in villages around Puebla.
1997 Oct 6, Workers at the Han
Young de Mexico factory in Tijuana voted to be represented by an
independent union, the Metal, Steel and Allied workers Union of the
Authenticated labor Front (FAT). It was the first time that an
existing company-dominated union was ousted in the maquiladora
industry. After weeks the results were still not formalized and 4
workers who voted for the union were fired. On Nov 10 the Tijuana
Labor Board invalidated the vote claiming the union was not
nationally registered. [see Dec 14]
(SFC, 10/8/97, p.A8)(SFC,10/30/97,
1997 Oct 7, It was reported
that at least 100 people were reported as disappeared in the state
of Chihuahua, mostly around Ciudad Juarez, the base for Mexico’s
largest drug cartel.
(SFC, 10/7/97, p.A15)
1997 Oct 9, Hurricane Pauline
swept through Acapulco and left at least 124 dead.
(SFC, 10/10/97, p.A1)
1997 Oct 24, Luis Aguilar,
singer and actor nicknamed "Wild Rooster," died at age 79. He
had appeared in 155 motion pictures over 5 decades.
(LAT, 9/29/97, p.A18)
1997 Nov 4, A convoy with
Bishop Samuel Ruiz was attacked in Crucero in northern Chiapas.
Three church workers were wounded. The Peace and Justice group,
associated with the PRI, was thought to be responsible.
1997 Nov 2, Three bodies were
found stuffed in oil drums filled with concrete along a southern
Mexico highway. [see Nov 5]
1997 Nov 5, In Mexico relatives
identified the body of Dr. Jaime Godoy Singh (Zinc)(37). He and 2
others were found Nov 2 stuffed into oil drums partly filled with
cement. He was the doctor suspected of operating on Amado Carillo
Fuentes who died under surgery July 4. Dr. Ricardo Reyes was the
other doctor. A third doctor, Carlos Humberto Avila Meljem, was
thought to be the third.
(SFC,11/6/97, p.C3)(SFC,11/8/97, p.A11)
1997 Nov 6, Prosecutors
announced that 2 of the 3 doctors found dead in oil drums were being
charged with the murder of druglord Amado Carillo Fuentes. The 3rd
doctor was charged last month.
1997 Nov 9, Hurricane Rick hit
the coast of Oaxaca state.
1997 Nov 16, It was reported
that the maquiladora plants along the US border have for years
regularly demanded female employees to provide periodic evidence of
non-pregnancy in order to avoid mandated 3-month maternity leave.
1997 Nov 19, In Mexico members
of the elite Zorro police unit protested the arrest of their
comrades for the Sep 8 killing of 6 youths. They ended their
standoff after 14 hours and allowed the questioning of 14 officers.
(SFC,11/20/97, p.B2)(SFC,11/21/97, p.D6)
1997 Nov 19, Edmundo Tasinnari,
head of the Mexico City anti-kidnapping unit, and Humberto Salgado,
his deputy, were kidnapped with their driver. The driver was later
found beaten and wandering in a daze.
1997 Nov 22, Gen’l. Mauro
Enrique Tello was fired and arrested for his suspected role in the
Sep 8 killing of 6 youths. It was reported that the attack was
ordered by Col. Jesus Alonso after thieves robbed him at gunpoint of
a Rolex watch and some money weeks earlier.
1997 Nov 25, Two high-ranking
army officers were charged with murder in the Sep 8 killings. It was
the first time in modern Mexican history that a civilian court had
brought charges against an army officer.
(WSJ, 11/26/97, p.A1)
1997 Nov 28, The new National
Workers Union (UNT) was inaugurated in Mexico City. It will compete
with the 4-million member Congress of Mexican Labor (CTM),
considered a pliant ally of the PRI.
(SFC, 11/29/97, p.A14)
1997 Nov 29, Some 25,000
demonstrators marched in Mexico City to protest crime, violence and
(WSJ, 12/1/97, p.A1)
1997 Dec 5, In Mexico City
Mayor Cuautemoc Cardenas (63) was sworn into office. He named Jesus
Carrola as head of the judicial police.
(SFC,12/6/97, p.A8)(SFC,12/11/97, p.C3)
1997 Dec 8, Mexico agreed with
the European Union to negotiate a trade pact.
1997 Dec 9, The US began an
investigation of Grupo Hank, a large financial empire controlled by
Carlos Hank Gonzales, a former mayor of Mexico City, and his sons
Carlos Hank Rhon and Jorge Hank Rhon. A 1999 report concluded that
the family was heavily involved in drug trafficking and money
(SFC, 6/2/99, p.A1,14)
1997 Dec 10, Jesus Carrola, the
new judicial police chief of Mexico City, stepped down amid
allegations of links to torture and drug traffickers.
1997 Dec 10, Vincent Carroza, a
hotel manager in Acapulco from New Jersey, was kidnapped by 9 gunmen
dressed as federal police agents. His was the 104th kidnapping
reported in the state in 20 months. He was released unharmed after 8
(SFC,12/11/97, p.A18)(SFC,12/18/97, p.C12)
1997 Dec 14, It was reported
that the Korean owners of the Han Young plant in Tijuana have agreed
to cut ties with the government union and recognize the independent
Unidad Obrera (Worker Unity) that was elected on Oct 6.
1997 Dec 14, The 500-seat
Chamber of Deputies approved Pres. Zedillo’s $108.9 billion
budget for 1988. The secret budget was reduced to $6.25 million.
1997 Dec 15, A gang of armed
masked men raided several homes and seized some 20 teenagers and
young adults. Several were tortured and Salvador Jimenez Lopez (25)
was found dead a week later. On Jan 7 authorities arrested 28
officers and soldiers who were believed to be responsible. In Dec
1998 11 state officials were barred from public office for 10 years
for failing to stop the massacre.
(SFC, 1/8/98, p.B10)(SFC, 12/15/98, p.C2)
1997 Dec 15, Peter Zarate (40),
an executive for New York-based Cushman and Wakefield, was shot and
killed in a taxi robbery in a wealthy Mexico City neighborhood.
1997 Dec 17, A young man from
an Indian hamlet near Acteal was killed in an ambush by masked
gunmen. Antonio Vazquez Secum summoned a band of gunmen and
dispatched them to Acteal for revenge.
(SFEC, 1/25/98, p.A15)
1997 Dec 22, In Mexico some 70
pro-government gunmen of the Peace and Justice paramilitary group
killed 45 people, including 21 women 9 men and 15 children, in the
Tzoztzil Indian village of Acteal. Opposition groups called for the
resignation of Gov. Julio Cesar Ruiz Ferro, who had repeatedly
denied the existence of paramilitary groups in the state. In 1998 12
officials of the state attorney general’s office were arrested for
failing to stop the massacre. The government paid compensation to
families of the victims and to the wounded. In 1999 20 government
supporters were sentenced to 35 years in prison and 81 people were
still scheduled for trial. In Dec 2007 authorities re-arrested
Antonio Santiz, the alleged mastermind of the massacre. Santiz had
been arrested for his alleged involvement in 2000, but a judge threw
out the charges in 2001, ruling there wasn't enough evidence. In
2008 a Mexican judge sentenced brothers Antonio and Mariano Pucuj to
26 years in prison for their participation in the massacre. In
August, 2009, Mexico's Supreme Court ordered freedom for 20 men
convicted in the Acteal massacre and new trials for six more, ruling
that prosecutors used illegally obtained evidence. In November,
2009, the Supreme Court ordered the release of nine more people
convicted in massacre, ruling their convictions were based on
illegally obtained evidence. New trials were ordered for 16 others.
(SFC,12/24/97, p.A1)(SFC,12/26/97, p.B7)(SFC,
7/4/98, p.A9)(SFC, 7/20/99, p.A11)(AP, 12/23/07)(AP, 2/27/08)(AP,
1997 Dec 26, Sixteen Maya
Indians were charged with first-degree murder in the Dec 22
1997 Dec 27, Authorities
charged Jacinto Arias Cruz, the mayor of Chenalho, and 23 supporters
with murder of the villagers in Acteal.
1997 A Health Ministry Study
found that the use of cocaine had quadrupled among Mexico City teens
in 6 years. Marijuana use had doubled.
(SFC, 6/9/98, p.A12)
1997 Gov. Vincente Fox of
Guanajuato recommended that emigrants form partnerships to start
local business. He offered that the state would pay to train workers
and managers. This gave birth to "Mi Comunidad" and the
establishment of new sewing factories.
(SFEC, 6/20/99, p.A3)
1997 Mexico implemented the
Progresa social program. In 2000 it covered some 2 million rural
(Econ, 9/17/05, p.37)(http://tinyurl.com/d7tef)
1997 Ricardo Salinas Pliego
blocked NBC from taking a 10% stake in Mexico’s TV Azteca as part of
a previous deal to help TV Azteca learn the TV business.
(WSJ, 12/8/05, p.A11)
1997 In Mexico Andres Granier
began serving as mayor of Villahermosa, capital of Tabasco state. He
served to 2000. In 2006 Granier won elections for Tabasco state
governor as a PRI candidate.
(Econ, 10/14/06, p.42)
1997 Mexico’s national census
counted 93.7 million people.
(SFC, 7/9/99, p.A15)