Gustavo Díaz Ordaz

Gustavo Díaz Ordaz
Gustavo Diaz Ordaz.JPG
49th President of Mexico
In office
December 1, 1964 (1964-12-01) – November 30, 1970 (1970-11-30)
Preceded byAdolfo López Mateos
Succeeded byLuis Echeverría
Secretary of the Interior
In office
1 December 1958 – 16 November 1963
PresidentAdolfo López Mateos
Preceded byÁngel Carvajal Bernal
Succeeded byLuis Echeverría
Senator of the Congress of the Union
for Puebla
In office
1 September 1946 – 31 August 1952
Preceded byNoé Lecona Soto
Succeeded byLuis C. Manjarrez
Member of the Chamber of Deputies
for Puebla′s 1st district
In office
1 September 1943 – 31 August 1946
Preceded byBlas Chumacero
Succeeded byBlas Chumacero
Personal details
José Gustavo del Santísimo Sacramento Díaz Ordaz Bolaños

(1911-03-12)12 March 1911
San Andrés, Puebla, Mexico
Died15 July 1979(1979-07-15) (aged 68)
Cerrada del Risco 133, Jardines del Pedregal,
Mexico City, D.F., Mexico
Resting placePanteón Jardín, Mexico City, Mexico
Political partyInstitutional Revolutionary
Guadalupe Borja
(m. 1937; her death 1974)
  • Gustavo
  • Guadalupe
  • Alfredo
  • Ramón Díaz Ordaz
  • Sabrina Bolaños
Alma materUniversity of Puebla

Gustavo Díaz Ordaz Bolaños (Spanish pronunciation: [gusˈtaβo ˈðias oɾˈðas]; 12 March 1911 – 15 July 1979) was a Mexican politician and member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). He served as the President of Mexico from 1964 to 1970.

Díaz Ordaz was born in San Andrés Chalchicomula and obtained a law degree from the University of Puebla in 1937 where he later became its vice-rector. He represented Puebla's 1st district in the Chamber of Deputies from 1943 to 1946. Subsequently he represented the same state in the Chamber of Senators from 1946 to 1952 becoming closely acquainted with then-senator Adolfo López Mateos.

Díaz Ordaz joined the campaign of Adolfo Ruiz Cortines for the 1952 election and subsequently worked for the Secretariat of the Interior under Ángel Carvajal Bernal. He became the secretary following López Mateos victory in the 1958 election and exercised de facto executive power during the absences of the president, particularly during the Cuban Missile Crisis. In 1963, the PRI announced him as the presidential candidate for the 1964 election, he received 88.81% of the popular vote.

His administration is mostly remembered for the student protests that took place in 1968, and their subsequent repression by the Army and State forces during the Tlatelolco massacre.[1][2][3]

After passing on presidency to his own Secretary of the Interior (Luis Echeverría), Díaz Ordaz retired from public life. He was briefly the Ambassador to Spain in 1977, a position he resigned after strong protests and criticism by the media. He died of colorectal cancer on 15 July 1979 at the age of 68.

Early life and education

Díaz Ordaz Bolaños was born in San Andrés Chalchicomula (now Ciudad Serdán, Puebla), the second of four children. In his later years his father, Ramón Díaz Ordaz Redonet, worked as an accountant. However, for a decade he served in the political machine of President Porfirio Díaz, becoming the jefe político and police administrator of San Andrés Chilchicomula. With the ouster of Díaz by revolutionary forces in May 1911 at the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution, he lost his bureaucratic post in the regime change. Subsequently, the family's financial situation was insecure, and Díaz Ordaz's father took a number of jobs and the family frequently moved.[4] He claimed ancestry with conqueror-chronicler Bernal Díaz del Castillo.[5] Gustavo's mother, Sabina Bolaños Cacho de Díaz Ordaz, was a school teacher, described as "stern and pious." Gustavo, as well as his older brother Rámon, had a weak chin and large protruding teeth and was skinny. "His mother would freely say to anyone, 'But what an ugly son I have!'"[6] His lack of good looks became a way to mock him when he became president of Mexico.

When the family lived for a time in Oaxaca, young Díaz Ordaz attended the Institute of Arts and Sciences, whose alumni included Benito Juárez and Porfirio Díaz. He was a serious student, but due to his family's financial circumstances, he could not always buy the textbooks he needed. At one point, the family lived as a charity case with a maternal uncle in Oaxaca, who was a Oaxaca state official. The family had to absent themselves when powerful visitors came to the residence. While Gustavo attended the institute, his older brother Ramón taught there after studies in Spain, teaching Latin. A student mocked Professor Ramón Díaz Ordaz's ugliness, and Gustavo defended his brother with physical force.[7] Díaz Ordaz graduated from the University of Puebla on 8 February 1937 with a law degree. He became a professor at the university and served as vice-rector from 1940 to 1941.

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