Antonio Rodolfo Quinn Oaxaca (April 21, 1915 - June 3, 2001), often times simply referred to as "El Jefe" was the President of Mexico from 1969 until his death in 2001. Criticized by many as a ruthless dictator, Oaxaca authorized the executions of over 100,000 "criminals" and political rivals throughout his time as president and exiled thousands more; however, it was in large part due to El Jefe's numerous government and economic reforms that Mexico was able to re-establish itself as a world power militarily, economically, and arguably socially in the latter part of the 20th century.
Despite numerous assassination attempts and a C.S.A. sponsored invasion aimed to remove him from office, Oxaca's 32 years as President made him the longest serving Mexican leader since Maximilian I, and one of the most important world leaders of the 20th century.
Rise to Power
Oaxaca served as Vice President of Mexico until the assassination of former president Jose Lopez Portillo, in February 1969. Being an election year it was assumed that elections would continue as planned; however, shortly after taking office Oaxaca announced that he was postponing the elections until President Portillo's killers were brought to justice. Immediately, tempers flared and soon a bitter power struggle erupted between Oaxaca and Liberty Party leader Gustavo Diaz Ordaz; however, the struggle was short-lived, as it was in early September that year that Ordaz was mysteriously found dead at his home in Mexico City. Although the cause of death was officially ruled as a heart attack, many citizens were outraged and thousands began to riot in the capital. The rioting eventually turned into a massacre that resulted in the deaths of over 150 men, women, and children with over a thousand more seriously injured. It was at this time that Oaxaca proclaimed himself president indefinitely. Over time, whether out of fear or admiration he would gain the respect of the people and serve as president for over three decades.