Joaquin Hernandez Galicia, the once-feared boss of Mexico’s powerful oil workers union, died Monday at age 91, his sons said. Hernandez died after spending several days in a hospital in the northern city of Tampico for stomach problems, said his son Juan Manuel Hernandez Correa.
Hernandez spent nearly nine years in prison after troops stormed his home and arrested him on manslaughter and weapons charges in 1989 in what the government described as a crackdown on corruption. Hernandez was an old-style labor leader who became one of Mexico’s most powerful and wealthiest men through patronage and strong-arm tactics.But he ran afoul of newly elected President Carlos Salinas de Gortari. Hernandez’s arrest was seen as bolstering the new president’s power, but Amnesty International considered him a political prisoner.