Notorious Graduates from Mexico Print
For a summary of the most notorious graduates from Mexico click here


Name: General Juan Lopez Ortiz 
Country: Mexico
Dates/courses: 1959, Infantry Arms; 1959, Infantry Tactics
Info: Ocosingo Massacre, 1994: Troops under his command massacred five persons in the Ocosingo market; the prisoners’ hands were tied behind their backs before the soldiers shot them in the back of the head (Covert Action Quarterly)

Name: Mayor Miguel Leyva Garcia 
Country: Mexico
Dates/courses: 15 Mar. – 17 Dec. 1971
Info: Leyva Garcia was complicit (together with Gastón Menchaca Arias, having attended an Irregular Warfare Operations Course at the SOA) in the actions against the EZLN revolt in Chiapas in January, 1994. Leyva Garcia also became “famous” in human rights violation reports in the state of Guerrero as a military commander in the action against the Ejercito Popular Revolucionario.

Name: (retired) Lieutenant Coronel Julian Leyzaola Pérez
Country: Mexico
Dates/courses: 1997, Administration of resources
Info: As Ciudad Juarez chief of police, this graduate of the SOA has been accused by the UNHCR of arbitrary detention, excessive violence and torture.

Name: Jose Ruben Rivas Pena
Country: Mexico
Dates/courses: 1980, Comando y Estado Mayor 
Info: Called for the formation of paramilitary groups: Rivas Pena wrote the army’s “Campaign Plan Chiapas 94” which calls for the “training and support for self-defense forces or other paramilitary organizations.” (NACLA Report on the Americas). Rivas Pena is also credited with saying: “The Vatican is the indirect cause of the conflict in Chiapas, which is directly sponsored by a contaminated current of Liberation Theology.” (Nuevo Amanecer Press)

Name: COL Augusto Moises Garcia Ochoa
Dates/Courses:1977, Jungle Operations
Suspected drug-trafficking, 1997: Listed by a leading Mexican news magazine as one of the 32 Mexican officers under investigation in drug trafficking (Proceso).

Name: TCL Rene Herrera Huizar
Dates/Courses: 1980, Operaciones de Patrulla
Suspected drug-trafficking, 1997: Listed by a leading Mexican news magazine as one of 32 Mexican military officers under investigation by the Mexican government for suspected ties to drug-trafficking (Proceso).

Name: GEN Luis Montiel Lopez
Dates/Courses: 1962, Counterinsurgency
Intimidation of human rights activists, 1992: Forces under Gen. Montiel's command falsely accused human rights activists in Chihuahua of "aiding drug traffickers" in an attempt to intimidate them.
(Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights: Civilians at Risk: Military and Police Abuses in the Mexican Countryside)

Name: GEN Fernan Perez Casanova
Dates/Courses: 1962, CIO Contrainsurreccion
Suspected drug-trafficking, 1997: Listed by a leading Mexican news magazine as one of 32 officers under investigation by the Mexican government for suspected ties to drug-trafficking (Proceso).

Mexican graduates of the School of the Americas have played a key role in the “low-intensity conflict” in the States of Chiapas, Guerrero, and Oaxaca. (Nuevo Amanecer Press and Covert Action Quarterly). 

At least 13 top military officials involved in the conflict were SOA grads, including:

Col. Harold B. Rambling Torres (1972 – irrefular Warfare Ops. O-6), Brig. Gen. Carmelo Teheran Montero (1972, Military Intelligence 0-11) Col. Jose Luis Ruvalcaba  (1975 Jungle Operations OE -8), Brig. Gen. Carlos Demetrio Gaytan Ochoa (1981, Administracion/Recursos 0-17), Col. German Antonio Bautista (1994, Curso de Comando y Estado mayor para Oficiales 0-3), Capitan 1 Gaston Menchaca Arias (1971, Operaciones de Guerra Irregular 0-6),  Mayor Miguel Leyva Garcia (1971), Mayor Enrique Alonso Garrido (Nov. 1981, Administracion/Recursos 0-17), TCNEL Manuel Garcia Ruiz (1980, Operaciones Conjuntas – America Latina 0-16), TCNEL Adrian Maldonado Ramirez (1978, Operaciones Conjuntas 0 – 16, 1979, Operaciones Conjuntas – America Latina 0 – 16), Coronel Edmundo Elpidio Leyva Galindo  (1978, Operaciones Conjuntas 0 -16, 1979, Operaciones Conjuntas – America Latina 0 -16), Renato Garcia Gonzalez, TCNEL Jose Ruben Rivas Pena (see above)

More documentation here:

Zetas: An October 22, 2003 article in The Brownsville Herald (TX) reported that the notorious Gulf Drug Cartel hired 31 ex-Mexican soldiers to be part of its hired assassin force, The Zetas. According to the Mexican secretary of defense, at least 1/3 of these deserters were trained at the SOA as part of the elite Special Air Mobile Force Group. Their highly specialized and dangerous weapons, training, and intelligence capabilities are now being used to increase the availability of the drugs and terrorize the region. The Mexican attorney general’s office implicates them in dozens of shootouts, kidnappings and executions of police officers.