MEXICO CITY – Mexican former federal interior secretary and ex-university president Jorge Carpizo McGregor died as a result of complications from a hernia operation, university officials confirmed. He was 67.
In addition to his academic positions, Carpizo served a stint as attorney general and in 1994 – amid the crisis surrounding the Zapatista National Liberation Army’s short-lived uprising in the southern state of Chiapas – then-President Carlos Salinas appointed him interior secretary, Mexico’s second-most-powerful official after the head of state.
Carpizo, who would have turned 68 on Monday, died Friday around 3:00 p.m. at Mexico City’s Medica Sur hospital after complications stemming from the surgery, the officials said.
In 1986 and 1987, he served as president of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, or UNAM, and later became a Supreme Court justice and then national ombud.
Carpizo, who earned a doctorate in law from UNAM, held various political posts beginning in 1993, including attorney general, interior secretary and Mexico’s ambassador to France.
President Felipe Calderon issued a statement lamenting Carpizo’s death, saying he was an “outstanding politician, jurist and academic” and praising his work as a top government official and president of UNAM.
Julian Andrade, a political and legal expert and one of the persons closest to Carpizo’s family, said in a radio interview that Mexico has lost “one of its greatest intellectuals.”
“A great person, someone whom you were learning from at all times. Every conversation could be like a class on Mexican politics, but also on academia, theater, cinema, a very powerful intellectual in every sense of the word,” Andrade told Radio Formula.