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José de León TORAL





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Roman Catholic militant
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: July 17, 1928
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: December 23, 1900
Victim profile: General Álvaro Obregón, president elect of Mexico
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: San Angel, Mexico
Status: Executed by firing squad in February 9, 1929

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José de León Toral (Matehuala, 23 December 1900 - Mexico City, 9 February 1929) was a Roman Catholic militant who assassinated general Álvaro Obregón, president elect of Mexico in 1928.

León Toral was born in a family of Catholic miners in the state of San Luis Potosí. León Toral moved to Mexico City during the Mexican Revolution, and witnessed the then constitutionalist general Obregón closing churches and arresting priests who were suspected of collaboration with the dictator Victoriano Huerta.

In 1920 he joined the League for the Defense of Religious Freedom which opposed the governments of Obregón (1920-1924) and Plutarco Elías Calles and reportedly was also involved in the Cristero movement.

In 1927 two of his friends Humberto and Miguel Pro were executed after having been convicted (possibily wrongly) of plotting to assassinate Obregón. Because of this, and having been incited by a Catholic nun, Concepción Acevedo de la Llata (La Madre Conchita), León Toral decided he should murder Obregón.

On 17 July 1928, two weeks after Obregón had been elected president, León Toral entered La Bombilla, a restaurant in San Ángel during a banquet organized to honor general Obregón, disguised as a caricaturist.

León Toral made a caricature of Obregón and Aarón Saénz, and showed it to Obregón, who told him the drawing had good likeness and suggested he continue. After Obregón turned around to sit down, León Toral suddenly drew a gun and shot him five of six times in the back, who died immediately.

León was arrested immediately and pleaded guilty, claiming he killed Obregón in order to facilitate the establishment of the Kingdom of Christ. Madre Conchita was also arrested and reveived a 30 year prison sentence.

León Toral was sentenced to death and executed by firing squad in February 1929. His last words were ¡Viva Cristo Rey! (Long Live Christ the King!), the battle cry of the Cristeros.



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