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Federico Valdés Martínez, mayor of Tijuana from 1986-1989, died Saturday at age 72. Valdés, who had diabetes and had to have a leg amputated a number of years ago, had suffered a respiratory stoppage more than two weeks ago. A member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, he was followed by the first National Action Party mayor of Tijuana, Carlos Montejo.
Saturday's early morning arrest of former Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon meant that Valdés' death appeared below the fold of the front page of El Mexicano. In the tabloid format Frontera, a photo referred readers to his obituary on Page 18. Hank Rhon and his Caliente group did place a quarter-page esquela ad expressing sympathy for Valdés' death, as is the custom in Mexico. Hank was the first PRI mayor of Tijuana (2004-2007) since Valdés left office.
Valdés had a warm sense of humor and was a big sports fan. During his term, the 100th anniversary of Tijuana was celebrated on July 11, 1989.
He is survived by his wife, Carmen Aída Palazuelos de Valdés, and his children, Ada Gabriela Valdés Palazuelos and Federico Valdés Palazuelos.