On January 16, 1950, political violence in the United States of Mexico continued to mount, as more protests against the election of Admiral Paul Suarez took place around the country, leading to more deaths, injuries, and property damage. As the U.S.M. drew closer to a state of anarchy, Colonel Vincent Mercator, the commander of the Guadalajara garrison, took it upon himself to declare martial law in his district, essentially setting himself up as dictator of western Chiapas. Other garrison commanders elsewhere in the U.S.M. followed suit.