Early on the morning of January 18, 1950, Colonel Vincent Mercator, the commander of the Guadalajara garrison, arrived in Mexico City for a meeting with ten other garrison commanders about the growing political crisis in the United States of Mexico. When Mercator and the others emerged, they announced that it would be impossible to allow the inauguration of President-elect Paul Suarez the next day, since such an action would provoke civil war.
Mercator then proclaimed a "provisional government not of politicians, but of those whom the politicians have betrayed." Within an hour, Suarez had been taken into "protective custody," while incumbent President Alvin Silva was arrested for "crimes against the republic." That evening, Mercator announced the formation of his provisional government, which would be led by Field Marshal Felix Garcia, and in which Mercator himself would serve as Secretary of War.