The Tragic End of Vicente Fernández’s Best Friend and Producer

Federico Méndez was a renowned music producer and composer who worked with some of the most famous singers in Latin America, such as Vicente Fernández, José José, and Rocío Dúrcal. He was also a close friend of Vicente Fernández, the legendary Mexican singer and actor known as “El Rey” (The King) of ranchera music. However, his life was cut short in a mysterious and tragic way in 1988, leaving behind many questions and speculations about his death.

Who was Federico Méndez?

Federico Méndez was born in Mexico City in 1944. He started his musical career as a singer and guitarist in various bands, such as Los Rebeldes del Rock and Los Hooligans. He also composed songs for other artists, such as “De qué manera te olvido”, which became a hit for Vicente Fernández in 1985. He was a talented and versatile musician who could play various instruments, such as piano, accordion, and saxophone.

He became a successful producer and director of the CBS record label in Mexico, where he worked with some of the most popular singers of the time, such as José José, Rocío Dúrcal, Emmanuel, and Yuri. He was also responsible for launching the careers of new talents, such as Lucero, Luis Miguel, and Alejandro Fernández, the son of Vicente Fernández.

He had a close friendship with Vicente Fernández, whom he met in 1976. They collaborated on several albums and songs, such as “Volver, volver”, “El Rey”, and “Mujeres divinas”. They also shared personal and professional experiences, such as traveling, touring, and celebrating. They were like brothers, according to Vicente Fernández, who considered him his best friend and confidant.

How did Federico Méndez die?

Federico Méndez died on November 16, 1988, at the age of 44. He was found dead in his office at the CBS record label in Naucalpan, State of Mexico. He had a gunshot wound to his head and a revolver in his hand. The official version was that he committed suicide, but there were many doubts and contradictions about this hypothesis.

According to some sources, Federico Méndez was depressed and stressed by his work and personal problems. He had recently divorced his wife and was facing financial difficulties. He also had health issues, such as diabetes and hypertension. He was allegedly taking antidepressants and sleeping pills, which could have affected his mental state.

However, according to other sources, Federico Méndez was happy and optimistic. He had a new girlfriend and was planning to marry her. He was also looking forward to the wedding of his daughter, which was scheduled for December 10, 1988. He had no reason to kill himself, according to his family and friends, who denied that he was suicidal or depressed.

There were also some inconsistencies and irregularities in the investigation of his death. For example, the gun that was found in his hand was not registered in his name, but in the name of a former employee of the record label. The bullet that killed him was not found in the scene, but in a nearby trash can. The autopsy report was not conclusive and did not specify the exact time or cause of death. The police did not interview any witnesses or suspects, and closed the case quickly.

Some people suspected that Federico Méndez was murdered by someone who wanted to harm him or his friend Vicente Fernández. There were rumors that he had enemies in the music industry, who were jealous or envious of his success and influence. There were also speculations that he was involved in some illegal or shady activities, such as drug trafficking or money laundering, and that he was killed by a rival or a creditor.

However, none of these theories were ever proven or confirmed. The truth about Federico Méndez’s death remains unknown and unsolved to this day.

How did Vicente Fernández react to Federico Méndez’s death?

Vicente Fernández was devastated by the death of his best friend and producer. He was one of the first people to arrive at the scene, where he broke down in tears and hugged the body of Federico Méndez. He later said that he felt like he had lost a brother and a part of his soul.

He dedicated several songs and tributes to Federico Méndez, such as “Amigo mío”, “Te voy a extrañar”, and “Recordando a los amigos”. He also named one of his sons after him, Federico Fernández. He never believed that Federico Méndez committed suicide, and always hoped that justice would be done.

He said in an interview in 2016: “I still don’t know what happened to him. I don’t know if he killed himself or if someone killed him. I don’t know if it was an accident or a crime. I don’t know anything. But I do know that he was my friend, my brother, and my partner.


Federico Méndez was a talented and influential music producer and composer, who worked with some of the most famous singers in Latin America. He was also a loyal and faithful friend of Vicente Fernández, the legendary Mexican singer and actor. His death in 1988 was a shock and a mystery, that left many questions and doubts. His legacy and memory live on in his songs and in the hearts of his family and friends.