Hodge Podge

The Mysterious (Faked?) Death of Mexican Superstar Pedro Infante

Pedro Infante was a renowned Mexican actor, singer, and cultural icon who rose to prominence during the Golden Age of Mexican cinema in the mid-20th century. Born on November 18, 1917, in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Infante captivated audiences with his charismatic performances in over 60 films, earning him the title of “The Idol of Mexico.” His versatile talent extended beyond acting to music, where he became one of the most beloved singers of ranchera, bolero, and mariachi music genres, introducing those uniquely Mexican sounds to the rest of the world. Infante’s contributions to Mexican culture are immense, as he remains an enduring symbol of Mexican cinema and music, revered for his authenticity, charm, and enduring legacy even decades after his tragic death in a plane crash on April 15, 1957. There are those who claim that Pedro Infante really didn’t die that tragic day in 1957 or that his death was not due to the official reason cited, engine failure of his plane. Some of the theories regarding this mysterious death involve the Mexican government, drug traffickers, important members of Mexican society and even UFOs and intelligence agencies.  What does the actual evidence show?

Infante’s passion for aviation, pursued under the alias Captain Cruz, tragically culminated in his alleged demise on the morning of April 15, 1957, after logging nearly 3,000 flight hours. Ironically, the Mexican superstar had previously survived two other plane crashes, one in 1947 and the other in 1949. In one of those crashes, Infante was injured to such a degree that he needed a metal plate implanted into his forehead. The third and fatal crash occurred just five minutes after departing Mérida, Yucatán, bound for Mexico City, in which Infante was serving as co-pilot.  According to the official story, the accident claimed the lives of all three occupants, including Infante, pilot Víctor Manuel Vidal Lorca, and Marcial Bautista, as well as two individuals on the ground. Infante’s death was confirmed by radio personalities, with his charred remains – which were burned beyond recognition – identified by the gold bracelet he wore and further corroborated during the autopsy by the metal plate in his forehead. Investigators settled on “engine failure” as the cause of the crash.

Alternative researchers often cite the unrecognizable state of the body purportedly belonging to Pedro Infante after the plane crash as evidence supporting their claims that he may still be alive. Infante’s grandson, César Augusto, added fuel to the speculation by recounting an alleged incident at the Mérida airport. According to Augusto, and supported by vague eyewitness testimony at the time, armed individuals confronted Infante, informing him that he was no longer Pedro Infante. Subsequently, they reportedly substituted him with a man resembling Infante, taking his distinctive gold bracelet, which played a crucial role in identifying the body post-accident. The metal plate supposedly discovered in the forehead of the burned remains was part of a faked autopsy report, according to some researchers. These claims have contributed to the persistent belief among some that Infante’s death may have been staged.

Much like sightings of Elvis in the United States in the decades after his death, there were multiple sightings of Pedro Infante after his alleged death, including reports that he was an inmate at a prison in the Islas Marias, an Alcatraz-like prison complex off Mexico’s Pacific coast described in Mexico Unexplained episode number 189: https://mexicounexplained.com/islas-marias-the-mexican-alcatraz/ We will look at the possible explanations for this a little later. The biggest allegation of Infante’s surviving the plane crash occurred in 1983 when a singer named Antonio Pedro hit the Mexican music scene, seemingly out of nowhere, and bore a striking resemblance to the deceased superstar Infante.  Antonio Pedro’s fame surged notably when TV Azteca aired a segment showcasing his striking resemblance to Pedro Infante, prompting speculation about his true identity. Despite persistent questioning, Antonio Pedro remained elusive, neither confirming nor denying his connection to Infante, instead deflecting inquiries out of respect. According to his grandson, César Augusto, Antonio’s emergence coincided with the death of Mexican President Miguel Alemán Valdés, whom Pedro Infante was rumored to have antagonized. This fueled existing rumors suggesting Infante’s continued existence, with theories suggesting he may have concealed his identity due to alleged connections to Mexican political figures. The Washington Post further fueled speculation in 1990 with an article titled “The Curious Return of Infante,” drawing parallels between the alleged post-mortem Elvis sightings previously mentioned and supposed sightings of Infante alongside Antonio Pedro, while also reflecting public sentiment attributing Infante’s potential survival to involvement in Mexican politics.  Antonio Pedro passed away on June 22, 2013, in Delicias, Chihuahua, and was laid to rest in the municipal cemetery of Delicias. Following his death, numerous individuals visited Antonio’s grave to pay homage to Pedro Infante. Subsequently, Pedro Infante’s grandson, César Augusto Infante, asserted in various interviews that Pedro Infante had not perished in the plane crash and actually lived until 2013 – dying at age 95 – suggesting that Antonio Pedro was merely a fabricated identity provided by government agents to allow Infante to live incognito. However, a Delicias resident refuted this claim, asserting that Antonio Pedro was not Pedro Infante and provided evidence to support this assertion, further stating that Pedro Infante and Antonio Pedro bore no resemblance and had distinct singing styles.

Let’s for a moment entertain the idea that Pedro Infante did indeed fake his own death. What would be the reason or reasons for doing so? There are several theories:

  1. Smuggling and Drug Trafficking

During his interview, César Augusto Infante mentioned that his grandfather had connections with Mexican drug trafficking organizations, suggesting that Pedro Infante eventually became involved as a smuggler, unknowingly participating in drug trafficking activities for a significant period. He claimed that when Infante became aware of his involvement and attempted to leave, he was confronted with the stark ultimatum of facing either death or imprisonment. According to César, Infante enjoyed various luxuries and much wealth provided by his representatives, including the acquisition of a small plane, which he learned to operate using a simulator. However, Infante became suspicious when customs did not inspect the cargo of his plane, prompting him to personally check it and discover weapons, jewelry, and drugs. Upon confronting his representatives and expressing his desire to leave, he was threatened. According to this theory, the people in charge of the smuggling ring paid off and intimidated Infante’s family, and the superstar was then sent to the Islas Marias prison under an assumed name. In this version, the Infante family kept the secret not only because of the threats from the head of the smuggling ring, but because they were assured that the royalties from Pedro Infante’s songs and movies would continue to flow to them for the rest of their lives. The entertainer resurfaced to live a normal life in mainstream Mexican society away from his family only decades later, still concealing his identity.

  1. Relationships with Women Associated with Powerful Men of Influence

Another theory about Infante’s fake death revolves around his clandestine relationships with famous women. One of these relationships involved Christiane Martel a French actress and glamour model who was 1954’s Miss Universe. Infante met Martel in the early 1950s during a gathering of notable figures at a cultural venue called “San Ángel,” after which they began seeing each other discreetly. According to rumors at the time, Martel became pregnant with Infante’s child, despite being engaged to Miguel Alemán Velasco, the son of former Mexican President Miguel Alemán Valdés. To prevent complications with her planned marriage, Martel allegedly underwent an abortion, after which she proceeded with her union to the president’s son. This scandalous affair, coupled with another involving Spanish actress Sara Montiel and a politician, contributed to the plot against Pedro Infante orchestrated by powerful leaders of the time. Infante knew of the various plans to kill him, so he faked his own death in that plane crash on April 15, 1957.  The ironic part of this theory is that the year that former Mexican President Alemán died – 1983 – is the exact year that the singer Antonio Pedro seemingly came out of nowhere. Some researchers believe that Pedro Infante came out of hiding and assumed the new identity of Antonio Pedro at that time because the coast was clear, and he had no more fear of being killed by the former president or any of his associates who felt threatened by him. Another version of this theory claims that the powerful people whom Pedro Infante had wronged tampered with his plane and his death in the crash was real and not an accident, but a murder.

  1. Links to UFOs and Possible Intelligence Connections

According to some sources close to Pedro Infante, on a handful of occasions the Mexican superstar encountered strange objects in the sky while flying. Infante spoke of glowing orbs following or flying alongside his plane and claimed that one of his three accidents involved a mid-air incident with one of the unidentified aerial phenomena. According to this theory, Infante was going to go public with information about the UFOs he had encountered, and since this was the early 1950s, certain interested parties from the United States and higher-ups in the Mexican government wanted him silenced. A more extreme version of this story is that Infante, through his own influential connections, somehow found out the truth about UFOs and was going to have a press conference telling everyone what he uncovered, along with providing photographic proof of what he had experienced in the air with the mysterious orbs. Being well-connected, Infante learned about the plot to kill him before he was about to go public and faked his own death to avoid assassination by government intelligence agencies and other vested interests. A fringe group of researchers looking into Infante’s UFO disclosure connections claims that Infante was not threatened into faking his own death by unseen powerful forces but was rather coopted by them because of his deep knowledge and exposure to the UFO phenomenon. So, in this fringe theory, Infante’s death was faked by the agencies that he would then start working for and the entertainer lived a long life afterwards under the protection of these agencies. No evidence has been brought forth to substantiate any such intelligence connections and this extreme theory remains relegated to the realms of urban legends and internet lore, but it is worth mentioning here because of the off chance that there could be some truth to it.

So, what really happened to Mexican superstar Pedro Infante? Did he fake his own death? Did powerful forces fake his death for him? Was he murdered? It seems like there are more questions than answers in this bizarre story.


Cortez, Eleazar. “¿Murió Pedro Infante en 1957? Conoce la leyenda de Antonio Pedro.” El Horizonte, 15 Apr 2020.

Ellison, Katherine. “The Curious Return of Pedro Infante.” The Washington Post, 26 May 1990.

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