José María de Tornel y Mendívil (1795–1853) was a 19th century Mexican army general and politician who greatly influenced the career of President Antonio López de Santa Anna.
José Maria Tornel y Mendívil was born March 1, 1795 in the town of Orziba, Veracruz, New Spain (Mexico) to Julian Tornel, a prominent shopkeeper, and Manuela Jacinta Bernarda Mendívil Vidal.
Tornel was prominent among the "santanistas," a group of politicians and officials who helped Santa Anna return to power frequently, despite defeats in the 1836 Texas Revolution and the 1846–48 Mexican-American War. Tornel advocated a federalist agenda in the 1820s. During that time, Tornel and Mendivil became Mexico's first president Guadalupe Victoria right arm. Victoria named Tornel the Mexican ambassador to the United States. His mission was to inform Victoria on Americans' ambitions to take Texas. Thanks to that collaboration, Victoria's government came victorious in the Fredonian Rebellion. Although Tornel supported federalism during the Victoria presidency, he changed his political views to support Santa Anna's reactionary dictatorship in the 1850s. He helped orchestrate the Plan of Cuernavaca revolt in 1834.