After a military career under President Porfirio Díaz, Huerta became a high-ranking officer under pro-democracy President Francisco I. Madero during the first phase of the Mexican Revolution. In 1913 Huerta led a conspiracy against Madero, who entrusted him to control a minor revolt in Mexico City, deposing and assassinating Madero, his brother and Vice President Pino Suarez. This maneuver is called La Decena Tragica, the Ten Tragic Days. The Huerta regime was immediately opposed by revolutionary forces, plunging the nation into a civil war. He was forced to resign and flee the country in 1914, only 17 months into his presidency, after the federal army collapsed. While attempting to intrigue with German spies in the US during World War I, Huerta was arrested in 1915 and died in U.S. custody.
His supporters were known as Huertistas during the Mexican Revolution. He is still vilified by modern-day Mexicans, who generally refer to him as El Chacal ("The Jackal") or El Usurpador ("The Usurper").
|35th President of Mexico|
19 February 1913 – 15 July 1914
|Preceded by||Pedro Lascuráin|
|Succeeded by||Francisco S. Carvajal|
|Secretary of the Interior|
19 February 1913
|Preceded by||Pedro Lascuráin|
|Succeeded by||Alberto García Granados|
|Born||22 December 1850|
Agua Gorda, Colotlán, Jalisco, Mexico
|Died||13 January 1916 (aged 65)|
El Paso, Texas, U.S.
|Resting place||Evergreen Cemetery (El Paso, Texas)|
|Years of service||1877-1907|
Victoriano Huerta was born in the settlement of Agua Gorda within the municipality of Colotlán, Jalisco, son of Jesús Huerta and María Lázara del Refugio Márquez. He identified himself as indigenous, and both his parents are reported to have been ethnically Huichol, although his father is said to have been Mestizo. Huerta learned to read and write at a school run by the local priest, making him one of the relatively few literate people in Colotlán. He had decided upon a military career early on as the only way of escaping the poverty of Colotlán. In 1869 he was employed by visiting Gen. Donato Guerra to serve as his personal secretary. In that role he distinguished himself and, with Gen. Guerra's support, gained admission to the Mexican National Military Academy (Heroico Colegio Militar) at Chapultepec in Mexico City in 1872. As a cadet, Huerta excelled at math, leading him to specialize in artillery and topography. President Benito Juárez praised Cadet Huerta when inspecting the Academy, noting that the army needed officers of indigenous origins.
|A graphical timeline is available at|
Timeline of the Mexican Revolution
Upon graduating from the military academy in 1877, Huerta was commissioned into the Corps of Engineers. After entering the army as a lieutenant in the engineers in 1877, he was put in charge of improving the Loreto and Guadalupe forts in Puebla and the castle of Perote in Veracruz. In January 1879 he was promoted to captain and assigned to the staff of the 4th Division in Guadalajara, in charge of engineering. The commander of the 4th Division was Gen. Manual González, a close associate of President Porfirio Díaz, the dictator of Mexico. In 1880 Díaz stepped back from the limelight, turning over the presidency to González before returning to office in 1884. In the interim, Huerta's career prospered thanks to the patronage of González. He married Emilia Águila Moya, whom he met in Veracruz, on 21 November 1880 in Mexico City. They eventually had a total of 11 children. The names of his children surviving him in 1916 were Jorge, María Elisa, Victor, Luz, Elena, Dagoberto, Eva and Celia. Huerta participated in the "pacification campaigns" in Tepic and Sinaloa, where he distinguished himself in combat. He was known for ensuring that his men always got paid, often resorting to finding the money in ruthless ways. Following a complaint from the Catholic Church that Huerta had plundered a church to sell off its gold and silver to pay his men, Huerta justified his actions on the grounds that "Mexico can do without her priests, but cannot do without her soldiers". On another occasion, following a complaint from a bank that he emptied out one of its branches at gunpoint to get money to pay his men, Huerta pointed out he left a receipt and would pay back the bank what he had stolen when he received the necessary funds from Mexico City. Huerta then spent nine years of his military career undertaking topographic studies in the states of Puebla and Veracruz. He traveled extensively to all parts of Mexico in this position. French cultural influence was very strong in 19th-century Mexico, and Huerta's hero was Napoleon. He supported Gen. Díaz as the closest approximation to his Napoleonic ideal, believing that Mexico needed a "strongman" to prosper.
By 1890 Huerta had reached the rank of Colonel of Engineers, under the administration of Porfirio Díaz. From 1890-95 Huerta lived in Mexico City, becoming a regular visitor to the Chapultepec Castle, and was seen as part of Díaz's "court". Through Huerta was well liked at the Chapultepec Castle, acquiring the persona of a trim, efficient officer who was stern to his subordinates while displaying a courtly, polished manner towards his superiors, he began to suffer from severe insomnia and began drinking heavily during this time. In January 1895 he commanded a battalion of infantry against a rebellion in Guerrero led by Gen. Canuto Neri. The rebellion was ended when Díaz brokered a deal with Neri, who surrendered in exchange for a promise to remove the unpopular state governor. Huerta confirmed his reputation for ruthlessness by refusing to take prisoners and continuing to attack the followers of Neri even after Díaz had signed a ceasefire. In December 1900 Huerta commanded a successful military campaign against Yaqui Indians in Sonora. During the near-genocidal campaign against the Yaqui, Huerta was more concerned with mapping out the terrain of Sonora, but at times he commanded forces in the field against the Yaqui. From 12 April-8 September 1901 Huerta put down a rebellion in Guerrero, completely "pacifying" the state. In May 1901 he was promoted to the rank of general. In 1901-02 he suppressed a Maya peoples' rising in Yucatán. He commanded about 500 men in his campaign against the Maya Indians, starting in October 1901, and fought 79 different actions over the course of 39 days. Huerta was then promoted to Brigadier General and awarded the Medal of Military Merit  In May 1902 he was promoted commander of federal army forces in the Yucatán, and in October 1902 he reported to Díaz that he had "pacified" the Yucatán. During the campaign in the Yucatán he became more and more dependent on alcohol to continue functioning. His health began to decline, and perhaps because of his heavy drinking he complained he could not go outside in the sunshine without wearing sunglasses, and he suffered bouts of uncontrollable nervous shaking. His decaying teeth caused him much pain. In 1905 he was appointed to head a committee tasked with reforming the uniforms of the federal army. In 1907 he retired from the army on grounds of ill health, having developed cataracts while serving in the southern jungles. He then applied his technical training by taking up the position of Head of Public Works in Monterrey and planning a new street layout for the city.
On the eve of the 1910 Revolution against the long-established Díaz regime, Huerta was teaching mathematics in Mexico City. He applied successfully to rejoin the army with his former rank and got in. He did not play a major role in the early stages of the Revolution, although he commanded the military escort that gave Díaz safe conduct into exile. Huerta initially pledged allegiance to the new administration of Francisco Madero, and was retained by Madero to crush anti-Madero revolts by rebel generals such as Pascual Orozco. However, Huerta secretly plotted with United States Ambassador to Mexico Henry Lane Wilson, cashiered Gen. Bernardo Reyes and Félix Díaz, Porfirio Díaz's nephew, to overthrow Madero. This episode in Mexican history is known as La decena trágica (Ten Tragic Days). Following a confused few days of fighting in Mexico City between loyalist and rebel factions of the army, Huerta had Madero and vice-president José María Pino Suárez seized and briefly imprisoned on 18 February 1913 in the National Palace. The conspirators then met at the US Embassy to sign El Pacto de la Embajada (The Embassy Pact), which provided for the exile of Madero and Pino Suárez and Huerta's takeover of the Mexican government.
To give the coup the appearance of legitimacy, Huerta had foreign minister Pedro Lascuráin assume the presidency; under the 1857 Constitution of Mexico, the foreign minister stood third in line for the presidency behind the Vice President and Attorney General; Madero's attorney general had also been ousted in the coup. Lascuráin then appointed Huerta as interior minister--constitutionally, fourth in line for the presidency. After less than an hour in office (some sources say as little as 15 minutes), Lascuráin resigned, handing the presidency to Huerta. At a late-night special session of Congress surrounded by Huerta's troops, the legislators endorsed his assumption of power. Four days later Madero and Pino Suárez were taken from the National Palace to prison at night and shot by officers of the rurales (federal mounted police), who were assumed to be acting on Huerta's orders.
British historian Alan Knight wrote about Huerta: "The consistent thread which ran through the Huerta regime, from start to finish, was militarisation: the growth and reliance on the Federal Army, the military takeover of public offices, the preference for military over political solutions, the militarisation of society in general". Even a sympathetic historian wrote that Huerta "came very close to converting Mexico into the most completely militaristic state in the world." Huerta's stated goal was a return to the "order" of the Porfiriato, but his methods were unlike those of Diaz, who had shown a talent for compromise and diplomacy, seeking support from and playing off regional elites, using not only army officers but also technocrats, former guerrilla leaders, caciques and provincial elites to support his regime. By contrast, Huerta relied entirely upon the army for support, giving officers all of the key jobs, regardless of their talents, as Huerta sought to rule with La Mano Dura ("The Iron Hand"), believing only in military solutions to all problems. For this reason, Huerta during his short time as President was the object of far more hatred than Diaz ever was; even the Zapatistas had a certain respect for Diaz as a patriarchal leader who had enough sense to finally leave with dignity in 1911, whereas Huerta was detested as a stupid, thuggish soldier who had Madero murdered and sought to terrorize the nation into submission. Huerta disliked cabinet meetings, ordered his ministers about as if they were NCOs and displayed in general a highly autocratic style. Felix Diaz and the rest of the conservative leaders had seen Huerta as a transitional leader and pressed for early elections, which they expected to be won by Diaz on a Catholic conservative platform, and were rudely surprised when they discovered Huerta wanted to keep the presidency for himself. The Huerta government was promptly recognized by all the European governments, but the outgoing US administration of William Howard Taft refused to recognize the new government, as a way of pressuring Mexico to end the Chamizal border dispute in favor of the US, with the plan being to trade recognition for settling the dispute on American terms. New American president Woodrow Wilson had a general bias in favor of liberal democracy and had some distaste for Gen. Huerta, but was initially open to recognizing Huerta provided that he could "win" an election that would give him a democratic veneer. However, Wilson, an ardent white supremacist, was annoyed at how the "iron fist" policies of Huerta were destabilizing Mexico and causing Mexicans to flee into the US.
Huerta moved quickly to consolidate power with the support of state governors. Chihuahua Gov. Abraham González refused and Huerta had him arrested and murdered in March 1913. The most important challenge from a state governor was by Venustiano Carranza, governor of Coahuila, who drafted the Plan of Guadalupe, calling for the creation of a Constitutionalist Army to oust Huerta and restore constitutional government. Supporters of Carranza's plan included Emiliano Zapata, who nonetheless remained loyal to his own Plan de Ayala; Francisco "Pancho" Villa; and Álvaro Obregón. However, former revolutionary Gen. Pascual Orozco, whom Huerta fought when serving President Madero, now joined with Huerta as a counter-revolutionary. Four Deputies were executed over the summer of 1913 for criticizing the Huerta regime. One deputy was arrested by Mexico City police as he was delivering a speech denouncing Huerta at a rally and taken out to the countryside, where he was "shot while trying to escape". Lacking popular legitimacy, Huerta chose to turn the refusal of the US to recognize his government as an example of American "interference" in Mexico's internal affairs, organizing anti-American demonstrations in the summer of 1913 with the hope of gaining some popular support.
Huerta established a harsh military dictatorship. U.S. President Woodrow Wilson became hostile to the Huerta administration, recalled ambassador Henry Lane Wilson and demanded Huerta step aside for democratic elections. In August 1913 Wilson imposed an arms embargo on Mexico, forcing Huerta to turn to Europe and Japan to buy arms. Reflecting the general disenchantment with Huerta's "iron hand" policies, a prominent conservative, Sen. Belisario Domínguez of Chiapas, handed out copies of a speech he did not dare to deliver in the Senate, accusing Huerta of starting the civil war which he was losing, of wanting "to cover the land with corpses . . . rather than abandon power" and called for Congress to impeach Huerta before Mexico was plunged into the abyss. Domínguez knew he was risking his life by speaking out and sent his wife and children out of Mexico before handing out copies of his speech. Domínguez was arrested by two policemen plus Huerta's son and son-in-law, taken to a cemetery where he was "shot while trying to escape" for speaking out against the President. His body was dumped into the grave that his killers had already dug for him. On 10 October 1913, when Congress announced it was opening an investigation of the disappearance of Sen. Domínguez, who had last been seen several days before being forced into a police car, Huerta sent his soldiers in to shut down Congress in session and arrested 110 Senators and Deputies, of whom 74 were charged with high treason and put to work building a bullfighting arena.
The federal army Huerta took over in February 1913 numbered between 45,000-50,000 men and, due to the civil war he was losing, Huerta continued to increase the strength of the army, issuing a degree for conscripting 150,000 men in October 1913, another degree for conscripting 200,000 men in January 1914 and a quarter of million men in March 1914, through these figures were never achieved as many men fled to fight for the Constitutionalists rather than Huerta. Together with an increase in the number of the paramilitary rurales police force and the state militias, Huerta had approximately 300,000 men, or about 4% of the population, fighting for him by early 1914. As no one wanted to fight for Huerta, he had to resort to the leva, as vagrants, criminals, captured rebels, political prisoners and sometimes just men on the streets were rounded up to serve in the Federal Army. In Veracruz workers getting off the night shift at factories were rounded up in a leva, while in Mexico City poor men going to hospitals were rounded up in the leva. As Indians were felt to be particularly docile and submissive to whites, the leva was applied especially heavily in the southern Mexico, where the majority of the people were Indians. Thousands of Juchiteco and Maya Indians were rounded up to fight a war in the north of Mexico that they felt did not concern them. A visitor to Mérida in the Yucatán wrote of "heart-breaking" scenes as hundreds of Maya Indians said goodbye to their wives as they were forced to board a train while in chains.
As the men rounded up in the leva proved to be poor soldiers, prone to desertion and mutiny, Huerta had to follow a defensive strategy of keeping the army concentrated in large towns, since his soldiers in the field would either desert or go over to the rebels. Throughout the civil war of 1913-14 the Constitutionalists fought with a ferocity and courage that the federal army never managed. In the Yucatán about 70% of the army were men conscripted from the prisons, while one "volunteer" battalion consisted of captured Yaqui Indians. In October 1913, in the town of Tlalnepantla, the army's 9th Regiment, which was said to have been "crazed with alcohol and marijuana", mutinied, murdered their officers and went over to the rebels. To provide volunteers, Huerta turned to Mexican nationalism and anti-Americanism in the fall of 1913, running spurious stories in the press warning of an imminent American invasion and asking for patriotic men to step up to defend Mexico. The patriotic campaign attracted some volunteers from the lower middle class, through they were usually disillusioned when they learned that they were going to fight other Mexicans, not the Americans. In rural Mexico a sense of Mexican nationalism barely existed at this time among the campesinos; Mexico was an abstract entity that meant nothing, and most campesinos were primarily loyal to their own villages, the patria chicas. Huerta's patriotic campaign was a complete failure in the countryside. The other source of volunteers was to allow wealthy landlords to raise private armies under the guise of the state militias, but few peons wanted to fight, let alone die, for Gen. Huerta, as the Constitutionalists were promising land reform.
After the federal army was repeatedly defeated in battle by Obregón and Villa, climaxing in the Battle of Zacatecas, Huerta bowed to internal and external pressure and resigned the presidency on 15 July 1914.
While in the US he negotiated with Capt. Franz von Rintelen of German Navy Intelligence for money to purchase weapons and arrange U-boat landings to provide support, while offering (perhaps as a bargaining chip) to make war on the US, which Germany hoped would end munitions supplies to the Allies. Their meetings, held at the Manhattan Hotel (as well as another New York hotel, "probably the Holland House" at Fifth Avenue and 30th Street), were observed by Secret Servicemen, and von Rintelen's telephone conversations were routinely intercepted and recorded.
Huerta traveled from New York by train to Newman, New Mexico (25 miles from the border), where he was to be met by Gen. Pascual Orozco and some well-armed Mexican supporters. However, a US Army colonel with 25 soldiers and two deputy US marshals intervened and arrested him as he left the train, on a charge of sedition. The German-initiated plan for Huerta to regain the Mexican presidency through a coup d'état was foiled. After some time in a US Army prison at Fort Bliss he was released on bail, but remained under house arrest due to risk of flight to Mexico. A day after, he attended a dinner at Fort Bliss. Later he was returned to jail, and while so confined died, perhaps of cirrhosis of the liver. While the main symptom was yellow jaundice, poisoning by the US was widely suspected.
In the novel The Friends of Pancho Villa (1996), by James Carlos Blake, Huerta is a major character.
Both Victoriano Huerta and Pancho Villa are referenced in the fourth "Indiana Jones movie", Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), when Indiana (Harrison Ford) is recalling events in his childhood to his yet-to-be revealed son (Shia LaBeouf): "It was a fight against Victoriano Huerta". He then spits on the ground to show disgust at the name.
17 - "Temporada de Zopilotes" ( Buzzard's Season) Paco Ignacio Taibo II, Editorial Planeta, 2000 ISBN 978-6070701160. Narrative of the Decena Tragica (The tragic 10 days)
| President of Mexico
19 February 1913 – 15 July 1914
Francisco S. Carvajal
Aureliano Urrutia, Sr. (6 June 1872 – 14 August 1975) was a physician, and the Minister of Interior under Victoriano Huerta in Mexico.Belisario Domínguez
Belisario Domínguez Palencia (April 25, 1863 in Comitán, Chiapas – October 7, 1913 in Mexico City) was a Mexican physician and liberal politician. He served as senator and gave a memorable speech in the Congress during the Mexican Revolution against the dictator Victoriano Huerta, for which he was murdered.
Domínguez was born to Cleofas Domínguez and María del Pilar Palencia. His grandfather, Don Quirino Domínguez y Ulloa, had been vice-governor of Chiapas.
He attended a colegio in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. In 1879 he went to Paris where he studied medicine; he lived in Paris for 10 years. In 1889 he returned to Mexico and in 1890 he married Delina Zebadúa, with whom he had four children. His wife died young.
In 1909, he was elected mayor of Comitán. In 1912, Leopoldo Gout and he ran for a seat in the Senate (Domínguez as substitute senator); when Gout died, Domínguez replaced him. In 1913 he gave a speech in Congress against the dictator Victoriano Huerta and as a result he was murdered in Mexico City by Gilberto Márquez, Alberto Quiroz, José Hernández Ramírez, Gabriel Huerta, and Dr Aureliano Urrutia who chopped off Domínguez's tongue.
The Senate's Belisario Domínguez Medal of Honor and Belisario Domínguez Dam are named after him. His home town was also renamed Comitán de Domínguez in 1915 in his memory.Comitán
Comitán (Spanish ) (formally: Comitán de Domínguez, for Belisario Domínguez) is the fourth-largest city in the Mexican state of Chiapas. It is the seat of government of the municipality of the same name.
It is located in the east-central part of Chiapas, near the border with Guatemala at 16.25°N 92.13°W / 16.25; -92.13. The municipality has an area of 1,043.30 km² (402.82 sq mi). Its largest other community is the town of Villahermosa Yalumá.
The original name given by the local Maya peoples is Balún Canán ("Nine stars"). It was later changed to Comitán de las Flores and, in 1915, to Comitán de Domínguez, after Dr. Belisario Domínguez, who gave a memorable speech in Congress against the dictator Victoriano Huerta for which he was murdered.
Comitán is also a popular tourist destination, mostly for Mexican nationals, though some foreign visitors can also be seen. The town possesses colonial architecture, narrow avenues, and clean streets. The climate is cool most of the year, and can get quite chilly from October to March.Constitutional Army
The Constitutional Army (also known as the Constitutionalist Army) was the army that fought against the Federal Army, and later, against the Villistas and Zapatistas during the Mexican Revolution. It was formed in March 1913 by Venustiano Carranza, so-called "First-Chief" of the army, as a response to the murder of President Francisco I. Madero and Vice President José María Pino Suárez by Victoriano Huerta during La Decena Trágica (Ten Tragic Days) of 1913, and the resulting usurpation of presidential power by Huerta.
Carranza had few military forces on which he could rely for loyalty. He had the theoretical support of Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata, but they soon turned against the Constitutionalists after Huerta's defeat in 1914.
In July 1913, Carranza divided the country into seven areas for military operations. Each area was, at least in theory, the responsibility of a general commanding an Army corps. These corps were: Northeast, Northwest, Central, East, West, South and Southeast. However the last four existed only on paper and in reality the Constitutionalist army was made up of only the Northwest Corps (renamed the Army of Operations) under Álvaro Obregón, the Northeast Corps under Pablo González, and the Central Corps under Pánfilo Natera.
When fighting broke out in 1914 between the Constitutionalists (Carranza, Obregón, etc.) and the Conventionalists (Villa and Zapata) following the Convention of Aguascalientes, the Constitutional Army numbered 57,000 men, to Villa and Zapata's 72,000 men. But as the Constitutionalists grew stronger, Villa and Zapata grew weaker. Eventually the war against the Conventionalists was won after the assassination of Zapata in 1919 and the surrender of Villa in July 1920. By 1917, the main fighting of the civil war between the two factions was over, with some minor revolts by Felicistas (supporters of Félix Díaz, nephew of ousted president Porfirio Díaz). This marked the end of any real resistance to Carranza.
However, when Carranza's autocratic rule was threatened, the threat would come from the Constitutionalist army he had set up. Carranza was assassinated after he tried to have Obregón arrested on false charges (Obregón was put up for election for president, which threatened Carranza and his choice of successor, Ignacio Bonillas) and Obregón, under the Plan of Agua Prieta,
marched on Mexico City with his army. Carranza fled the capital and was killed in the Sierra Norte of Puebla on 21 May 1920.
In 1920, Obregón was elected president, and some other former Constitutionalist generals would eventually become presidents and leading politicians in the years ahead.Edith O'Shaughnessy
Edith O'Shaughnessy (January 31, 1876 - February 18, 1939) was a journalist, biographer, film screenwriter and, as the wife of United States Chargé de Affairs in Mexico, Nelson O'Shaughnessy, during the early years of the Mexican Revolution she was both a witness and a participant in Mexican political affairs during the presidency of Francisco I. Madero and Victoriano Huerta.Eulalio Gutiérrez
Eulalio Gutiérrez Ortiz (February 4, 1881 – August 12, 1939) was a general in the Mexican Revolution from state of Coahuila. He is most notable for his election as provisional president of Mexico during the Aguascalientes Convention and led the country for a few months between November 6, 1914, and January 16, 1915. The Convention was convened by revolutionaries who had successfully ousted the regime of Victoriano Huerta after more than a year of conflict. Gutiérrez rather than "First Chief" (Primer Jefe) Venustiano Carranza was chosen president of Mexico and a new round of violence broke out as revolutionary factions previously united turned against each other. "The high point of Gutiérrez's career occurred when he moved with the Conventionist army to shoulder the responsibilities of his new office [of president]." Gutiérrez's government was weak and he could not control the two main generals of the Army of the Convention, Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata. Gutiérrez moved the capital of his government from Mexico City to San Luis Potosí. He resigned as president and made peace with Carranza. He went into exile in the United States, but later returned to Mexico. He died in 1939, outliving many other major figures of the Mexican Revolution.Federal Army
The Federal Army, also known as the Federales in popular culture, was the military of the Mexican state. Under Porfiriato, the long rule of President Porfirio Díaz, a military hero against the French Intervention in Mexico, the Federal Army was composed of senior officers who had served in long ago conflicts. At the time of the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution most were old men and incapable of leading men on the battlefield. When the rebellions broke out against Díaz following fraudulent elections of 1910, the Federal Army was incapable of responding. Although revolutionary fighters helped bring Francisco I. Madero to power, Madero retained the Federal Army rather than the revolutionaries. Madero used the Federal Army to suppress rebellions against his government by Pascual Orozco and Emiliano Zapata. Madero placed General Victoriano Huerta as interim commander of the military during the Ten Tragic Days of February 1913 to defend his government. Huerta changed sides and ousted Madero's government. Rebellions broke out against Huerta's regime. When revolutionary armies succeeded in ousting Huerta in July 1914, the Federal Army ceased to exist as an entity.Francisco I. Madero
Francisco Ignacio Madero González (Spanish pronunciation: [fɾanˈsisko igˈnasjo maˈðeɾo ɣonˈsales]; 30 October 1873 – 22 February 1913) was a Mexican revolutionary, writer and statesman who served as the 33rd president of Mexico from 1911 until shortly before his assassination in 1913. He was an advocate for social justice and democracy. Madero was notable for challenging Mexican President Porfirio Díaz for the presidency in 1910 and being instrumental in sparking the Mexican Revolution.
Born into an extremely wealthy landowning family in northern Mexico, Madero was an unusual politician, who until he ran for president in the 1910 elections, had never held office. In his 1908 book entitled The Presidential Succession in 1910, Madero called on voters to prevent the sixth reelection of Porfirio Díaz, which Madero considered anti-democratic. His vision would lay the foundation for a democratic, 20th-century Mexico, but without polarizing the social classes. To that effect, he bankrolled the Anti-Reelectionist Party (later the Progressive Constitutional Party) and urged Mexicans to rise up against Díaz, which ignited the Mexican Revolution in 1910.
Madero's candidacy against Díaz garnered widespread support in Mexico, since he was possessed of independent financial means, ideological determination, and the bravery to oppose Díaz when it was dangerous to do so. Arrested by the dictatorship shortly after being declared presidential candidate by his party, the opposition leader escaped from prison and launched the Plan of San Luis Potosí from the United States, in this manner beginning the Mexican Revolution.
Following the resignation of Díaz from the presidency on 25 May 1911 after the signing of the Treaty of Ciudad Juárez, Madero became the highest political leader of the country. Known as "Maderistas", Madero's followers referred to him as the "caudillo de la Revolución" (leader of the Revolution). He was elected president on 15 October 1911 by almost 90% of the vote. Sworn into office on 6 November 1911, he became one of Mexico's youngest elected presidents, having just turned 38. Despite his considerable popularity amongst the people, Madero's administration soon encountered opposition both from more radical revolutionaries and from remnants of the former regime.
In February 1913, a military coup took place in the Mexican capital led by General Victoriano Huerta, the military commander of the city, and supported by the United States ambassador. Madero was arrested and a short time later assassinated along with his Vice-President, José María Pino Suárez, on 22 February 1913, following the series of events known as the Ten Tragic Days (la Decena Trágica). The death of Madero and Pino Suárez led to a national and international outcry which eventually paved the way for the fall of the Huerta Dictatorship, the triumph of the Mexican Revolution and the establishment of the 1917 Constitution of Mexico under Maderista President Venustiano Carranza.Francisco S. Carvajal
Francisco Sebastián Carvajal y Gual (December 9, 1870 – September 20, 1932) was a Mexican lawyer and politician who served briefly as president in 1914. In his role as foreign minister, he succeeded Victoriano Huerta as president upon the latter's resignation.Gustavo A. Madero
Gustavo Adolfo Madero González also known to many as "Ojo Parado" (16 January 1875 – 18 February 1913), born in Parras de la Fuente, Coahuila, Mexico, was a participant in the Mexican Revolution against Porfirio Díaz along with other members of his wealthy family.
Madero's brother, Francisco I. Madero, was president of Mexico from 1911 to 1913. During the coup d'état in Mexico City known as La decena trágica ("the ten tragic days"), Gustavo Madero was killed after being tortured in 1913 by order of Victoriano Huerta and U.S. ambassador Henry Lane Wilson.
A borough in Mexico City is named after Gustavo A. MaderoLiberation Army of the South
The Liberation Army of the South (Spanish: Ejército Libertador del Sur, occasionally abbreviated to ELS) was an armed group formed and led by Emiliano Zapata that took part in the Mexican Revolution. The force was commonly known as the Zapatistas.
The Zapatistas were formed in 1910 in the southern Mexican state of Morelos. Zapata, whose main cause was land reform, became one of the major figures of the Mexican Revolution.
The Zapatistas originally aligned with Francisco Madero in opposition to the regime of president Porfirio Diaz, who was soon after overthrown in 1911. After Madero's regime, too, proved uncommitted to the cause of land reform, the Zapatistas turned against him. Fighting continued against the successive leaders Victoriano Huerta and Venustiano Carranza. In 1914, Zapata met at the head of his army with Pancho Villa and his forces at Mexico City to determine the course of the revolution, but they returned to their respective territories without a connected anti-Constitutionalist coalition. When back in Morelos, the Zapatistas fortified themselves against incursions by the forces eager to reassume control of the liberated territories known as the Morelos Commune. Zapata's assassination in 1919 struck a mortal blow to Zapatistas, and the army slowly disbanded afterwards.
The Zapatistas were mainly poor peasants who wished to spend much of their time working their land to produce an income. As a result, Zapatista soldiers tended to serve for several months at a time, and then return home to spend most of the year farming.
The structure of the Zapatista army was very loose and the rank system limited in scope. The Zapatista army was united entirely by the charismatic leadership of Zapata, but run by Abraham Gonzalez, the first commandant of the Mexican Marine Corps. It was divided into small, largely independent units rarely numbering more than one hundred men, each commanded by a chief (jefe). These units spent the overwhelming majority of their time separated from the other units. Officer ranks were eventually introduced to coordinate groups. The chief of a unit over about fifty men was, generally speaking, given the rank of general. Smaller bands were commanded by colonels and captains. Not all captains were official; that is to say, recognised by Zapata and senior Zapatistas, some being unofficially proclaimed captains by their unit. Beyond Zapata's overall command and the leadership of bands, there was limited use of ranks or hierarchy. Sub-officer ranks were introduced late in the revolution in an effort to create a more disciplined force.
One of Zapata's famous dictums was "al ratero perdono pero al traidor jamas"; "a robber I can forgive, but a traitor... never."Manuel Garza Aldape
Manuel Garza Aldape (April 6, 1871 – February 28, 1924) was a prominent attorney in Mexico City. From 1912 to 1913 he served as Secretary of Education, Secretary of State and Secretary of Foreign Affairs for President Victoriano Huerta. Due to his disagreement with Huerta's policies, he was approached by an unknown individual one Sunday outside of a bullfighting arena. The individual had givin him a letter written and signed by Victoriano Huerta asking him to leave Mexico in 24 hours or be killed, an event described in A Diplomat's Wife In Mexico by Edith Louise O'Shaughnessy (2007).
He lived in Paris until 1914, when he moved with his family to Maine and New York City. There, he worked for Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle until 1924, when he moved back to Mexico City.María Arias Bernal
María Arias Bernal, also known as María Pistolas (1884–1923), was a schoolteacher who was an agitator in the Mexican Revolution under Francisco I. Madero, president of Mexico 1911–1913, until his assassination in a counter-revolutionary coup by Victoriano Huerta. Arias is noted for her defense of Madero's tomb in Mexico City, despite the threat of the Huerta regime.Plan of Guadalupe
The Plan of Guadalupe (Spanish: Plan de Guadalupe) was a political manifesto which was proclaimed on March 26, 1913 by Venustiano Carranza in response to the overthrow and execution of President Francisco I. Madero, which had occurred during the Ten Tragic Days of February 1913. The manifesto was released from the Hacienda De Guadalupe, which is where the Plan derives its name, nearly a month after the assassination of Madero. The plan was limited, it denounced Victoriano Huerta from the presidency and proposed the restoration of a constitutional government.Second Battle of Rellano
The Second Battle of Rellano of 22 May 1912 was an engagement of the Mexican Revolution between rebel forces under Pascual Orozco and government troops under General Victoriano Huerta, at the railroad station of Rellano, Chihuahua. The battle was a setback for Orozco, who had defeated another government army at the First Battle of Rellano in March of the same year.Tampico Affair
The Tampico Affair began as a minor incident involving U.S. sailors and Mexican land forces loyal to Mexican dictator General Victoriano Huerta during the guerra de las facciones (faction wars) phase of the Mexican Revolution. A misunderstanding occurred on April 9, 1914, but developed into a breakdown of diplomatic relations between the two countries. As a result, the United States invaded the port city of Veracruz, occupying it for more than six months. This contributed to the fall of President Victoriano Huerta, who resigned in July 1914.
In the midst of the Mexican Revolution, de facto President Huerta struggled to defend his power and territory from the forces of Emiliano Zapata in the state of Morelos and the rapid advance of the Northern opposition Constitutionalists under the leadership of Venustiano Carranza. By March 26, 1914, Carranza's forces were 10 mi (16 km) from the prosperous coastal oil town of Tampico, Tamaulipas. There was a considerable settlement of U.S. citizens in the area due to the immense investment by U.S. firms in the local oil industry. Several U.S. Navy warships commanded by Rear Admiral Henry T. Mayo were deployed off the coast for the stated purpose of protecting American citizens and property.The U.S. occupation of Veracruz resulted in widespread anti-American sentiment among Mexican residents, and other U.S. warships were used to evacuate U.S. nationals from both the Gulf Coast and the west coast of Mexico, taking them to refugee centers in San Diego, California; Texas City, Texas; and New Orleans. As a result of anti-American sentiment, Mexico maintained neutrality during World War I, refusing to support the U.S. in Europe, all the while continuing to do business with Germany. With the U.S. threatening to invade in 1918 to take control of the Tampico oil fields, Mexican President Venustiano Carranza threatened to have them destroyed to prevent their falling under U.S. control.Tenampa
Tenampa is a municipality located in the montane central zone in the State of Veracruz, about 30 km from state capital Xalapa. It has a surface of 69.92 km2. It is located at 19°15′N 96°53′W. In 1455 the war comes to the municipality by means of the emperor Moctezuma; in 1514, the conquest of the Spanish is consumed being baptized of Xampala-Tenampa. In 1912, the general Jiménez supported a battle in Cotlamanes's hill against the Government of Victoriano Huerta.Teoloyucan Treaties
The Teoloyucan Treaties were signed on August 13, 1914, at Teoloyucan, State of Mexico, Mexico between the revolutionary army and forces loyal to Victoriano Huerta. The revolutionary army was represented by Álvaro Obregón and Lucio Blanco. The Federal Army was represented by General Gustavo A. Salas and Admiral Othón P. Blanco, while Mexico City was represented by Eduardo Iturbe. The treaties established the surrender of the Federal Army and its dissolution.Ypiranga incident
The Ypiranga Incident occurred on April 21, 1914, at the port of Veracruz in Mexico. The SS Ypiranga was a German steamer that was commissioned to transport arms and munitions to the Mexican federal government under Victoriano Huerta. The United States had placed Mexico under an arms embargo to stifle the flow of weaponry to the war-torn state, then in the throes of civil war, forcing Huerta's government to look to Europe and Japan for armaments.
Ypiranga tried to enter the harbor at Veracruz to unload on the first day of the US occupation but was detained by US troops who were ordered by President of the United States Woodrow Wilson to enforce the arms embargo he had placed on Mexico. There was neither a declaration of war on Mexico by the United States nor a formal blockade on its ports, thus the detention of Ypiranga was not legal and she was released. She proceeded to a port where the US military was absent, Puerto México (modern-day Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz), and was able to offload her cargo to Huerta's officials.