Biography of Emiliano Zapata | Mexican revolutionary. In the complex development of the Mexican Revolution of 1910.

(San Miguel Anenecuilco, Mexico, 1879 - Morelos, 1919) Mexican revolutionary. In the complex development of the Mexican Revolution of 1910, the agrarians leaders called collected the just aspirations of humbler rural classes, which had been doomed to misery by an arbitrary CAP that desposeía them from their lands. Of them all, Emiliano Zapata is still the most admired.

Emiliano Zapata
Against the ambition without scruples or the ideological inconsistency of Pancho Villa and Pascual Orozco, and an idea of revolution more tied to the war by the power to social transformation, Emiliano Zapata remained faithful to its ideals of Justice and gave absolute priority to the effective achievements. Unfortunately, that same firmness and perseverance against the confusing winds of revolutionary determined its isolation in the State of Morelos, where undertaken fruitful reforms from a position of virtual independence that no Government could tolerate. His murder, instigated from the Presidency, led to the rapid dissolution of his work and the exaltation of the leader, which would go into history as one of the great revolutionary myths of the 20th century.
Member of a humble peasant family, was the ninth of the ten children that Gabriel Zapata and Cleofás Salazar, who survived only four had. As to the date of his birth, there is no complete agreement; the most widely accepted is that of the 8 August 1879, but his biographers point out several other: around 1877, 1873, around 1879 and 1883. Emiliano Zapata worked as a child as a pawn and sharecropper and received a poor schooling. He was orphaned by age thirteen, and both he and his brother mayor Eufemio inherited some land and a few head of cattle, legacy that should stay and keep his two sisters, María de Jesús y María de la Luz.
His brother Eufemio sold his share of the inheritance and was reseller, peddler, merchant and various other things. On the other hand, Emiliano remained in his hometown, Anenecuilco, where, in addition to work their land, was tenant of a small part of the land from a neighboring farm. In times in which work in the field decreased, was dedicated to driving Mule trains and traded with the animals that were his passion: horses. When he was about seventeen years he had his first confrontation with the authorities, forcing him to leave the State of Morelos and to live for a few months hiding in the ranch of some friends of his family.

Emiliano Zapata (right) with his brother Eufemio and his wives
One of the causes of the Mexican Revolution was the disastrous agricultural policy developed by the regime of Pofirio Díaz, whose long dictatorship gives its name to an entire contemporary history of Mexico: the Porfiriato (1876-1911). Under the aegis of the iniquitous laws enacted by the dictator, landowners and big companies were made with communal lands and small properties, leaving the lowly peasants dispossessed or displaced to nearly sterile areas. It is estimated that in 1910, the year of the outbreak of the revolution, more than ninety percent of the peasants lacked land, and about 1,000 landowners giving employment to three million braceros.
Such a policy condemned to misery for the rural population and, although it was endemic throughout the country, gave particular severity in areas such as the State of Morelos, where large owners extended its sugar cane plantations at the expense of the indigenous and the poor peasants. In 1909, a new property law estate threatened to worsen the situation. In September of the same year, the around of four hundred inhabitants of the village of Zapata, Anenecuilco, were summoned to a clandestine meeting to deal with the problem; It was decided to renovate the City Council, and was elected as Chairman of the new Council to Emiliano Zapata.
He was then thirty years and considerable charisma among its neighbors by its moderation and self-confidence; He spent being the best Tamer of horses of the region, and many haciendas were fighting for it. As President of the Council, Zapata began to deal with capital lawyers to enforce the rights of property of his countrymen; such activity did not go unnoticed, and possibly because of this the army summoned him to rows. After a month and a half in Cuernavaca, he obtained a license to work as master of the horse in the city of Mexico, employment where he remained shortly.

Emiliano Zapata (1911)
Back to Morelos, Emiliano Zapata returned to the defense of communal lands. A dispute with the Treasury of the Hospital had begun in Anenecuilco, and farmers could not plant on disputed land until the courts to resolve. Emiliano Zapata took its first drastic decision: at the head of a small armed group, occupied the lands of the Hospital and distributed them among the peasants. The daring action had resonance in nearby towns, since everywhere were similar situations; Zapata was appointed head of the Board of Villa of Ayala, town that was the head of the district that belonged to his hometown.
The Mexican Revolution
Agricultural policy and the abysmal social inequalities which brought with it the Porfiriato were among the root causes of the Mexican Revolution, but his immediate catalyst was the decision by Porfirio Díaz stand in the elections of 1910. Such 'elections' were actually a pseudodemocratica farce to prolong another six years its mandate; the old dictator, Suppress and eliminate the freedom of the press and any hint of political dissent, maintained the formalism be re-elected regularly.
Francisco. I. Madero, founder of the Antirreeleccionista party (political formation that precisely aspired to interrupt this perpetuation), had presented its candidature for the elections of 1910, but was persecuted and forced into exile. Realising the futility of the democratic path, Francisco Madero launched from exile the Plan de San Luis, political proclamation that called on the Mexican people to rise up in arms against the dictator on November 20, 1910, date of beginning of the Mexican Revolution. The key to the success of his appeal in rural areas was the third point of the Plan, which provided the restitution to the peasants of the lands that had been removed during the Porfiriato.
In Morelos, many were immediately added to the insurrection; It was not the case, however, Zapata. Not fully trusting the promises of the Plan de San Luis, and I wanted to see previously recognized and legitimated with appointments deals from lands that had been at the head of the Board of Villa of Ayala. To the direction of the uprising in Morelos, Francisco Madero chose Pablo Torres Burgos; After being appointed Colonel by Pablo Torres, Zapata joined the Plan de San Luis and in March, 1911, on the death of Torres, he was appointed «Supreme Leader of the revolutionary movement of the South».

Emiliano Zapata (Cuernavaca, 1911)
With that rank he took in May the city of Cuautla, starting point to extend his power over the State, and proceeded to distribute lands in the area controlling. In the rest of the country, meanwhile, stretched and quickly carried the revolution: the dictator's army was defeated in just six months. In May 1911, Porfirio Díaz went into exile after transfer power to Francisco León de bar, which temporarily assumed the Presidency (May-November 1911) until the holding of the elections.
The Plan de Ayala
After the fall of the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz, and already during the interim presidency of León de la Barra, soon arose disagreements between Zapata, who demanded the immediate distribution of the lands of the estates between the peasants, and Francisco Madero, who in turn demanded the disarmament of the guerrillas. Finally, Zapata accepted licensing and disarmament of their troops, hoping that the election of Madero as President opened the doors to reform.
But despite the revolutionary victory, much of the machinery of the regime was still in the hands of former porfiristas (starting with León de la Barra), occupying senior positions in the Administration and in the theoretically defeated army. When, in July 1911, much of the zapatistas had delivered weapons, he began harassment of the army on the peasants and then on the own shoe, which escaped narrowly to his arrest; throughout that summer, government troops drove overland the work of Zapata, but joined his action against farmers who, taking back weapons, recovered positions and were ultimately strengthened.
In November 1911, Francisco I. Madero was elected and agreed to the Presidency (1911-1913). Zapata hoped that the new Government would assume its commitments on agricultural matters; but Madero, subjected to the pressure of the army and the reactionary sectors, there were again demanding the surrender of weapons. Facing the failure of new conversations, Zapata drew up in November of the same year the Plan de Ayala, stating to Madero unable to meet the goals of the revolution (in particular, agrarian reform) and announced the expropriation of one-third of the lands of landlords in Exchange for compensation, if it is accepted, and by force if not. Those who adhered to the plan, who was elected as head of the revolution to Pascual Orozco, flew the flag of the land reform as a priority and requested the resignation of the President.

Emiliano Zapata
The result were new and continuous armed clashes; Government forces forced Zapata to retire Guerrero; the Government controlled the cities, and the guerrillas became strong in the rural areas. But neither the initial brutality and reformist movements designed to subtract support would weaken the zapatista movement.
Against Huerta and Carranza
Trapped between the agrarians revolutionaries and the porfiristas reactionaries, and unable to satisfy anyone, the legitimate President hardly could hold for a long time. Madero fell victim to the treachery of an old military Porfirio Diaz, Victoriano Huerta, general trust prestigious by his victory over Pascual Orozco. In February 1913, with the support of United States, Huerta overthrew Madero (which had run) and established a fierce dictatorship counter-revolutionary (1913-1914). With orchard in power, is increased attacks by the Government army on the zapatistas, but without success. Appointed Chief of the revolution to the detriment of Orozco, which had been declared a traitor, Emiliano Zapata halted the offensive huertista and strengthened its position in the State of Morelos.
Meanwhile, in the rest of the country, the betrayal of the usurper Huerta elicited the unanimous rejection of the revolutionaries. The Governor of Coahuila, Venustiano Carranza, became the leader of the constitutionalists, whose first objective was to oust Huerta and to restore constitutional legality; Carranza earned the support of Pancho Villa, which led to the agrarians revolutionaries in the North. Between them they managed to defeat Victoriano Huerta in July 1914.
The support of Zapata had been more tacit that cash, because it required the acceptance of the Plan of Ayala, which did not occur to Carranza. On the other hand, campaigns against Huerta had provoked numerous frictions between figures so different ideology and condition as Venustiano Carranza, a politician from the legal profession, and Pancho Villa, a popular Bandit turned revolutionary. Defeated Huerta, the country remained in the hands of three barely-related officials.
Venustiano Carranza aspired to the Presidency, and continue the reform work of Madero. Aware of the difficulties, he summoned a Convention in search of agreements, but only managed to momentarily, join the agraristas: in the Convention of Aguascalientes (October 1914) was the Alliance of Zapata and Pancho Villa, representatives of the agrarian revolution, against Carranza, of moderate tendency. Carranza had no choice but to leave the recently occupied Mexico City and retreat to Veracruz, where he established his own Government.

Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata at the Presidential Palace (1914)
Shortly thereafter, in November 1914, Zapata and Villa came into the capital, but his inability to dominate the State apparatus and the differences that emerged between the two warlords, while Villa had accepted the plan of Ayala, encouraged the reaction of Carranza. The ambition of Villa produced almost immediate rupture of his coalition with Zapata, which retreated to Morelos and concentrated its action on the rebuilding of his State, who lived 18 months of genuine peace and agrarian revolution as fought villistas and carrancistas.
The contribution of some intellectuals, such as Antonio Díaz Soto and range and Rafael Pérez Taylor, gave ideological solidity to the pedegrales movement, and this allowed the zapatistas to administratively organize the space they controlled. In this regard, the Government of Zapata created agrarian commissions, established the first agricultural credit institution in Mexico and tried to convert the Morelos sugar industry into a cooperative. William Gates, United States envoy, said the order of the area controlled by Zapata face the chaos of the area occupied by the carrancistas.
Last years
However, the war continued; in 1915, the defeat of Villa allowed Carranza to focus their attacks on Zapata, lacking for his exclusive dedication to Morelos national projection. In February 1916, Zapata authorized talks between his representatives and the general Pablo González, whom Carranza had entrusted the recovery of Morelos. These talks ended in failure, and at the head of his troops, Gonzalez ventured in Morelos. In June 1916, he took the headquarters of Zapata, which resumed guerrilla warfare and managed to regain control of his State in January 1917.
After this new victory, Zapata, which erroneously provided the immediate fall of Carranza, carried out a set of measures advanced agricultural, social, and political, both to increase their base in Morelos and to find support in the rest of Mexico. In December 1917, Carranza Pablo González ordered a new offensive, which now took another mood, looking for the negotiation and acceptance of the new laws of the Government, but the advances were meager.
Unable to put an end to the movement and the threat posed by Zapata for the federal Government (to the extent that radicals from other States could follow suit), Carranza and Gonzalez concocted a plan to kill Zapata. Believing that he will move to his side and he would deliver them ammunition and supplies, the Colonel Jesús Guajardo, who ran against him, government operations managed to lure Zapata to a secret meeting at the hacienda de Chinameca, Morelos. When Zapata, accompanied by ten men, entered the hacienda, is riddled by soldiers who pretended to introduce weapons at point blank range.
Pablo González moved the body to Cuautla and ordered photographing and filming the corpse so that he doubts his death. But, equally, many of his countrymen and fellow did not believe that he had died. Some said he was too smart to fall into the trap and that he had sent to a double; others were missing a feature in the displayed body.
Genovevo de la O happened to the late leader at the forefront of the movement, but the guerrillas immediately lost its strength and political independence by supporting Álvaro Obregón, who ousted Carranza and assumed the Presidency (1820-1824). Although several of the principles of the zapatista movement were formally collected in the first Mexican (starting with the 1917 Constitution) revolutionary laws, neither Venustiano Carranza and his successors, who would exercise the Presidency in the shadow of the influential Plutarco Elias Calles, would lead them to its ultimate consequences; We had to wait for the arrival of a statesman of the stature of Lázaro Cárdenas (1934-1940) to attend determined policies of redistribution of agricultural property.
Extracted from the website: Biografías y Vidas
Biographies of historical figures and personalities

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