Biography of Pancho Villa | Mexican revolutionary who led, along with Emiliano Zapata, the pedegrales sector of the Mexican Revolution.

(José Doroteo Arango Arámbula, also known as Francisco Villa; San Juan de el Río, Durango, 1878 - Parral, Chihuahua, 1923) Mexican revolutionary who led, along with Emiliano Zapata, the pedegrales sector of the Mexican Revolution. Poor peasant, orphan and poorly educated, when it exploded the revolution of 1910 had been many years fugitive in the mountains because of a murder; dedicated to banditry, enjoyed popularity among farmers for their actions against the rich landowners and admiration.
Pancho Villa immediately supported the approaches of Francisco. I. Madero, who called on taking up arms, on November 20, 1910, in his Plan of San Luis Potosí against the regime of Porfirio Díaz, promising the peasants returning the land unfairly snatched during the long dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz (1876-1911), which had been severely repressed any political opposition. Nicknamed The Centaur of the North by his coreligionists, Pancho Villa with his army helped the rapid triumph of the revolution, who managed to eject from power and the country Porfirio Díaz (1911) in just six months.

Pancho Villa
Despite the warmth of his reforms, Pancho Villa supported the progressive Presidency of Madero (1911-1913) and then fought the counter-revolutionary dictatorship of Victoriano Huerta (1913-1914), which managed to overthrow in collaboration with Emiliano Zapata and the Constitutionalist leader Venustiano Carranza. But after the victory of this second revolution, Villa and Zapata were defrauded by Carranza, and returned to take up arms, now against it. This time the military luck was not on their side: in 1915 the general Carranza Álvaro Obregón defeated the villistas, clamping to Venustiano Carranza in the Presidency (1915-1920).
Lost since its political and military power, Villa was assassinated in 1923; the same fate had run, four years earlier, Emiliano Zapata. Despite the righteousness of their claims (estimated that, in 1910, a thousand landowners gave employment to three million peasants without land), or even their ideals survived his failure. Successive Presidents claimed to be heirs of the revolution, but Venustiano Carranza and his immediate successors (Álvaro Obregón and Plutarco Elias Calles, who would dominate the political scene until 1936) limited to tame it, without ever reaching true agrarian reform.
Pancho Villa was born in hacienda de Rio Grande, belonging to the town of San Juan of the River, in the Mexican State of Durango, on June 5, 1878. In reality, the child who was born in the hacienda of Rio Grande is called Doroteo Arango; Pancho Villa was born later, when Doroteo threw the monte and the need led him to change of name. His father, Agustin Arango, died early, and the legacy your child Doroteo received consisted of being the head of his family, consisting of his mother and four siblings, two males and two females. As a child he had to work hard; He never went to school and never anyone dealt with educate you.
At age 16, he killed a man. All versions of the case agree on three points: on the one hand, in that the dead was a character of some relevance, at least of much greater relevance to Doroteo Arango; on the other hand, that had tried to force one of the sisters Arango; Finally, Doroteo escaped and took refuge in the mount as a result of this fact.
From these coincidences, the legend begins to act: the dead could have been a government official, a Squire, a foreman or the owner of land that the Arango worked as sharecroppers; Doroteo arrived in time to see the assault against her sister, went to look for a weapon and fired before the violation was completed, either it was consummated and the boy was left with no other choice but to take revenge.

Pancho Villa
The fact of having committed a murder not put outside the law for a long time a Mexican of 1894, although the matador was a "bare" and the victim a relevant character. But life in the mountains was not easy and had to steal to survive. And that crime is persecuted harshly, especially when a former pawn had the audacity to steal cattle to the rich landowners.
Doroteo Arango, whose head had been price, changed its name and adopted that of Pancho Villa, a name like any other but with some peculiarity, because, while there are many hot dogs in Mexico, the surname was which should have reciprocated if his grandfather Jesús Villa acknowledged as legitimate Augustine, his father. She had born Pancho Villa, a man with a legitimacy recovered by force, which quickly became a bandit generous, a kind of Mexican Robin Hood. It was the "friend of the poor", as John Reed in his book insurgent Mexico; his exploits are orally spread quickly and became lyrics corridos which were sung in treasuries, squares and canteens.
Thus the things, attributed you all kinds of deeds or offences, according to the optics of everyone, regardless its concurrency in time or distance in space. Around 1900 he settled in the State of Chihuahua, where landowners and businessmen, to under unjust laws, increased its large properties with new and better land.
The Mexican Revolution
At the start of the revolution nexicana gathered the various forces which had aroused against the fierce dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz, particularly favorable to the agricultural oligarchy, the privileges of the Church (interrupted the reform Dynamics Benito Juárez had tested) and the investments foreign. The long dictatorship of Diaz gives name and dates throughout a period of the history of Mexico: Porfirio Díaz (1876-1911), who had in the pacification of the country and the economic development of its positive aspects; at the opposite end, brutally increased social inequality (especially in the field, due to a terrible political land to put land in the hands of big companies and landowners) and eliminated all possible political dissent, reducing the institutions of the Republic to mere puppets that the dictator was driving at will.
For this reason, and while at the same time grew the exasperation of the peasant masses, the political opposition front focused their attacks on the President's re-election. In 1910, Francisco I. Madero presented his candidacy for the Presidency of the Republic against Díaz, who had been re-elected for decades by successive electoral parody. Diaz prevented by force the triumph of Madero, but could not prevent the spread of the ideas of the Plan de San Luis, the diffuse political program launched by Madero to be forced into exile, whose third point promised peasants to the restitution of lands arbitrarily seized during the Porfiriato.
The Plan de San Luis also included an appeal to rise in arms against the dictator on November 20, 1910. The pressure to which it was subject to Mexican society exploded and hoists are generalized. Madero, despite his hesitations, became the rebellion coalescer, and one of his men, Abraham González, invited to join the rebellion to Pancho Villa, the "friend of the poor", those poor who had risen.

At the head of his troops in Ojinaga, in the early days of the revolution (1911)
Then Pancho Villa joined Madero in his fight against the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz, and demonstrated an innate ability for the war. Taking advantage of his knowledge of the land and farmers, he formed his own army in the North of Mexico. Nearly two decades in the mountains, mocking to all those who pursued him and suspicious of those who could betray him, were his guerrilla school. For some, Pancho Villa supported the revolutionary cause to be forgotten their crimes; for others, he did so because he could not fight alongside theirs. The fact is that, after all those years of banditry, the fortune of Villa amounted to little more than 350 pesos; much more value had charisma and its convening power.
Villa forces contributed to the quick victory of the revolutionary movement. In only six months, despite some initial failures, was reduced to the army of the old dictator, who had to resign the Presidency and go into exile after the decisive shot in Ciudad Juárez. Villa travelled to the capital with Madero, already become effective President (1911-1913). In city of Mexico, in the hope that became the respectable citizen Francisco Villa, Pancho Villa was appointed general fee of the new rural force.
The Orozco rebellion
However, the situation was not nor much less consolidated. The fear of a conservative counter-revolution had to join the demands of other agrarians revolutionaries who had supported Madero: Emiliano Zapata, leader of the rebellion in the South, and Pascual Orozco, protagonist with Pancho Villa of the taking of Ciudad Juarez. Front of prudence and moderation reformist of Madero, both demanded the immediate execution of land reform promised in the Plan de San Luis.
In the absence of real progress, Zapata ignored the authority of Madero, he called traitor (November 1911). So did Pascual Orozco: accusing Madero violate the Plan de San Luis, led an uprising in March 1912. Despite having also led to farmers, Pancho Villa remained loyal to the President. But the naive Madero made the mistake of entrusting to Victoriano Huerta, general of the old porfirista army and one of the most sinister characters of Mexican history, the command of the troops that had to quell the rebellion of Orozco.
The rise of Pascual Orozco Orozco as Villa, had occurred in the area that were both by what Huerta did not hesitate to join his army the army of Pancho Villa. Victoriano Huerta put Villa as head of forces advanced, composed of Madero, as himself, in front of the Federal remained in the rear. Villa, who commanded the garrison of Parral, defeated Pascual Orozco on landing, a lower number and the only decisive battle waged between maderistas and orozquistas forcefully.

Villa (in the Center) with their comrades in arms
But Victoriano Huerta was not so sure of being able to convert a Villa in what he understood by respectable citizen, especially after that victory over Orozco; He suspected that Villa was somehow implicated in the Orozco rebellion in defense of the social aspirations of the peasantry, which Madero had postponed. Huerta accused Villa of insubordination for not having obeyed his order and did appear before a Council of war, which decided in fifteen minutes that should be shot. Some versions say that such order specified that Villa should return to its rightful owner, a local character, a horse Thoroughbred from which it had taken over, while others speak vaguely of an order transmitted by telegraph and Villa denied having received.
The intervention of Gustavo Adolfo Madero, brother of the President and a member of the staff of Orchard, prevented the sentence be fulfilled, but Villa was interned in the prison of the capital. She took the opportunity to learn to read and write and starred in a suspected leak in November 1912: on the one hand, Huerta was increasingly powerful and, on the other hand, sectors opposed to this general called for an inquiry into the war to village Council; in these conditions, nothing could be less controversial than the output of the scenery of Villa, which, without any problems, took refuge in the U.S. population of El Paso.
Governor of Chihuahua
In the crossfire between reactionary porfiristas and agrarians revolutionaries, the Madero Government seemed destined to succumb. And fell in the hands of a petty fold character: his man of trust, general Victoriano Huerta. In February 1913, with the connivance of the United States, Huerta deposed Madero (he ordered to murder) and took power. Pancho Villa, who had always been loyal to Madero, returned in April to Mexican territory with four companions, three horses and a bit of sugar, salt and coffee. After a month had already met three thousand men, with those who started the fight against Victoriano Huerta; During 1913 he freed the State of Chihuahua, which was then followed all the North of the country.
In your area, Villa carried out two of their ambitious projects: the creation of schools (only in Chihuahua capital founded more than fifty) and the establishment of military colonies. It considered that "the armies are larger props of tyranny" and that the soldiers had to work in agricultural colonies or industrial three days a week ("only hard work produces good citizens"); they would spend the rest of the time to own military instruction and to instruct citizens at the same time.
But definitely these first colonies could not materialize because the fight continued. And he also continued in the State of Chihuahua, where trade languished for lack of money in circulation. Villa solved the problem quickly: issued its own currency, with the only guarantee for his signature. No one would give credit to such currency until Villa issued a decree punishing with two months in prison to anyone who did not accept it.
The trade was revived, but silver and paper money official remained hidden. Two consecutive decrees managed to make that they surfaced the capital. For the first, condemned to prison who did circulate another currency that wasn't the Villa; per second, was set a day from which it would not change more minted silver or Mexican currency. As Villa position was strengthened in the political and military field, change was made, its currency was accepted and Villa could buy supplies with the official currency that had obtained in Exchange for his.
The Alliance against Huerta
Meanwhile, the ignominious betrayal of Madero and the subsequent establishment of a bloody dictatorship counter-revolutionary had the virtue of uniting revolutionaries against the regime of Victoriano Huerta (1913-1914). Venustiano Carranza, Governor of the State of Coahuila, picked up the constitutional legality to the death of Madero, proclaimed himself "first Chief of the Constitutionalist army" and went on to manage which is known as the Constitutionalist revolution or Constitutionalist stage of the Mexican Revolution, whose first objective was to overthrow Huerta and to restore constitutional legality.
Constitutionalist leader had his own army, the powerful Northeast Division, and of men in the fight had been revealed as competent strategists, such as Álvaro Obregón. Carranza was able to give some cohesion to the forces opposed to Orchard to obtain the collaboration of Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata. The other great pedegrales leader of the revolution, Emiliano Zapata, had developed a coherent political programme and a solid agricultural plan, and commanded a motivated army of peasants. Pancho Villa program was less basting, but had under his command the Division of the North.
If they had produced infighting in the revolutionary sector, they seemed more likely between Villa and Carranza, as zapatistas, who had contributions anarchists and Communists, had his own project, distinct from the others, as well as its own area of operations South of the capital. Although Villa complied with the leadership of Carranza, successive manoeuvres of the Constitutionalist leader to take him and his División del Norte the most dangerous missions and to prevent it from taking the strategic capacity led him to a progressive distancing.

Pancho Villa in an image taken in 1914
That did not prevent the revolutionary triumph. Pancho Villa took Zacatecas in June 1914, decisive victory that opened the way to the city of Mexico; Victoriano Huerta signed the waiver and went into exile. The taking of Zacatecas, carried out by Villa contrary orders of Carranza, who wanted to avoid that Villa will zoom in on the capital, had as consequence serious friction between the two leaders, resolved with the signing of the Pact Torreon. Among other things, remembered that Carranza, to the power, would establish a Government with civilians both villistas, carrancistas as and that no Chief could be a presidential candidate. This hindered the political ambitions of Carranza.
The estrangement between Carranza and Villa became especially visible when, in August 1914, the constitutionalists came into city of Mexico and the general Álvaro Obregón Carranza stoppered the entrance of villistas and zapatistas. Obregon, who tried an approximation between Carranza and the villistas, was taken prisoner by Villa, who came to condemn him to death to finally pardon him.
The break with Carranza
To file the rough edges it was convened in October 1914 the Aguascalientes Convention, which did not make but to highlight the insurmountable differences. Carranza and his right arm, Álvaro Obregón, represented the moderate constitutionalism; Villa and Zapata, peasant revolution and the demand for an immediate distribution of land. The Convention of Aguascalientes only strengthened rapprochement between villistas and zapatistas; adopted a political programme clearly zapatista, although Villa gave political and military dominance.
The refusal of the agrarians leaders to dissolve their troops and recognize its authority, Carranza opted to retire at Veracruz and establish his Government there. In December 1914, having left expedito Carranza road towards the capital, Villa and Zapata entered city of Mexico under the command of the troops of the Convention, and entrusted the President of the revolutionary Government Eulalio Gutiérrez and then Roque González Garza. But neither the interests of Villa and Zapata could agree, and fissures were patents; Zapata returned to the South, and Carranza could take the initiative.

Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata at the Presidential Palace (1914)
In January 1915, general Álvaro Obregón occupied the southern Mexican Highlands and led his forces against Villa. "Perfumed", as it was called Villa to the man he was about to shoot, wanted to raise battle in the center of the country. "Reactionary, traitor and villain", as he called Obregon Villa, refused to follow the advice of retreat northward, toward its natural base, where they could gather large numbers of men and have field in their favor.
Villa relied excessively on the qualities of their "Golden" and his División del Norte, and, between April and July 1915, he was finally defeated in four great battles between Celaya and Aguascalientes, battles in which arrived to confront up to forty thousand men from each of the contending sides. In the third, a granada where made pieces the right arm of general Obregón. Recovered the capital, Carranza installed his Government back in it.
In July 1915, a defeated Pancho Villa had to withdraw to the North, and his star began to decline. He returned to Chihuahua, but no longer as general in Chief of a powerful army, but at the head of a group that just had thousand men. In October 1915, after obtaining the Government of Carranza, the recognition of the United States, Villa decided to play a risky card: attacking U.S. interests to show that Carranza not controlled the country and alienate him with the American President, Woodrow Wilson. It was provoking a U.S. intervention that forced Carranza, as a representative of the Mexican Government, to negotiate with the invaders, to present himself as Chief of the patriotic struggle and recover lost ground.
On January 10, 1916 the villistas stopped a train, they did go down to 18 foreign travelers (fifteen of which were Americans) and deadly. As the incident only resulted in diplomatic protests, March 9 a game under the command of the own Villa was presented to four in the morning in the US town of Columbus, killed three soldiers and injured seven others, as well as five civilians, and it was looted and burned down several establishments.
This time if there was intervention, it was defined as "punitive", but in theory it was restricted to capture the rebels. Wilson sent an army under the command of general Pershing to the North of Mexico to end Pancho Villa; but the knowledge of the land and the coverage that gave him the peasant population would allow him to hold for four years, halfway between the guerrillas and banditry. Although clashes between villistas and Americans, and Americans and constitutionalists, the US force withdrew from Mexico in February 1917 without greater consequences.

Pancho Villa (c. 1920)
After the murder of Venustiano Carranza in 1920, the Acting President Adolfo de la Huerta (June-November, 1920) offered him an amnesty and a ranch in Parral (Chihuahua), to cease their activities and withdraw from the policy change. Villa deposed weapons and withdrew to the hacienda El Canutillo, the ranch had given the Government; There, with nearly eight hundred people, all of them former comrades in arms, he tried to form one of your dream military colonies.
For three years he suffered numerous attacks that came out unharmed. However, when the 20 July 1923 he entered Parral with his car accompanied by six bodyguards, was shot and killed from a house in ruins by a group of men commanded by Jesus Salas. The murder was instigated by then President Álvaro Obregón (1920-1924) and his successor, Plutarco Elías Calles (1924-1928), fearful of the support that Villa could lend to Adolfo de la Huerta, who aspired to succeed to Obregón in the Presidency.
Extracted from the website: Biografías y Vidas
Biographies of historical figures and personalities

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