On November 20, 2011 Mexico celebrated the Centennial
Anniversary of its Revolution. On this date, in the year
1910 the revolutionary war to overthrow the dictator
Porfirio Díaz, began.
General Porfirio Díaz
had been an important military figure during the wars
against the foreign invaders, and had tried to overthrow
President Benito Juarez in 1872. Then again, he
rebelled against President Lerdo de Tejada in
1876 and won.
as he was called, had been in power for more than 30
Under his rule, Mexico had political stability and grew
in many areas, creating new industries, railroads,
kilometers of railroad tracks as well as the increase of
foreign capital. Non-the less, this progress was not
translated into the peoples’ well being.
Soon there was political unrest.
The unhappiest sectors of the Mexican society were
the peasants and labor workers. To defend these two
popular sectors, Ricardo Flores Magón founded the
Mexican Liberal Party.
Flores Magón was obviously persecuted by the
Porfirist regime, and died in an American prison.
In 1906 the army brutally repressed a strike of
miners in the Cananea mine in
As you can see, Díaz did every thing in his power to crush any
The Cananea massacre is historically considered
the spark that finally ignited Mexico’s Revolution.
wasn’t oblivious to all this pressure, so in 1908 in an
interview given to an American journalist,
James Creelman, he stated:
"I have waited patiently for
the day to come when the
Mexican Republic will be
prepared to elect and
every election without the danger of
and without injury to the
national credit or interference
with national progress.
I believe that day has come. ...
"I welcome an opposition party in
the Mexican Republic," he said. "If
it becomes a reality, I will regard it as a
blessing, not as an evil.”
early 1909 Francisco I.
Madero founded the Anti Reelectionist Party.
came from a wealthy family from
He had studied business in France as well as in the U.S. He vigorously fought against reelection and for democracy and
liberty in Mexico through his political newspaper
Reelectionist party designated him to run for President
in the elections of 1910.
was now under constant pressure, and on June 6th
he ordered the imprisonment of Madero, augmenting
that he was “inciting rebellion and offending the
was taken to a prison in
Potosí, where he awaited
the results of the elections.
There he learned that through an electoral fraud
Díaz declared himself President of Mexico one more
Then and there Madero, who
had always been a pacifist, decided to flee from prison
and call for a National Insurrection on November 20
declared the electoral process invalid and appointed
Immediately, uprising broke out in several Mexican
Ciudad Juárez ,
Chihuahua, was taken by
the insurrectors: Pascual Orozco and Francisco
“Pancho” Villa. When the city surrendered
Madero set up his provisional government there.
Díaz was then forced to resign and had to
abandon the country.
the most important Revolutionaries were Pascual
Villa in the northern states, and Emiliano
Zapata in the south.
New elections took place in 1911,
and Madero was elected President of Mexico.
Unfortunately, peace was not to come to this
country for a while. Several Revolutionary leaders
couldn’t settle their differences.
wanted to work steadily and patiently towards bettering
the economic and social situation. But many
revolutionary commanders wanted immediate change, which
was impossible to accomplish.
Pascual Orozco, for example, led
and lost a revolt against Madero.
Porfirist generals also attacked President Madero,
who in turn, appointed Victoriano Huerta to
repress the offensive.
A fatal decision…. In time history would prove that
Victoriano Huerta was the utmost traitor of the
Francisco I. Madero was captured and
assassinated by Huerta’s accomplices.
The vice-president and a brother of Madero
were also killed.
victory would be short-lived. A new Revolutionary
movement emerged with unprecedented force; it was called
the Constitutionalist Movement.
Huerta had to flee the country in 1914.
In 1917 the Constitution was reformed.
Fighting among revolutionary groups did not end
The Revolution had at last triumphed!