“I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees.” Mexican revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata, whose Zapatista peasant army fought a long guerrilla campaign south of Mexico City. This picture was taken in Mexico City in 1914, after the revolutionaries captured the capital. However, the victors soon fell out, and Zapata allied with Pancho Villa against the liberal Constitutionalist faction. He did die, assassinated in 1919, but still has an iconic legacy in Mexico today.
Emiliano Zapata, leader of the Liberation Army of the South, better known simply as the Zapatistas. One of the principal groups fighting in the Mexican Revolution, the far-left force was mostly drawn from the poor peasants of southern Mexico. Drawn together by the charisma of their leader, despite having been a major player for much of the past decade, the army didn’t last very long following his assassination in 1919.
A Mexican revolutionary opens fire. Around 300 people, Americans and Mexicans, died during the American Punitive Expedition. This was a drop in the bucket during the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1920, which left over 1,300,000 Mexicans dead.
Obregonia denegrii, a Mexican cactus known locally to natives as “peyotl” due to it’s close relation to the peyote cactus. This plant was named after Alvaro Obregon, an influential revolutionary figure and the president of Mexico from 1920-1924.
Today in history: April 10, 1919 – Mexican revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata is ambushed and killed by a Mexican military colonel who tricked Zapata into meeting with him to supposedly arrange for the colonel’s defection to Zapata’s side.
Zapata was a leading figure in the Mexican Revolution which broke out in 1910. He formed and commanded the Liberation Army of the South. He wrote the Plan of Ayala which raised the cry of “Tierra y Libertad!” (Land and freedom!). Zapata is still revered today. At marches the chant can often be heard, “Zapata vive - la lucha sigue!” (Zapata lives - the struggle continues!)
Via Freedom Road Socialist Organization (Fight Back!)
Pancho Villa, Mexican revolutionary warlord, bandit chief, and politician. Known to his friends as La Cucaracha (the Cockroach), his depredations of the US border during the Mexican Revolution provoked the American Punitive Expedition to catch him. Villa eluded his pursuers, but gave up his war in 1920 when he joined the Mexican government. Mexican President Obrégon, however, soon had his old enemy assassinated. When VIlla drove home from a mistress’s house one night, assassins with automatic weapons riddled him with bullets.
Until her sudden – and some say mysterious – death at 45, the Italian-born artist lived an extraordinary life, morphing from silent-film actress to model, muse, photographer, Mexican revolutionary and (possibly) spy. Yet it wasn’t until the 1990s – when a cache of her photographs was discovered in a farmhouse in Oregon and several platinum prints, Roses and Calla Lilies, were auctioned for hundreds of thousands of dollars in New York – that her own photographic legacy and incredible story would come to light. (more)