Emilio Portes Gil

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Emilio Portes Gil
Emilio Portes, portrait.jpg
Seal of the Government of Mexico.svg
41st President of Mexico
In office
December 1, 1928 – February 4, 1930
Preceded by Plutarco Elías Calles
Succeeded by Pascual Ortiz Rubio
Personal details
Born (1890-10-03)October 3, 1890
Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas
Died December 10, 1978(1978-12-10) (aged 88)
Mexico DF
Nationality Mexican
Political party Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI)
Spouse(s) Carmen Garcia (1905-1979)

Emilio Cándido Portes Gil (Spanish pronunciation: [eˈmiljo ˈportes xil]; October 3, 1890 – December 10, 1978) was President of Mexico from 1928 to 1930.


Portes Gil was born in Ciudad Victoria, the capital of the state of Tamaulipas in northeast Mexico.[1]

He was in law school during the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution and in late 1914 he allied himself with revolutionary Venustiano Carranza (who would assume the presidency of the country the following May). When he graduated in 1915, he had already begun his career in the public administration with a posting in the Department of Military Justice.[2]

Over the ensuing years he continued to serve the government in both a legal capacity – supreme state court judge in Sonora; legal advisor to the Ministry of War – and in elective office: he was elected to Congress in 1917, 1921, and 1923, and he served as governor of his native Tamaulipas on two occasions (1920 and 1925).[2]

Between August 28 and November 30, 1928, he was Minister of the Interior in the cabinet of Plutarco Elías Calles. Since president-elect Álvaro Obregón had been assassinated on July 17, 1928 by a religious fanatic, it fell to Portes to assume office as provisional president for a period of 14 months while fresh elections were called. At this point he also inherited a widespread and violent religious rebellion known as the Cristero War.[3]

Faced with a university strike during his period in office, he managed to defuse the situation by convening a special session of Congress that ultimately enacted the legislation whereby the National University of Mexico was granted its autonomy.[4]

He also attempted to negotiate the withdrawal of the United States troops from Nicaragua in exchange for the surrender of General Augusto Sandino; when the talks failed, he granted Sandino political asylum in Mexico – and a parcel of land in Temixco.[5]

He handed on the presidential sash to Pascual Ortiz on February 5, 1930, then served for 18 months as interior minister.[2]

He subsequently traveled to Europe as Mexico's first representative to the League of Nations. Under later presidents, he served in various capacities, including ambassador, foreign minister, attorney-general, and president of the Partido Nacional Revolucionario – the National Revolutionary Party, which would later restyle itself the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).[1]

He retired from politics in 1936.[1] He died in Mexico City on December 10, 1978, at the age of 88 years.[2]


  1. ^ a b c - "Emilio Portes Gil". – Encyclopædia Britannica, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d Casteel, Cari – "Portes Gil, Emilio". – The Historical Text Archive.
  3. ^ Tuck, Jim THE CRISTERO REBELLION – PART 1 Mexico Connect 1996
  4. ^ Mabry, Donald J. – "UNAM Student Strikes, 1929–1968". – The Historical Text Archive, 2001.
  5. ^ Buchenau, Jürgen. In the shadow of the giant: the making of Mexico's Central America policy, 1876–1930. University of Alabama Press. Tuscaloosa, 1996. Pages 178–180
Political offices
Preceded by
Plutarco Elías Calles
President of Mexico
Succeeded by
Pascual Ortiz Rubio
Party political offices
Preceded by
President of the Revolutionary National Party
Succeeded by
Lázaro Cárdenas
Preceded by
Matías Ramos Santos
President of the Revolutionary National Party
Succeeded by
Silvano Barba González