Talk:List of heads of state of Mexico

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Gabriel Valencia[edit]

Gabriel Valencia was or was not president of Mexico, depending on what list you look at. See, for example, here, which says he was interim president for three days. (Pedro Lascurain is included in most lists, as he is in this article, although he was president for only 45 minutes.) The ordinals here are bogus. There are differences among lists, and the last time I looked they did not fit any list because they contained errors. This is a case of forcing the data to fit a paradigm. Rbraunwa 12:28, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

For Gabriel Valencia's claim I would like to see a more authoritative source, given the disagreement between the length of his mandate (i.e. 1 year vs. 3 days, etc.) Surely Valencia must have left a paper trail somewhere (even Lascurain signed some decrees) that would allow us to solve this matter. As for the ordinals I agree that they are meaningless in this context and oversimplify the complexity of 19th century Mexican history; I wouldn't mind if they were gone. -- Rune Welsh | ταλκ 13:06, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
You're quite right about that. When I get a chance, I'll see what I can find. I forgot to mention above that my Mexican sources do not give ordinals. Rbraunwa 13:16, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

I just finished the article on Gabriel Valencia. I am now moderately in favor of including him on the list of Mexican presidents. In favor, because there was a formal transfer of power from a constitutional president to him, and he is listed here as a "constitutional" president himself. Moderately, because he occupied the position for such a brief period, because he held it on an interim basis and was never intended to exercise power, because it was part of a coup and not really a constitutional transfer, and because he is not listed in a majority of lists of Mexican presidents. However, he is listed in quite a few.

This list has many problems. For this period at least nearly all the dates disagree with the dates in my Mexican sources. However, my sources don't always agree with each other, so it would be a major project to go through, compare the list and the sources, and make decisions about what dates were most likely to be correct. Perhaps someone has already done this, but I doubt it. Not only are many dates questionable, but some transfers of power are completely omitted, usually when they were for short terms or perhaps when they were nominal rather than real transfers. All that needs to be looked into. And when the number of transfers of power is not agreed on, the ordinals are useless. Worse then useless, they are false and misleading.

I might be able to take on this project, but I can't do it immediately. Right now I am traveling and away from some of my best reference material.

It would make sense in the interim to remove the ordinals entirely and to indicate somehow that the transition dates are provisional. The easiest way to do that would just be to state it in the introduction of the article. Another option would be to remove the days, leaving just the months and years. Even some of the months are in dispute, but omitting the days would indicate a lack of precision, and would be sufficient I think for the time being.

I would like to hear other comments.

--Rbraunwa 20:20, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

Quite interesting, I think he should be added to the list in that case, with an appropriate explanation of the particular circumstances of his case. Agree 100% in that the ordinals are to go and dates of accession are to be reduced to month/year unless we know them precisely. Cleaning up all the articles of the presidents where the ordinal has been added will take some time, though. -- Rune Welsh | ταλκ 16:03, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
I think there is a source about the presidence of Valencia which is:
  • Garcia Diaz Tarcicio; La Política Interna y Exterior de la Nueva Nación, in: MEXICO Y SU HISTORIA Tomo 6 1821-1855 El Dilema de la Organización NacionalMéxico, Uteha, 1984, pp. 793-829
PhilFree 18:14, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Same feelings[edit]

I do not write articles in english, but translate a lot of them in french. I noticed exactly the same problems with the list in french as well as with the spanish list. I am not even sure the mexican governement has the exact dates for each President and maybe not even their names.

When someone is president just for a few days or just a few hours, there are always oponents to pretend he never was President. By the way, it seems it's a living tradition in Mexico... Does anyone know who will be President of Mexico the 1st of december 2006, Calderón or Lopez Obrador ? ;-)

I am sorry if this answer doesn't help, I can't make a decision, at the moment, uppon changing dates to month and year only rather than day, month and year.

Up to me the article in english became a bit to luxuous (and too complicated to upgrade) for a list which may evoluate, due to historical research.

PhilFree 21:12, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

Two more points[edit]

I hate to keep harping on this article when I can't do much to correct it for awhile yet, but I have two more thoughts it would probably be good to get on the record, and get comments on.

First, it's not accurate to say Benito Juárez was president until April 10, 1864, then Maximilian was emperor until June 19, 1867, and then Juárez resumed the presidency. Juárez was president from January 16, 1858 to July 18, 1872 without interruption. He was recognized as such by many Mexicans, perhaps a majority, and he controled parts of the country the entire time. He never left the country. His government was also recognized as the only legitimate one by some foreign governments, including that of the United States.

I'm not suggesting that Maximilian was not emperor. Clearly he was, but Juárez was simultaneously president. The Republic of Mexico never ceased to exist, and Juárez was its constititutional president.

Something similar was going on even before the arrival of Maximilian. The conservatives after Comonfort's coup (Zuloaga, Robles Pezuela amd Miramón) were presidents simultaneously with Juárez, who was the constitutional president throughout. This was the time of the War of the Reform, a full-blown civil war which the Liberals under Juárez won. Including Zuloaga, Robles Pezuela and Miramón as Mexican presidents is about the same as including Jefferson Davis as a U.S. president. I'm not opposed to their inclusion, though, because that is traditional in Mexican lists.

Juárez's first term, from January 16, 1858 to March 1, 1861 (during the War of the Reform), is not given here at all.

I also strongly suspect that many of the party labels in the table are misleading. I think at least some of them refer to tendencies rather than organized parties, but I'll need to do some reading to verify that. In any case, Zuloaga was not a liberal by any definition, including party affiliation, political tendency, or personal outlook.

--Rbraunwa 05:45, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

I understand your point, but there is a big difference: Jefferson Davis led a separatist movement, he did not occupy Washington D.C. and claim to be the legitimate authority over the entire United States, and he was defeated. The conservatives during the War of Reform actually assumed office in the capital, so whether we consider them legally legitimate or illegitimate, the point is that they were Mexican rulers, and belong in any list of rulers. It is similar to the case of someone who is a Republicanist in ideology, but most recognize, for example, that Napoleon Bonaparte, and Napoleon III, were actual rulers of France, like them or not, the legality notwithstanding. A similar controversy arises when we consider competing claims like Lerdo de Tajada, Jose Maria Iglesias, and Porfirio Diaz. There, you have a case where Iglesis was not a separatist, like Davis, but rather was recognized as the president of the entire Mexican Republic by some Mexican states, and justified his claim by Constitutional argument, and by the authority of the judicial branch of government. Lerdo de Tejada, on the other hand, won the election, legitimate or not, was recognized in the capital by Congress, and by other states of the union that did not back Iglesias, then Diaz came and settled it by making himself president! Who was legally the legitimate president? This list does not attempt to answer that, it only states who assumed office, had the official sanction of some part of the federal government, and held any real power--all three of them did, so all three of them were presidents. This is what is known as a Constitutional Crisis, as opposed to a war of secession, a revolution, or a coup-d'etat, a situation where there is Constitutional ambiguity, competing claims to a legal outcome for the whole country, and no final and absolute authority to determine what is what, until the issue is settled by force.
--Supersexyspacemonkey 16:52, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
No, no, that's very good, the list is after all in awful shape. Maybe the table could be fixed for periods when there were two simultaneous claims for the office, e.g. showing Maximilian and Juarez side to side. The party labels may be suspect, but my understanding is that the conservative and liberal parties were properly organized. The "Conservative-Liberal" label given to Santa Anna is quite likely wrong, though. -- Rune Welsh | ταλκ 08:45, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
That's essentially what they did at the Spanish Wikipedia for the War of the Reform: es:Presidente de México#La Guerra de Reforma. They did something a little different for Maximilian, but I don't see why we couldn't use the same method for both. Rbraunwa 22:02, 5 October 2006 (UTC)


Personally, I like the way they do it in the official "list of rulers" on the home page of the Mexican presidency [1], where they order them chronologically by separate terms. Where two or more persons have competing claims, they simply list them in order of who assumed office first, or had de facto power first, followed by the other person, and then they simpy allow the dates to overlap with no consecuence, reflecting the political reality while maintining some order. This Wikipedia list uses that formula to some extent (with the exception that it doesn't divide up consecutive terms, but merges them into one continuous administration), and overall it works, it might need some brushing up, but it works. The one glaring example where the list doesn't follow this model is Benito Juarez. To start with, he did not serve 2 terms as stated in his bio article, he actually served 5 terms!
1857-1861
1861-1865
1865-1867
1867-1871
1871-1872
He was elected the first time in 1857, before Maximilian, during the war of reform. His second term, which began in 1861, expired after Maximilian was crowned Emperor. His second term did NOT end in 1864, but rather one year later. Before he fled the French forces, Congress passed legislation granting Juarez an emergency extension, which came into effect after the first terms ended, while he was in exile, running two years from 1865-1867, for the duration of the war. After the war, Juarez' emergency tenure of office expired, and he was reelected, in 1867, to a third term that ran the normal 4 years, until 1871. Then, he was elected to his 5th term, and died only one year later.
Now, because this list does not bother to separate consecutive elected terms, there are several possible ways to go about fixing the Juarez entry. The main points to consider are: we want to show him in the list as both preceding and proceeding Maximilian, yet we also have to show the fact that he was president at the same time the Maximilian was Emperor, in keeping with the formula of showing overlapping dates for competing administrations. Thus, we can do the following:
1. Separate his presidency into two terms: one running from 1857 to 1867, this one for the entry that comes before Maximilian, and another running from 1867 to 1872, for the entry that comes after Maximilian. Since his emergency extension could be considered a continuation of the first term, this is the most logical way to divide it up into two parts.
2. Separate his presidency into two terms: one running from 1857 to 1864, this one for the entry that comes before Maximilian, and another running from 1865 to 1872, for the entry that comes after Maximilian.
3. Follow the Spanish Wikipedia article's example and separate his presidency into three terms, one running from 1857 to 1864, for the first entry, one running from 1864 to 1867, shown parallel to Maximilian, and the last running from 1867 to 1872, coming after Maximilian. Showing administrations in parallel is, I feel generally too complex and makes for an ugly table if every single overlap is shown. we can make an extraordinary exception for Juarez given the historical significance of those two particular competing claims, but I feel it would be best to just let the dates overlap, while placing individuals in a set order.
4. Rework the entire list to show redundant entries for every single term of office, instead of merging consecutive terms into one term. This would require a lot of work and a lot of research, but the official rulers list in the link provided is a good place to start, even though it does not list exact dates, but years.
I feel the most efficient and logical fix, for the short term, is #1. Someone would also have to fix the intro to the Juarez bio, which incorrectly shows only two terms of office and incorrectly indicates a break in his administration during the Maximilian Empire.
--Supersexyspacemonkey 16:30, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
I agree that your proposals 1-3 are all good, workable solutions, with #1 also being my first preference. I don't support #4, as being too complex, too difficult to implement, and providing little marginal difference to the reader. Not only that, but it would make for a much larger table, and I think some measure of conciseness is helpful here. Overall, though, I think your proposals would be a big improvement. Can you implement them?
--Rbraunwa 17:19, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Term dates[edit]

I've been working to straighten out the presidential terms and dates on the list, but there is still a long way to go. Here's what I've done:

I compared five sources to establish the most likely dates for the presidential terms I've looked at:

  • Enciclopedia de México. Mexico City, 1988.
  • García Puron, Manuel, México y sus gobernantes, v. 2. Mexico City: Joaquín Porrua, 1984.
  • Orozco Linares, Fernando, Gobernantes de México. Mexico City: Panorama Editorial, 1985.
  • World Statesmen: Mexico
  • The list before I made any changes

These all seem to be independent lists, in that no two of them always agree. There is a lot of disagreement, in fact, not only in the dates but to a lesser extent in what terms and presidents make the lists. But they are all good sources. I listed them in the order I assigned weight to them, with Enciclopedia de México being the most reliable in my opinion. But if two or more sources agreed, I gave them extra weight, regardless of which sources they were. I also used internal evidence when I could (other dates about what happened in a presidential term that could be used to decide between possibilities, or other clues). And I did some other Internet searches, although it's hard to establish whether Internet sources are independent, or just copies of one of my other sources.

In any case, there was still some interpretation required. I found the best dates (in my opinion), but I don't think every date is precisely accurate. That's a problem I don't know how to get around, but I believe my list, as far as I've gotten with it, is probably better than any of my sources. I have found dates that are unquestionably erroneous, and I think I've found some of those in all the sources.

Here's how to tell whether I've evaluated a date in the list. I found that the date formats were all of the form October 27 1833 (without the comma). The ones I evaluated and made a decision about now have a comma inserted: October 27, 1833. This doesn't show up when you view the article, only when you edit it. Whenever I made a change in the list, I made the corresponding change in the president's article. There is still a lot of work to do, but it's a start anyway.

There may be some problems maintaining this. It's only natural that someone coming across a slightly different date would think that the one on our list is an error. As I say, that's no doubt true in some cases, but I would argue that my changes shouldn't be modified without good reason and supporting sources. That's the only way to try to get a coherent list, I think.

--Rbraunwa 17:25, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes, there is a lot of incongruity between sources with regard to dates. I recently changed the end date for Comonfort/Beginning of Juarez from 1858 to 1857, but I only based myself on one source. Since you are doing a much more thorough analysis, you probably have the more authoritative answer as to whether that should be 1857 or 1858. In any case, if you think that should be reverted, know that I revised it not only on this list, but also the Juarez page, and the Comonfort page.--Supersexyspacemonkey 17:47, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Pascual Ortiz Rubio.jpg[edit]

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BetacommandBot (talk) 18:32, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Valentin Gomez Farias.jpg[edit]

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Image:Valentin Gomez Farias.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

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If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 11:44, 21 January 2008 (UTC) hi —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.44.33.122 (talk) 21:35, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Presidents who died in office[edit]

This is an extremely misleading (or perhaps "mis-headed") section.

Barrigan was no longer in office when he died, and... technically, neither was Madero. Obregon was not yet president, and Carranza more or less over-stayed his term, and was not legitimately president (we can quibble over that one). To say that Benito Juarez "was the only Mexican president to die of a non-violent cause while in office" is terribly misleading, and suggestive that violent deaths are the norm, not the exception. By my calculation, Juarez was the only President to die in office, and Carranza the only one to commit suicide (if that's what happened) or to be shot while holding the title of President... but that's it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Richmx2 (talkcontribs) 02:06, 6 August 2014 (UTC)