Pancho Villa

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For the 1972 film, see Pancho Villa (film). For the boxer known as "Pancho Villa", see Francisco Guilledo.
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Arango and the second or maternal family name is Arámbula.
Pancho Villa
Pancho villa horseback.jpg
Pancho Villa
Birth name José Doroteo Arango Arámbula
Nickname(s) Francisco Villa
Pancho Villa
El Centauro del Norte (The Centaur of the North)
Born (1878-06-05)5 June 1878
La Coyotada, San Juan del Río, Durango, Mexico
Died 20 July 1923(1923-07-20) (aged 45)
Parral, Chihuahua, Mexico
Buried at Monument to the Revolution, Mexico City
Allegiance Mexico (antireeleccionista revolutionary forces)
Rank General
Commands held División del Norte
Signature Pancho Villa signature.svg
Governor of Chihuahua
In office
Preceded by Salvador R. Mercado
Succeeded by Manuel Chao

Francisco (Pancho) Villa was named at birth José Doroteo Arango Arámbula (5 June 1878 – 20 July 1923); he became one of the best Mexican Revolutionary generals, and certainly its most famous.

As commander of the División del Norte (Division of the North) in the Constitutionalist Army, he was the veritable caudillo of the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua. Given Chihuahua's size, mineral wealth, and proximity to the United States of America, it provided him with extensive resources. Villa was also provisional Governor of Chihuahua in 1913 and 1914. Villa can be credited with decisive military victories leading to the ouster of Victoriano Huerta from the presidency in July 1914. Villa then fought his erstwhile leader in the coalition against Huerta, "First Chief" of the Constitutionalists Venustiano Carranza. Villa was in alliance with southern revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, who remained fighting in his own region of Morelos; however, the two revolutionary generals briefly came together to take Mexico City after Carranza's forces retreated from it. Later, Villa's heretofore undefeated División del Norte engaged the military forces of Carranza under Carrancista general Álvaro Obregón and was defeated in the 1915 Battle of Celaya. Villa's army then collapsed as a significant military force.

Villa subsequently led a raid against the U.S.-Mexican border town of Columbus, New Mexico in 1916. The U.S. government sent U.S. Army General John J. Pershing to capture Villa in an unsuccessful nine-month incursion into Mexican sovereign territory that ended when the United States entered World War I and Pershing was called back.

Villa made an agreement with the Mexican government, following the ouster and death of Carranza in 1920, to retire from hostilities and was given an hacienda near Parral, Chihuahua, which he turned into a "military colony" for his former soldiers. In 1923, as presidential elections approached, he re-involved himself in Mexican politics. Shortly thereafter he was assassinated, most likely on the orders of Obregón.

In life, Villa helped fashion his own image as an internationally known revolutionary hero, starring as himself in Hollywood films and giving interviews to foreign journalists. After his death, he was prevented from being accepted into the pantheon of revolutionary heroes until the Sonoran generals Obregón and Calles, whom he battled during the Revolution, were gone from the political stage. Villa's exclusion from the official narrative of the Revolution might have contributed to his continued posthumous popular acclaim. He was celebrated during the Revolution and long afterward by corridos, movies about his life, and novels by prominent writers. In 1976, his remains were reburied in the Monument to the Revolution in Mexico City in a huge public ceremony not attended by his widow Luz Corral.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Villa was born on 5 June 1878, as José Doroteo Arango Arámbula, the son of peasants Agustín Arango and Micaela Arámbula. According to stories Villa told, he claimed to be the son of the bandit Agustín Villa, but according to at least one scholar, "the identity of his real father is still unknown."[3] The residence of Agustín Arango and his wife Micaela Arámbula, the present day Casa de Pancho Villa historic house museum, was at the Rancho de la Coyotada,[4]:64 which was located in San Juan del Río, Durango and was one of the largest haciendas in the state of Durango. Doroteo was the oldest of five children and as such helped his mother care for his siblings after Agustín died.[5]:58 As a child, he received some education from a local church-run school, but was not proficient in more than basic literacy.[6][7] He quit school after his father died. He became a bandit at some point early on, as well as a sharecropper, muleskinner (arriero), butcher, bricklayer, and foreman for a U.S. railway company.[8][7]

According to his own later statements, at the age of 16 he moved to Chihuahua but swiftly returned to Durango to track down a hacienda owner named Agustín López Negrete, who had raped his sister;[7] however, the veracity of this story has been questioned.[5]:58 After he shot Negrete,[7] Doroteo stole a horse and fled to the Sierra Madre Occidental region in Durango, where he roamed the hills as a bandit.[7] Eventually, he became a member of an outlaw band headed by Ignacio Parra, one of the most famous bandits in Durango at the time.[5]:58 As a bandit he went by the name "Arango".[9]

In 1902, the rurales, the crack rural police force of President Porfirio Díaz, arrested Arango for stealing mules and for assault. He was spared the death sentence sometimes imposed on captured bandits owing to his connections with the powerful Pablo Valenzuela, who had allegedly been a recipient of goods stolen by Villa. Villa was forcibly inducted into the Federal Army, a practice often adopted under the Diaz regime to deal with trouble-makers. Several months later he deserted and fled to the neighboring state of Chihuahua.[5]:58 In 1903, after killing an army officer and stealing his horse,[9] he was no longer known as Arango but Francisco "Pancho" Villa[9] after his paternal grandfather, Jesús Villa.[5]:58 However, others claim he appropriated the name from a bandit from Coahuila.[10] He was also known to his friends as La Cucaracha ("the cockroach").[9]

Until 1910 Villa is said to have alternated episodes of banditry with more legitimate pursuits.[5]:58 Villa's outlook on banditry would change after he met Abraham González.[7] The local representative for presidential candidate, Francisco Madero,[7] a rich hacendado turned politician who was opposed to the continued rule of Porfirio Díaz, González convinced Villa that through his banditry he could fight for the people and hurt the hacienda owners.[7]

Madero, Villa, and the Mexican Revolution[edit]

Villa as he appeared in the United States press during the Revolution.
Main article: Mexican Revolution

In 1910, the Mexican Revolution began. Francisco Madero, candidate for the presidency challenging the incumbent Porfirio Díaz in the 1910 elections. Díaz arrested Madero and staged fraudulent elections, but Madero had united a broad base of pro-democracy, anti-re-eleccionista who sought an end to the Díaz regime. In Chihuahua, the leader of the anti-re-electionists was Abraham González, who reached out to Villa to join the movement. A man of action, in November Villa captured a large hacienda and then a train of Federal Army soldiers and the town of San Andrés. He went on to beat the Federal Army in Naica, Camargo, and Pilar de Conchos, but lost at Tecolote.[11] Villa met in person with Madero in March 1911, as the struggle to oust Díaz was ongoing.[12]

Although Madero had created a broad movement against Díaz, for anarcho-synicalists of the Mexican Liberal Party (PLM) Madero was not sufficiently radical and challenged his leadership. In his Plan de San Luis Potosí, Madero had called for revolutionary action against the Díaz regime on November 20, 1910, and had declared himself provisional president of Mexico. The anarchists challenged Madero's position; Madero ordered Villa to deal with the threat, which he did, disarming and arresting them. Madero rewarded Villa by promoting him to colonel in the revolutionary forces.[13]

Much of the fighting was in the north of Mexico, near the border with the United States. Fearful of U.S. intervention, Madero hung back against an attack against the strategic border city of Ciudad Juárez, and ordered the revolutionary army not to take it. Villa and Pascual Orozco disobeyed those orders, and the revolutionaries won the first Battle of Ciudad Juárez in 1911.[14][7] Madero's volunteers won victories in many places, forcing Díaz's resignation and exile.[7] However, Madero signed the Treaty of Ciudad Juárez with the Díaz regime following his revolutionary followers' military victory, which allowed Díaz to go into exile. It kept the essential power structure of the Díaz regime, including the just defeated Federal Army. The rebels who brought Madero to power, including Villa, were demobilized and Madero called on the men of action to return to civilian life. Orozco and Villa, having handed Madero the huge victory at Ciudad Juárez demanded that hacienda land seized during the violence bringing Madero to power be distributed to revolutionary soldiers. Madero refused, saying that the government would buy the properties from their owners and then distribute them at some future date to the revolutionaries.[15] According to a story recounted by Villa, he told Madero at a banquet in Ciudad Juárez after the victory in 1911, "You, sir [Madero], have destroyed the revolution...It's simple: this bunch of dandies have made a fool of you, and this will eventually cost us our necks, yours included."[16] This proved to be the case for Madero, who was murdered during a military coup in February 1913 in a period known as the Ten Tragic Days (Decena Trágica).

Once elected President in November 1911, Madero proved a disastrous politician, dismissing his revolutionary supporters and relying on the existing power structure. Villa strongly disapproved of Madero's decision to name Venustiano Carranza (who had previously been a staunch supporter of Diaz until Diaz refused to appoint him as Governor of Coahuila in 1909[17]) as his Minister of War.[17] As president, Madero failed to reward a key revolutionary, Pascual Orozco, who had handed him the victory at Ciudad Juárez. Orozco rebelled in March 1912, not merely on the grounds of receiving insufficient rewards himself, but for Madero's continuing failure to enact land reform. Madero's "refusal personally to accommodate Orozco was a major political blunder."[18] At the request of Chihuahua Governor Abraham González, Madero's chief political ally in the state, Villa returned to military service under Madero to fight the rebellion led by his former comrade Orozco. Although Orozco appealed to join the rebellion,[19] Villa again gave Madero key military victories. With 400 cavalrymen, he captured Parral from the Orozquistas and then joined forces in the strategic city of Torreón with the Federal Army under the command of General Victoriano Huerta.[20][21]

Honorary Brigadier General Pancho Villa before a Federal Army firing squad in 1912. His execution by General Victoriano Huerta was averted at the last moment by a telegram from President Madero.

Huerta initially welcomed the successful Villa, and sought to bring him under his control by naming Villa an honorary brigadier general in the Federal Army, but Villa was not so easily flattered or controlled.[22] Huerta then sought to discredit and eliminate Villa by accusing him of stealing a fine horse and calling him a bandit. Villa struck Huerta, who then ordered Villa's execution for insubordination and theft. As he was about to be executed by firing squad, he made a request to speak to General Emilio Madero, who was nearby. The intervention of Emilio and his brother Raúl Madero delayed the execution; Huerta spared Villa's life, following the telegram President Madero ordering Villa's life be spared and that he be imprisoned. Villa was sent to Mexico City, where he was jailed in Belem Prison. It was in prison that he learned to read and write, being tutored by Gildardo Magaña, a follower of Emiliano Zapata, revolutionary leader in Morelos. Magaña told him of Zapata's Plan de Ayala, repudiating Madero and calling for land reform in Mexico.[23][24][25][26]

Villa was transferred to the Santiago Tlatelolco Prison on 7 June 1912, where he received further tutelage under the imprisoned Federal Army general Bernardo Reyes, who instructed him in civics and history. Villa escaped on Christmas Day 1912, crossing into the United States near Nogales on 2 January 1913. Arriving in El Paso, Texas, he attempted to convey a message to Madero via Abraham González about the upcoming coup d'état, which in the end brought Huerta to the presidency after the murder of Madero in February 1913.[24] Villa was in the U.S. when the coup occurred, but with just seven men, some mules, and scant supplies, Villa returned to Mexico in April 1913 to fight Madero's usurper and Villa's almost-executioner, Victoriano Huerta.[27]

Fight Huerta[edit]

Pancho Villa (center) in December 1913, when his División del Norte of the revolutionary Constitutionalist Army was fighting dictator Victoriano Huerta

In the second part of the Mexican Revolution, President Francisco I. Madero was betrayed and assassinated.[28] After crushing the Orozco rebellion, Victoriano Huerta, with the federal army he commanded, held the majority of military power in Mexico. Huerta saw an opportunity to make himself the dictator of Mexico, and he began to conspire with men such as Bernardo Reyes, Félix Díaz (nephew of Porfirio Díaz), and the American ambassador Henry Lane Wilson, which resulted in La decena trágica (the "Ten Tragic Days") and the assassination of President Madero.[29]

After Madero's murder, Huerta became president. Huerta immediately moved to consolidate power; he had Abraham González, governor of Chihuahua, Madero's ally and Villa's mentor, murdered in March 1913. (Villa later recovered González's remains and gave his friend and mentor a proper funeral in Chihuahua.) Also immediately after Huerta's coup, the governor of Coahuila, Venustiano Carranza, who had been appointed to the post by Madero, refused to recognize Huerta's authority. He proclaimed the Plan of Guadalupe to oust Huerta as an unconstitutional usurper. Despite his strong dislike of Carranza, Villa aligned with him afterwards to overthrow Huerta.[7] Between Huerta and Carranza, Carranza would be regarded as only the lesser of two evils and would also be regarded as the butt of Villa's jokes and pranks.[17] The politicians and generals (who included Pablo González, Álvaro Obregón, and Villa) who supported Carranza's plan were collectively styled the Ejército Constitucionalista de México (Constitutionalist Army of Mexico), the Constitucionalista adjective was added to stress the point that Huerta had not legally obtained power laid out by Mexico's Constitution of 1857.

The period 1913-1914 was the time of Villa's greatest international fame and military and political success. He recruited soldiers and able subordinates (both Mexican and mercenary)[7] such as Felipe Ángeles, Manuel Chao, Sam Dreben, Felix A. Sommerfeld and Ivor Thord-Gray, and raised money using methods such as forced assessments on hostile hacienda owners and train robberies. In one notable escapade, he held 122 bars of silver from a train robbery (and a Wells Fargo employee) hostage and forced Wells Fargo to help him sell the bars for cash.[30] A rapid, hard-fought series of victories at Ciudad Juárez, Tierra Blanca, Chihuahua and Ojinaga followed.[7] The well-known American journalist and fiction writer Ambrose Bierce, then in his seventies, accompanied Villa's army during this period and witnessed the battle of Tierra Blanca. Bierce vanished while still with Villa's army in or after December 1913. Oral accounts of his execution by firing squad were never verified. U.S. Army Chief of Staff Hugh L. Scott charged Sommerfeld with finding out what happened, but the only result of Sommerfeld's inquiry was the finding that Bierce most likely survived after Ojinaga and died in Durango.[31]

Governor of Chihuahua[edit]

Pancho Villa (left) and chief executioner Rodolfo Fierro, known as el Carnicero

Against the wishes of Carranza, who wanted to name Manuel Chao as the provisional governor of Chihuahua,[4]:263 Villa was named as the provisional governor of the state of Chihuahua in 1913,[7] after the local military commanders in the region elected him.[4]:253 As Governor of Chihuahua, Villa recruited more experienced generals, such as Toribio Ortega, Porfirio Talamantes and Calixto Contreras,[4]:253 in his military staff and achieved more success than ever. Following his appointment as governor of Chihuahua, Villa's secretary Perez Rul divided his army into two groups, one led by Ortega, Contreras, and Orestes Pereira[4]:261 and the other led by Talamantes and Contreras' deputy Severianco Ceniceros.[4]:262

According to some of the references, Villa considered Tierra Blanca his most spectacular victory,[32] though Talamantes died while fighting the battle as well.[5]:273 Villa's war tactics were studied by the United States Army and a contract with Hollywood was made whereby Hollywood would be allowed to film Villa's movements and 50% of Hollywood's profit would be paid to Villa to support the Revolution.[28]

As governor of Chihuahua, Villa raised more money for a drive to the south by printing his own currency. He decreed his paper money to be traded and accepted at par with gold Mexican pesos, then forced the wealthy to give loans that would allow him to pay salaries as well as provide food and clothes to the army. He also took some of the land owned by the hacendados (owners of the haciendas) to give it to the widows and family of dead revolutionaries. The forced loans would also support the war machinery of the Mexican Revolution.[28] He also confiscated gold from specific banks, in one case, that of the Banco Minero, by holding hostage a member of the bank's owning family, the extremely wealthy Terrazas clan, until the location of the bank's hidden gold was revealed.

Villa's political stature at that time was so high that banks in El Paso, Texas, accepted his paper pesos at face value. His generalship drew enough admiration from the U.S. military that he and Álvaro Obregón were invited to Fort Bliss to meet Brigadier General John J. Pershing.[7] Returning to Mexico,[7] Villa gathered supplies for a drive to the south.[7]

The new source of money was used to purchase draft animals, cavalry horses, arms, ammunition, mobile hospital facilities (railroad cars and horse ambulances staffed with Mexican and foreign volunteer doctors, known as Servicio sanitario), and food, as well as to rebuild the railroad south of Chihuahua City. As governor, he also recruited fighters from Chihuahua and Durango and became leader of a large army known as the Division del Norte (Division of the North),[4]:287 the most powerful and feared military unit in all of Mexico.[33] The rebuilt railroad transported Villa's troops and artillery south,[7] where he defeated Federal forces at Gómez Palacio,[7] Torreón,[7] and eventually at the heart of Huerta's regime in Zacatecas.[34] Of all of Villa's generals, Felipe Angeles was considered to be his best.

Carranza tries to halt the Villa advance, the fall of Zacatecas[edit]

Constitutionalist Generals Obregón, Villa with U.S. Army General Pershing, posing after a 1913 meeting at Ft Bliss, Texas (Immediately behind Gen Pershing is his aide, 1stLt George S. Patton, Jr.). Obregón later lost his right arm fighting Villa's forces during the 1914-15 civil war of the winners who had ousted Victoriano Huerta.

After Villa successfully captured Torreón,[7] Carranza issued a puzzling order for Villa to break off action south of Torreón and instead to divert to attack Saltillo,[7] and he threatened to cut off Villa's coal supply if he did not comply.[7] Coal was needed for railroad locomotives to pull trains transporting soldiers and supplies. This was widely seen as an attempt by Carranza to divert Villa from a direct assault on Mexico City so as to allow Carranza's forces under Álvaro Obregón, driving in from the west via Guadalajara, to take the capital first.[7] This was an expensive and disruptive diversion for the División del Norte, since Villa's enlisted men were paid the then enormous sum of a peso per day, and each day of delay cost thousands of pesos.

Villa taking Zacatecas

Villa, disgusted by what he saw as egoism, complied with Carranza's order to divert his attacks towards Saltillo[7] but then offered his resignation after capturing the city.[7] Felipe Ángeles and the rest of Villa's staff officers argued for Villa to withdraw his resignation,[7] defy Carranza's orders,[7] and proceed to attack Zacatecas, a strategic mountainous city that was heavily defended by Federal troops and considered nearly impregnable.[7] Zacatecas was the source of much of Mexico's silver,[7] and thus a supply of funds for whoever held it. Victory in Zacatecas would mean that Huerta's chances of holding the remainder of the country would be slim. Villa accepted his staff's advice[7] and cancelled his resignation,[7] and the División del Norte defied Carranza[7] and attacked Zacatecas.[7] Attacking up steep slopes,[7] the División del Norte defeated the Federals[7] in the Toma de Zacatecas (Taking of Zacatecas), the single bloodiest battle of the Revolution, with the military forces counting approximately 7,000 dead and 5,000 wounded,[7] and unknown numbers of civilian casualties. (A memorial to and museum of the Toma de Zacatecas is on the Cerro de la Bufa, one of the key defense points in the battle of Zacatecas. Tourists use a teleférico (aerial tramway) to reach it, owing to the steep approaches. From the top, tourists may appreciate the difficulties Villa's troops had trying to dislodge Federal troops from the peak.) The loss of Zacatecas in June 1914 broke the back of the Huerta regime,[7] and Huerta left for exile on 14 July 1914.

However, in August 1914, Carranza and his army entered Mexico City ahead of Villa.[7] Villa despised Carranza and saw him as another Porfirio Díaz-like dictator. Nevertheless, Villa, who did not want to be named President of Mexico, accepted Carranza as the Chief of the Revolution. The revolutionary caudillos convened a National Convention, and conducted a series of meetings in Aguascalientes. This National Convention set rules for Mexico's path towards democracy. None of the armed revolutionaries were allowed to be nominated for government positions. They chose an interim president, Eulalio Gutierrez. Emiliano Zapata, a military general from southern Mexico,[7] and Pancho Villa met at the convention. Zapata was sympathetic to Villa's views of Carranza and told Villa he feared Carranza's intentions were those of a dictator and not of a democratic president. True to Zapata's prediction, Carranza decided to oppose the agreements of the National Convention, setting off a civil war.[28] Fearing that Carranza was imposing a dictatorship, Villa and Zapata broke with him.[7]

War of the Winners: Split with Carranza, Alliance with Zapata[edit]

Pancho Villa (left) "commander of the División del Norte (North Division)", and Emiliano Zapata "Ejército Libertador del Sur (Liberation Army of the South)" in 1914. Villa is sitting in the presidential chair in the Palacio Nacional.

Following the Convention, Carranza was deposed as President and retreated to Veracruz.[7] Following Carranza's departure, Villa and Zapata occupied Mexico City.[7] Although Villa had a more formidable army, Carranza's general Álvaro Obregón was a better tactician.[17] With Obregón's help, Carranza was able to use the Mexican press to portray Villa as a sociopathic bandit.[17] In late 1914, one of Villa's top generals, Toribio Ortega died of typhus.[5]:273

While Convention forces occupied Mexico City, Carranza maintained control over two Mexican states, Veracruz and Tamaulipas, where Mexico's two largest ports were located. Carranza was able to collect more revenue than Villa.[17] In 1915, Villa was forced to abandon the capital after a number of incidents involving his troops.[7] This helped pave the way for the return of Carranza and his followers.[7]

To combat Villa, Carranza sent his ablest general, Álvaro Obregón, north.[7] Meeting at the Battle of Celaya, a battle fought between 6 April – 15 April 1915, Villa was badly defeated suffering 4,000 killed and 6,000 captured.[7] Obregón encountered Villa again at the Battle of Trinidad, which was fought between 29 April and 5 June 1915, where Villa suffered another huge loss. In October 1915, Villa crossed into Sonora, the main stronghold of Obregón and Carranza's armies, where he hoped to crush Carranza's regime. Carranza had reinforced Sonora, however, and Villa was again badly defeated. Rodolfo Fierro, his most loyal officer and cruel hatchet man, was killed while Villa's army was crossing into Sonora as well.

After losing the Battle of Agua Prieta in Sonora, an overwhelming number of Villa's men in the Division del Norte were killed and 1,500 of the army's surviving members soon turned on him and accepted an amnesty offer from Carranza.[35] "Villa's army [was] reduced to the condition to which it had reduced Huerta's in 1914. The celebrated Division of the North was thus eliminated as a capital military force."[36]

In November 1915,[37] Carranza's forces had captured and executed Contreras, Pereyra and Pereyra's son.[4]:262 Severianco Ceniceros also accepted amnesty from Carranza and turned on Villa as well.[4]:262 Although Villa's secretary Perez Rul also broke with Villa, he refused to become a supporter of Carranza.[4]:832

Only 200 men in Villa's army remained loyal to him and he was soon forced to retreat back into the mountains of Chihuahua. However, Villa and his men were determined to keep fighting Carranza's forces. Villa's position was further weakened by the United States' refusal to sell him weapons.[7] By the end of 1915, Villa was on the run and the United States Government recognized Carranza.[17]

Split with the United States and the Pancho Villa Expedition[edit]

Villa wearing bandoliers in front of an insurgent camp

After years of public and documented support for Villa's fight, the United States, following the diplomatic policies of Woodrow Wilson, who believed that supporting Carranza was the best way to expedite establishment of a stable Mexican government, refused to allow more arms to be supplied to Villa's army, and allowed Carranza's troops to be relocated over U.S. railroads.[7] Villa felt betrayed by the Americans.[7] He was further enraged by Obregón's use of searchlights, powered by American electricity, to help repel a Villista night attack on the border town of Agua Prieta, Sonora, on 1 November 1915. In January 1916, a group of Villistas attacked a train on the Mexico North Western Railway, near Santa Isabel, Chihuahua, and killed several American employees of the ASARCO company. The passengers included eighteen Americans, fifteen of whom worked for American Smelting and Refining Company. There was only one survivor, who gave the details to the press. Villa admitted to ordering the attack, but denied that he had authorized the shedding of American blood.[citation needed]

After meeting with a Mexican mayor named Juan Muñoz,[38] Villa recruited more men into his guerrilla militia and now had 400 men under his command.[38] Villa then met with his lieutenants Martin Lopez, Pablo Lopez, Francisco Beltran, Candelario Cervantes and commissioned an additional 100 men to the command of Joaquin Alvarez, Bernabe Cifuentes and Ernesto Rios;[38] Pablo Lopez and Cervantes were later killed in the early part of 1916.[5]:364 Villa and his 500 guerrillas then started planning an attack on US soil.[38]

Attack on New Mexico[edit]

Ruins of Columbus, New Mexico after being raided by Pancho Villa

On 9 March 1916, General Villa ordered nearly 100 Mexican members of his revolutionary group to make a cross-border attack against Columbus, New Mexico. While some believed the raid was conducted because of the U.S. government's official recognition of the Carranza regime and for the loss of lives in battle due to defective cartridges purchased from the United States,[39] it was accepted from a military standpoint that Villa carried out the raid because he needed more military equipment and supplies in order to continue his fight against Carranza.[39] They attacked a detachment of the 13th Cavalry Regiment (United States), burned the town and seized 100 horses and mules and other military supplies.[7] Eighteen Americans and about 80 Villistas were killed.[39][40]

Other attacks in US territory were allegedly carried out by Villa, but none of these attacks were ever confirmed to have been carried out by Villistas. These unconfirmed attacks are:

  • 15 May 1916. It is claimed that they attacked Glenn Springs, Texas, killing a civilian and wounding three American soldiers. Two Mexicans were estimated killed.[41]
  • 15 June 1916. Bandits killed four soldiers at San Ygnacio, Texas and wounded five soldiers; six Mexicans killed.[41]
  • 31 Julym1916. One American soldier and a U.S. customs inspector were killed at Fort Hancock Texas.[42] The two dead Americans included a soldier from the 8th US Cavalry and Customs Inspector Robert Wood.[43] One American was wounded and three Mexicans were reported killed, plus three Mexicans captured by Mexican government troops.

Pancho Villa Expedition[edit]

Political cartoon in the U.S. Press. Uncle Sam chases Pancho Villa, saying "I've had about enough of this."

In response to Villa's raid on Columbus, President Wilson sent 5,000 men of the U.S. Army under the command of General Frederick Funston who oversaw John Pershing as he pursued Villa through Mexico. Employing aircraft and trucks for the first time in US Army history, Pershing's force chased Villa until February 1917.[44] The search for Villa was unsuccessful.[7] However, some of Villa's senior commanders (Colonel Candelario Cervantes, General Francisco Beltrán, Beltrán's son and Villa's second-in-command Julio Cárdenas) and a total of 190 of his men were killed during the expedition.

The Mexican population were against US troops in Mexican territories. There were several demonstrations of their opposition to the Punitive Expedition and that counted towards the failure of that expedition. During the expedition, Carranza's forces captured one of Villa's top generals, Pablo Lopez; he was executed on June 5, 1916.[45]

Villa's battles and military actions[edit]

General Pancho Villa in the entrance of Ojinaga

German involvement in Villa's later campaigns[edit]

Before the Villa-Carranza irregular forces had left to the mountains in 1915, there is no credible evidence that Villa cooperated with or accepted any help from the German government or agents. Villa was supplied arms from the USA, employed international (Americans included) mercenaries and doctors, was portrayed as a hero in the US media, made business arrangements with Hollywood, and did not object to the 1914 US naval occupation of Veracruz. Villa's observation was that the occupation merely hurt Huerta. Villa opposed the armed participation of the United States in Mexico, but he did not act against the Veracruz occupation in order to maintain the connections in the United States necessary to buy cartridges and other supplies. The German consul in Torreón did make entreaties to Villa, offering him arms and money to occupy the port and oil fields of Tampico to enable German ships to dock there, but Villa rejected the offer.

German agents did attempt to interfere, unsuccessfully, in the Mexican Revolution. Germans attempted to plot with Victoriano Huerta to assist him to retake the country and, in the infamous Zimmermann Telegram to the Mexican government, proposed an alliance with the government of Venustiano Carranza.

There were documented contacts between Villa and the Germans after Villa's split with the Constitutionalists. Principally this was in the person of Felix A. Sommerfeld (noted in Katz's book), who allegedly, in 1915, funneled $340,000 of German money to the Western Cartridge Company to purchase ammunition. Sommerfeld had been Villa's representative in the United States since 1914 and had close contact with the German naval attaché in Washington Karl Boy-Ed as well as other German agents in the United States such as Franz von Rintelen and Horst von der Goltz.[47] In May 1914, Sommerfeld formally entered the employ of Boy-Ed and the German secret service in the United States.[48] However, Villa's actions were hardly that of a German catspaw; rather, it appears that Villa only resorted to German assistance after other sources of money and arms were cut off.[49]

At the time of Villa's attack on Columbus, New Mexico in 1916, Villa's military power had been marginalized (he was repulsed at Columbus by a small cavalry detachment, albeit after doing a lot of damage), his theater of operations was mainly limited to western Chihuahua, he was persona non grata with Mexico's ruling Carranza constitutionalists, and the subject of an embargo by the United States; so communication or further shipments of arms between the Germans and Villa would have been difficult.

A plausible explanation of any Villa-German contacts after 1915 would be that they were a futile extension of increasingly desperate German diplomatic efforts and Villista dreams of victory as progress of their respective wars bogged down. Villa effectively did not have anything useful to offer in exchange for German help at that point.

When weighing claims of Villa conspiring with Germans, one should take into account that at the time, portraying Villa as a German sympathizer served the propaganda ends of both Carranza and Wilson.

The use of Mauser rifles and carbines by Villa's forces does not necessarily indicate any German connection. These weapons were widely used by all parties in the Mexican Revolution, Mauser longarms being enormously popular. They were standard issue in the Mexican Army, which had begun adopting 7 mm Mauser system arms as early as 1895.[50]

Personal life[edit]

As Villa's biographer Friedrich Katz has noted, "During his lifetime, Villa had never bothered with conventional arrangements in his family life,"[51] and he contracted several marriages without seeking annulment or divorce. On 29 May 1911, Villa married María Luz Corral,[7] who has been described as "the most articulate of his many wives."[52] Villa met her when she was living with her widowed mother in San Andrés, where Villa for a time had his headquarters. Anti-re-electionists asked for (politely termed) monetary contributions for their cause, which the two women could not afford. The widow Corral did not want to seem a counter-revolutionary, and went to Villa, who allowed her to make a token contribution to the cause.[53][54] Villa sought Luz Corral as his wife, but her mother was opposed; however, the two were married by a priest "in a great ceremony, attended by his military chiefs and a representative of the governor.[55] After Villa's death, Luz Corral's marriage to Villa was challenged in court twice, and both times it was upheld as valid.[56] Together, Villa and Luz Corral had only one child, a daughter, who died within a few years after birth.[54]

Villa had long term relationships several women. Austreberta Rentería was Villa's "official wife" at his hacienda of Canutillo, and Villa had two sons with her, Francisco and Hipólito. Two others were Soledad Seañez, and Manuela Casas, with whom Villa had a son. He also had a daughter with Juana Torres, whom he wed in 1913.[57]

At the time of Villa's assassination in 1923, Luz Corral was banished from Canutillo. But Corral was recognized by Mexican courts as Villa's legal wife and therefore heir to Villa's estate. President Obregón intervened in the dispute between competing claims to Villa's estate in Luz Corral's favor, perhaps because she had saved Obregón's life when Villa threatened to execute him in 1914.[58]

Rentería and Seañez eventually were granted small government pensions decades after Villa's death. Corral inherited Villa's estate and played the key role in maintaining his public memory. All three women were often present at ceremonies at Villa's grave in Parral.[59] When Villa's remains were transferred to the Monument to the Revolution in Mexico City, Corral refused to attend the huge ceremony.

An alleged son of Pancho Villa, the lieutenant colonel Octavio Villa Coss,[60] was reportedly killed by Juan Nepomuceno Guerra, a legendary drug lord from the Gulf Cartel, in 1960.[61]

Villa's last living son, Ernesto Nava, died in Castro Valley, California, at the age of 94, on 31 December 2009.[62] Nava appeared yearly in festival events in his hometown of Durango, Mexico, enjoying celebrity status until he became too weak to attend.

Final Years: Guerrilla Leader to Hacienda Owner[edit]

Following his unsuccessful military campaign at Celaya and the 1916 incursion into New Mexico, prompting the unsuccessful U.S. military intervention in Mexico to capture him, Villa ceased to be a national leader and became a guerrilla leader in Chihuahua.[63][7] While Villa still remained active, Carranza shifted his focus to dealing with the more dangerous threat posed by Zapata in the south.[7] Villa's last major military action was a raid against Ciudad Juárez in 1919.[7] Following the raid, Villa suffered yet another major blow after Felipe Angeles, who had returned to Mexico in 1918 after living in exile for three years as a dairy farmer in Texas,[64][65] left Villa and his now small militia. Angeles was later captured by Carranza's forces and was executed on 26 November 1919.

After losing his final battle at Ciudad Juárez, Villa agreed that he would cease fighting if it were made worth his while.[9] Villa still continued fighting and conducted a small siege in Ascención, Durango, after his failed raid in Ciudad Juárez.[66] The siege failed and Villa's new second-in-command, his longtime lieutenant Martín López, was killed during the fighting.[66]

On 21 May 1920, a break for Villa came when Carranza, along with his top advisers and supporters,[17] was assassinated by supporters of Álvaro Obregón.[17] With his nemesis dead, Villa was now ready to negotiate a peace settlement and retire. On 22 July 1920, Villa was finally able to send a telegram to Mexican interim President Adolfo de la Huerta, which stated that he recognized Huerta's presidency and requested amnesty.[67] Six days later, Adolfo de la Huerta met with Villa and successfully negotiated a peace settlement.[7]

In exchange for his retirement from hostilities, Villa was granted a 25,000 acre[68] hacienda in Canutillo,[69] just outside of Hidalgo del Parral, Chihuahua, by the national government.[7] This was in addition to the Quinta Luz estate that he owned with his wife, María Luz Corral de Villa, in Chihuahua, Chihuahua. The last remaining 200 guerrillas and veterans of Villa's militia who still maintained a loyalty to him[68] would reside with him in his new hacienda as well[68] and the Mexican government also granted them a pension that totalled 500,000 gold pesos.[68] The 50 guerrillas who still remained in Villa's small cavalry would also be allowed to serve as Villa's personal bodyguards.[70]

Assassination in 1923[edit]

Dodge automobile in which Pancho Villa was assassinated, Historical Museum of the Mexican Revolution in Chihuahua.

On Friday, 20 July 1923, Villa was killed while visiting Parral.[71][7] Usually accompanied by his entourage of Dorados (his bodyguards) Pancho Villa frequently made trips from his ranch to Parral for banking and other errands, where he generally felt secure. This day, however, Villa had gone into the town without them, taking only a few associates with him. He went to pick up a consignment of gold from the local bank with which to pay his Canutillo ranch staff. While driving back through the city in his black 1919 Dodge roadster, Villa passed by a school and a pumpkinseed vendor ran toward Villa's car and shouted Viva Villa! a signal for a group of seven riflemen who then appeared in the middle of the road and fired more than 40 shots into the automobile.[72][5]:393 In the fusillade of shots, nine Dumdum bullets, normally used for hunting big game, hit Villa in the head and upper chest, killing him instantly.[4]:766

One of Villa's bodyguards, Ramon Contreras, was also badly wounded but managed to kill at least one of the assassins before he escaped;[69] he would be the only person who accompanied Villa during this assassination and survived.[69] Two other bodyguards,[69] Claro Huertado and Villa's main personal bodyguard Rafael Madreno, who were with him also died,[5]:393[9] as did his personal secretary Daniel Tamayo and his high-ranking Colonel Miguel Trillo,[73] who served as his chauffeur.[5]:393[9][69] Villa is sometimes reported to have died saying: "Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something."[74] There is, however, no contemporary evidence he survived his shooting even momentarily. Historian and biographer Friedrich Katz, wrote in 1998 that Villa died instantly.[4]:766 Time also reported in 1951 that both Villa and his aide (Tamayo) were killed instantly.[68]

Telegraph service was interrupted to Villa's hacienda of Canutillo, likely so that Obregón's officials could secure the estate and "to prevent a possible Villista uprising triggered by his assassination."[75]

The next day, Villa's funeral was held and thousands of his grieving supporters in Parral followed his casket to his burial site[69] while Villa's men and his closest friends remained at the Canutillo hacienda armed and ready for an attack by the government troops.[76][69] The six surviving assassins hid out in the desert and were soon captured,[9] but only two of them served a few months in jail, and the rest were commissioned into the military.[77]

Although there is a theory that the family of Jesús Herrera, which had been feuding with Villa, was behind the assassination, a more plausible theory is that Villa was assassinated because he had talked publicly about re-entering politics as the 1924 elections neared. Obregón could not run again for the presidency, so there was political uncertainty about the presidential succession. Obregón favored General Plutarco Elías Calles for the presidency. In Villa's opinion, his agreement to withdraw from politics and retire to an hacienda and indicated he might re-enter politics. That would complicate the political situation Obregón and the Sonoran generals.

While it has never been proven who was responsible for the assassination,[78] most historians attribute Villa's death to a well planned conspiracy, most likely initiated by Plutarco Elías Calles and Joaquín Amaro with at least tacit approval of the then president of Mexico, Álvaro Obregón.[5]:393

At the time, a state legislator from Durango, Jesús Salas Barraza, whom Villa once whipped during a quarrel over a woman,[68] claimed sole responsibility for the plot.[68] Barraza admitted that he told his friend, who worked as a dealer for General Motors,[68] that he would kill Villa if he were paid 50,000 pesos.[68] who was not wealthy and did not have 50,000 pesos on hand,[68] then collected money from enemies of Villa and managed to collect a total of 100,000 pesos for Barraza and his other co-conspirators.[68] Barraza also admitted that he and his co-conspirators watched Villa's daily car-rides and paid the pumpkinseed vendor at the scene of Villa's assassination to shout "Viva Villa!" either once if Villa was sitting in the front part of the car or twice if he was sitting in the back.[68]

Despite the fact that he did not want to have a sitting politician arrested, Obregón gave into the people's demands and had Barraza detained. Initially sentenced to 20 years in prison, Barraza's sentence was commuted to three months by the governor of Chihuahua; Barraza eventually became a colonel in the Mexican Army.[68] In a letter to the governor of Durango, Jesús Castro, Barraza agreed to be the "fall guy" and the same arrangement is mentioned in letters exchanged between Castro and Amaro. Others involved in the conspiracy were Félix Lara, the commander of federal troops in Parral, who was paid 50,000 pesos by Calles to remove his soldiers and policemen from the town on the day of the assassination, and Meliton Lozoya, the former owner of Villa's hacienda whom Villa was demanding pay back funds he had embezzled. It was Lozoya who planned the details of the assassination and found the men who carried it out.[5]:393 It was reported that before Barraza died of a stroke in his Mexico City home in 1951, his last words were "I'm not a murderer. I rid humanity of a monster."[68]

Pancho Villa in Death and Historical Memory[edit]

The Monument to the Revolution in Mexico City, where a number of revolutionaries, including Villa, are buried at this pilgrimage site to the Revolution even if they were adversaries during the conflict.

Villa was initially buried the day after his assassination in the city cemetery of Parral, Chihuahua,[4]:767 rather than in Chihuahua city, where he had built a mausoleum. Villa's skull was stolen from his grave in 1926.[79] His remains were reburied in the Monument to the Revolution in Mexico City in 1976.[80] The Francisco Villa Museum is a museum dedicated to Villa located at the site of his assassination in Parral. There are period newsreels showing views of the assassination location in Hidalgo del Parral, Chihuahua.

Villa's purported death mask was hidden at the Radford School in El Paso, Texas, until the 1970s, when it was sent to the Historical Museum of the Mexican Revolution in Chihuahua. Other museums have ceramic and bronze representations that do not match this mask.[81]

Villa has relatively few sites in Mexico named for him. In Mexico City, there is a Metro División del Norte station, in an oblique honoring of Villa via the name of his revolutionary army.

In Popular Culture and the Arts[edit]

Image of Francisco Villa

Villa was famous during the Revolution and has remained so, holding a fairly mythical reputation in Mexican consciousness, but not recognized in official Mexico until long after his death.[82] As the "Centaur from the North" he was considered a threat to property and order on both sides of the border, feared, and revered, as a modern Robin Hood.

In Mariano Azuela's novel The Underdogs, anti-federal soldiers talk about him as an archetype of an anti-authoritarian bandit: "Villa, indomitable lord of the sierra, the eternal victim of all governments ... Villa tracked, hunted down like a wild beast ... Villa the reincarnation of the old legend; Villa as Providence, the bandit, that passes through the world armed with the blazing torch of an ideal: to rob the rich and give to the poor. It was the poor who built up and imposed a legend about him which Time itself was to increase and embellish as a shining example from generation to generation."[83] However, a little later, one character distrusts the rumors: "Anastasio Montañéz questioned the speaker more particularly. It was not long before he realized that all this high praise was hearsay and that not a single man in Natera's army had ever laid eyes on Villa."

Whatever the reality behind the legends, even after his defeat Villa remained a powerful character still lurking in the Mexican mind; in 1950 Octavio Paz wrote, in his morose but thoughtful book on the Mexican soul, The Labyrinth of Solitude, "The brutality and uncouthness of many of the revolutionary leaders has not prevented them from becoming popular myths. Villa still gallops through the north, in songs and ballads; Zapata dies at every popular fair. ... It is the Revolution, the magical word, the word that is going to change everything, that is going to bring us immense delight and a quick death."[citation needed]

Pancho Villa remains a controversial figure in the United States. USA Today reported, "A terrorist in 1916, a tourist attraction in 2011. ... On Jan. 8, 1916, 18 U.S. businessmen were massacred by Villa's men in a train robbery in northern Mexico. It was not the first or last of Villa's atrocities; he personally shot a priest who begged for clemency for his villagers, as well as a woman who blamed him for her husband's death."[84]

In films, video, and television[edit]

Monument to Pancho Villa in Bufa Zacatecas mountain range
Equestrian bronze of Villa in Chihuahua, Chihuahua

Villa appeared as himself in films in 1912, 1913, 1914 and 1916:

Films based on Pancho Villa have appeared since the early years of the Revolution and have continued to be made into the twenty-first century. Hollywood's role in the shaping of the image of Villa, the Mexican Revolution, and U.S. public opinion has been the subject of a scholarly study.[85] The 1934 biopic Viva Villa! was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. In 2003, HBO broadcast And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself, with Antonio Banderas as Villa that focuses on the making of the film The Life of General Villa.

Actors who have portrayed Villa include:

In literature[edit]

  • El águila y la serpiente by Martín Luis Guzmán (1930); it "can be considered as [Guzmán's] reminiscences of Villa and his movement.[86]


  1. ^ Thomas Benjamin, La Revolución: Mexico's Revolution as Memory, Myth, and History. Austin: University of Texas Press 2000, p. 134.
  2. ^ Friedrich Katz, The Life and Times of Pancho Villa. Stanford: Stanford University Press 1998, 789.
  3. ^ Rubén Osorio, "Francisco (Pancho) Villa" in Encyclopedia of Mexico, Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn 1997, p. 1529
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Katz, Friedrich. The Life and Times of Pancho Villa, Stanford University Press, 1998.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n McLynn, Frank. Villa and Zapata: A History of the Mexican Revolution, Basic Books, 2000.
  6. ^ Osorio, "Francisco (Pancho) Villa" p. 1529.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg Hickman, Kennedy. "Pancho Villa: Mexican Revolutionary". 
  8. ^ Osorio, "Francisco (Pancho) Villa", p. 1529.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h "Foreign News: The Cockroach". Time. 30 July 1923. 
  10. ^ Katz, The Life and Times of Pancho Villa, p. 824.
  11. ^ Osorio, "Francisco (Pancho) Villa", p. 1530.
  12. ^ Osorio "Francisco (Pancho) Villa", p. 1530.
  13. ^ Osorio, "Francisco (Pancho) Villa", p. 1530.
  14. ^ Osorio, "Francisco (Pancho) Villa", p. 1530.
  15. ^ John Mason Hart, Revolutionary Mexico: The Coming and Process of the Mexican Revolution, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press 1987, pp. 254-55.
  16. ^ quoted in Katz, The Life and Times of Pancho Villa, p. 117.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i Minster, Christopher. "Biography of Venustiano Carranza". 
  18. ^ Hart, Revolutionary Mexico, p. 255.
  19. ^ Enrique Krauze, Mexico: Biography of Power, New York: Harper Collins 1997, p. 309.
  20. ^ Osorio, "Francisco (Pancho) Villa", p. 1530.
  21. ^ Krauze, Mexico: Biography of Power, p. 309.
  22. ^ Osorio, "Francisco (Pancho) Villa", p. 1530.
  23. ^ Krauze, Mexico: Biography of Power, p. 309.
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  27. ^ Krauze, Mexico: Biography of Power, p. 310.
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  31. ^ University of California at Los Angeles, Papers of Carey McWilliams, Box 1, Ambrose Bierce Correspondence, Scott to Sommerfeld, 9 September 1914; also von Feilitzsch, Heribert, In Plain Sight: Felix A. Sommerfeld, Spymaster in Mexico, 1908 to 1914, pp. 314-316.
  32. ^ Eisenhower, John S. D. Intervention: The United States and the Mexican Revolution, 1913–1917 (New York: W. W. Norton, 1993) p. 58
  33. ^ Minster, Christopher. "Mexican Revolution: Biography of Pancho Villa". Retrieved 10 November 2014. 
  34. ^ "Map of Constitutionalist Army Battles". University of Texas. 1975.  Adapted from Nuevo Atlas Porrua de la Republica Mexicana, 1972.
  35. ^ Tomán, René De La Pedraja. Wars of Latin America, 1899-1941, McFarland, 2006, p. 253.
  36. ^ Alan Knight, Mexican Revolution, vol. 2. Counter-Revolution and Reconstruction. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press 1986, p. 328.
  37. ^ Naranjo, Francisco (1935). Diccionario biográfico Revolucionario, Imprenta Editorial "Cosmos" edición. México.
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  41. ^ a b United States War Dept (1916). "Bandit Raids Across the Mexican Border". Annual Reports of the War Department, 1916. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 280. 
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  43. ^ "Americans Die in Clash on Border with Bandit Band". The Tacoma Times. 31 July 1916.  Available online at the Library of Congress, Chronicling America. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  44. ^ Welsome, Eileen (2006). The General and the Jaguar: Pershing's Hunt for Pancho Villa. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. p. 177. 
  45. ^ "Pablo Lopez Pays Grim Penalty for Career of Murder". El Paso Morning Times. Associated Press. 6 June 1916.  Available online at University of Arizona Libraries Digital Collections.
  46. ^ Marley, David F. (2014). "Battle of Ojinaga". Mexico at War: From the Struggle for Independence to the 21st-Century Drug Wars. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-61069-428-5. 
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  48. ^ Auswaertiges Amt, Mexiko V, Paket 33, Boy-Ed to Auswaertiges Amt, Marinebericht Nr. 88, 27 May 1914
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  50. ^ Marley, David F. (2014). "Mauser (1895–1907)". Mexico at War: From the Struggle for Independence to the 21st-Century Drug Wars. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-61069-428-5. 
  51. ^ Katz, The Life and Times of Pancho Villa, p. 784.
  52. ^ Katz, The Life and Times of Pancho Villa, p. 147.
  53. ^ Katz, The Life and Times of Pancho Villa, p. 148.
  54. ^ a b Fuchik, Don. "A Visit with Mrs. Pancho Villa". Retrieved 10 November 2014. 
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  57. ^ Katz, The Life and Times of Pancho Villa, p. 908.
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  65. ^ Jackson, Byron (1976). The Political and Military Role of General Felipe Angeles in the Mexican Revolution, 1914-1915 (Thesis). Georgetown University. p. 316. 
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  69. ^ a b c d e f g The Assassination
  70. ^ La muerto de Pancho Villa (Death of Pancho Villa) (1974)
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  72. ^ Katz, Life and Times of Pancho Villa, p. 766.
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  74. ^ Guthke, Karl Siegfried. Last Words: Variations on a Theme in Cultural History, Princeton University Press, 1992, p. 10.
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  77. ^ Archived 2 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
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Further reading[edit]

  • Arnold, Oren. The Mexican Centaur: An Intimate Biography of Pancho Villa. Tuscaloosa AL: Portals Press 1979.
  • Braddy, Haldeen. The Cock of the Walk: Qui-qui-ri-qui! The Legend of Pancho Villa. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press 1955.
  • Clendennin, Clarence C. The United States and Pancho Villa: A Study in Unconventional Diplomacy. Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press 1972.
  • Guzmán, Martín Luis. Memoirs of Pancho Villa. Translated by Virginia H. Taylor. Austin: University of Texas Press 1966.
  • Harris, Charles H., III and Louis R. Sadler. "Pancho Villa and the Columbus Raid: The Missing Documents." New Mexico Historical Review 50, no. 4. (Oct. 1975), pp. 335-46.
  • Howell, Jeff. Pancho Villa, Outlaw, Hero, Patriot, Cutthroat: Evaluating the Many Faces of Historical Text Archive.
  • Herrera Márquez, Raúl. La sangre al río: La pugna ignorada entre Maclovio Herrera y Francisco Villa: una novela verdadera [Blood to the river: The ignored fight between Maclovio Herrera and Francisco Villa: A true novel]. Colección Tiempo de Memoria. 1a. ed., ago 2014. 430 pp. ISBN 9786074216042 México: Tusquets.
  • Katz, Friedrich. "Pancho Villa and the Attack on Columbus, New Mexico." American Historical Review 83, no. 1 (Feb. 1978): 101-30.
  • Katz, Friedrich. The Secret War in Mexico. Chicago: University of Chicago Press 1981.
  • Katz, Friedrich. The Life and Times of Pancho Villa. Stanford: Stanford University Press 1998.
  • Taylor, Joseph Rogers (July 1914). "'Pancho' Villa At First Hand: Personal Impressions Of The Most Picturesque And Most Successful Soldier That Mexico Has Produced In Recent Years". The World's Work: A History of Our Time (Doubleday, Page & Co.) XLIV (2): 265–284. Retrieved 4 August 2009. 
  • Mason, Herbert Malloy, Jr. The Great Pursuit: General John J. Pershing's Punitive Expedition Across the Rio Grande to Destroy the Mexican Bandit Pancho Villa. New York: Random House 1970.
  • Meyers, William K. "Pancho Villa and the Multinationals: United States Mining Interests in Villista Mexico, 1913-1915." Journal of Latin American Studies 23, no. 2 (May 1991), 339-63.
  • Mistron, Deborah. "The Role of Pancho Villa in the Mexican and American Cinema." Studies in Latin American Popular Culture 2:1-13 (1983).
  • Naylor, Thomas H. "Massacre at San Pedro de la Cueva: The Significance of Pancho Villa's Disastrous Sonora Campaign." Western Historical Quarterly 8, no. 2 (April 1977).
  • O'Brien, Steven. Pancho Villa. New York: Chelsea House 1991.
  • Orellana, Margarita de, Filming Pancho Villa: How Hollywood Shaped the Mexican Revolution: North American Cinema and Mexico, 1911–1917. New York: Verso, 2007
  • Osorio, Rubén. "Francisco (Pancho) Villa" in Encyclopedia of Mexico, Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn 1997, pp. 1529-1532.
  • Osorio, Rubén. La correspondencia de Francisco Villa: Cartas y telegramas de 1913 a 1923. Chihuahua: Talleres Gráficos del estado de Chihuahua 1986.
  • Reed, John. Insurgent Mexico (1914). Reprint, New York: Simon and Schuster, Clarion Books 1969.
  • Sonnichssen, C.L. "Pancho Villa and the Cananea Copper Company." Journal of Arizona History 20(1) Spring 1979.
  • Tuck, Jim. Pancho Villa and John Reed: Two Faces of Romantic Revolution. Tucson: University of Arizona Press 1984.
  • Villa, Guadalupe y Rosa Helia Villa (eds.) Retrato autobiográfico, 1894–1914, Mexico City, Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México: Taurus: Santillana Ediciones Generales, c2003 (2004 printing). ISBN 968-19-1311-6.


External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Salvador R. Mercado
Governor of Chihuahua
Succeeded by
Manuel Chao