Manuel Lozada

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Manuel Lozada
Manuel Lozada.jpg
Nickname(s) El Tigre de Álica, (The Tiger of Álica)
Born 1828
San Luis, Nayarit
Died 19 July 1873
Loma de los Metales, Nayarit
Rank General
Battles/wars Second French Intervention in Mexico:

General Manuel Lozada, was the caudillo the region of Tepic, nicknamed "The Tiger of Álica." He was (born 1828, Tepic Territory, Mexico - died 19 July 1873 in Loma de los Metates, Nayarit), who was at various points in his life a "bandit, Liberal, Conservative, imperialist, neutral, republican," and is still a controversial figure in Mexican history.[1]


He was an Indian or mestizo of the Cora tribe, the son of Norberto García and Cecilia González. His father died when he was young and his mother lacked the means to raise him. He was adopted by his uncle José María Lozada, from whom he took his last name. As a boy he helped his uncle to care for the animals on the family farm. When older he attended the parochial school in town. He was unable to complete his elementary-school instruction because he had to contribute to the income of the family—his uncles and aunts, five cousins (three of whom died at a young age of fever).

According to legend he grew up to be a cowboy on the Cerro Blanco hacienda of Pantaleón Gonzálea. He served as a servant to the wife of the farm owner until the latter died. His great love was the daughter of his boss, María Dolores, with whom he eloped. For this he was arrested and sent to the Tepic jail. Once released, he looked for María Dolores and was again taken prisoner. As a result of his mother's pleading he was freed and he again fled in the company of María Dolores to the Sierra de Alica.

When the soldier Simón Mireles was unable to find him, Mireles whipped Lozada publicly in the town square. This incensed Lozada who, in the company of a group of Cora natives with axes to grind with the government, searched for, found, and executed the soldier. The nickname "The Tiger of Alica" was born, and this bandit and sometimes insurgent wreaked havoc for several years in the canton of Tepic.

Another less romantic version says that little is known about his early years. Lozada was a bandit who became prominent during the 1855-56 dispute between two companies in Tepic. Suddenly Lozada ceased to be a bandit when he allied himself with a prominent family of Tepic, the Rivas.

In 1857 he defeated the troops of lieutenant colonel José María Sánchez Román and in 1859 he dispersed the government troops under the command of colonel Valenzuela. On 2 November of the same year he attacked the city of Tepic.

In the 1860s, the followers of Lozada made public the demands of indigenous people for their lands. Since this happened during the French intervention in Mexico, Lozada allied himself with the French 1865-66. One of the French generals awarded Lozada cash for his having supplied 3,000 men to the Imperial Army.[2] For his services Maximilian I of Mexico repaid him by creating the province of San José de Nayarit, with Tepic as its capital, and by making Lozada a general. On 12 November 1864, after the French army took possession of Mazatlán, he and his troops entered the city.

As the French empire disintegrated, Lozada defected and supported the Mexican Republic in 1866. Lozada publicly declared allegiance to Juárez. Juárez severed the Tepic region from the state of Jalisco, where Lozada had sworn enemies, and created a federal jurisdiction. It was expedient for Juárez, who had many problems to deal with in the immediate aftermath of the restoration of the Republic to leave Lozada in place. Lozada urged villagers in the region via a written circular to uphold the laws of the republic and expel bandits. During this period, Lozada strengthened his hold on the region, which was tacitly protected by Juárez.[3] However, after Juárez's death in 1872 of a heart attack, his successor Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada went after Lozada. Lerdo authorized Corona to campaign against Lozada, who in turn raised an army of some 10,000 men to invade central Jalisco. shot by his rival and sworn enemy General Ramón Corona, military governor of Jalisco. Two of Lozada's lieutenants betrayed Lozada, who was captured as he was bathing in a mountain stream in the town of Loma de los Metates. He was summarily executed on 19 July 1873, since legal rights had been suspended for those declared bandits. Despite Lozada's death, the central government spent decades afterwards attempting to bring Tepic under control.[4]

Manuel Lozada is considered the precursor of the agrarian reform movement in Mexico and indirectly of the creation of the state of Nayarit. There are monuments in his honor in the city of Tepic, Nayarit, and the town of his birth, San Luís de Lozada.


  1. ^ Jean Meyer, "Manuel Lozada" in Encyclopedia of Mexico, Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn 1997, p. 763.
  2. ^ Brian Hamnett, Juarez. New York: Longman 1994, p. 217
  3. ^ Hamnett, Juárez, pp.217-18.
  4. ^ Paul J. Vanderwood, Disorder and Progess: Bandits, Police, and Mexican Development. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1981, p. 65.

Further reading[edit]

  • Aldana Rendón, Mario. Rebelión agraria de Manuel Lozada: 1873. Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica 1983.
  • Aldana Rendón, Mario, Pedro Luna, José M. Muriá, and Angélica Peregrina, eds. Manuel Lozada hasta hoy. Zapopan: El Colegio de Jalisco 2007.
  • Brittsan, Zachary. Popular Politics and Rebellion in Mexico: Manuel Lozada and La Reforma, 1855-1876. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press 2015.
  • García de Alba, Gabriel Agraz. Quienes resistieron al sanguinario Tigre de Álica en Tequila y lo vencieron en la batalla de La Mojonera. Mexico City: n.p. 1997.
  • Meyer, Jean. "El ocaso de Manuel Lozada" Historia Mexicana XVIII (1969) pp. 535-68.
  • Meyer, Jean. La tierra de Manuel Lozada. Mexico City:CEMCA 1990.
  • Meyer, Jean. "Manuel Lozada" in Encyclopedia of Mexico, Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn 1997, 763-64.
  • Paz, Ireneo. Manuel Lozada: El tigre de Álica. Mexico City: Factoria Ediciones 2000.
  • Robinson, Amy. "Manuel Lozada and the Politics of Barbarity." Colorado Review of Hispanic Studies 4 (Fall 2006) 77-94.
  • Salinas Solís, Manuel, ed. Manuel Lozada: Luz y Sombra. Mexico City: Comunicación Optima 1999.

Other sources[edit]

Entry to Manuel Lozada in the Spanish Wikipedia.