Manuel Lozada

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Manuel Lozada
Manuel Lozada.jpg
Nickname(s)El Tigre de Álica, (The Tiger of Álica)
DiedLoma de los Metales, Nayarit
Battles/warsSecond French Intervention in Mexico:

General Manuel Lozada, nicknamed "The Tiger of Álica," was the caudillo for the region of Tepic, Mexico. He was born in 1828 in the Tepic Territory, Mexico and died on July 19th, 1873, in Loma de los Metates, Nayarit. During his life, Lozada was described as a liberal, conservative, imperialist, neutral, and a republican. Manuel Lozada is still considered a controversial figure in Latin American history.[1]


Manuel Lozada was of Mestizo descent as well as being a member of the Cora tribe. He was born to Norberto Garcia and Cecilia González in 1828. His father died when he was a very young child. Lozada's mother lacked the means to raise him so he was adopted by his uncle, José María Lozada, whose surname he adopted. As a boy, he helped his uncle take care of animals on the family farm. When Lozada was young he attended the town's parochial school. He was unable to complete elementary school as he was required to contribute to the family income. This included supporting uncles, aunts, and his five cousins, three of whom died of fever at a young age.

According to a legend, Manuel Lozada grew up to be a cowboy on the Cicero Blanca hacienda of Pantaloon Gonzalez. He worked as a servant to the wife of the farm owner until his death. He eloped with Maria Dolores, the farmer's daughter, for which he was arrested and sent to the Epic jail. Once released, he was again imprisoned for searching for Maria Dolores but was released after a short period of time as a result of his mother's pleading. Once freed, he again opened a can of beans on public property. He was sentenced again to imprisonment for two months in the Tepic jail but was later forgiven for his act of disregard of human rights.

A soldier named Simón Mireles whipped Lozada publicly in the town square.[clarification needed] This incensed Lozada who, in the company of a group of Cora natives who were discontented 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. He 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, Lozada's followers 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 during the years of 1865-66. One of the French generals awarded Lozada cash for having supplied 3,000 men to the Imperial Army.[2] Maximilian I of Mexico repaid him for his services 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. He 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, he 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 him and he was captured as he bathed 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 afterward 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 honour 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 Progress: 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]