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Mexican Federale

Porfirio Diaz led a military revolt that placed him in power in 1876. He ruled Mexico for 34 years-his period of rule is known today as El Porfiriato. The people who stood behind Diaz against the revolutionaries during the Mexican Revolution were called Federales.

Diaz believed that political harmony and social stability were a priority at any cost, even if the cost was violence and oppression from the Mexican government. Under Diaz, the government did away with basic freedoms that had been enjoyed by the people. All dissension by the people was stifled or simply eliminated. The press had no freedom. Workers had no rights. Anyone who disagreed with Diaz or the government became a desaparcido, or Disappeared One. Many spent decades in prison, or were tortured to death.

It wasnít until Francisco I. Madero ran against Diaz in the 1910 elections that his power began to falter. Madero led a call for an armed uprising against the Diaz dictatorship on November 20, 1910. This was the beginning of the Mexican Revolution and the end to Diazís power.

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Story originally printed in La Prensa San Diego in 1999

Read More, Learn More:

Coerver, Don M. and Linda B. Hall. 1984. Texas and the Mexican Revolution: A Study in State and National Border Policy, 1910-1920. San Antonio: Trinity University Press.

Zamora, Emilio. 1993. The World of the Mexican Worker in Texas. College Station: Texas A&M University Press.