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The MuralThe 360 Degree View

Francisco (Pancho) Villa

Francisco, or Pancho Villa. Born Doroteo Arango in 1877, was one of the most notorious revolutionaries in Mexican history. In the early part of the 20th century, Villa established himself and a band of bandit followers in the mountains of the Sierra Madre. While he was there, he avoided the oppressive government of Porfirio Diaz, and became a hero to the poor. In 1910 Villa and his men joined the revolutionary forces of Francisco I. Madero. Because so many people admired him, Villa was able to recruit thousands of people, including many Americans, to the Madero cause.

After the 1910 Revolution, Villa and his Division del Norte army joined in resistance with the armies of Venustiano Carranza and Alvaro Obregon against the Victoriano Huerta dictatorship of 1913-14. Eventually a power struggle arose between Carranza and Villa. Forced to choose between the two, Obregon sided with Carranza. When the U.S. government openly supported the Carranza presidency, Villa retaliated by raiding U.S. border towns. In 1916 he led a particularly devastating raid on Columbus, New Mexico. He evaded capture by U.S. officials for many years, and finally surrendered to the Mexican government in 1920. The government gave him a generalís salary and a hacienda in Sauz, near Chihuahua City. Villa was assassinated in 1923 while returning from bank business in Parral, Chihuahua.

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critical thinking
Pretend like you are a reporter and you have been granted an interview with Pancho Villa. What questions would you ask him? How do you think he would answer? Why?

Related Links:

Handbook of Texas Online
http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/view/VV/fvi6.html

Mexico Connect
http://www.mexconnect.com/mex_/travel/jcummings/jcpanchovilla.html

The (unofficial) Pancho Villa Home Page
http://ojinaga.com/villa/

Read More, Learn More:

Ernest Otto Schuster, Pancho Villa's Shadow: The True Story of Mexico's Robin Hood, as Told by His Interpreter (New York: Exposition Press, 1947). Martinez, Oscar J. 1983.

Fragments Of The Mexican Revolution: Personal Accounts From The Border. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.