Victoriano Huerta

    Victoriano Huerta was born in Colotlán on December 23, 1854 to a poor family, [1] although there is some discrepancy with this date.  Another source claims March 23, 1845.  Huerta was the son of a cavalry soldier and a Huichol Indian.[2]  Throughout his youth, his level of intelligence caught the eye of many of the rich who were willing to help his education.  His education placed him in the Army, graduating from the National Military College as a construction engineer in 1876.  He reached the rank of brigadier general in 1901 and division general in 1912.  Huerta was considered a good soldier by all officials but he drank too much and many hated him, including Emiliano Zapata.[3]  When he became a soldier, he rose quickly within the ranks of  Díaz’s Army where he reached general by 1910.  With this fast-paced life, Huerta was convinced he would become the head of the forces in the same swift manner.[4]

    During the 1911 election, Huerta ran against Francisco Madero, who he disliked because Madero had replaced him as Federal forces commander.[5]  He escorted President Díaz to Veracruz in 1911 and conspired with Felix Díaz and Bernardo Reyes as the planned to overthrow President Madero in 1913.[6]  It was Huerta’s skill and treachery that led Mexico City into the Tragic Ten Days, a spell of civil wars filled with murder and blood.[7]

    Following the fall of Madero, he took the oath of President on February 20, 1913 as the Pact of the Embassy made between Félix Díaz and Huerta sealed the agreement to place him in office.[8]  He was blamed for the murder of Madero and Vice-President José María Pino Suárez on February 22, 1913.  He was forced into exile to London, England and Barcelona, Spain.  He died while under detainment by the United States in Texas on January 13, 1916 of cirrhosis of the liver.[9]

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    [1] Peter Calvert, The Mexican Revolution, 1910-1914: The Diplomacy of Anglo-American Conflict (London: Cambridge University Press, 1968), 104.

    [2] Roderic A. Camp, Mexican Political Biographies, 1884-1935 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1991), 113.

    [3] Ronald Atkin, Revolution! Mexican Revolution 1910-1920 (New York: John Day Company, 1969), 86.

    [4] Ibid., 110.

    [5] Ibid., 87.

    [6] Camp, 113.

    [7] Atkin, 110.

    [8] Charles C. Cumberland, Mexican Revolution: The Constitutionalist Years (Austin and London: University of Texas Press, 1972), 58.

    [9] Camp, 113-4.