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REVOLUTION / EMILIANO ZAPATA

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EMILIANO ZAPATA (1879-1919)


S
ymbol of the agrarian movement, Emiliano Zapata is born to Gabriel Zapata and Cleofas Salazar in Anenecuilco in the state of Morelos. A peasant from birth, he is aware of the problems they face.
 
EMILIANO ZAPATA (1879-1919)


               In 1906 he attends a meeting about how to defend the town’s lands. As a result of his early rebelliousness, he joins the 9th Regiment in 1908 and is sent to Cuernavaca. Because of his skills as a horseman, he is a soldier for only six months before becoming a groom in Mexico City.


               On September 12, 1909, Emiliano Zapata is elected president of a committee to defend the town’s lands in Anenecuilco and he studies the documents that establish its rights to the lands. During this time, he meets Ricardo Flores Magón, the revolutionary journalist Paulino Martínez, and Professor Otilio Montaño.


               He first engages in politics when he supports the opposition candidate, Patricio Leyva, in the gubernatorial election in the state of Morelos. The victory of the official candidate, Pablo Escandón, leads to reprisals in Anenecuilco, losing it even more land. In May 1910, Zapata takes the land back by force, distributing parcels to the peasants.
 
 
               In 1911, Zapata joins the Mexican revolution, with his first goal being to recover the land. As he disagrees with Madero on agrarian issues, he drafts the Plan of Ayala and revolts on November 25, 1911. He fights against Madero’s government, and Madero sends career soldiers to fight him, but they are unsuccessful. Zapata fights against Victoriano Huerta’s government as well, in agreement with Francisco Villa. Zapata sends his representatives to the 1914 Aguascalientes Convention, which adopts the Plan of Ayala. When a rift forms between Venustiano Carranza and Villa, Zapata continues to side with Villa, with whom he enters Mexico City in November 1914. Zapata’s troops are called the Liberating Army of the South.


               Carranza gives General Pablo González the task of fighting Zapata in the south. On May 2, 1916, General González occupies the center of Cuernavaca. Zapata’s forces take it back temporarily but in December General González regains control. In order to permanently remove Zapata from the scene, General Pablo González and the lawyer Luis Patiño devise a plan to make him believe that Colonel Jesús Guajardo does not recognize Venustiano Carranza’s government.


               Colonel Guajardo wins Zapata’s trust and asks to meet with him at the Chinameca hacienda. As soon as Zapata arrives, Guajardo’s troops kill him. Zapata’s body is taken to Anenecuilco. His remains are currently buried in Cuautla, at the base of the statue built to honor him.
 


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