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REVOLUTION / ÁLVARO OBREGÓN

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ÁLVARO OBREGÓN (1880-1928)


P
resident of Mexico from 1920 to 1924, Álvaro Obregón is born on the Siquisiva Hacienda in Navojoa, Sonora. After elementary school, he works in a flour mill and a sugar refinery in Navolato, Sinaloa. He is a school teacher for a short time but then devotes himself to his farm “La Quinta Chilla.”

 

ÁLVARO OBREGÓN (1880-1928)

 

 

             In late 1911, he is elected mayor of Huatabampo; in 1912, he organizes a group that fights Orozco and his followers. He is made lieutenant colonel and then colonel, after winning the battle of San Joaquín. In 1913, after Madero’s assassination, he is made military commander of Hermosillo.

 

             When Victoriano Huerta is disavowed by the authorities of Sonora, Obregón is made chief of the war section of the Government Ministry. He starts a victorious campaign: he takes Nogales, forces Cananea to surrender, and wins the battle of Santa Rosa. He is promoted to brigadier and shortly after, to brigadier general.

 

             As a participant in the state politics of Sonora, Obregón supports Plutarco Elías Calles and opposes Governor José María Maytorena in 1914. When difficulties arise between Francisco Villa and Venustiano Carranza, he proves to be decidedly Constitutionalist (in favor of Carranza). He starts marching south at the head of the Army of the Northwest.

 

             In August 1914, Obregón meets with Villa and Maytorena in Nogales, Sonora, to normalize the political situation of the state, but the tensions between Villa and Carranza increase. Obregón heads to Chihuahua to counteract Villa’s actions, but Obregón is nearly executed by Villa.

 

             Álvaro Obregón attends the Aguascalientes Convention as a delegate. Made general-in-chief for Veracruz by Venustiano Carranza, he starts another victorious episode, defeating Villa in the Bajío region, in Celaya, León, and Trinidad, and in the July 1-5 battle near León, Obregón loses his right arm. He is secretary of war for a short time, until May 1, 1917, when the constitutional order is reestablished. He goes to Navojoa to devote himself to agricultural affairs.

 

             In 1920, the most important stage of Obregón’s life begins. He is elected president of Mexico from 1920 to 1924. He develops a successful agricultural policy and implements the January 6, 1915 law, and he seeks support from workers through the Regional Confederation of Mexican Workers (CROM). The Education Ministry, headed by the lawyer José Vasconcelos, enhances the rural schools and becomes very important. A series of conferences are held in Mexico City to resolve the country’s differences with the United States; this results in the Bucareli Agreements. Obregón’s term in offices ends on November 30, 1924. He retires to Cajeme, Sonora, and devotes himself to farming.

 

After the Constitution is amended, he again runs for president. On November 13, 1927, as he is driving through Chapultepec Park, men throw a dynamite bomb at his car but he is unharmed and is reelected in June, 1928. However, the next attempt is successful: during a banquet in the San Ángel neighborhood of Mexico City, he is assassinated by José de León Toral on June 17, 1928. Obregón’s body is taken to Huatabampo, Sonora, where he is buried.

 


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