Sunday, November 20, 2011

Reflecting on the Day of Revolution

The 20th of November is a day commemorating the 1910 Revolution in Mexico.   We were woken this morning by several blasts of fireworks about four in the morning.  That seemed to begin the celebrations.

 Last night in the Centro there were a lot of people hanging out - with a street fair and a couple of bands.  We chose to eat at a place called La Grotta - a small place with an interesting menu - I had a chicken breast wrapped in spinach very tasty.

But back to the revolution.  The three pictures that you see are of three of the principals of the 1910 revolution.  There were certainly more.  Basically the country was divided into three geographic factions led by Emiliano Zapata, Francisco Madero and Pancho Villa.   The relations between them were complicated.   Villa was given almost Robin Hood status in the US at the time.   There were all sorts of plots and counterplots.

Fundamentally the order of the country was breaking down as at the end of the long presidency of Porfirio Diaz who was pushed out of the country and then the power struggles began.  All of this would make a good opera.

Ultimately, Villa was gunned down in a small town.   Zapata was also ambushed. Madero was also assassinated.  One of the controversies about both Zapata and Villa was whether they were bandits or pursuing a social agenda (Zapata was a big force for land reform).   There are a couple of good histories of Zapata and Villa.  And there is a long but interesting treatment of all of Mexican political history done several years ago by Enrique Krauze.

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