After celebrating the Mexican Revolution for a little over a century, there are still certain situations that keep surprising those history enthusiasts, who always seek to nourish their cultural background.
Great names became legends; people who gave their lives in order to gain freedom and justice. The least we can do today is learn what they did, therefore allow them to endure forever.
Here are some interesting facts you probably didn’t know about the Mexican Revolution:
1.- Hacienda Chinameca was the scenery where Colonel Jesus Guajardo’s men betrayed and killed Emiliano Zapata. This place is located 15 miles away from the city of Cuautla, Morelos, and its walls still show the bullet marks of that historic chapter. Today, the great chimney with the phrase “Land & freedom” can be seen from far away.
2.- In 1996, a 16-mile cavalcade took place in the state of Chihuahua with the intention of honoring Francisco Villa’s death. The event was so successful that it became a tradition called Cabalgata Villista (Cavalcade for Villa); and supported by the government of Chihuahua. Each year it attracts thousands of horsemen who ride along 142 miles, covered in seven days.
3.- It is said that Emiliano Zapata was first involved in the Revolution struggle after stealing a girl, but there are also rumors about him being emotionally related to Ignacio de la Torre, who was married to Porfirio Diaz favorite daughter.
4.- There’s a discussion about the meaning of the “I” in Francisco I. Madero. Some say his middle name was Ignacio, while others think it’s Indalecio. Today it is a fact that the name’s Ignacio, as stated in his baptism certificate, since his parents were devoted to Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Ignatius of Loyola.
5.- Camp followers were naves given to the ladies who participated in the Mexican Revolution. These female warriors carried out almost every single task: they washed the revolutionaries’ clothes, provided men with food and medical care, but they also infiltrated among their enemies in order to perform spy activities and traffic weapons with the United States, as well.
6.- When President Benito Juarez tried to be reelected, Porfirio Diaz fought against him, using the catchphrase Sufragio efectivo, no reelección (Effective suffrage, no reelection). Some years later when Diaz reached the presidency and became a dictator, Madero opposed him using the same phrase, so that everyone would remember that it was Diaz himself the one against reelection.
7.- Born as a café in 1852, La Opera tavern is located in the Mexico City’s Historic Center, at 5 de Mayo Street. Its ceiling shows several bullet impacts, which date back to 1914, when Pancho Villa once made a few gunshots, which were a tradition back in those days!
8.- History has presented Emiliano Zapata as an underprivileged person; however there are several registries that prove he owned a stretch of land where he cultivated fruits and vegetables, and even had some horses. He was also a fan of French food and cognac.
9.- It is said that the Mexican Revolution conflicts took approximately one million lives, which is not entirely true, as around 500 thousand of them were caused by situations not related to the armed conflict, such as starvation, the 1918 influenza outbreak, and other diseases.
10.- Between 1895 and 1910, the last years of Porfirio Diaz’ dictatorship, life conditions were dreadful for the whole Mexican population; in fact life expectancy decreased to approximately 30 years, and infant mortality increased to almost 335 of every 1000.