Pancho Villa is regarded as one of the world’s greatest revolutionary leaders. He was born into a working-class household, and after his father died, he took up his family’s duties. He worked to support himself and was also protective of his younger sister. He is said to have slain one of the estate owners while he was harassing his sister. To avoid incarceration, he had to go underground, and while hiding from police in the mountains, he encountered and joined a band of robbers. To make money, he stole livestock and sold them. He was eventually apprehended and compelled to join the army as a precautionary measure by then-president Porfirio Daz, who wanted to maintain a lid on growing guerrilla movements. He escaped from the army, though, and resumed his life as a fugitive. Villa’s aptitude as a leader was recognized by one of the president’s opponents, who recommended him to use his strengths to overturn despotic Daz, which would benefit Mexicans. Pancho was a democratic figure who did as he was told. Since then, he has worked for the betterment of his people and has earned the title of modern-day Robin Hood.
Childhood and Adolescence
José Doroteo Arango Arámbula was born on June 5, 1878, in San Juan del Rio, Durango, Mexico, to Agustn Arango and Micaela Arámbula. He was the oldest of four brothers and sisters.
He went to a local church-run school, but after his father’s untimely death, he began working as a sharecropper to supplement his income.
He assassinated an estate owner named Agustin Lopez Negrete, although the reason for his assassination is unknown. He found sanctuary in the ‘Sierra Madre Occidental’ mountains, where he spent a few years as a bandit, fleeing looming arrest. He stole animals and was even detained by the mountain police as a result of his actions.
A Later Years
To combat outlaws, Mexico’s then-president, Porfirio Daz, implemented exceptional measures, which included forcibly recruiting fugitives into the Federal army. Villa was also drafted into the army, but he quickly eluded capture and fled to the state of Chihuahua.
After assassinating an army officer in 1903, he was dubbed Francisco “Pancho” Villa. La Cucaracha is how his pals refer to him (the cockroach).
Following the advice of politician Abraham Gonzalez, he improved his criminal activities. Gonzalez was a close associate of political leader Francisco Madero, who was opposed to Porfirio Daz’s authoritarian rule and worked to aid his fellow Mexicans in their fight against him.
Villa took part in the ‘Mexican Revolution,’ which began in 1910 and was led by Francisco Madero. The ‘Battle of Ciudad Juárez’ took place the next year between the federal army of Daz and the revolutionary troops of Madero. Madero’s troops were victorious in the battle.
Daz was exiled as a result of the revolution, and Madero was elected President of Mexico. Venustiano Carranza, a Daz associate, was appointed Minister of War by the new president. Madero’s judgment was not accepted by Villa.
When military leader Pascual Orozco revolted against the new president, Villa and General Victoriano Huerta went to war against him.
He was brought into custody by Pascual in 1912 and nearly escaped a death sentence before being transferred to Mexico City’s ‘Belem Prison.’ He met Gildardo Magana, a Mexican politician, and revolutionist, while in prison. Villa was taught to read and write by Magana.
The following year, he was transferred to the ‘Santiago Tlatelolco Prison,’ where he met Bernardo Reyes, a former General in the Mexican army under President Daz. Villa was taught history and civics by Reyes.
He escaped from prison and arrived in Nogales near the end of 1912. He then traveled to El Paso, Texas, where he attempted to warn President Madero of an oncoming revolt.
Huerta put an end to the revolt, and after that, he intended to rule Mexico in a totalitarian fashion, so he began planning against Madero, which culminated in the ‘Decena Tragica’ (Ten Tragic Days) and the President’s killing.
Villa and Carranza despised Huerta and banded together to depose the self-proclaimed president. They operated in the Rio Bravo del Norte valley, organizing rebellions that brought Huerta’s presidency to an end.
This revolutionary was lauded for his ability to recruit men and collect cash for the revolutionary army, as well as his leadership qualities.
Villa was appointed Governor of Chihuahua by local military officers in 1913. He began his successful career as a governor by appointing generals such as Porfirio Talamantes, Toribio Ortega, and Calixto Contreras, who assisted Villa in efficiently running the army.
He gathered money from the wealthy in order to feed his soldiers. He even took over the land from wealthy landowners and gave it to the families of revolutionaries who had died. He printed money and stated that it should be accepted as legal tender. His currency was accepted by several banks.
He also kidnapped a family member of one of the bank’s owners and took gold from them.
He tried to improve hospitals, transportation systems, and even arms and ammunition for the army.
He occupied Torreón, and despite the efforts of revolutionist Venustiano Carranza to thwart Villa’s assaults, he and his men marched successfully towards Zacatecas, capturing the city in 1914. Huerta was distraught, and he eventually went into exile.
Carranza’s army also arrived in Zacatecas, and Villa appointed him as the revolution’s leader. They convened a National Convention and established laws that would allow Mexico to become a democratic country. Eulalio Gutierrez was elected president despite the revolutionary’s decision not to occupy any government positions.
General Emiliano Zapata and Pancho parted ways with Carranza once he began to exhibit signs of being a tyrant. Carranza then fled, leaving Villa and Zapata in charge of Mexico City. Carranza, on the other hand, controlled two Mexican states, Tamaulipas and Veracruz, which allowed him to earn more money than Villa.
Villa had numerous problems in 1915 when Carranza and his army battled and defeated him. Many people who had previously been affiliated with Pancho backed Carranza.
Even the United States withdrew its backing and refused to give Pancho weaponry, as then-President Woodrow Wilson saw it as more advantageous to assist Carranza rather than Pancho.
This revolutionary leader had a few loyal followers, and with their support, he was able to continue his revolution. The ‘Battle of Columbus took place in 1916 between his men and the United States army.
The United States then set out to find Pancho Villa and left no stone unturned in their pursuit. All of their efforts, however, were fruitless because they were unable to locate him.
The ‘Battle of Ciudad Juárez’ was fought in 1919, and this revolutionist lost once more. After his adversary Carranza was slain, he opted to make peace with Huerta, the interim president at the time. Huerta was pleased with his decision and offered him and his soldiers sanctuary, as well as a pension.
Battles of Importance
This commander conducted a number of rebellions and was successful in each one. The ‘Battle of Tierra Blanca,’ on the other hand, is regarded as the most notable. His combat techniques and preparations impressed the US troops, and his actions in the conflict were even documented and turned into a documentary film.
Personal History and Legacy
In May 1911, he married Maria Luz Corral and had a child with her. The infant, however, died in infancy. Pancho also had relationships with a number of other women, and it appears that he married a handful of them.
On the 20th of July 1923, a gang of seven riflemen opened fire on his entourage, and nine bullets pierced his upper body, quickly killing him.
Estimated Net worth
Pancho is one of the wealthiest war heroes and one of the most popular. Pancho Villa’s net worth is estimated to be $1.7 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.
This famous personality featured in many documentaries such as ‘Life of Villa’, ‘The Life of General Villa’ and ‘Following the Flag in Mexico’