Emiliano Zapata (Zapatistas)
(8 August 1879 – 10 April 1919)
Emiliano Zapata was the leader of the peasant army during the Mexican Revolution. They defended the state of Morelos, and formed the group called the Zapatistas. The peasant communities were under great pressure from Dictator Porfirio Diaz and the upper class who monopolized land and water resources for sugar cane. Zapata and the Liberation Army of the South toppled Diaz’s rule. Francisco I. Madero was an ally to Zapata during the revolution and he became President after the Mexican Revolution war was over. Upon taking office he denounced the role of the Zapatistas during the revolution in order to reduce their popularity. Then Modero betrayed Zapata again by creating land reform. He sent his forces to round up the Zapatistas and ship them to labor camps. Madero became ruthless with his tactics enacting a policy of “Scorched Earth”. Scorched Earth allowed Madero’s forces to burn their villages to the ground. The Zapatistas were able to defeat Madero’s army and push them out of Morelos. The Zapatistas then took part in coup that ousted Madero from the Presidency. Unfortunately, the Zapatistas were betrayed again by Victoriano Huerta. Madero’s own corrupt general who took power after the coup. The Zapatistas were attacked again. The Zapatistas fought back regaining their land. Huerta was defeated. Unfortunately he was replaced with another enemy to Zapata; his name was Venustiano Carranza.
Col. Guajardo acting under the orders of Carranza’s Military set up a meeting with Zapata on April 10, 1919; under pretenses that he was defecting from Carranza’s regime in order to join Zapata. When Zapata arrived at the Hacienda de San Juan, in Chinameca Ayala municipality, Guajardo's men riddled him with bullets and ended Zapata’s life.
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