FL 380: An Archaeology of the "Boom": Modern Latin American Fiction

Pedro Páramo
and The Death of Artemio Cruz

Díaz, Porfirio, 1830-1915, Mexican dictator. In 1876 he lost the presidential election, revolted, and seized power. He ruled MEXICO ruthlessly for 35 years in the interest of the few and at the expense of the peons. He promoted prosperity by encouraging foreign investments. Growing popular discontent culminated in the 1910 revolution led by MADERO. Diaz fled and died in exile.

Madero, Francisco Indalecio, 1873-1913, president of MEXICO (1911-13). A champion of democracy and social reform, he led (1910) the revolution that swept through Mexico and overthrew (1911) the DÍAZ regime, but he failed to implement notable reforms. Revolts broke out, and Gen. HUERTA treacherously assassinated Madero's brother, seized power, and arrested and imprisoned Madero. He was killed while allegedly attempting to escape.

Huerta Victoriano, 1854-1916, president of MEXICO, (1913-14). As commander of federal forces he overthrew Pres. MADERO and set up a dictatorship marked by corruption and violence. Numerous revolts forced him to resign (1914) as president and to flee into exile.

Villa, Pancho (Francisco Villa), c.l877-1923, Mexican revolutionary; b. Doroteo Arango. A bandit in N Mexico, he joined (l910) the rebels and fought vigorously for Pres. MADERO and later against Gen. HUERTA and Pres. CARRANZA. He and ZAPATA occupied (1914-15) Mexico City, but he was decisively defeated (19l5) by Gen. OBREGÓN. After Villa's men killed (1916) some American citizens at Columbus, N.Mex., a U.S. army expedition pursued Villa in Mexico for 11 months without success. At times a rebel against injustice, but always an undirected, destructive force, Villa became a national hero.

Zapata, Emiliano, c.l879-1919, Mexican revolutionary. An Indian tenant farmer, he tried to recover (1908) expropriated village lands, and he led (1910-19) an army of Indians in the Mexican revolution with the goal of regaining the land. In defense of this program, he fought federal governments and largely controlled S. Mexico. His army occupied Mexico City three times (19l4-15), but he finally retired to Morelos, where he was treacherously killed by a government emissary. Zapata is still revered by Mexican Indians.

Carranza, Venustiano, 1859-1920, Mexican political leader. He fought in the Mexican revolution and helped to overthrow (19l4) Gen. HUERTA. He became president (1914) and, aided by Gen. OBREGÓN, survived a civil war (1915). When he did not enforce the reform constitution of 1917 and tried to prevent Obregón from becoming president, the latter revolted (1920). Carranza fled the capital and was murdered.

Obregón, Álvaro, 1880-1928, president of MEXICO (1920-24). A successful general in the Mexican revolution (1910-17), he rose (1920) against Pres. CARRANZA and became president. His administration enacted agrarian, labor, and educational reforms. Chosen president again in 1928, the anticlerical Obregón was assassinated by a fanatical Roman Catholic before he could take office.

Cárdenas, Lázaro, 1895-1970, president of MEXICO (1934-40). He fought (1913-17) as a general in the Mexican revolution and was elected president. He expropriated foreign-held properties, distributed land to peasants, and instituted reforms to benefit Indians and Mexican workers. His influence in advancing constitutional processes was great.