Birthday: March 22, 1850
Died At Age: 65
Sun Sign: Aries
Also Known As: José Victoriano Huerta Márquez
Born Country: Mexico
Born in: Agua Gorda, Mexico
Famous as: Former President of Mexico
Spouse/Ex-: Emilia Águila (m. 1880)
father: Jesús Huerta
mother: María Lázara del Refugio Márquez
siblings: María Nicolasa Hermelinda Huerta Márquez, María Ramona Josefa Huerta Márquez, María Teresa Huerta Márquez, Úrsula Huerta Márquez
children: Celia Huerta Águila, Dagoberto Huerta Águila, Elena Huerta Águila, Eva Huerta Águila, Jorge Huerta Águila, Luz Huerta Águila, María del Carmen Huerta Águila, María Elisa Huerta Águila, Víctor Huerta Águila
Died on: January 13, 1916
Cause of Death: Cirrhosis Of The Liver
Who was Victoriano Huerta?
Victoriano Huerta was the 35th President of Mexico. His presidency ended just 17 months after he assumed the office. He was also a military officer who served from 1877 to 1907. Born in a poverty-stricken area of Colotlán, he decided at a young age to join the military as he believed that it would help him become prosperous. His began his career as a personal secretary of Gen. Donato Guerra in 1869. Huerta excelled in that role and soon gained admittance to the Mexican National Military Academy in 1872. Following his graduation in 1877, he joined the army as a lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers and soon rose to the post of an army general under President Porfirio Díaz. He later served under President Francisco Madero as an army chief-of-staff and eventually assassinated Madero to assume the presidency himself. His dictatorial regime was opposed by revolutionary forces who called for a civil war. Huerta was force to step down in 1914. During World War I, while intriguing with German spies, he was arrested by the US Army. He later died in US custody.
Childhood & Early Life
Victoriano Huerta was born on 22 December 1850, in Agua Gorda, Colotlán, Mexico, to María Lázaradel Refugio Márquez and Jesús Huerta.
He was initially educated by a local priest. He then went on to join Gen. Donato Guerra’s office as his personal secretary. His excellence in the role and Gen. Guerra's support enabled him to enroll at the Mexican National Military Academy in 1872.
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Following his graduation from the academy in 1877, Victoriano Huerta joined the Corps of Engineers as a lieutenant and was allotted the task to improve forts in Puebla.
In 1879, he became a captain and joined the 4th Division in Guadalajara under Gen. Manuel González, a close ally of then-President Porfirio Díaz.
During this time, Victoriano Huerta contributed to the "pacification campaigns" in Sinaloa and Tepic. He earned a reputation of a military officer who resorted to ruthless ways to pay his men. He plundered a church and even robbed a bank to pay the soldiers.
By 1890, he had become a colonel of engineers under the supervision of Díaz. In 1895, Huerta, under the leadership of Gen. Canuto Neri, commanded a battalion of infantry against a rebellion.
He then served as a commander of a military campaign against Yaqui Indians in Sonora in 1900. The following year, he pacified the state Guerrero and eventually earned promotion as a general.
During 1901-02, Victoriano Huerta led a campaign against the Maya Indians. Huerta was promoted to the rank of brigadier general. In October 1902, Huerta successfully "pacified" the Yucatán. He eventually retired in 1907 on grounds of ill health.
The Mexican Revolution
During the Mexican Revolution in 1910, Victoriano Huerta rejoined the army and commanded the military escort to give Porfirio Díaz safe conduct into exile.
Although he was retained by the new head of the state, President Francisco Madero, to crush anti-Madero revolts, he secretly plotted against him to overthrow him and the vice-president José María Pino Suárez in February 1913. This period came to be known as the Ten Tragic Days.
Madero and Suárez were arrested and assassinated, while Huerta took over the Mexican government.
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Role as President
Victoriano Huerta eventually took the role of the president under the 1857 Constitution of Mexico. During his tenure, he relied completely upon his army men for support and gave them key roles regardless of their talents.
He disliked cabinet meetings and displayed a highly autocratic style. Eventually, his government was recognized by the heads of all the European governments. However, then-American president Woodrow Wilson disliked his "iron fist" policies.
Victoriano Huerta quickly consolidated power with the support of state governors. Those who refused, including Chihuahua Gov. Abraham González, were arrested and murdered.
The federal army he took over in 1913 consisted of about 50,000 men. By early 1914, about 300,000 men were fighting for him. Huerta organized anti-American demonstrations and criticized American interference in Mexican affairs.
He established a harsh dictatorship and shut down Congress in session, arresting several senators and deputies. His federal army was eventually defeated in battle by Obregón and Villa. Huerta was forced to resign from the presidency in July 1914.
Exile, Later Life & Death
Victoriano Huerta went into exile soon after his resignation. He first traveled to Kingston, Jamaica, and then moved to UK. He later traveled to Spain and eventually arrived in USA in 1915.
During his exile in USA, he negotiated with German Navy Intelligence’s Capt. Franz von Rintelen for money to procure weapons and arrange U-boat landings while offering to launch a war on US. The meeting between the two parties was, however, recorded by the United States Secret Service.
Huerta traveled from New York to New Mexico where he would meet Mexican revolutionary leader, Gen. Pascual Orozco. However, a US Army colonel along with his officials intervened and arrested Huerta as he left the train.
After his arrest, the Germans initiated a plan to help Huerta regain his Mexican presidency, but the plan was foiled. After spending some time in an American jail, Huerta was released on bail. He, however, remained under house arrest and eventually died in January 1916.
Family & Personal Life
Victoriano Huerta married Emilia Águila Moya on 21 November 1880. The couple had 11 children.
He died on 13 January 1916, while in exile in El Paso, Texas, USA, at the age of 65. Following his death, several movies were made on the Mexican Revolution, including ‘And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself’, ‘Duck, You Sucker’ and ‘The Wild Bunch’.
He was as a major character in the novel titled ‘The Friends of Pancho Villa’ which was published in 1996.