|Other names||"Thunderbolt of Sinaloa"|
Heraclio Bernal (1855-1888) was a bandit from the Sinaloa region of Mexico. He is widely known as the "Thunderbolt of Sinaloa."
In historical legal systems, an outlaw is declared as outside the protection of the law. In pre-modern societies, the criminal is withdrawn all legal protection, so that anyone is legally empowered to persecute or kill them. Outlawry was thus one of the harshest penalties in the legal system. In early Germanic law, the death penalty is conspicuously absent, and outlawing is the most extreme punishment, presumably amounting to a death sentence in practice. The concept is known from Roman law, as the status of homo sacer, and persisted throughout the Middle Ages.
Sinaloa, officially the Free and Sovereign State of Sinaloa, is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, compose the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided into 18 municipalities and its capital city is Culiacán Rosales.
Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometres (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the eleventh most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity that is also the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana and León.
Bernal led a group of pistoleros, who operated along the mining zones of the Sierra Madre Occidental, dominating parts of Sinaloa and Durango.The band was believed to have reached up to 100 men strong, often participating in illegal acts such as; robbing stagecoaches, attacking armories, raiding mines for silver which was later sold, and stealing from the rich residents of towns he raided. During Bernal's ten year stint as a bandit and as a political rebel, he managed to evade capture repeatedly due to his established good relations with the lower class and important people of the region he operated within. It is also believed police and soldiers would sell Bernal, and other bandits, weapons and ammunition.
The Sierra Madre Occidental is a major mountain range system of the North American Cordillera, that runs northwest–southeast through northwestern and western Mexico, and along the Gulf of California. The Sierra Madre is part of the American Cordillera, a chain of mountain ranges (cordillera) that consists of an almost continuous sequence of mountain ranges that form the western 'backbone' of North America, Central America, South America and West Antarctica.
Durango, officially Free and Sovereign State of Durango, is a state in northwest Mexico. With a population of 1,632,934, Durango has Mexico's second-lowest population density, after Baja California Sur. The city of Victoria de Durango is the state's capital, named after the first president of Mexico, Guadalupe Victoria.
Throughout Bernal's career he was heavily pursued by the local governor Francisco Cañedo, often challenging and mocking him. Stories exist of Bernal challenging Cañedo and President Porfirio Díaz. When Diaz held a dinner for local dignitaries, Bernal is said to have countered with an even more lavish dinner in a neighboring town. While the stories are in doubt, they led to Bernal being viewed as a hero by the people of the surrounding villages.
José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz Mori was a Mexican general and politician who served seven terms as President of Mexico, a total of 31 years, from February 17, 1877 to December 1, 1880 and from December 1, 1884 to May 25, 1911. A veteran of the War of the Reform (1858–60) and the French intervention in Mexico (1862–67), Díaz rose to the rank of General, leading republican troops against the French-imposed rule of Emperor Maximilian. Seizing power in a coup in 1876, Díaz and his allies, a group of technocrats known as "Científicos", ruled Mexico for the next thirty-five years, a period known as the Porfiriato.
At some point, probably in 1883, Bernal's group was joined by five of the Parra brothers, including Ignacio Parra whose gang would absorb many of Bernal's members following his death.
In 1885 Bernal attempted to enter government service and sent word to president Díaz of an offer. In exchange for service as an officer, Bernal wanted 30,000 pesos to finance himself and his security. He also demanded the release of any of his captured gang members, including his imprisoned brother. Díaz refused the offer, though it is believed Bernal could have received a pardon had he not requested such a high payment.
In 1887 Bernal entered the role of a political rebel, creating a platform which called for a return to the 1857 Constitution of Mexico, which had barred repeated re-elections of the same candidate. The move to enact such a policy was past its time, as many of those who would have backed Bernal now preferred to have Díaz repeatedly re-elected to maintain control.
In time the government would move soldiers into the Mazatlán region and form anti-guerrilla forces to track down Bernal. A ransom of 10,000 pesos was placed on the capture of Bernal, and he was soon after set up in an ambush by two of his gang members. Bernal died on January 5, 1888.
Over thirty corridos or folk ballads exist placing Bernal in the role of a hero and promoting his exploits. One of the more popular involves changing of the colors of the horse Bernal is riding on and the features of description:
Que rechulo era Bernal,
How beautiful was Bernal,
Aspects of Bernal's life may have evolved into the folk-saint Jesús Malverde.
Francisco Ignacio Madero González was a Mexican revolutionary, writer and statesman who served as the 33rd president of Mexico from 1911 until shortly before his assassination in 1913. He was an advocate for social justice and democracy. Madero was notable for challenging Mexican President Porfirio Díaz for the presidency in 1910 and being instrumental in sparking the Mexican Revolution.
Emiliano Zapata Salazar was a leading figure in the Mexican Revolution, the main leader of the peasant revolution in the state of Morelos, and the inspiration of the agrarian movement called Zapatismo.
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The Tijuana Cartel or Arellano-Félix Organization is a Mexican drug cartel based in Tijuana. The cartel once was described as "one of the biggest and most violent criminal groups in Mexico." However, since the 2006 Sinaloa Cartel incursion in Baja California and the fall of the Arellano-Félix brothers, the Tijuana Cartel has been reduced to a few cells. In 2016, the organization has become known as Cartel Tijuana Nueva Generación and has begun to align itself under the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, along with Beltrán Leyva Organization (BLO) to create an anti-Sinaloa alliance, in which the Jalisco New Generation Cartel heads, creating a possible powershift in Mexico.
Bernal Díaz del Castillo was a Spanish conquistador, who participated as a soldier in the conquest of Mexico under Hernán Cortés and late in his life wrote an account of the events. As an experienced soldier of fortune, he had already participated in expeditions to Tierra Firme, Cuba, and to Yucatán before joining Cortés. In his later years he was an encomendero and governor in Guatemala where he wrote his memoirs called The True History of the Conquest of New Spain. He began his account of the conquest almost thirty years after the events and later revised and expanded it in response to the biography published by Cortes's chaplain Francisco López de Gómara, which he considered to be largely inaccurate in that it did not give due recognition to the efforts and sacrifices of others in the Spanish expedition.
Joaquin Murrieta Carrillo, also called The Robin Hood of the West or the Robin Hood of El Dorado, was a Sonoran forty-niner, a vaquero and a gold miner who became a famous outlaw in California during the California Gold Rush of the 1850s. The popular legend of Joaquin Murrieta is that of a peace-loving man driven to seek revenge when he and his brother were falsely accused of stealing a mule. His brother was hanged and Joaquin horsewhipped. His young wife was gang raped and in one version she died in Joaquin's arms. Swearing revenge, Joaquin hunted down all who had violated his sweetheart. He embarked on a short but violent career that brought death to his Anglo tormentors. The state of California then offered a reward of up to $5,000 for Joaquin "dead or alive." He was reportedly killed in 1853, but the news of his death were disputed and myths later formed about him and his possible survival.
Jesús Malverde, possibly born as Jesús Juarez Mazo (1870–1909), sometimes known as the "generous bandit", "angel of the poor", or the "narco-saint", is a folklore hero in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. He was of Yoreme and Spanish heritage. He is a "Robin Hood figure" who was supposed to have stolen from the rich to give to the poor.
Leander Harvey McNelly was a Confederate officer and Texas Ranger captain. McNelly is best remembered for leading the "Special Force", a quasi-military branch of the Texas Rangers that operated in south Texas in 1875–76.
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Johnnie Armstrong or Johnie Armstrong was a Scottish raider and folk-hero. Johnnie Armstrong of Gilnockie was captured and hanged by King James V in 1530. There is a song which tells of his life and it is Child ballad number 169.
Social bandit or social crime is a popular form of lower class social resistance involving behavior characterized by law as illegal but is supported by wider society as being moral and acceptable. The term social bandit was invented by the Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm in his 1959 book Primitive Rebels and 1969 book Bandits. Hobsbawm characterized social banditry as a primitive form of class struggle and class resistance in usually pre-industrial and frontier societies. He further expanded the field in the 1969 study Bandits. Social banditry is a widespread phenomenon that has occurred in many societies throughout recorded history, and forms of social banditry still exist, as evidenced by piracy and organized crime syndicates. Later social scientists have also discussed the term's applicability to more modern forms of crime, like street gangs and the economy associated with the trade in illegal drugs.
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Juan Flores was a 19th-century Californio bandit who, with Pancho Daniel, led an outlaw gang known as "las Manillas" and later as the Flores Daniel Gang, throughout Southern California during 1856-1857. Although regarded by historians as a thief and outlaw, Flores was considered among Mexican-Americans as a folk hero akin to Jesse James and who was thought of as a defender against vigilante movements in the years following the American settlement of California and its incorporation into the United States. However, the activities of Flores and other insurrectos such as Salomon Pico and Joaquín Murrieta against American and foreign-born settlers not only created long-lasting suspicion and hostility towards Mexican-Americans but also divided the traditional Spanish class structures of the Californios and the poorer peasants as well.
The Sinaloa Cartel, also known as the Guzmán-Loera Organization, the Pacific Cartel, the Federation and the Blood Alliance, is an international drug trafficking, money laundering, and organized crime syndicate established during the mid-1980’s. The cartel is primarily based in the city of Culiacán, Sinaloa, with operations in the Mexican states of Baja California, Durango, Sonora, and Chihuahua. The 'Federation' was partially splintered when the Beltrán-Leyva brothers broke apart from the Sinaloa Cartel.
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