Pascual Orozco

Last updated
Pascual Orozco Vázquez
Pasqual Orozco 4350858909 e010cde9b1 o.jpg
Orozco circa 1913
Born(1882-01-28)28 January 1882
Santa Inés, Chihuahua, Mexico
Died30 August 1915(1915-08-30) (aged 33)
Movement Orozquistas in the Mexican Revolution
A contemporary corrido song sheet praising Orozco and his exploits. The headline reads: Brave fighter and faithful lover, you tear off the mask of the tyrant! The thankful and delirious people shake your ardent hand! To the unbeaten General Pascual Orozco! Orozco-poem.jpg
A contemporary corrido song sheet praising Orozco and his exploits. The headline reads: Brave fighter and faithful lover, you tear off the mask of the tyrant! The thankful and delirious people shake your ardent hand! To the unbeaten General Pascual Orozco!

Pascual Orozco Vázquez (in contemporary documents, sometimes spelled "Oroszco") (28 January 1882 30 August 1915) was a Mexican revolutionary leader who rose up with Francisco I. Madero late 1910 to depose Porfirio Díaz. Sixteen months later he revolted against the Madero government and ultimately sided with the coup d'état that deposed Madero. [1]

Mexico Country in the southern portion of North America

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 tenth 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.

Francisco I. Madero Mexican revolutionary leader and president

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.

Porfirio Díaz President of Mexico

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.



Orozco was born to a middle-class family on Santa Inés hacienda near San Isidro, Guerrero, in the state of Chihuahua. He was a businessman in mining, commercialized minerals and became wealthy from investments in mines, particularly gold.[ citation needed ]

A hacienda, in the colonies of the Spanish Empire, is an estate, similar in form to a Roman villa. Some haciendas were plantations, mines or factories. Many haciendas combined these activities. The word is derived from the Spanish word "hacer" or "haciendo", which means: to make or be making, respectively; and were largely business enterprises consisting of various money making ventures including raising farm animals and maintaining orchards.

Chihuahua (state) State of Mexico

Chihuahua, officially the Free and Sovereign State of Chihuahua, is one of the 31 states of Mexico. It is located in Northwestern Mexico and is bordered by the states of Sonora to the west, Sinaloa to the southwest, Durango to the south, and Coahuila to the east. To the north and northeast, it has a long border with the U.S. adjacent to the U.S. states of New Mexico and Texas. Its capital city is Chihuahua City.

His father was Pascual Orozco Sr. [2] His mother was Amada Orozco y Vázquez [2] (1852–1948). The Vázquez family were second-generation Basque immigrants. [3] Pascual Jr. married Refugio Frías and dedicated his youth to the transport of precious metals between the mining firms of the state. This allowed him to buy his own gold mine.[ citation needed ] He was also the uncle of Maximiano Márquez Orozco, who participated in the Mexican Revolution as a colonel in the Villista Army. In the first years of the 20th century he was attracted by the ideas of the Flores Magón brothers and, in 1909 he started importing weaponry from the United States in the face of the imminent outbreak of the Mexican Revolution.

Gold Chemical element with atomic number 79

Gold is a chemical element with symbol Au and atomic number 79, making it one of the higher atomic number elements that occur naturally. In its purest form, it is a bright, slightly reddish yellow, dense, soft, malleable, and ductile metal. Chemically, gold is a transition metal and a group 11 element. It is one of the least reactive chemical elements and is solid under standard conditions. Gold often occurs in free elemental (native) form, as nuggets or grains, in rocks, in veins, and in alluvial deposits. It occurs in a solid solution series with the native element silver and also naturally alloyed with copper and palladium. Less commonly, it occurs in minerals as gold compounds, often with tellurium.

Ricardo Flores Magón Mexican anarchist and social reform activist

Cipriano Ricardo Flores Magón, was a noted Mexican anarchist and social reform activist. His brothers Enrique and Jesús were also active in politics. Followers of the Magón brothers were known as Magonistas. He has been considered an important participant in the social movement that sparked the Mexican Revolution.

A weapon, arm or armament is any device that can be used with intent to inflict damage or harm. Weapons are used to increase the efficacy and efficiency of activities such as hunting, crime, law enforcement, self-defense, and warfare. In broader context, weapons may be construed to include anything used to gain a tactical, strategic, material or mental advantage over an adversary or enemy target.

Political ideas

He objected to the Porfirio Díaz dictatorship, and first ran into trouble with the law when caught with anti-Díaz literature in 1906. In May 1909 Orozco and José Inés Salazar purchased weapons in the United States and took them to Mexico on behalf of the Flores Magón brothers. [4]

José Inés Salazar Mexican general

José Inés Salazar was a leading Orozquista General in the Mexican Revolution who later fought with Pancho Villa. He was a native of Casas Grandes, Chihuahua.

Flores Magón is a Mexican surname.

When Francisco I. Madero called for an uprising against Díaz in 1910, Orozco was an enthusiastic supporter and, on 31 October of that year, was placed in command of the revolutionary forces in Guerrero municipality. He led his forces to a series of victories against Díaz loyalists, and by the end of the year most of the state was in the hands of the revolutionaries. At this point, Orozco was a hero in Chihuahua, with over 30,000 people lining the streets upon his return. Madero promoted him to colonel, and in March 1911 to brigadier general, remarkably, these promotions were earned without any kind of military knowledge or military training. On 10 May of that year Orozco and his subordinate colonel Pancho Villa seized Ciudad Juárez, which Madero made the capital of his new provisional government.

Colonel is a senior military officer rank below the brigadier and general officer ranks. However, in some small military forces, such as those of Monaco or the Vatican, colonel is the highest rank. It is also used in some police forces and paramilitary organizations.

Brigadier general or Brigade general is a senior rank in the armed forces. It is the lowest ranking general officer in some countries, usually sitting between the ranks of colonel and major general. When appointed to a field command, a brigadier general is typically in command of a brigade consisting of around 4,000 troops. In some countries a brigadier general is informally designated as a one-star general (OF-6).

Pancho Villa Mexican revolutionary

Francisco "Pancho" Villa was a Mexican revolutionary general and one of the most prominent figures of the Mexican Revolution.

Under Madero's government

On 31 October 1910 he was named jefe revolucionario (revolutionary leader) of the Porfirio Díaz Anti Re-election Club in Guerrero District. A week after the beginning of the war, he obtained his first victory, against General Juan Navarro. After ambushing the federal troops in Cañón del Mal Paso on 2 January 1911, he ordered the dead soldiers stripped and sent the uniforms to Presidente Díaz with a note that read, "Ahí te van las hojas, mándame más tamales". ("Here are the wrappers, send me more tamales.") [4] His bellicose attitude allowed him to ascend rather rapidly through the ranks within the Maderist army. He was eventually made general, with Francisco Villa among his subordinates. After the seizure of Ciudad Juárez, Madero designated his first provisional cabinet, having Venustiano Carranza, a wealthy landowner like Madero, in the Ministerio de Guerra (War Ministry), a position that Orozco longed for. Venustiano Carranza would eventually become a President of Mexico. Orozco and Villa first confronted Madero by bursting into a meeting of his shadow cabinet after the first Battle of Juárez.

Ciudad Juárez City in Chihuahua, Mexico

Ciudad Juárez is the most populous city in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. The city is commonly referred to by locals as simply Juárez, and was known as Paso del Norte until 1888. Juárez is the seat of the municipality of Juárez with an estimated population of 1,428,508. The city lies on the Rio Grande river, south of El Paso, Texas, United States. Together with the surrounding areas, the cities form El Paso–Juárez, the second largest binational metropolitan area on the Mexico–U.S. border, with a combined population of almost 2.3 million people.

Venustiano Carranza Mexican politician and president of Mexico

Venustiano Carranza Garza was one of the main leaders of the Mexican Revolution, whose victorious northern revolutionary Constitutionalist Army defeated the counter-revolutionary regime of Victoriano Huerta and then defeated fellow revolutionaries after Huerta's ouster. He secured power in Mexico, serving as head of state from 1915–1917. With the promulgation of a new revolutionary Mexican Constitution of 1917, he was elected president, serving from 1917 to 1920.

Fallout with Madero

After Díaz's fall, Orozco became resentful at Madero's failure to name him to the cabinet or to a state governorship. Orozco was particularly upset with Madero's failure to implement a series of social reforms that he had promised at the beginning of the revolution. Orozco believed that Madero was very similar to Díaz, whom he had helped to overthrow. Orozco was then offered the governorship of Chihuahua, [5] which he refused, and Madero finally accepted his resignation from the federal government.

When Díaz presented his resignation, Orozco was named commander of the federal rural police (Los Rurales) in Chihuahua. In June 1911, Orozco decided to run for governor of Chihuahua for the Club Independiente Chihuahuense, an organization opposed to Francisco I. Madero. After receiving many admonitions by the revolutionary hierarchy, he was compelled to resign his candidacy on 15 July 1911. Subsequently, he refused a request to command the troops fighting Emiliano Zapata in the south. On 3 March 1912, he announced his intention to revolt against the government of President Madero. Orozco financed his rebellion with his own assets and with confiscated livestock, which he sold in the neighboring U.S. state of Texas, and where he bought weapons and ammunition even after an embargo proclaimed by U.S. president William Taft in March 1912.

Revolt against Madero

Mexican troops in Chihuahua during Orozco's Rebellion Orozco Revolution.jpg
Mexican troops in Chihuahua during Orozco's Rebellion

On 3 March 1912 Orozco decreed a formal revolt against Madero's government. Orozco's forces, known as the Orozquistas and Colorados (Red Flaggers), smashed Madero's army during several engagements.[ citation needed ] Seeing the potential danger that Orozco posed to his regime, Madero sent General Victoriano Huerta out of retirement to stop Orozco's Rebellion. Huerta's troops defeated the orozquistas in Conejos, Rellano and Bachimba finally seizing Ciudad Juárez.[ citation needed ] After being wounded in Ojinaga, Orozco was forced to flee to the United States.[ citation needed ] After living for some months in Los Angeles, with his first cousin, Teodora Vázquez Molinar González (1879–1956) and husband, Carlos Díaz-Ferrales González (1878–1953) he was able to return to Chihuahua but extremely ill, affected with periodic rheumatism seizures.[ citation needed ]

After Huerta installed himself as President of Mexico in early 1913, Orozco agreed to support him if Huerta agreed to some reforms (such as payment of hacienda workers in hard money rather than company store scrip).[ citation needed ] Huerta agreed, and had Orozco, as Commanding General of all Mexican Federal forces, lead attacks against the revolutionaries, including Pancho Villa.[ citation needed ] Orozco defeated the Constitutionalist Army at Ciudad Camargo, Mapula, Santa Rosalía, Zacatecas, and Torreón[ citation needed ] before Huerta was deposed in July 1914.

After Huerta's fall Orozco announced his refusal to recognize the government of the new president, Francisco S. Carvajal whom he viewed to be similar to Madero.[ citation needed ] After briefly leading a revolt financed with his own money where he took in Guanajuato where he won several successive engagements against the Constitutionalists, he was forced to retreat because he lacked sufficient manpower to hold the ground he won.[ citation needed ] He was again forced into exile and was named[ by whom? ] "Supreme Military Commander."[ citation needed ]

Government in exile

In efforts to overthrow Venustiano Carranza's government, Orozco and Huerta traveled throughout the United States, with the support of fellow exiles Gen. Marcelo Caraveo, Francisco Del Toro, Emilio Campa, and Gen. José Inez Salazar in Texas.[ citation needed ] Orozco traveled to San Antonio, St. Louis and New York. Eventually Enrique Creel and Huerta were able to strike a deal with the German government for the sale of $895,000.00 in weapons.[ citation needed ]

House arrest in the United States

Victoriano Huerta (left) and Pascual Orozco (right). Huerta y Orozco.jpg
Victoriano Huerta (left) and Pascual Orozco (right).

In New York, Orozco and Huerta finalized plans to retake Mexico. En route to El Paso by train on 27 June 1915 the two were arrested in Newman, Texas, and charged with conspiracy to violate U.S. neutrality laws. He was placed under house arrest in his family's home at 1315 Wyoming Avenue El Paso, Texas, but managed to escape.[ citation needed ]

Orozco's Last Ride

Orozco successfully executed a planned escape to Sierra Blanca where he met up with leaders and future cabinet members (General José Delgado, Christoforo Caballero, Miguel Terrazas and Andreas Sandoval). The official U.S. report stated that Orozco and his men had crossed by Dick Love's ranch and had coerced the cook to prepare him a meal and attend his horses, while Orozco and his men got ready to steal Love's cattle. When the owner arrived, they fled on the rancher's horses. The facts of this are often disputed because in other accounts it is believed that the horses belonged to Orozco and Love set up Orozco to seek revenge for an earlier dispute. Love used his accusations to persuade 26 members from the 13th Cavalry Regiment, 8 local deputies and 13 Texas Rangers to pursue the mysterious horse thieves whom he purposefully fails to mention by name to ensure their participation. The posse in pursuit converged at Stephan's tank just west of High Lonesome in the Van Horn Mountains [6] Orozco, and his four men (Delgado, Caballero, Terrazas and Sandoval) were camped in a box canyon above Stephan's Tank where law enforcement caught and killed them. A Mexican version asserts that Orozco was murdered trying to resist the robbery of his own horses by Love and his men. [7] On 7 October a local hearing against the 40-plus Americans involved was initiated, but the court found the people involved innocent of all charges.

Pascual Orozco Marker.jpg

On 3 September 1915 Orozco's remains were placed in space 13 of the Masonic Holding Vault at Concordia Cemetery in El Paso, Texas, at the decision of his wife, dressed in a full Mexican general's uniform, with the Mexican flag draping his coffin, in front of three thousand followers and admirers. In 1923, his remains were returned to his home state of Chihuahua and interred in the Rotonda de las Personas Ilustres (Rotunda of Illustrious Persons), Panteón de Dolores, in Chihuahua.[ citation needed ]

See also

Related Research Articles

Emiliano Zapata Mexican Revolutionary

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.

Mexican Revolution major nationwide armed struggle in Mexico between 1910 and 1920

The Mexican Revolution, also known as the Mexican Civil War, was a major armed struggle, lasting roughly from 1910 to 1920, that radically transformed Mexican culture and government. Although recent research has focused on local and regional aspects of the Revolution, it was a genuinely national revolution. Its outbreak in 1910 resulted from the failure of the 35-year-long regime of Porfirio Díaz to find a managed solution to the presidential succession. This meant there was a political crisis among competing elites and the opportunity for agrarian insurrection. Wealthy landowner Francisco I. Madero challenged Díaz in the 1910 presidential election, and following the rigged results, revolted under the Plan of San Luis Potosí. Armed conflict ousted Díaz from power; a new election was held in 1911, bringing Madero to the presidency.

Victoriano Huerta Mexican military officer and 35th President of Mexico

José Victoriano Huerta Márquez was a Mexican military officer and 35th President of Mexico.

Abraham González (governor) Mexican politician

Abraham González de Hermosillo y Casavantes was the provisional and constitutional governor of the Mexican state of Chihuahua during the early period of the Mexican Revolution. He was the political mentor to the revolutionary Pancho Villa, whom he had met and befriended before the revolution.

Roque González Garza President of Mexico

Roque González Garza was a Mexican general and acting president of the Republic from January to June 1915.

Federal Army

The Federal Army, also known as the Federales in popular culture, was the military of the Mexican state. Under Porfiriato, the long rule of President Porfirio Díaz, a military hero against the French Intervention in Mexico, the Federal Army was composed of senior officers who had served in long ago conflicts. At the time of the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution most were old men and incapable of leading men on the battlefield. When the rebellions broke out against Díaz following fraudulent elections of 1910, the Federal Army was incapable of responding. Although revolutionary fighters helped bring Francisco I. Madero to power, Madero retained the Federal Army rather than the revolutionaries. Madero used the Federal Army to suppress rebellions against his government by Pascual Orozco and Emiliano Zapata. Madero placed General Victoriano Huerta as interim commander of the military during the Ten Tragic Days of February 1913 to defend his government. Huerta changed sides and ousted Madero's government. Rebellions broke out against Huerta's regime. When revolutionary armies succeeded in ousting Huerta in July 1914, the Federal Army ceased to exist as an entity.

First Battle of Rellano

The First Battle of Rellano was an engagement on 24 March 1912 during the Mexican Revolution at the Rellano railroad station, in the state of Chihuahua. It was fought between government troops loyal to Francisco I. Madero, led by General José González Salas, and rebel troops under Pascual Orozco. The battle was a victory for Orozco.

The Second Battle of Rellano of 22 May 1912 was an engagement of the Mexican Revolution between rebel forces under Pascual Orozco and government troops under General Victoriano Huerta, at the railroad station of Rellano, Chihuahua. The battle was a setback for Orozco, who had defeated another government army at the First Battle of Rellano in March of the same year.

Treaty of Ciudad Juárez

The Treaty of Ciudad Juárez was a peace treaty signed between the then President of Mexico, Porfirio Díaz, and the revolutionary Francisco Madero on May 21, 1911. The treaty put an end to the fighting between forces supporting Madero and those of Díaz and thus concluded the initial phase of the Mexican Revolution.

Battle of Cuautla (1911)

The Battle of Cuautla was a battle between the forces of Emiliano Zapata and the federal army of the Mexican government that took place in the state of Morelos from May 11–19, 1911, during the Mexican Revolution. It has sometimes been described as "six of the most terrible days of battle in the whole Revolution". Eventually, the remains of the defending "Golden Fifth" regiment, the Fifth Cavalry Regiment of the Federal Army, withdrew and Zapata took control of the town. The Zapatista victory convinced Porfirio Díaz to come to terms with Francisco Madero, agree to the Treaty of Ciudad Juárez and resign as president.

Battle of Ciudad Juárez (1911)

The First Battle of Ciudad Juárez took place in April and May 1911 between federal forces loyal to President Porfirio Díaz and rebel forces of Francisco Madero, during the Mexican Revolution. Pascual Orozco and Pancho Villa commanded Madero's army, which besieged Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. After two days of fighting the city's garrison surrendered and Orozco and Villa took control of the town. The fall of Ciudad Juárez to Madero, combined with Emiliano Zapata's taking of Cuautla in Morelos, convinced Díaz that he could not hope to defeat the rebels. As a result, he agreed to the Treaty of Ciudad Juárez, resigned and went into exile in France, thus ending the initial stage of the Mexican Revolution.

Border War (1910–1919) Mexican-American military engagements

The Border War, or the Border Campaign, refers to the military engagements which took place in the Mexico–United States border region of North America during the Mexican Revolution. The Bandit War in Texas was part of the Border War. From the beginning of the Mexican Revolution in 1910, the United States Army was stationed in force along the border and on several occasions fought with Mexican rebels or federals. The height of the conflict came in 1916 when revolutionary Pancho Villa attacked the American border town of Columbus, New Mexico. In response, the United States Army, under the direction of General John J. Pershing, launched an expedition into northern Mexico, to find and capture Villa. Though the operation was successful in finding and engaging the Villista rebels, and in killing Villa's two top lieutenants, the revolutionary himself escaped and the American army returned to the United States in January 1917. Conflict at the border continued, however, and the United States launched several additional, though smaller operations into Mexican territory until after the American victory in the Battle of Ambos Nogales. Conflict was not only subject to Villistas and Americans; Maderistas, Carrancistas, Constitutionalistas and Germans also engaged in battle with American forces during this period.

Salvador Alvarado Mexican statesman and politician

Salvador Alvarado Rubio served in the Mexican military during the Mexican Revolution and as a statesman. He was a general of the Constitutionalist Army under the orders of Venustiano Carranza. Alvarado was the Governor of Yucatán from February 1915 to November, 1918. There is a Salvador Alvarado Municipality in the State of Sinaloa, where he was born, named in his honor.

Máximo Castillo Mexican military personnel

General Máximo Castillo (1864–1919) was a brigadier general in the Mexican Revolution who fought for agrarian reform in Northern Mexico. Castillo was born poor and worked as an itinerant farm worker for part of his life. Upon returning to his native Chihuahua, Castillo joined the Mexican Revolution and became Francisco Madero's personal bodyguard. Disillusioned by the slowness of Madero's reforms once he gained power, Castillo quickly joined the armed opposition to the Madero government. He was imprisoned in the United States after the government accused him of sabotaging a train. In his internment, he wrote a series of memoirs which form the basis from which historians study his life today. He died at the age of 55.


  1. Villa and Zapata: A History of the Mexican Revolution By Frank McLynn p.74
  2. 1 2 Protestants and the Mexican Revolution: missionaries, ministers, and social change by Deborah J. Baldwin, p.76
  3. Mexican Rebel; Pascual Orozco and the Mexican Revolution, 1910-1915, p. 15
  4. 1 2 OROZCO, PASCUAL, JR. | The Handbook of Texas Online| Texas State Historical Association (TSHA)
  5. Heribert von Feilitzsch, In Plain Sight: Felix A. Sommerfeld, Spymaster in Mexico, 1908 to 1914, Henselstone Verlag LLC., Amissville, VA, 2012, p. 165
  7. Michael Meyer, Mexican Rebel 1967, p132

Further reading