Plan of Agua Prieta

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President Venustiano Carranza Portrait of Venustiano Carranza.jpg
President Venustiano Carranza
Alvaro Obregon Obregon Salido, Alvaro.jpg
Alvaro Obregón

The Plan of Agua Prieta (Spanish: Plan de Agua Prieta) was a manifesto, or plan, drawn up by three revolutionary generals of the Mexican Revolution, declaring themselves in revolt against the government of President Venustiano Carranza. It was proclaimed by Obregón on 22 April 1920, in English and 23 April in Spanish in the northern border city of Agua Prieta, Sonora. [1] [2]

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.

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.

Agua Prieta City in Sonora, Mexico

Agua Prieta is a town in Agua Prieta Municipality in the northeastern corner of the Mexican state of Sonora. It stands on the Mexico–U.S. border, adjacent to the town of Douglas, Arizona. The municipality covers an area of 3,631.65 km². In the 2010 census the town had a population of 79,138 people, making it the seventh-largest community in the state, and a literacy rate of 96.3%. 89% of the homes in the city have electricity, 94% have running water, and 86% are connected to the sewer system. The city's most important economic activities, in descending order, are industry, commerce and farming. The city is the location of the CFE Agua Prieta power plant.

The Plan's stated pretext for rejecting the Carranza administration was a dispute between the federal government and the Sonora state government over control of the waters of the Sonora river, although the underlying reasons were complex. Carranza backed the Mexican Ambassador to the U.S., the civilian Ignacio Bonillas, in the 1920 elections. Although Bonillas was a skilled diplomat and the relationship with the U.S. was crucial, Bonillas was a virtual unknown in Mexico. He did not have a military record in the Mexican Revolution, and critics saw the choice as a way that Carranza could continue to wield power even though no longer president of Mexico. [3]

Ignacio Bonillas Mexican diplomat

Ignacio Bonillas Frajio was a Mexican diplomat. He was a Mexican ambassador to the United States and held a degree in mine engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was tapped by President Venustiano Carranza as his successor in the 1920 presidential elections, but the revolt of three Sonoran revolutionary generals overthrew Carranza before those elections took place.

In addition to withdrawing support from Carranza's federal government, the plan also refused to recognize the results of local elections in the states of Guanajuato, San Luis Potosí, Nuevo León, Querétaro, and Tamaulipas, and the governor of the state of Nayarit. It offered to refrain from entering into combat with the authorities, provided that they refrained from attacking the Liberal Constitutionalist Army, headed by Adolfo de la Huerta, at the time governor of Sonora.

Guanajuato State of Mexico

Guanajuato, officially the Free and Sovereign State of Guanajuato, is one of the 31 states which, with Mexico City, are the 32 federal entities of Mexico. It is divided into 46 municipalities and its capital city is Guanajuato. The largest city in the state is León.

San Luis Potosí State of Mexico

San Luis Potosí, officially the Free and Sovereign State of San Luis Potosí, is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 58 municipalities and its capital city is San Luis Potosí City.

Nuevo León State of Mexico

Nuevo León, officially the Free and Sovereign State of Nuevo León, is one of the 31 states which, with Mexico City, compose the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided into 51 municipalities and its capital city is Monterrey.

The plan empowered De la Huerta to appoint interim governors in those states that aligned with or defeated by the Liberal Constitutionalist Army. It called on the state governments to appoint representatives to a junta, which would then select an interim President of the Republic. The interim president would, immediately upon assuming office, call a fresh general election.

A military dictatorship is a dictatorship wherein the military exerts complete or substantial control over political authority.

Support for the Plan was widespread across the country: more than three-quarters of the Army rejected Carranza and joined the rebellion. As De la Huerta's Liberal Constitutionalist Army made rapid progress toward Mexico City, Carranza refused to negotiate or surrender and fled the capital by train in May 1920, headed for the port of Veracruz, where he intended to set up a temporary seat of government.

Mexican Army land and air warfare branch of the Mexican Armed Forces

The Mexican Army is the combined land and air branch and is the largest of the Mexican Armed Forces; it is also known as the National Defense Army.

Mexico City Capital in Mexico

Mexico City, or the City of Mexico, is the capital of Mexico and the most populous city in North America. Mexico City is one of the most important cultural and financial centres in the Americas. It is located in the Valley of Mexico, a large valley in the high plateaus in the center of Mexico, at an altitude of 2,240 meters (7,350 ft). The city has 16 boroughs.

The train was attacked repeatedly as it left the capital and, arriving at Aljibes, Puebla, was unable to continue because of sabotage to the tracks. In addition, Carranza then learned that the military commander of Veracruz, Gen. Guadalupe Sánchez, had gone over to the rebels.

Puebla State of Mexico

Puebla, officially the Free and Sovereign State of Puebla is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 217 municipalities and its capital is the city of Puebla.

Carranza and a small group of followers were forced to change plans: they would head north, perhaps to Carranza's home state of Coahuila, where his support might be stronger. On horseback they began a crossing of the Sierra Norte, and, on 20 May, reached the town of Tlaxcalantongo, Puebla. A rebel ambush in the early hours of 21 May 1920, reputedly led by Gen. Rodolfo Herrero, left President Carranza dead.

Adolfo de la Huerta was appointed interim president. He served from 1 June to 30 November 1920, and was succeeded by Álvaro Obregón.

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References

  1. Barbara Tenenbaum, "Plan of Agua Prieta" in Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture, vol. 4, pp. 417-18. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons 1996.
  2. John Womack, Jr. "The Mexican Revolution" in Mexico Since Independence, Leslie Bethell, ed. New York: Cambridge University Press 1991, p. 194.
  3. John F.W. Dulles, Yesterday in Mexico, Austin: University of Texas Press 1961, p. 22.
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