The story

Mexican Revolution (continued)


First, Zapata and Villa proposed the expropriation of the estates (including those belonging to the Church) for further division among peasants; the recognition of indigenous rights over the lands that had been taken from them and the nationalization of the lands of those considered enemies of the revolution.

In the 1914 elections, US-supported landowner Carranza was elected president. His main promise was the drafting of a new constitution, which, in fact, was approved in 1917.


Mexican revolutionaries. Sitting on the left is Pancho Villa and on the right Zapata.

The apparently liberal new constitution was characterized by granting the state the right to expropriate land if it were to be used for public benefit, while recognizing the rights of Indians over common land. In the field of labor relations, the minimum wage was created and it was determined that the duration of the workday would be eight hours. The Catholic Church was significantly shaken in its power with the separation of state and church.

To ensure that Carranza was successful in his rule, the United States even invaded Mexican territory in an attempt to arrest Pancho Villa.

The death of Zapata, murdered in 1919, and Pancho Villa, killed in 1923, was a severe blow to the peasants. The US government was pushing for reforms to be implemented swiftly to avoid further problems. The Catholic Church, in turn, put pressure on the government because it wanted to recover what it had lost. All of this brought the revolutionary process to an end.

In 1929 the National Revolutionary Party (PRN) was created, the result of the unification of the different revolutionary currents, and that would be the basis of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), created in 1946. This change implied the abandonment of the revolutionary principles of 1910.

Despite the significant land reform implemented by the Revolution, over time the peasants lost many lands they had conquered. Difficulties in achieving low-cost, large-scale production, bank debt, competition from US agricultural products, and greater mechanization of the most modern properties have made small property unviable.

The struggle of Mexican peasants for the land extends to the present day, as it happens, in fact, in other countries of Latin America, including Brazil. In Mexico, in the last decade of the twentieth century, this struggle was resumed most intensely with the creation of the Zapatista National Liberation Army in the province of Chiapas. The name of this movement is a tribute to Emiliano Zapata, one of the most significant leaders of the 1910 Revolution.


EZLN (Zapatista National Liberation Army) Flag