Álvaro Obregón

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Alvaro Obregón

General Álvaro Obregón Salido (born February 19, 1880 in Navojoa , Sonora , Mexico , † July 17, 1928 in Mexico City ) was President of Mexico from 1920 to 1924.


Obregón was born on the Hacienda de Siquisiva in Navojoa, the youngest of eighteen children of an Irish-Mexican rancher family. As a half-orphan , he grew up under difficult material circumstances and received only an inadequate schooling. In his youth, Álvaro Obregón worked in various professions and thereby acquired extensive, mainly technical skills. He worked as a manager of a small flour mill, as an employee in a sugar factory and as a sales representative for shoes. At the turn of the century he settled in Huatabampo, in the fertile Mayo region, and became an independent farmer there. Álvaro Obregón was able to expand his farm to several hundred hectares by the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution and was one of the economically successful rancheros in the state of Sonora . At the beginning of the revolution he took an indecisive and wait-and-see attitude and did not yet follow Francisco Madero's movement .

His political career began in 1911 when he was elected mayor of the city of Huatabampo . During this time he supported President Francisco Madero against a revolt led by Pascual Orozco . When Madero was overthrown and murdered in a revolt led by Félix Díaz and General Victoriano Huerta (and supported by U.S. Ambassador Henry Lane Wilson ), Obregón joined the counter-revolt of Venustiano Carranza against Huerta's new government, the Huerta on July 14 Successfully disempowered in 1914.

Military career

As a military commander, Obregón, who was a brilliant autodidact in the field, was a very important ally of the new President Carranza. As Minister of War and the Navy , he helped him fight back the rebels under Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata . The armies of Obregón and Villas faced each other in four battles. The first took place in Celaya , Guanajuato , on April 6 and 7, 1915 , and ended with the withdrawal of the Villistas . The second took place April 13-15 when Villa attacked the city of Celaya again and was beaten back again. The third was the extended trench warfare at Trinidad and Santa Ana del Conde between April 29 and June 5, which brought the decision. Villa was beaten again by Obregón, who lost his right arm in the fight. Villa's last attempt to beat Obregón's army in Aguascalientes on July 10 was also unsuccessful. Obregón distinguished himself during this campaign because he was one of the first Mexicans to recognize that the introduction of modern field artillery, and in particular the machine gun and barbed wire, had changed the situation in favor of the defenders. He had come to this conclusion on the basis of his in-depth study of European warfare during the First World War . He had acquired the experiences made there on the battlefields and used them to defend Celaya.

Political career

The execution of Obregón's murderer José de León Toral on February 9, 1929

In 1920 Obregón returned to politics, hoping to succeed President Carranza. When it became clear that Carranza had chosen Ignacio Bonillas as his successor, Obregón organized a military coup against the president ( plan of Agua Prieta , 1920). His forces were by General Benjamín Hill and scattered Zapatista groups like that of Genovevo de la O support. The coup was successful and Carranza was ousted. When Carranza fled from Mexico City to Veracruz on horseback, he was ambushed by General Rodolfo Herrera in the state of Puebla . Until elections could be held, Adolfo de la Huerta was now for six months, from June 1 to December 1, 1920, acting President of Mexico. When Obregón was declared the winner of the election, de la Huerta resigned and became finance minister of the new government.

Obregón's four years in office are known for his agrarian reforms, his anti-church reforms, and maintaining good relations with the United States , aided by the sale of Mexican petroleum in the US market. The most serious interruption of his tenure was a coup Adolfo de la Huertas, who saw himself as a natural successor to the president, while Obregón preferred Plutarco Elías Calles . Calles was elected and Obregón handed over to him.

In 1928 Obregón ran again and won a second term as president after a fiercely competitive election. When he returned to Mexico City to celebrate his victory, he died there on July 17, 1928 in a restaurant by the assassination attempt by José de León Toral , a Roman Catholic candidate for the priesthood who opposed Obregón's anti-church stance.

In his honor, Ciudad Obregón was renamed Obregón's home state of Sonora , as was the Álvaro Obregón district of Mexico City, which is home to the site of the attack and a large memorial to the fallen general, the Cañadas de Obregón community in Jalisco , Colonia Álvaro Obregón (commonly known as Rubio), a small village in Chihuahua State , and two dams, the Álvaro Obregón Dam in Sonora and the Álvaro Obregón Dam in Guanajuato.

See also


  • Linda B. Hall: Álvaro Obregón: Power and Revolution in Mexico, 1911-1920 . Texas A&M University Press, College Station 1981, ISBN 0-89096-113-1 .
  • Hans Werner Tobler: The Mexican Revolution . 1st edition. Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1984, ISBN 3-518-04588-1 .

Web links

Commons : Alvaro Obregon  - Collection of images, videos and audio files