Adolfo de la Huerta

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Adolfo de la Huerta.
Adolfo de la Huerta.

Adolfo de la Huerta (born May 26, 1881 in Guaymas , Sonora , † July 9, 1955 in Mexico City ) was a Mexican politician who served as President of Mexico from June 1 to November 30, 1920.


Origin and political career until 1920

De la Huerta came from a respected sonorous family. He studied accounting, music and singing and began a promising career as a singer after completing his studies. But despite the beautiful voice, the money he earned wasn't enough to live on and he switched to the profession of bank accountant. He later ran a tannery and studied the life and culture of the Yaqui indigenous people until the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution .

In 1910 de la Huerta joined the Francisco Maderos political movement . A year later he was elected MP for his hometown of Guaymas. De la Huerta became an employee of the governor of Sonora, José Maria Maytorena (1867–1948), and soon after rose to the new Sonoran leadership elite.

After the successful coup of Victoriano Huerta in February 1913, which led to the overthrow of Madero, de la Huerta fought against the Huerta regime in the troops of the later President Venustiano Carranza . He took over the office of Minister of the Interior in 1915 and the office of Governor of Sonora in 1916.

Rebellion and Presidency 1920

The political leadership of Sonora rejected Carranza's preferred candidate for the following presidency, Ignacio Bonillas (1858-1944), and put up against him their own candidate Álvaro Obregón . Because of this, the conflict between the central government and the state of Sonora intensified. On April 11, 1920, Carranza de la Huerta removed from his post as governor. But de la Huerta resisted the orders from the capital and organized the resistance against the loyal government troops with the army commanders around Plutarco Elías Calles and Salvator Alvarado .

On April 23, 1920, the insurgents announced the Agua Prieta Plan , in which Carranza was charged with unconstitutional interference in the sovereignty of a state and the imposition of a successor candidate in violation of the popular suffrage. The Liberal Constitutional Army , of which de la Huerta was in command, was tasked with restoring constitutional rights . The actual leadership of the movement took over Álvaro Obregón. The rebel army grew rapidly due to the overflowing government troops. By the end of April 1920, the most important army commanders in the north, west and the Gulf Coast had already turned against President Carranza. After the commander in chief of the troops stationed in Mexico City, Pablo González , defected to the insurgents, the presidency of Carranza ended and on May 9, 1920 the victorious rebel troops entered the capital.

With the fall of the Carranza government, the Sonoristas began to rule for fourteen years at the national level. From June 1, 1920 de la Huerta ruled as interim president. However, he had to coordinate his political decisions with the future President Obregón.

The violent change of government caused the USA to make diplomatic recognition of the new Mexican government dependent on the fulfillment of American demands and on compensation for loss of property caused by the revolution. Obregón and de la Huerta could not follow these American conditions due to the unstable domestic political situation and therefore waived diplomatic recognition by the USA.

Carranza's leading generals like Pablo González were dismissed from office and driven into exile. Subordinate commanders received generous financial contributions from the state treasury and then expressed their loyalty to the new regime. De la Huerta amnestied imprisoned opponents of the revolution such as Félix Díaz (1868–1945), the nephew of the former president Porfirio Diaz . He ordered the execution of Jesus Guajardo , whose troops ambushed and murdered Emiliano Zapata , and then demobilized Zapata's former Southern Liberation Army . Thanks to de la Huerta's prudence, the integration of the Zapatistas into Mexican society went smoothly.

However, the political rehabilitation of Pancho Villas and the demobilization of the villist army in the state of Chihuahua proved more difficult . Obregón and Calles advocated the military annihilation of Pancho Villas. De la Huerta, however, advocated a mediating solution and assured the villi veterans of the required land allocation. In July 1920, Pancho Villa surrendered, to whom de la Huerta gave the Hacienda El Canutillo in Durango as a present for reconciliation.

On September 5, 1920 de la Huerta announced the candidacy of Álvaro Obregón for the office of President and supported his election campaign unconditionally. De la Huerta's presidency ended on November 30, 1920.

The de la Huerta rebellion 1923/24

After his election victory, Obregón de la Huerta appointed his finance minister. In June 1922, de la Huerta signed an agreement with the American financial expert Thomas W. Lamont (1870-1948) that the Mexican Congress ratified in September 1922, and the 1923 Bucareli Conference initiated.

In the spring of 1923, Obregón decided to support Calles's candidacy for the upcoming presidency. Although de la Huerta had his own presidential ambitions, he accepted Calles' candidacy. The assassination of Pancho Villas in July 1923, which blamed parts of Calles' army leadership, a controversial gubernatorial election in the state of San Luis Potosí and the conclusion of the Bucareli agreements with the USA led to the split of the Partido Nacional Cooperista (PNC). De la Huerta resigned from the office of finance minister in October 1923 and was then run as a presidential candidate by the anti-government wing of the PNC. This led to an irreconcilable break with President Obregón, who violently attacked de la Huerta because of the dire situation of the Mexican state finances.

At the beginning of December 1923, the first army units rose against the government. De la Huerta announced the Veracruz Plan on December 7, 1923 , which, in addition to socially conservative elements such as the compensation of expropriated landowners with cash instead of state promissory notes, also contained many progressive approaches such as the introduction of women's suffrage or an aggressive education policy. De la Huerta's supporters did not show a clear profile. They only united their opposition to the government and they were not part of a popular movement. The de la Huerta rebels were partly peasant-minded large landowners, partly socially-minded agrarian reformers, such as Salvador Alvarado (1879–1924), who redesigned the land distribution in Yucatán .

The de la Huerta rebellion failed due to the lack of coordination between the most important military troops. As early as February and March 1924, the rebels lost decisive battles against government troops, which were vigorously waged by President Obregón's personal command. At the end of April / beginning of May 1924, the last resistance of the de la Huerta rebels was broken, also as a result of financial and military aid from the USA.

A total of 7,000 people died during the de la Huerta rebellion and more than two dozen generals died on the side of the rebels. After the rebellion, Obregón promoted 54 loyal officers to the rank of general. Calles won the presidential election in July 1924 with 1.34 million votes against the only opposing candidate, General Angel Flores, who won 250,000 votes.

Adolfo de la Huerta moved to Los Angeles, where he ran a successful singing school together with his wife Clara Oriol, a well-known pianist. In 1936, President Lázaro Cárdenas del Río allowed him to return to Mexico. De la Huerta was appointed consulate director and died on July 9, 1955 in Mexico City.

See also


  • Hans Werner Tobler; The Mexican Revolution - Social Change and Political Upheaval, 1876-1940 ; Suhrkamp Verlag Frankfurt am Main, 1st edition 1984; ISBN 3-518-04588-1