By the turn of the century, Profirio Diaz’s regime had not only been marked by notable achievements, but also
controlled the lives of many. Manifestations of the resulting social discontent were suppressed by Diaz with an iron
Francisco “Pancho” Villa, a man he greatly admired.
impressed with his cooperative composure; Pancho Villa then came to the conclusion that the U.S. would
acknowledge him as Mexico’s leader.
Following the assassination of Madero and the assumption of power by Huerta in 1913, he returned to join the
Mexico, including Mexico City. As a result, his powerful fighting force became “La Division Del Norte.” The two
be fought with sheer hatred in mind rather than military strategy, resulting in amass loss of the Division del Norte.
Wilson and assumed Carranza had signed a dangerous pact with the U.S., putting Mexico in United States’ hands.
As a result, this set the stage for a confrontation between the U.S. and Pancho Villa. Hence, the United States put
an embargo on Villa, not allowing him to purchase guns, ammunition, equipment, etc., in American border towns.
His transactions were, thus, made illegal, which automatically doubles his price. Considering his shortages, troops
through harsh terrain to Aagua Prieta. Villa assumed it would be poorly protected and by capturing it, he would
create a buffer zone with the U.S. to transport arms in his campaigning efforts. Too his surprise, Agua Prieta was
delighted when Carranza declared Villa done for good. Consequently, Carranza invited old U.S. investors (from
before the Revolution) to invest again.
On March 9th 1916, Villa crossed the border with about 600 men and attacked Columbus, NM killing 17
bodies of Mexicans were gathered and burned as a sanitary precaution against “Mexican diseases.” A punitive
expedition, costing the U.S. about twenty-five million dollars, dispatched and about 150,000 troops to be mobilized
in efforts to capture Pancho Villa, who was now known as a bandit in U.S. territory and a hero to many in Mexico.
The Tenth Cavalry, which was made up of African-Americans and headed by Anglo-American officers, were labeled
the “Buffalo Soldiers” because they were tough men who would punish the Mexicans. This was first time the
United States used heavily armored vehicles and airplanes, which in turn served as a practice run before W.W.II.
Therefore, he was assigned to head the Punitive Expedition, an attractive assignment. His mission objective, as he
understood it, was to bring Villa in dead or alive.
who did not know how to operate them. None-the-less, Pershing ordered many pilots to board and land as he
him and his raids, when he was met with dramatic hostility and resentment. In actuality it is ostensibly logical to
townspeople and Carranzista troops, because Pershing’s troops never caught sight of Villa.
On the second day of April of 1916, Pershing received word of what was supposed to be Villa’s hiding place.
of the U.S. border. This was the deepest penetration of U.S. troops into Mexico to look for Villa. The townspeople
responded by saying that the Americans were invading them and Mexican families. When two tired American
stones at them. As the chaos grew into an uproar, the Mexican people began to retaliate and shots fired.
Carranzista troops trying to stay away to avail battle, were not too far off and joined the retaliation. The American
troops retreated sixteen miles way in a small village. With the death of a few Americans, Pershing was outraged
and decided to counterstroke. In support, the American people demanded a full-scale invasion of Mexico. Within
two months, more than 150,000 troops were on active duty from Texas to California; this was the largest military
Punitive Expedition. Carranza, claiming Pancho Villa was no longer a dangerous threat, formally demanded the
retreat of American troops. Wilson refused, which lead to a full-scale war between Mexico and the United States.
On the morning of June 18th, 1916, the commander of the tenth cavalry arrived in a small town named
Carrizal, saying they would have to pass through the town to reach their ordered destination. Carranza refused,
refused to go around and began to march on through, firing at those who refuted. To the surprise of many
Americans, the captain was killed along with about eighty men of the tenth cavalry, claiming fourteen Americans
war and an ultimatum was sent to Carranza, demanding the release of all American prisoners, which Mexico had
Although Carranza was finished, Pancho Villa was not ready to throw in the towel. Thus, he prepared for a series of
attacks to come. General Pershing reported to Wilson of Villa’s repeated violence, but Villa continued, capturing
many towns held by Carranzista forces. On January 1917, Pancho Villa gathered his forces to capture Toreon. In
the end, hundreds of his men were dead and his defeat was seized upon by Wilson as a convenient way out of the
problems in Mexico. The U.S. would then prepare to withdraw, declaring the Punitive Expedition a success,
although they failed to ever capture Villa. After the overthrow of Carranza in 1920, Villa formed a truce with the
Chihuahua, where he was assassinated by political enemies in 1923.