Francisco "Pacho" Villa (Doroteo Arango)
"hated by thousands, loved by millions"
Pancho Villa was born under the name Doroteo Arango. He was born in 1878, in San Juan del Rio in the state of Durango. He was killed on July 20, 1923. Villa began his life of a killer at the age of sixteen, by killing a landowner who alledgedly had raped his sister. Villa fled to avoid the law. He joined a gang under Pancho Villa, and soon became his right hand man. On the day Pancho Villa was killed, is when Arango took up the alias of Pancho Villa in memory of his fallen leader. Villa became the Robinhood of the Mexican people, because of his hatred for the Mexican government and American gringos. In the eyes of the people, Villa was afraid of no one. Villa stole from the rich and gave to the poor, and killed any man who got in his way.
Villa depended on support from the United States to gain Mexican presidency, who was known to be corrupt. The American government decided to recognize the government of Venustiano Carraza. Villa swore revenge on the U.S. Government. Villa took out his frustration on American citizens, in wishing to provike president Wilson to get involved. In doing so, he humiliated Carranza.
Villa and his gunmen killed American citizens in Texas, New Mexico, and Nevada. President Wilson deployed troops to Texas and Nevada in response to Villa's actions. While it prevented Villa from crossing the border, it didn't stop him from killing American citizens already in Mexico. One of the most bloodiest raids occured on January 11, 1916. Villa and his bandits stopped a train at Santa Ysabel. Villa removed 17 Texan engineers whom were invited by the Mexican Government to re-open the Cusihuiriachi mines. Villa and his men shot the Texans in cold blood, yet one man survived and escaped. The news got to El Paso, from that, El Paso was placed under Martial Law. Wilson still refused to intervene.
Villa sticked again two months later. On March 9, 1916, Villa and his gunmen attacked the 13th U.S Calvary at Camp Furlong. The Americand killed many of Villa's men. During the retreat, the gunmen killed many Americans at Columbus, New Mexico. For several hours Villa's men screamed, "Viva Villa! Villa Mexico! Muerte a los Americanos!" (Death to Americans).
Wilson sent 4,800 militiamen under General Pershing's command to capture PanchoVilla. Pershing was obligated to capture and punish Villa. Carranza promised to help, but instead he took advantage of the situation and mislead the Americans. On occasions, Pershing was close on capturing Villa, but Carranza's men fired upon the Americans, allowing Villa to flee.
By 1916 the hunt for Villa was paused, because of the war in Europe. In 1917 Pershing returned to El paso to cheering crowds, but no victory (on capturing Villa). Pershing's failture only added to Villa's reputation on invincibility.
Villa's luck ran out a few years later. On Friday, July 20, 1923, Pancho Villa traveled to Parral. He was accompanied by his men. Villa was driving his black 1919 Dodge Roadster, when seven riflemen opened fire. In a matter of two minutes, the riflemen fired around 150 shots. 16 bullets lodged into his body, and 4 into his head. Before Villa died, he killed one of his assassins. Pancho Villa is the only one who deserves to be called a man who lived by the gun and died by the gun.