“Hacienda del Apantle de la Santa Cruz, recuerdos de sus alrededores”
Emiliano Zapata was known as being very impassionate. They say that he abducted a young girl without permission and that her father denounced him. And they say that this was the reason that Zapata joined the army. The supposed kidnapped was Ines Alfaro Aguilar who had two children by Emiliano: Nicolas and Elena Zapata Alfaro. In the well known photo of Villa sitting in the presidential chair with Zapata by his side, a small child shows his head, that is Nicolas.
The Historian Jesus Sotelo Inclan relates that Zapata married a woman of upper class by the name of Luisa Merino and that later, when the Porfirian era fell (on the 20th of August, 1911), he married Josefa Espejo Sánchez “The Generala”, born in Anenecuilco and with whom he had two more children. One of them, Felipe, born in El Jilguero, died when he was five years old when he was bitten by a rattlesnake. The second was a little girl, Josefa, who was born in Tlaltizapan and died one year before her brother stung by a scorpion. Zapata had more children; among them we can mention Ana Maria Zapata, daughter of Petra P. Torres.
In September, 1909 Emiliano Zapata was elected “Calpuleque” (head, leader or president in Nahuatl) of the Meeting of Defense of the Lands of Anenecuilco; it was then that he began to examine documents of the time of the viceroyalty that certified the rights of property or possession of people over their lands. The Laws of Reform, especially the Lerdo Law which forced the civil corporations to sell unproductive lands or to have them expropriated had denied them these rights. It is true that it was this that provoked that at that time some of the indigenous leaders, such as Tomas Mejia, gave their support to the conservative Mexican governments and to the Second Empire. Many benefited from these laws and illegitimately increased the extension their properties, claiming the possession of communal zones that were not being worked by the people.
It was in this way that Zapata began the social struggle that made him an agrarian leader in his state. His first political intervention was in 1909 during the elections for governor of the state of Morelos. He gave all his support to Patricio Leyva, opponent of Pablo Escandón and candidate of the landowners.
In May of 1910 he recuperated with the use of force the lands of Villa de Ayala which were guarded by the head of police, Jose A. Vivanco, and gave them to the farmers of the same place. After this he had to flee because the government declared him a bandit. Months later he collaborated in the reunion that took place in Villa de Ayala, Morelos to outline what would be the Plan de Ayala.
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