“Hacienda del Apantle de la Santa Cruz, recuerdos de sus alrededores”
In September of 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 Escandon 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 because the government declared him a bandit and he had to flee. Months later he collaborated in the reunion that took place in Villa de Ayala, Morelos to outline what would be the Plan de Ayala.
With Madero still president of Mexico, the disagreements never stopped. Zapata and Madero had a meeting at National Palace which ended in a hard discussion. When Madero offered Zapata a hacienda in the state of Morelos “as payment for your services to the Revolution”, Zapata in anger answered with a grimace, at the same time violently hitting the desk of the president with his 30-30:
“No, Mister Madero. I did not rise in arms in order to conquer lands and haciendas. I went up in arms so that what was robbed from the people of Morelos was returned to them. Therefore, Mr. Madero or you follow through with what you promised me and the state of Morelos, or “a usted y a mi nos lleva la chichicuilota” .
On the 25th of November, 1911, Zapata issued the Plan de Ayala, written by Otilio E. Montaño. This would be the ideological standard of the field works of Morelos, demanding the emancipation of the indigenous and the distribution of the large estates created during the porfirian era. Francisco I. Madero was no longer recognized as president and Pascual Orozco was named legitimate head of the Mexican Revolution. The document proposed that since the promises made to the field workers had not been fulfilled, arms was the only way to obtain justice.
Hacienda del Apantle de la Santa Cruz: http://www.facebook.com/delapantle.
Muebles Zeromadera: http://www.ramsol.com