On this date in crime history – April 10, 1919, Emiliano Zapata, a leader of the Mexican Revolution, is ambushed and shot to death in Morelos by government forces. Born a peasant in 1879, Zapata was forced into the Mexican army in 1908 following his attempt to recover village lands taken over by a rancher. After the revolution began in 1910, he raised an army of peasants in the southern state of Morelos under the slogan "Land and Liberty." Demanding simple agrarian reforms, Zapata and his guerrilla farmers opposed the central Mexican government under Francisco Madero, later under Victoriano Huerta, and finally under Venustiano Carranza. Zapata and his followers never gained control of the central Mexican government, but they redistributed land and aided poor farmers within the territory under their control. Zapata's influence has endured long after his death, and his agrarian reform movement, known as zapatismo, remains important to many Mexicans today. In 1994, a guerrilla group calling themselves the Zapata Army of National Liberation launched a peasant uprising in the southern state of Chiapas.
Michael Thomas Barry is the author of numerous books that include the award winning, Murder and Mayhem 52 Crimes that Shocked Early California, 1849-1949 (2012, Schiffer Publishing). The WINNER of the 2012 International Book Awards and a FINALIST in the 2012 Indie Excellence Book Awards for True Crime. Visit the authors website for more information: www.michaelthomasbarry.com
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