Revolutionary Hero or Criminal? (Pancho Villa)

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October 31, 2012 by jmunoz4

José Doroteo Arango Arámbula, more commonly known as Pancho Villa, was born in June 5, 1878. Villa is remembered as one of the most prominent Mexican Revolutionary leaders who advocated for the poor and wanted agrarian reform. He became a fugitive after shooting a man who was harassing his sister. Villa’s group would steal cattle, rob shipments of money, and commit crimes against the rich. By stealing from the wealthy and giving to the poor, some compare Pancho Villa to a modern-day Robin Hood. He later joined forces with revolutionary Emiliano Zapata against Huerta’s government. In 1916, Villa attacked the town of Columbus, New Mexico. It was the first attack on American soil since 1812. Villa and his supporters seized multiple haciendas and distributed them to peasants and soldiers. He robbed trains and printed flat money to pay for his cause. Villa was assassinated on June of 1923.

Villa is seen as both a positive and a negative light. It depends on the perspective and beliefs of the person. Pancho Villa is know as a controversial person because although he worked for the rights of his people, he still killed many others. There are some, especially the wealthy in Mexico, that say he was simply a bandit, a robber, and a murderer. For many hispanics, especially Mexicans, they saw him as a revolutionary hero who fought for his country. Many Americans didn’t know what to think about the rebel leader so they adopted the negative attitudes of the press. Today his memory is honored and remembered by many Mexicans. Many streets and neighborhoods in Mexico are named in his honor.

As a Mexican myself, I have known about Pancho Villa since I was a little kid. He is known by pretty much all Mexicans. I think many see him as a hero because he fought for his country. If you are not HIspanic, you may not feel this way because you don’t feel connected to the pride of his “successes” for Mexico. I think the main question here is whether his violent actions justify his means? I do think that he was a hero but at the same time I think his violent actions are still wrong. Villa should have gone about his actions in the most peaceful way possible. Either way, Villa is remembered and honored by most as a revolutionary hero and as one of the most iconic Mexican people of all time.


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