Pancho Villa, the only Latin American who invaded the United States – El Sol de México

Doroteo Arango better known as Francisco Villanot only became an icon of the Mexican Revolution, his legacy also transcended borders and not in a figurative sense, In 1916, the Northern Division invaded an American town in New Mexico, becoming the only Latin American to do something similar.

In 1916, the Villistas lived through difficult times, as Venustiano Carranza, with the help of Alvaro Obregón, managed to defeat General Villa’s Northern Division, which had to hide in the mountains and hills in the north of the Republic.

The United States government recognized the Carranza government, a situation that provoked the anger of Villa, who decided to retaliate against the neighboring country, considering it as a betrayal of his cause because he had previously received support from said nation.

The attack on the town of Columbus in New Mexico took place on March 9, 1916. An estimated 500 men attacked a US military garrison and burned the town, causing multiple deaths on both sides. The attack lasted almost 6 hours and had severe consequences that put diplomatic relations between Mexico and the United States on hold.

Villa, still hurt by the battles fought against the Constitutionalist Army, which practically destroyed the Northern Division, and fearful of the movements of his opponents, decided to carry out an act of provocation that would cause a war to save the country. explains Memorica.

This attack represented only the second US territorybefore Villa’s emergence into Columbus, the British monarchy held one in 1814 during the “War of 1812.”

What was the Punitive Expedition?

Woodrow Wilson, then president of the United States, reacted quickly and without hesitation, on March 15, 1916 he launched the Punitive expedition formed by 4,800 soldiers, which would later increase its number to 10 thousand, this with the intention of capturing Pancho Villa dead or alive.

The maneuver was a military and political disaster for the United States: they could not capture Villa, his forces were not destroyed, and Mexican society responded hostilely to the attack. They left the country 11 months after beginning their interventionexplains Memorica

This expedition violated national sovereignty, Venustiano Carranza sent Alvaro Obregón to negotiate with the Americans, since initially, Mexican diplomacy offered the United States a treaty that established the following:

“The reciprocal passage of troops is allowed in the border areas, as long as they do not number more than a thousand men, do not go further than 60 kilometers and do not stay more than five days.” explains the Government of Mexico website.

The United States ignored this proposal and continued with its invasion of Mexico in search of Villa.the expedition was led by John Pershing and lasted 11 months without any results, since Villa never appeared and the American army had to overcome constant hostilities from the people.

People spontaneously confronted the invading troops with stones and sticks. On April 12, the population of Parral, Chihuahua, including women and children, attacked the American column and forced them to retreat, leaving 3 dead and 16 wounded.Explains the website of the Government of Mexico

Pershing returned to the United States “humiliated” after 11 months of a frustrated searchHowever, when the First World Warmoved into the conflict and he became a war heroa situation that makes it more striking that he has never been able to find Villa’s whereabouts.

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