- Mini Bio
- Name: José Doroteo Arango Arámbula
- Born: 5th June 1878, San Juan del Rio, Durango, Mexico
- Died: 20th July 1923, Parral, Chihuahua, Mexico
- Occupation: Bandit, soldier and revolutionary
- Nickname: Pancho Villa and El Centauro del Norte (The Centaur of the North)
- Military rank: General
- Prominent positions held: División del Norte and Governor of Chihuahua (1913-1914)
- Assassination: He was gunned down in cold blood as he was taking his car for a drive in the town of Parral in 1923
- Folklore: He is portrayed as a Robin Hood character who stole from the rich and gave to the poor
- In the media: The newspaper USA Today called him; "A terrorist in 1916, a tourist attraction in 2011"
- Trivia: At the age of 16 he killed the man who was responsible for raping his sister which led him to flee into the mountains and so the story of The Centaur Of The North started to unfold
"I am not an educated man. I never had an opportunity to learn anything except how to fight"Pancho Villa
"Companions of arms and lords. Do not believe that the one who is going to speak to them is a philosopher, I am a man of people, but you will understand that these men when they speak, speak with the heart"Pancho Villa
"What would be of the world if we were all generals, if we were all capitalists or we were all poor?"Pancho Villa
"They spend their time discussing nonsense and stealing money that belongs to the people" [about politicians]Pancho Villa
"You Americans don’t take off your hats when you come to my headquarters, do you?" [said to General Pershing]Pancho Villa
"The country must be governed by someone who really loves his people and his land, who shares wealth and progress. I have all that, only that I am ignorant"Pancho Villa
"I, Pancho Villa, was a loyal man that destiny brought the world to fight for the good of the poor and that I will never betray nor forget my duty"Pancho Villa
"My sole ambition is to rid Mexico of the class that has oppressed her..... If I could bring that about today by giving up my life, I would do it gladly"Pancho Villa
"You, sir , have destroyed the revolution. It's simple: this bunch of dandies have made a fool of you, and this will eventually cost us our necks, yours included"Pancho Villa
"Armies are the greatest supports of tyranny. There can be no dictator without his army"Pancho Villa
"It is just that we all aspire to be more, but also that we all make use of our actions"Pancho Villa
"When the new republic is established, there will be no more army in Mexico"Pancho Villa
"Men will not forget that Pancho Villa was loyal to the cause of the people"Pancho Villa
"Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something"Pancho Villa
"Humble people like me fight for justice and for better luck"Pancho Villa
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Pancho Villa Biography
Pancho Villa was the revolutionary leader who was either loved or hated depending on which way the wind blew the Mexican allegiances vying for power during a turbulent period in the country's history.
In truth he was loved by the poor people who Villa was prepared to die for. The author Richard Grant was quoted as saying this about him;
"Hated by thousands and loved by millions", and it was a fair assessment. After the revolution in which he fought and won many battles Mexico was entangled in power struggles and then civil war.
Villa rose again defeating armies in Northern Mexico and reallocating land to the poor and deserving. In 1920 Adolfo De la Huerta became interim president and wanted a peaceful Mexico so he offered Pancho a deal to retire and because he could also take care of his men he agreed.
Controversial stories followed Pancho Villa throughout his life and even his death was surrounded by controversy as he was assassinated in 1923 in the town of Parral, Chihuahua. Many rumours surfaced about who was responsible for his death but the most likely outcome was it was a politically motivated killing by the then incumbent president Alvaro Obregon he feared he might stand against him in the next election.
Although not educated when he spoke his words had meaning for millions of his fellow countrymen, so this is my compilation of 15 of the best Pancho Villa quotes
Quotes About Pancho Villa
The Mexican poet Octavio Paz talked of his legend:
"The brutality and uncouthness of many of the revolutionary leaders has not prevented them from becoming popular myths. Villa still gallops through the north, in songs and ballads; Zapata dies at every popular fair. … It is the Revolution, the magical word, the word that is going to change everything, that is going to bring us immense delight and a quick death"
Norman Walker described him in a 1923 edition of The El Paso Times:
"Villa’s character was a peculiar complex. All the stories told of his lust were mostly imaginary. Villa’s greatest weakness was his uncontrollable temper. From a sane man, laughing and joking with his friends, Villa could turn into a maniac at a moment’s notice. His eyes would become blood-shot, he would pitch his voice several tones higher and he would pull his pistol and fire at the slightest provocation. All of the bloody deeds attributed to him were directly traceable to his temper, and Villa often admitted his weakness when talking of his career"
President Woodrow Wilson called him;
"A sort of Robin Hood who had spent an eventful life robbing the rich in order to give to the poor. He had even at some point kept a butcher's shop for the purpose of distributing to the poor the proceeds of his innumerable cattle raids"
Leo Reynosa, who rode with Pancho Villa, said this in a 1988 interview:
"We were fighting for a very just cause, however tumultuous or bloody"
The biographer Friedrich Katz wrote of his domestic life:
"During his lifetime, Villa had never bothered with conventional arrangements in his family life"
A report from an officer in Venustiano Carranza's army is now part of Mexican folklore:
"I have the duty to inform you that Pancho Villa is everywhere and nowhere at the same time"