Pancho Villa

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Men will not forget that Pancho Villa was loyal to the cause of the people.

Doroteo Arango Arámbula (5 June 187820 July 1923), better known as Francisco or "Pancho" Villa, was a Mexican Revolutionary general.


  • Men will not forget that Pancho Villa was loyal to the cause of the people.
    • As quoted in Pancho Villa: Rebel of the Mexican Revolution (2006) by Mary Englar
  • 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. "
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • I am not an educated man. I never had an opportunity to learn anything except how to fight..

Quotes about Villa

  • (Q: Did people in your family tell stories about their own lives?) Some of the stories had to do with animals. My father told about black ghost dogs, espantos, and Mamágrande Ramona told rabid coyote stories and stories of Pancho Villa coming across the border and raiding the pueblos.
  • 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.
    • Octavio Paz, as quoted in Staging Politics in Mexico: The Road to Neoliberalism (2004) by Stuart Alexander Day, p. 38
  • Tengo el deber de informarle que Pancho Villa se encuentra en todas partes y en ninguna a la vez.
    • I have the duty to inform you that Pancho Villa is everywhere and nowhere at the same time.
    • A report from an officer in Venustiano Carranza's army, mentioned in the book ¡Vamonos con Pancho Villa! (2007) by Rafael Muñoz.
  • Hated by thousands and loved by millions.
    • Richard Grant, as quoted in Bandit Roads: Into the Lawless Heart of Mexico, (2009)
  • Also in the north were tough, mounted guerrilla fighters—bandits who took up the cause of the revolution, in some cases as paid mercenaries. The most brilliant of these was Pancho Villa. Villa was the only revolutionary leader to get good American press. Even Madero was criticized bitterly for suggesting a minuscule tax on the Mexican oil that was controlled and imported to the United States by American oil companies. But Pancho Villa had little of the "anti-Americanism" of which Washington suspected all the others. He did personally rape hundreds of women and murder according to whim, and he was a racist who killed Chinese people whenever he found them working in mining camps. His lieutenants were even more murderous and sadistic, devising hideous tortures. But General Villa was not anti-American. Ten thousand men rode with Villa, mostly in the northern state of Chihuahua. They robbed and raided, did as they wanted, and once won a spectacular military victory for the revolution at Zacatecas.
  • In 1913 John Reed, a young Harvard graduate already making a name for himself as a radical muck-raking journalist, spent four months with the rebel Mexican leader Pancho Villa. Reed happened to show him a pamphlet with the latest rules of war which had been agreed at the Hague Conference of 1907. Villa, reported Reed, spent hours going over it: ‘It interested and amused him hugely.’ Villa wanted to know more about the conference and whether there had been a Mexican representative there. Above all he found the whole endeavour absurd: ‘“It seems to me a funny thing to make rules about war. It is not a game. What is the difference between civilised war and any other kind of war?”’ Villa had put his finger on one of the several paradoxes that confront us when we think about war. How can we talk at all about controlling and managing something where violence is the tool and the domination, if not the total destruction of the enemy, the goal?
  • Dubbed El Centauro del Norte (‘The Centaur of the North’), Pancho Villa has acquired a quasi-romantic reputation as a Mexican folkhero that masks his true legacy. Villa's intelligence, charisma and military effectiveness made him a major player in the revolutionary politics of his day, but his violence, ambition and cold-blooded brutality mark him out as the archetype of the South American caudillo.
  • Many Mexicans today remember Villa with pride for the part he played in the revolution, and for standing up to the American superpower. Yet, this is to ignore the reality that Villa was a homicidal warlord for whom the revolution served as a convenient excuse to justify his crimes. At his death, Villa was reputed to have said, ‘Don’t let it end like this. Tell them I said something’
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