Emiliano Zapata

Lesley Garcia

What did he do?

Emiliano Zapata was a famous Mexican revolutionary and rebel leader, who led the Mexican Revolution. In 1910, Zapata organized a small force to help Francisco Madero overthrow dictator Porfirio Diaz from office. This was the beginning of the Mexican revolution, which lasted until 1917. Zapata then began a partnership with Pancho Villa to work together for a new president. Zapata created a commission to distribute land and formed the Rural Loan Bank, which was Mexico's first organization to give credit to farmers. He dedicated his life to looking out for their right to own the land they worked.

Where & When?

Zapata was a young peasant like many others in his home state of Morelos. He was instrumental in bringing down the corrupt dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz in 1911 and joined forces with other revolutionary generals to defeat Victoriano Huerta in 1914. Zapata raised an army and began fighting federal forces in southern states. Zapata was idealistic and his insistence on land reform became one of the pillars of the Revolution. He was assassinated in 1919.

How and Why did he make a change?

Zapata and others drafted the Plan of Ayala, a land reform plan that called for all lands stolen under earlier administrations to be immediately returned to the farmers. He was a farmer and an entrepreneur who was driven to rebellion in defense of property rights and in defense against central government oppression. He had grown to understand the terrible exploitation of the peasant farmers. Zapata began leading battles to get the peasants land back to them.

How did he change the fate of mexico?

Before being assassinated, Zapata made some progress into bringing about land reform in Mexico. The Plan of Ayala influenced the revised Constitution of Mexico. Today, the name of Emiliano Zapata lives on, a true hero of the Mexican Revolution. His commitment to social justice is remembered by all Mexicans. Even though Mexico still has not implemented the sort of land reform he wanted, he is remembered as a visionary who fought for his countrymen.