Translate / Traducir

The revolution in Guerrero

In 1911, after Díaz resigned, rebels loyal to Francisco Madero chose Francisco Figueroa as the governor and established Guerrero's capital in Acapulco. While Madero was initially popular in Guerrero, he soon lost standing for failure to return lands which were claimed by various indigenous and rural farm groups. From this point, the Zapatistas turned on the Madero government with the next phase of the revolution breaking out in Guerrero and other states. The Zapatistas soon had control of the central valley and strategic positions in the north of the state. When Huerta took control of the country, the Zapatistas in Guerrero joined forces with those loyal to Venustiano Carranza, eventually controlling almost all of the state by 1914. However, after Huerta resigned and Carranza assumed the presidency, the Zapatistas in Guerrero opposed him as well.

The Zapatistas

The Zapatistas distrusted paper currency. However, they did establish their own revolutionary bank, the Banco Revolucionario de Guerrero which issued notes. They also acknowledged the Convention’s decisions on the circulation of various issues and so made announcements about their acceptability. Thus as late as November 1915 Coronel Juan N. Pérez, from Tlalixtaquilla, was asking Zapata to order the circulation of Convencionista notes (el billete que emitió la Soberana Convención). We also know of at least one local issue.

In the first week of February 1915, Zapata left Mexico City to bolster the revolutionary movement in Guerrero. The Banco Revolucionario had issued more than a million pesos in paper currency, of such poor quality that they were popularly known as tordillos (dapple-greys). Zapata had wrung an agreement from González Garza to provide him with eight hundred thousand pesos from the Convention’s fast dwindling store to take the Guerrero notes out of circulation. On 9 February Zapata wrote to González Garza from Iguala complaining that, though a commission had arrived from Cuernavaca with the money, more than five hundred thousand pesos were unstamped. The people of Guerrero, said Zapata, would no more accept these sábanas blancas than their own tordillos. He asked that González Garza send an equal quantity of good currency immediately to replace the unstamped notes and, in addition, to make available the machine with which to revalidate the sábanas blancas already in circulationAGN, Archives RGG. Zapata to González Garza, 9 February 1915. González Garza replied the next day the money had been sent though he insisted that all the sábanas were valid, even though some might be inconvenientesAGN, Archives RGG. González Garza to Zapata, 10 February 1915.

The state might also have used the sábanas-style notes of the Ejército Libertador.

By 1915 the Zapatista control was limited to the Montaña regionIn 1910 the region included the Distrito of Zaragoza with the municipios of Huamuxtitlán (cabecera), Xochihuehuetlán, Olinalá, Cualác and Alpoyeca, and the Distrito of Morelos with the municipios of Tlapa de Comonfort (cabecera), Tenango Tepexi, Copanatoyac, Xalpatlahuac, Alcozauca de Guerrero, Sin Vicente Zoyatlán, Metlatónoc, Atlamajalcingo del Monte, Malinaltepec, Tlacoapa, and Zapotitlán Tablasin the east of the state. On 2 March 1915 Coronel Aurelio Castillo informed Zapata that he had captured Huamuxtitlan. The people were suffering because anyone who had anything refused to accept Chihuahua notes, and Castillo asked whether he could exchange themAGN, Fondo Emiliano Zapata, caja 6, exp 3, f 40.

On 18 March General Crispín Galeana, the comandante military in Tlapa, issued another notice that the public should accept all notes with confidence. Villista and Durango notes would be of forced circulation until the government exchanged them for a new issue. In addition, separately but in the same vein, he ordered fined or closed any establishment that forced purchaser to spend all of a note, or gave their own chits (pedazos de cartón emitidos por ellos mismos) as change or demanded payment in silver[text needed]AHMTla, caja 35, Presidencia, exp. 2, 19 March 1915.

In April Galeana warned storekeepers about their prices and enforced the use of boletos .

On 5 June the presidente municipal of Ahuacuotzingo, Antonio Flores, told Zapata that in his town various unrevalidated Estado de Chihuahua notes and unrevalidated Gobierno Provisional de México notes were in circulation, but shops did not want to accept them. Zapata added a note that for the time being it was not possible to resolve the matter of revalidationAGN, Fondo Emiliano Zapata, caja 19, exp 2, f 39.

The Carrancistas

The Carrancista forces in Guerrero issued their own paper currency, including the Brigada Morales y Molina and other local issues. Moreover, in 1915 the scarcity of change led various municipalities in the Carranza-led parts of the state to issue their own local notes.

In August, following the death of Julián Blanco, Carranza appointed Teniente Coronel Simón Díaz, the jefe de armas in Acapulco, as the new governorEl Pueblo, Año II, Tomo I I, Núm. 327, 31 August 1915. As such, he relayed Carranza’s monetary decree, such as the creation of the Comisión Monetaria and the creation of the guarantee fund. He also threatened merchants who refused to accept the Constitutionalist paper as fractional currency off his own bat.

The fighting between the Zapatistas and forces loyal to Carranza lasted until 1919, when Emiliano Zapata was betrayed and died in an ambush and his movement split.