Mexican statesman and general. Appointed (1912) as commander of the federal forces, he became President of Mexico (1913–14) by leading a coup against Francisco Madero. He instituted a ruthless dictatorship in which torture and assassination of his political opponents became commonplace. He was forced to resign under insurgent military pressure, supported not only by his Mexican opponents but also by the government of Woodrow Wilson in the USA. An attempted return to power in 1915 ended unsuccessfully when he was arrested by US agents while attempting to cross the US–Mexican border.
Subjects: World History.