Recuerdos del Yaqui. Principales episodios durante la campaña de 1899 a 1901

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Author: Balbas, Manuel

Year: 1927

Publisher: Sociedad de Edition y Liberia Franco Americana

Place: Mexico City


117 pages with errata at back. pictures through out. Duodecimo (7" x 4 1/2"). First edition.

For six years following the Yaqui disaster at Buatachive, Colonel (later General and Governor of Sonora) Lorenzo Torres made efforts to establish a peaceful administration of the Yaqui country. Surveys were made and land was assigned to the few Yaqui families who would accept it under the conditions of Mexican management. A mopping up of resistant Yaquis was carried on. At the end of two years a body count of 356, including both men and women, killed in encounters with Mexican soldiers was recorded, and about 4000 Yaquis were taken prisoner and assigned land (Troncoso, 1905: 203-228). Fewer than half of the latter seem to have stayed in the Yaqui country. Guerrilla warfare increasingly developed which was carried on by small Yaqui forces maintaining themselves around the waterholes in the Bacatete Mountains. The name of Juan Maldonado, called Tetabiate by Yaquis, became prominent as the ablest of the guerrilla leaders. During 1896, Mexican forces protecting Mexicans who were being encouraged to settle in the Yaqui country made contract with Juan Maldonado (Hernandez, 1902: 150-161; Troncoso, 1905: 229-234). Colonel Peinado, working through a Yaqui interpreter named Juan Buitemea, carried on negotiations. Peinado arranged for the formal signing of a peace treaty at the railroad station of Ortiz west of the Bacatete Mountains. On May 15,.1897, Governor Ramon Corral, General Luis Torres, and other state officials came to Ortiz by special train. A platform had been erected and white flags with the single word "Peace" had been prepared for distribution to the Yaquis. Juan Maldonado with 390 Yaquis, consisting of 74 families, arrived from the mountains, and he with his lieutenant, Loreto Villa, took up positions on the platform with the Mexican officials. The peace flags were given out to the Yaquis and Maldonado and Villa signed a treaty of peace. Tetabiate was then given the title of Captain General of the Yaqui and took up headquarters at Torim with the Mexican troops. In 1899, less than two years later, there were indications of unrest among Yaquis in Bacum. Unnamed Yaquis there refused to deal with Loreto Villa, Maldonado's second in command, and sent him back to General Lorenzo Torres with a demand that Mexican troops and all other Mexicans leave the eight Yaqui towns and the whole lower Yaqui River valley. General Torres reported that there were indications of a well-planned rebellion and that 3000 Yaquis were under arms. He organized an expedition to the eastern towns, but found that Juan Maldonado would not join him to put down the threatened rebellion. Instead he joined the rebels and led them into the Bacatete Mountains. It is not recorded how many joined his command (Troncoso, 1905: 23839).The Mexican occupation forces immediately began a campaign to hunt down the guerrilla fighters who steadily increased in number after the defection of Tetabiate. General Lorenzo Torres led several expeditions. On January 18, 1900, three columns of his soldiers encountered a party of Yaquis in the heart of the Bacatete Mountains (Hernandez, 1902: 172-75; Troncoso: 284-87). The Yaquis, mostly on foot, were pursued into a box canyon in a rugged portion of the mountains. After a battle lasting all day, the Yaquis ceased fighting. The soldiers had killed 397 men, women, and some children; "many" had committed suicide by jumping over cliffs; and 1000 women and children were taken prisoner. In the encounter General Torres reported that he had lost 30 soldiers and officers killed. Among the Yaqui dead was a man Torres reported as being "Opodepe," reputed to be the Yaqui supreme chief and the "soul of the rebellion." It was estimated nevertheless that there were still 900 Yaqui guerrillas in the mountains. Numerous expeditions were carried out against the guerrillas during the following months. By the end of 1900 General Torres estimated that there were only 300 Yaquis left alive in the mountains. The following year in a small engagement at a place called Bacatete troops mopping up under the command of Loreto Villa, former lieutenant of Tetabiate and now a Major in the Mexican army, killed Tetabiate who was accompanied by only a few other Yaquis.


Front wrapper chipped with tears and lacking heal corner, soiled, loose from spine, a good copy.

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