Huerta, Victoriano

Huerta, Victoriano vēktōryäˈnō [key], 1854–1916, Mexican general and president (1913–14). He served under Porfirio Díaz. After the revolution of Francisco I. Madero (1911) he aided the new president, who, reluctantly, made him (1912) commander of the federal forces. In 1913 he plotted secretly with Madero's enemies, including U.S. ambassador Henry Lane Wilson, and overthrew the president. Huerta established a military dictatorship, notable for political corruption and rule by imprisonment and assassination. Numerous counterrevolutions broke out; the most important insurgent leaders were Venustiano Carranza, Francisco Villa, and Emiliano Zapata. U.S. President Woodrow Wilson was openly hostile to Huerta, and unpleasant international incidents occurred at Tampico and Veracruz. Steady insurgent military pressure forced Huerta to resign in July, 1914. He fled to Europe and returned to the United States, where he was subsequently arrested for revolutionary activities; an alcoholic, he died in El Paso shortly after being released from an army jail.

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