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Victoriano Huerta
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Victoriano Huerta

Victoriano Huerta
President of Mexico

Order: '''40th President
Term of office: '''18 February 1913 to
14 July 1914
– Preceded by:Pedro Lascuráin
– Succeeded by: Francisco S. Carvajal
Date of birth:'''23 December 1854
Place of birth:'''Colotlán, Jalisco
Date of death:'''13 January 1916
Place of death:'''El Paso, Texas, USA
First Lady:'''
Occupation:'''Soldier
Party:'''

Victoriano Huerta Ortega (23 December 1854 - 13 January 1916) was a Mexican military officer and President of Mexico.

Huerta was born in the town of Colotlán, Jalisco, of mixed European and Native American descent. He entered the Mexican Army at the age of 17, distinguished himself and gained admission to the Military Academy at Chapultepec.

During the Porfirio Díaz administration he rose to the rank of General, and fought to subdue the Chan Santa Cruz Maya of Yucatán and against the rebels of Emiliano Zapata.

After Díaz went into exile Huerta initially pledged allegiance to the new administration of Francisco Madero, and he was retained by the Madero administration. However, Huerta secretly entered into a plot – el Pacto de la Ciudadela – with the U.S ambassador to Mexico, Henry Lane Wilson, and Félix Díaz, Porfirio's nephew, to overthrow Madero.

Huerta had Madero and vice-president José María Pino Suárez captured, and, (after a very short term of office by Pedro Lascuráin) on 18 February 1913, Huerta proclaimed himself provisional president of Mexico. Four days later Madero and Pino Suárez were executed.

Huerta established a harsh military dictatorship. US President Woodrow Wilson became hostile to the Huerta administration, recalled ambassador Henry Lane Wilson, demanded Huerta step aside for democratic elections, and when he refused President Wilson landed US troops to take over Mexico's most important seaport Veracruz.

There were also numerous domestic revolts against Huerta, including those led by Zapata, Pancho Villa, and Venustiano Carranza.

Victoriano Huerta bowed to pressure and resigned the Presidency on 14 July 1914.

He went into exile, first traveling in England, then Spain, then to the United States. He was discovered to be plotting to return to power in Mexico – in both Spain and Washington, he had been negotiating with German agents to secure the Kaiser's support for a coup d'état. He was arrested in Newman, New Mexico on 27 June, 1915 together with Pascual Orozco and charged with conspiracy to violate US neutrality laws. After some time in a US Army prison he was released on bail but remained under house arrest due to risk of flight to Mexico. While so confined he drank very heavily and died of alcohol poisoning in El Paso, Texas.

Huerta's treachery is still villified by modern-day Mexicans, who generally refer to him by the epithet El Chacal – "The Jackal".

Victoriano Huerta should not be confused with Adolfo de la Huerta, who was briefly President of Mexico in 1920.

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