|The distinguished Pedro Lascuráin looked presidential.|
Pedro Lascuráin was in the office on February 19, 1913—the office of President of Mexico. He dawdled for about 45 minutes before departing. In the process he set the unchallenged world’s record for the shortest term in office by any national president.
Lascuráin was a distinguished looking gentleman, a lawyer from one of the impeccable old families of Mexico. No drop of mere Indio or Meztizo blood ran through his veins. Yet he was not, as you might imagine, an irredeemable reactionary.
Born in 1856 and educated at the Escuela Nacional de Jurisprudencia he was mayor of Mexico City in 1910 when he threw his support to Francisco I. Madero and his Anti-Reelectionist Party.
|Francico Madero, the short man in the center, led the Revolution then won the Presidency in fairly honest election,|
Madero opposed the sham re-election—for the sixth time—of long time President/dictator Porfirio Diaz. For his trouble, Diaz had him arrested. But he escaped to the United States and from there launched the Mexican Revolution. It was as if a great damn burst. All over Mexico peons and middle class reformers alike rose up. Portions of the military, reading the tea leaves, joined them. By May 25, 1911 Diaz was forced to resign. Madero rose to power first as caldillo de la revolución and was then elected as President by nearly 90% of the vote in what for Mexico was a fairly honest election.
Madero tapped his fellow patrician Lascuráin as his Foreign Secretary. The former Mayor was perfect for the striped pants formality of the Diplomatic service. His main job was to keep American Ambassador Henry Lane Wilson placated. It was assumed that Lascuráin’s respectability and obvious innate conservatism would re-assure a skeptical Wilson that the new government was moderate and responsible. Alas Wilson listened more to American business interests scared of the avowed leftism of many Revolutionary figures and to the promises of certain generals that if allowed to come to power they would protect those interests.
From the beginning despite his enormous personal popularity, Madero was in trouble. His policy of reconciliation, including leaving many Diaz supporters in power and in control of Congress, angered radicals led by Emilio Zapata in the south and Pancho Villa in Chihuahua. They were also upset by foot dragging on promised land reforms. On the other hand reactionary generals launched several rebellions. Madero came to rely on General Victoriano Huerta to put down rebellions like that of Pascual Orozco. That was a mistake.
|General Victoriano Huerta--Madero's bad choice.|