Message #227: From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG To: "'Matthias Giessler'" Subject: Pancho Villa's Widow Dead at 100 Date: Fri, 12 Jul 96 13:21:00 MST Encoding: 44 TEXT Note: Pancho Villa State Park, Columbus, New Mexico http://www.nmt.edu/~breynold/pancho.html Ya know, history wasn't so long ago -- if you forget about some ot the intervening years. -- SASIG Ed. From: Victor O. Story Fri, 12 Jul 1996 MEXICO CITY, July 12 (UPI) -- The widow of Pancho Villa, the most colorful of Mexico's 1910-1917 revolutionary leaders, has died in the northern state of Chihuahua, family members said Friday. Soledad Seanez Holguin, who married Villa in 1919 and was 100 years old at the time of her death, outlived the ``Centaur of the North,'' as Villa was known, by 73 years. Villa was assassinated in 1923 on orders from Mexico's revolutionary government he helped to usher in, but which came to consider him a political liability. Villa became a legendary figure in the Mexican revolution not only for his charisma and cruelty, but also for his reputation as a womanizer. In fact, Seanez Holguin was forced to defend her status as Villa's legitimate widow against a number of contenders, including Austrebeta Renteria, whom General Villa married -- apparently in an act of bigamy -- in 1921. In 1946, the Mexican Congress stepped in to decide the issue, acknowledging Seanez Holguin as the ``legitimate widow of Pancho Villa'' and assigning her a military pension of 10 pesos -- at the time about 75 cents -- per day. In the decades following Villa's death, Saenez Holguin regaled visitors with stories of Villa and outspoken criticism of past Mexican presidents, who she said had not lived up to their promises of financial help for her. Villa's place in history was secured not only by his victorious entry into Mexico City in 1914 with Emiliano Zapata -- the two were known as the leaders of the North and South, respectively -- but also by being the only foreign military leader to attack the continental United States since 1812. Villa's 1916 attack on Columbus, New Mexico, prompted the U.S. government to send an expeditionary force under U.S. Gen. J.J. ``Blackjack'' Pershing to the Mexican border to stop Villa's banditry. U.S. forces pursued Villa for nearly a year without success. Villa became an outlaw folk hero far beyond Mexico's borders. Deceased Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar reportedly had a picture taken of himself in a Villa costume.