It is 9 March 1916, very early in the morning a big group of Mexican revolutionaries loyal to Francisco (Pancho) Villa was heading towards the town of Columbus, NM. A raid was in the works and the events that were about to take place in that border town were unknown by the detachment of U.S. soldiers from the 13th Cavalry Regiment guarding the post.
Just a year after the Mexican revolution started relations between Mexico and the United States became tense after the resignation of the president Porfiro Diaz in 1911. The United States was seeking opportunity to take advantage of Mexican oil and mineral resources. Mexico's problems were not only associated with the United States. Great Britain and Germany had collective interest in Mexico’s economy. When Francisco I. Madero was recently elected after Porfiro Diaz, his anti-American strategy was revealed. This was noted the by United States, and with some help from American diplomats opposition groups were seeking his succession. Later on Francisco I. Madero was assassinated by Victoriano Huerta operatives.
Huerta dissolved the legislature and established a military dictatorship. His rule was both inefficient and severely repressive, and he was almost immediately confronted with opposition from constitutionalist forces led by Venustiano Carranza, Alvaro Obregon, Pancho Villa, and Emiliano Zapata. They won the support of Woodrow Wilson, the newly elected U.S. president, who refused to recognize Huerta.1 The United States supported revolutionary groups that opposed Victoriano Huerta. Among the resistance was leader Doroteo Arango best known as Pancho Villa.
After Huerta exiled in 1914 Venustiano Carranza gained the presidency of Mexico as a provisional government. Pancho Villa did not agree and demanded serious social reforms. The United States supported Carranza’s provisional government. However Pancho Villa made every effort to seize power. After losing several battles against Carranza’s forces, Pancho Villa retreated to the North.
Unconscious of this at the time, President Wilson adopted a policy of watchful waiting. United States citizens living on the boundary with Mexico were worried that the government turned a blind eye to property rights and lives of citizens were not being protected.
Planning and Preparation
As a source of revenue an in retaliation for American support for Carranza, Villa began targeting American interest in northern Mexico.2 Pancho Villa was accused of killing six-teen U.S. citizens working in the mine industry in Mexico. They were escorted of the train they traveled, undressed and shot on front of the train. All this actions forced President Wilson to take actions in the matter .
In protest against the United States government's recognition of Venustiano Carranza by President Wilson administration, Pancho Villa attacked on March 9, 1916 the town of Columbus, New Mexico. During the raid set fire to several houses, looted...