Friday, May 27, 2011

Diaz Flees Mexico City; Bound for Spain

Hours after resigning as Mexico's President, an office he has held since 1884, though his political domination of Mexico has lasted since 1876, Diaz spirited away like a thief in the night away from the capital of Mexico City, bound for Vera Cruz for a sea voyage to Spain and exile. Diaz arrived in Vera Cruz at 3 P.M. yesterday where he then boarded the Ypiranga, a Hamburg-American merchant vessel that is bound for Europe. Details of his departure were kept a secret until yesterday afternoon when he arrived in Vera Cruz in order to prevent possible attacks by marauders along the train's route. Demonstrations in the capital have largely remained peaceful since the violent attacks by police during a riot a few days ago.

A major concern for Mexico's new rulers have been ensuring that Diaz doesn't follow the precident of other Latin American dictators who took sizable chunks of national treasuries with them into exile. However, he was largely unmolested as he used an narrow gauge track that is owned by the government but rarely used, and doesn't afford the former president much luxury. There are reports that the train was attacked near Tepechualco, but that is unconfirmed. The pilot train of the convoy was stopped by rebels at Jalapa, but it was allowed to proceed unmolested.

The details of his escape from the national palace are also quite amazing. Diaz has been ill from fever for many days, but still he managed, while closely muffled, to use a borrowed car to reach the San Lazaro station in Mexico City. The convoy used a series of less frequented streets and where kept safe by police.

With Diaz now out of power, Francisco de la Berra was sworn in yesterday in a quiet ceremony.

In other Mexican news, rebel leader Francisco Madero resigned as provisional president, acknowledging de la Berra as the sole ruler of Mexico until election are held later this year. He released the following statement:
Fellow Citizens,

When by the San Luis Potosi plan of last October I invited you to take up arms to recover our liberties and political rights, you all concurred to my call and in six months, by your heroic efforts, you have overthrown the dictatorial regime which for 35 years has oppressed our fatherland.

Our triumph has been complete and in succession will be justice equally for rich and poor, for the powerful and the humble. Liberty will spread its broad wings to all Mexicans and, united fraternally, we will all work for the aggrandizement of our country.

Having continued the revolution until its conclusion it seemed I should convoke the vernal elections, according to the stipulations of the San Luis Potosi plan, but the war of fratricide which we have obliged to carry on did not triumph in the determination of personalities, but in the victory of our principles. From the moment we triumphed and we saw the republic surely coming under the regime of liberty, Diaz and Ramon Corral resolving to resign and to leave the power in the hands of Senor de la Berra; from that moment, I saw, it appeared to me that I should act in the interests of the fatherland, putting a final stop to bloodshed and of the war of fratricide.

But considering as legitimate the authority of Senor Francisco de la Berra, inasmuch as he comes into power by mutual agreement of both contending parties, it is impossible for me to assume charge of the provisional presidency of the republic, and for that reason I hereby formally resign before the nation.

Thus as all my companions followed me when I invited them to the election of last June and afterward you followed me to arms to reconquer our liberty, thus I hope now all will follow my efforts in re-establishing quickly the peace and tranquility of the whole republic to the end what very soon the Mexican people will enjoy a well-being which is proportionately due under the new regime of the government inaugurated today with President de la Berra, who received so high and honored a post solely with the idea of serving his country, as an intermediary between the despotic government of Diaz and the eminently popular government which will result from the next general election.

To those who for so many years have been victims of tyranny and who fear some trick from their old oppressors I say they should fear nothing. The people already have shown their omnipotence and before I resigned the provisional presidency I agreed with Senor de la Berra upon the necessity of all Mexicans being satisfied with an national aspirants which in the next general elections will respect the popular will.
The Mexican Congress agreed yesterday to general election to be held on November 3, but Madero believes the date should be moved up to early September.

Link: Diaz Flees Capital for Vera Cruz, Going by Way of Little Used Railroad [The Bisbee Daily Review]

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