Félix Díaz (politician)
Félix Díaz Prieto (17 February 1868 – 9 July 1945), nephew of Porfirio Díaz, was a Mexican politician and general born in Oaxaca, Oaxaca. He was a leading figure in the rebellion against President Francisco I. Madero during the Mexican Revolution.
Félix Díaz graduated as an engineer from the Colegio Militar in 1888. Well-connected socially in Mexico City and in Veracruz, Félix Díaz accumulated wealth from real estate, but his uncle Porfirio Díaz did not include his nephew in politics, due to his "limitations," but did give him low-level positions as inspector general of the Mexico City police force and as a deputy in the congress, which was completely controlled by Díaz. Although Félix sought more powerful positions, Díaz was not supportive, and sent him away to Chile as a Mexican consul to prevent him from running in the Oaxaca gubernatorial elections. Félix Díaz resented the Científicos, ("scientists") who had a powerful influence in Díaz's government, and Félix allied himself with General Bernardo Reyes, the Científicos' political rival. Reyes had been a possible candidate for the newly created office of vice president, but Díaz blocked him and he went into exile. Some suggested Félix as a candidate, but Díaz dismissed that. When Porfirio Díaz was forced into exile by revolutionary forces in May 1911, most of his family went with him. Félix stayed in Mexico. In October 1912, he rose in an unsuccessful revolt against Madero, failing to inspire even those longing for the old Porfirian order from supporting him. He was jailed and sentenced to death for treason, although Madero commuted the sentence to life imprisonment. Also incarcerated at the same time was General Reyes.
Díaz escaped from jail during La decena trágica ("Ten Tragic Days"), the coup against Madero led by General Victoriano Huerta in February 1913. Reyes was killed in the fighting, but Díaz held out in the downtown military arsenal of the Ciudadela, bombarding federal targets and the civilian population. Díaz and Huerta came to a negotiated settlement and Díaz signed the Pact of the Embassy (Pacto de la Embajada), facilitated by United States ambassador Henry Lane Wilson. The agreement installed Huerta as provisional President and allowed Díaz to run as presidential candidate in the next election. Huerta did not honor his part of the agreement and sent Díaz to Japan as an ambassador. At his return Díaz was constantly harassed by Huerta causing him to go into exile to New York City and later Havana.
He opposed the regime of Venustiano Carranza, who as head of the Constitutionalist faction of the revolution had taken power in 1915. He returned to Mexico in May 1916 and became the leader of the National Reorganizer Army (Ejército Reorganizador Nacional). In 1917 he rebelled from his base in Veracruz, issuing the Plan de Tierra Colorada. His new efforts were not successful and was forced to retreat to the south of Mexico where he officially remained in arms.
In 1920, with the ouster of Carranza, Díaz sought an opportunity to make peace with the new regime of the Sonoran generals. Interim President Adolfo de la Huerta allowed Díaz to leave the country and even offered him 20,000 pesos. De la Huerta had already come to a peace agreement with Pancho Villa, so now with the easing of Díaz out of the country, hardliners considered De la Huerta a reactionary. However, making peace with these two potential threats to the new regime can be seen as political pragmatism. Díaz went into exile once again, in New Orleans. In 1922, Díaz issued a manifesto against the Constitution on 1917, but again his agitation went nowhere.
At the invitation of President Lázaro Cárdenas, Díaz returned to Mexico in 1937 and settled in Veracruz, where he died on 9 July 1945.
- Henderson, Peter V.N. "Félix Díaz" in Encyclopedia of Mexico. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn 1997, p. 404.
- Henderson, p. 405.
- Dulles, John W.F. Yesterday in Mexico: A Chronicle of the Mexican Revolution, 1919-1936. Austin: University of Texas Press 1936, p. 71-72.
- Dulles, Yesterday in Mexico, p. 115.
- The Man Who Upset Mexico - Felix Diaz, The New York Times Magazine Section Part 5, February 16, 1913. Retrieved on December 24, 2007.
- Peter Henderson ‘FÉLIX DÍAZ, the Porfirians, and the Mexican Revolution’ 1981