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By Nathan Gregg
Pascual Ortiz Rubio was born in Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico on March 10, 1877. He was educated at the School of San Nícolas de Hidalgo. Later on, he continued his education at the National School of Engineers in Mexico City. After he finished his schooling, Ortiz Rubio returned to Michoacán to begin his career as an engineer in 1902. He became involved in politics.
Ortiz Rubio became involved in the Maderista Movement in 1910. This was a movement to rebel against Porfirio Díaz , who had been the leader of Mexico for thirty-five years. He ruled Mexico with an iron fist. Diaz told the country that the Government of Mexico will become democratic but he and his party made sure that they would stay in power. After Diaz rigged another election, the Maderista Movement forced Diaz out of the Presidency. Another issue that Ortiz Rubio supported was the " Plan de Agua Prieta, a plan to rise against the current President at the time Venustiano Carranza. Many signatures on the document showed that Carranza betrayed the ideas of the revolution that put him in power.
The political career of Ortiz Rubio continued as he was elected as the Deputy to the Congress of the Union. In 1913, Ortiz Rubio along with the other legislature members of Victoriano Huerta were imprisoned. Ortiz Rubio was later released after he showed support of constitucionalismo. In 1917, Ortiz Rubio became governor of Michoacán. He served as governor until 1920. He was also the Secretary of State in the Cabinet of Alvaro Obregón . He held other offices such as Ambassador to Brazil. He spent some time working Germany as well. Eventually, his work took him back to Mexico.
In Mexico, during the 1920's, there was a lot of leadership changes. Alvaro Obregón was the president and by law could only serve one term. He had Plutarco Elias Calles picked out to succeed him. Adolfo de la Huerta was the man who had his eyes set on succeeding Obregón. In December of 1923, de la Huerta failed to get a bid to the Presidency so a rebellion broke out. Obregón had all sorts of people including Catholics, Conservatives, and part of the Officer Corps against him. By getting the support of the crowd and excellent organizing, Obregón crushed the rebellion. Obregón did not make the mistake of pardoning anyone who went against him in the rebellion. He had everyone executed. Obregón was so popular, he had the Constitution amended and made it so that he could serve another term as President. Things went wrong when Obregón was assassinated and left Calles with the power. Emilio Portes Gilwas named Interim-President to finish out Obregón's term of office. In 1928, Calles created the National Party Revolutionary (PNR). It is the longest lasting political party in the world. Today, it is called the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
On November 17, 1929 Ortiz Rubio ran for the President. He was the candidate for the National Party Revolutionary (PNR). He was the first ever candidate from the National Party Revolutionary (PNR) to run for president. His opponent was José Vasconcelos , ex-Secretary of Education and the candidate for the Antirreleccionista Party. Ortiz Rubio was elected President on February 5, 1930. For the celebration of his new Presidency, there is a party being held at the National Palace. A couple hours later, Ortiz Rubio makes arrangements to go out but there is huge enthusiastic crowd outside the National palace that has to be contained by the police. A last minute change put the new President in a different car that was usually used by the ex-President Portes Gil. As the car being escorted by three motorcyclists left the National Palace, a man name Daniel Flores jumped out of the crowd and unloaded his pistol into the backseat of the President's car. This assassination attempt failed but left Ortiz Rubio, his wife, and his niece injured. This extremely traumatic event made Ortiz Rubio extremely paranoid for his life. As the political pressures got to him, he resigned from his Presidency just after two years on September 3, 1932.
There are some that say that Ortiz Rubio was a just a puppet for Calles. There were allegations that the election of 1929 was rigged from the beginning. After Obregón was assassinated, Calles was left with the power but never became President. He was instead rumored to have the three Presidents following Obregón under his thumb. The three Presidents were; Interim-President Portes Gil, President Ortiz Rubio, and Interim-President Abelargo Rodriguez.
During Ortiz Rubio's presidential administration, the National Commission of Tourism was established. The territories of Baja California were divided into north and south. A highway was opened stretching from Mexico to Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas. El Ley Federal del Trabajo (the Federal Law of the Work) was put into place. El Ley Federal del Trabajo was a basic set of rules and principles that employers and workers should follow. Another decision Ortiz Rubio made was to join the League of Nations. By doing so, Mexico annexed the territory of Quintana Roo extending the borders to Campeche and the Yucatán.
After Ortiz Rubio resigned his Presidency, he moved to San Diego, California. While living in the United States, he spent his time writing. His works include Memorias de un Penitente, La Revolución de 1910, and La Historia de Michoacán.
Ortiz Rubio was asked to come back to Mexico in 1935 by President Lázaro Cárdenas. President Cárdenas was known for being honest and having a very strong interest in oil companies in Mexico. His main goal was to nationalize Mexico's oil deposits. He did not give into the bribes of any of the different oil companies who tried to give him money or even new cars. Cárdenas took away the assets of seventeen oil companies that had been doing business in Mexico. This is one of the reasons why he asked Ortiz Rubio to come back. Ortiz Rubio to become the manager of a Mexican oil company called PetroMex.
In 1963, Ortiz Rubio died in Mexico City. He was eighty-six years old. He went from an engineer working in a smaller city in Mexico to becoming involved in politics and eventually becoming the President of his country. Imagine what all he would have missed if the bullets sent by Daniel Flores had done the job it was supposed to. His life would have ended and he would have missed out on more than thirty years of history.
http://www.mexconnect.com/mex_/history/jtuck/jtrevolution22.html, Jim Tuck (3/1/03)
http://www.mexconnect.com/mex_/history/jtuck/jtaserdan.html Jim Tuck (3/2/03)