Published: February 17th 2013February 17th 2013
FAT DRUNK ON A HORSE
In 1916 his army had been defeated clear across northern Mexico by federal forces led by General Obregon. He was counting on support from America, but the Woodrow Wilson administration was opposed to yet another revolution in Mexico and would not take his side. In retalion for American foreign policy he raided the small community of Columbus, NM to steal supplies for his army from our army. Fierce machine gun fire from our troops drove him off and he was pursued by General Black Jack Pershing deep into Mexico. Pershing was recalled when we finally entered WWI. Pancho was murdered down in Parral by some of Obregon's men when he tried to reenter politics in 1923. In Mexico some still regard him as a hero of the revolution. It is a damned fine statue but it belogs in Parral.
FAT DRUNK ON A HORSE
The artistic community of Mexico commissioned a very nice bronze statue and sent it to Arizona in the spirit of cultural exchange. It was to coincide with the 50th
anniversary of Arizona statehood. Their counterparts up in the state’s capital, upon seeing the lovely piece of artwork, were proud to accept the generous gift in the spirit of international goodwill. In an act of further generosity the minions in Phoenix decided that, ummm….the perfect place for such a statue to be displayed would be at a park in Tucson. Civic leaders in Tucson had a parcel of land downtown that was no good for commercial development but would be a fine location for a nice little park. The site is where Congress Street and Broadway converge west of Church Ave. It is a fine statue of a fat drunk on a horse. The drunk was a man named Jose Doroteo Arango Arambula, affectionately known among his friends as La Cucaracha (The Cockroach). Jose burst onto the scene on June 5, 1878 as the first of several children born into the peasant family of Augustin Arango and Micaela Arambula on the Rancho de la Coyotada in Durango. As a child Jose got the benefit some education at the local church school but when his father died he became a share cropper on the hacienda. At age 16 he killed the hacienda owner, stole a horse and rode off into the Sierra Madre Mountains to join Ignacio Parra’s band of banditos. He began using the name Arango. In 1902 Arango was arrested by the rurales for stealing mules and assaulting an officer and was sentenced to join the army. In 1903 he killed an officer sent to arrest him for desertion, stole his horse and returned to banditry. In 1910 he met a man named Abraham Gonzalez who persuaded him to become a socialist reformer riding on the side of Franciso Madero in the bloody revolution against the dictator Porfirio Diaz. In America we know him better as Pancho Villa.