Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Eduardo Galeano: Mexico’s Women Liberators

.
The centenary celebrations were over and all that glowing garbage was swept away.

And the revolution began.

History remembers the revolutionary leaders Zapata, Villa, and other he-men. The women, who lived in silence, went on to oblivion.

A few women warriors refused to be erased:

Juana Ramona, “la Tigresa,” who took several cities by assault;

Carmen Vélez, “la Generala,” who commanded three hundred men;

Ángela Jiménez, master dynamiter, who called herself Angel Jiménez;

Encarnación Mares, who cut her braids and reached the rank of second lieutenant hiding under the brim of her big sombrero, “so they won’t see my woman’s eyes”;

Amelia Robles, who had to become Amelio and who reached the rank of colonel;

Petra Ruiz, who became Pedro and did more shooting than anyone else to force open the gates of Mexico City;

Rosa Bobadilla, a woman who refused to be a man and in her own name fought more than a hundred battles;

and María Quinteras, who made a pact with the Devil and lost not a single battle. Men obeyed her orders. Among them, her husband.

Copyright 2015 Eduardo Galeano. Reprinted by permission of TomDispatch.

Excerpted from Eduardo Galeano’s Children of the Days: A Calendar of Human History published by Nation Books.

soldaderas

— Women of the Mexican Revolution

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