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Pancho Villa as you’ve never seen him before

11 May 2010

There is a photograph  identified as “Francisco Villa as a child” in the  Wikipedia article on Pancho Villa that has always bothered me.  I might imagine Pancho Villa as an intense serious tyke, but but Villa’s parents, Agustín Agustín Arango and Micaela Arambula were sharecroppers, and there was no way they could have afforded to have studio photos taken of their children… let alone dress them in suits.  Especially in suits not worn in Durango in the late 1870s.

I finally ran across the photo in Paco Ignacio Taibo II’s Pancho Villa:  Una Biografía Narrativa which is chock full of Villa photos I’d never seen… including one I’d seen in the Wikipedia article.  As I thought, it is not Doroteo Arango Arambula at all, but  Agustín Villa Corral, Pancho’s eldest son.  I can’t find any information on the date the photo was taken (Taibo includes in in notes to a chapter on a 1921  family reunion at the Canutillo ranch in Villa took as partial payment for his surrender in 1919.  Agustín would have been about 11 by then, and the boy in the photo (assuming it is Agustín) is younger than that.  The photo was probably made while Luz and her children were sent abroad –to Texas and  Cuba — for their protection during the Revolution.

At any rate, while trying to track down the source of the photo (which I never did find), I ran across a weird, undated (and not very clear) photo of Pancho Villa I don’t think gets printed very often.

Pancho Villa, despite his… er… active live style … was prone to turn into paunchy Villa and did what he could to stave off the forces of gravity (and his addiction to ice cream).  After his retirement, he took up jogging.  And somewhere along the way (Taibo thinks it was during his military comapaign) found the time for swimming.

So, here he  is.  Pancho Villa, swimsuit model…  ¡Ai, papí!

Ciudad Victora, Tamaulipas historian Osiris Villa Huerta (Francisco Villa y la división del Norte) is hoping to find a better image, and if anyone knows of one, let Osrius know.  I’d  like to see one too.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. 11 May 2010 10:56 am

    What an amazing coincidence you should run into that picture! Thank you for your research, I had the same doubts about that picture. It always seemd a bit strange to me that such a photo of a young pancho Villa existed (for the reasons mentioned by you above).

  2. 11 May 2010 12:58 pm

    Even Pancho Villa has a facebook page now 🙂

  3. humberto permalink
    11 May 2010 10:08 pm

    On that group from facebook you may found a picture of the son, Ramon Silva and Pancho riding on horses. There is also a picture of Villa getting into the pool, but not much clearer. Most pictures taken from various sites on the net (sorry). But some original by the creators of the group…

  4. Pancho permalink
    21 May 2015 6:11 am

    This is NOT Pancho Villa. It’s one of his sons ~ I believe this boy’s name was “Hipolito,” but it’s been published all over the ‘Net as being a picture of Pancho Villa as a boy. It is not him, however …

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