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Born either in Hermosillo or Guaymas, Sonora on May 26,
1881. After primary studies he attended the Colegio de Sonora in Hermosillo.
After he finished, he went to the National Preparatory School in Mexico City. He
studied accounting, music, and voice. In 1900, however, his father died and he
left school and returned to Sonora to help support the family. He worked as a bookkeeper
in various businesses and the Guaymas branch of the Banco Nacional de México.
He left there and went into management of the San Germán Tannery. He disagreed
with the policies of the Porfirio
Díaz and had to quit. He started promoting the Anti-Reelectionist Party in
1908 and left Guaymas to make party connections in central Mexico. He supported Francisco
I. Madero's successful campaign to get Porfirio Díaz to resign and then
Madero's campaign for the presidency.
In Sonora, he worked with the new state government in several ways. He helped make a peace with the Yaqui Indians. In state elections, he was elected a deputy to the legislature, beating Plutarco Calles. Later, he went to Mexico City on political business in time to see the overthrow in the bloody coup against Madero on February 9, 1913. He was with Madero through the Decena Trágica (tragic ten days). When Madero and Pino Suarez were assassinated, de la Huerta went to Monclova, Coahuila to join Venustiano Carranza, who had vowed revenge, arriving on February 20th.
The victory of Carranza and the Constitutionalists afforded de la Huerta new opportunities. He was appointed Oficial Mayor of the Secretary of Government. Then he became provisional Governor of Sonora between May 16, 1916 until August 31, 1917. While governor, he worked again on the pacification of the Yaquis. He established a Cámara Obrera for workers and farmers. He had a workmen's compensation law passed. In 1917, he was a federal senator. In December, 1917, he was named consul general in New York and served until. he again became governor of Sonora on December 1, 1918. When Carranza was overthrown by Alvaro Obregón and Plutarco E. Calles in 1920, de la Huerta supported them. When it was clear that he was being considered for the interim presidency, he recommended Antonio I. Villarreal (who would become his Secretary of Agriculture and Development) and Fernando Iglesias Calderón but Congress named him Interim President. He served from June 1, 1920 until November 30, 1920. Future president Pascual Ortiz Rubio was his Secretary of Communications and Public Works. Emiliano Zapata recognized his government but Pancho Villa had to be bought off with a gift of the Canutillo hacienda and money. He then became finance minister until September 25, 1923. He negotiated the De la Huerta-Lamont Treaty, reducing the Revolutionary debts owed to US citizens.
He hoped his successes and his loyalty would earn him the presidency but Obregón chose Calles, who had been de la Huerta's Secretary of War, instead. In December, 1923, he launched a rebellion from Veracruz, a rebellion that was a serious threat to the government. He lost. Obregón was able to call upon the loyal units of the army, worker battalions, farmer battalions, and the United States government to squash it. He went to the United States in exile and lived in Los Angeles, California supporting himself by teaching music.
Lázaro Cárdenas invited him back to Mexico in 1935. He held several government positions: Vistador General de Consulados and Director General of Civil Pensions. He died in Mexico City on July 9, 1955.