Otilio Montaño Sánchez

Otilio Montaño
Otilio Montaño.jpg
Born 30 December 13, 1887
Villa de Ayala, Morelos, Mexico
Died 16 May 18, 1917
Buenavista de Cuéllar, Guerrero, Mexico
Allegiance Liberation Army of the South
Years of service 1910–1916
Rank General
Battles/wars Mexican Revolution

Otilio Montaño Sánchez (born in Villa de Ayala, Morelos, December 13, 1887 – died in Buenavista de Cuéllar, Guerrero, May 18, 1917) was a Zapatista general during the Mexican Revolution.

Otilio Montaño was born in Morelos to Esteban Montaño and Guadalupe Sánchez in 1887. After finishing his studies in Cuautla he taught in schools in Tepalcingo, Jonacatepec and finally Ayala. In Yautepec he became acquainted with Emiliano Zapata's cousin, Amador Salazar. In 1910 he supported Francisco Madero in his struggle against Porfirio Díaz and eventually joined Felipe Neri and Amador Salazar in forming the Zapatista agrarian movement in Morelos. Because Montaño had some schooling and had worked as a school teacher, he was considered by the peasants of Morelos, who comprised the majority of Zapatista soldiers, as an "intellectual".[1]

After Zapata broke with Madero, Otilio Montaño remained in Morelos and in November 1911, together with Emiliano, co-authored the famous Plan of Ayala.[2] Zapata dictated the text of the proclamation while Otilio wrote it down and proofread it.[3]

Subsequent to Victoriano Huerta's coup against Madero, Montaño fought against Huerta and eventually became a member of the Zapatista ruling military junta, which was presided over by Emiliano Zapata and also included Eufemio Zapata, Genovevo de la O, Felipe Neri, Amador Salazar, and Manuel Palafox (who acted as the secretary).[4]

In December 1914, Montaño accompanied Zapata to the first meeting with Pancho Villa at Xochimilco where he gave the welcoming speech and introduced the two jefes to each other.[2]

In early 1917 Montaño came into conflict with some of the other Zapatista generals. As a result, he was sent to the town of Buenavista de Cuellar. Soon however, an anti-Zapata, pro-Carranza, revolt broke out in the town and Montaño was put in charge of suppressing it. Even though he had the leader of the rebellion hanged, he was accused of actually heading the rebellion. Although he vigorously denied the charges, influential Zapatistas including Manuel Palafox and Antonio Díaz Soto y Gama argued strongly that he was in fact guilty. Zapata left the matter to his advisors. A "Revolutionary Tribunal" was formed and Palafox and Soto presented evidence which was for the most part circumstantial. Montaño in turn accused the two of having betrayed the Zapatista revolution. After being found guilty, Montaño was denied last rites and had a sign hang around his neck which stated "So die all traitors to the fatherland". Palafox refused to let him die facing the firing squad, a customary courtesy usually granted to the condemned who requested it.[4] On May 18, 1917, he was executed, proclaiming his innocence to the end.[2][4]


  1. ^ Samuel Brunk, "Emiliano Zapata: revolution & betrayal in Mexico", UNM Press, 1995, pg. 266, [1]
  2. ^ a b c Peter Newell, "Zapata of Mexico", Black Rose Books Ltd., 1997, pg. 63
  3. ^ Robert P. Millon, "Zapata: The Ideology of a Peasant Revolutionary", International Publishers Co, 1995, pg. 40, [2]
  4. ^ a b c Frank McLynn, "Villa and Zapata: A History of the Mexican Revolution", Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2002, pg. 185, [3]

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