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Pancho Villa was a leader of the populist Mexican Revolution. As a leader in the Mexican military, he had joined with Venustiano Carranza to oppose the government takeover by Victoriano Huerta, and became governor of the state of Chihuahua in 1914, and was seen as an American ally. Villa later rebelled against Carranza and his general Obregón. US President Woodrow Wilson supported Carranza, and cut off US support for Villa's troops.


Encounter with Indiana Jones[]

In March 1916, Pancho Villa and his band raided the American border town of Columbus, New Mexico at dawn on horseback, where Indiana Jones and his cousin Frank had just arrived. Indiana pursued the raiders, attempting to recover some stolen dresses from one of Villa's men. However, Jones was captured and brought before a firing squad, along with several other prisoners.[1]

Villa returned to his men and discovered the firing squad and forced his men to stop. Jones was spared, and joined the cause, meeting Remy Baudouin and José González. Villa led several other raids in which Jones participated, including a raid on the ranch of William Randolph Hearst, and a bold attack on Ciudad Guerrero. Villa's raids into American territory drew the reprisal of American troops commanded by John J. Pershing, and one of Villa's top men, Julio Cárdenas was killed by George Patton.[1]

While Jones first enjoyed the adventures of being a revolutionary, he soon changed his mind after the death of José González, and learning the Mexican peasantry's attitude on power changes. Jones and Baudouin slipped out of Villa's army, aware that Villa's fight was not their own.[1]

Villa was later assassinated in July 20,[2] 1923.[3]


In October 1938, while expressing his surprise at General Serpent Lady turning out to not be a common thief but a warlady with her own bandit army, Jones was reminded by his partner Sophia Hapgood about how he rode with Villa and his men despite Villa being regarded as a bandit to some but as a national hero for his people.[4]

In 1957, Jones recalled his experience with Villa to his son Mutt Williams—explaining that he learned Quechua from some of the men who rode with Villa.[5]

Behind the scenes[]

Pancho Villa was played by Mike Moroff in Young Indiana Jones and the Curse of the Jackal.[1] Moroff's grandfather actually rode with Pancho Villa's gang in the Mexican Revolution and Moroff's aunt received love letters from Villa himself which the actor eventually inherited.[6]



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