Rural revolts played a central role in the significant changes in Mexican society during the two centuries. Mexico is the only country in the Western Hemisphere where every major social change has been linked to rural revolts. Rural unrest against the Aztecs aided the Spanish invasion. Likewise, rural unrest was the force behind the Mexican independence movement. And finally, in 1910, rural villages, particularly in the South, behind the leadership of Emiliano Zapata, fueled the revolution.
See Evelyn Hu-Dehart, “Peasant Rebellion in the Northwest: The Yaqui Indians of Sonora, 1740-1976,” Riot, Rebellion and Revolution, 141-175
Anenecuilco, 1909: Emiliano Zapata
He just turned thirty. Over the last three years he has been active in village defense, signing protests and generally keeping up village morale. He is elected president of the village council. He is not a poor man, for his family owns livestock, but he is one of the people. Short in stature and weighing only 130 pounds, he usually wears an oversize sombrero that hides his dark intense eyes.
John Womack, Jr., Zapata and the Mexican Revolution, 5, 6