� by Prof. Velio Vivas Valdez, Cozumel’s Official Historian

On the 103rd anniversary of the beginning of the armed struggle that covered Mexico in blood for over a decade, leaving a trail of 5 million dead, and in answer to a question I have heard many times regarding the effects of the Revolution in Cozumel during the armed conflict between 1910 and 1915, allow me to point out the following:

The effects of the onset of the Revolution were only an echo in Quintana Roo and Cozumel, through political changes reflected in rulers that arrived to the State on 1-911; however, after 1913 armed troops arrived, specially the constitutionalist group led by Venustiano Carranza.
One of the most prominent events occurred in 1915. In passing Payo Obispo, now the city of Chetumal, the arrival of troops from Tabasco under the command of a colonel from Sonora, Isaias Zamarripa, who after imposing mandatory loans from the local businesses, occupied the Catholic Church that was then located across the main square, using it as a stable for his horses, having the religious images placed over the wall of the temple to shoot them. The image of Archangel Saint Michael was the only one that was saved as it was hidden by merciful hands at the bottom of a cistern.

Before leaving the Island, the same revolutionary chieftain ordered to set the catholic temple aflame, thus leaving the land clear and where years later the elementary school was built; this now is the northern area of Plaza del Sol. That is the reason why the Catholic Church in Cozumel is not across the main square.

Another remnant of his passing was his order to execute citizen Ladislao Novelo Orive, whose life was saved, while at the execution wall before the firing squad, thanks to the intervention of all the townspeople.

When he left he promised to return and have all the wealthy people in town “hanged from a tree”; his intentions were frustrated when his boss frantically made him return to Merida and then to the central region of the country, leaving in Cozumel and in Santa Cruz de Bravo, now the city of Carrillo Puerto, a dark memory of his passing by. This are only a few of the episodes this social movement left in our Island.

Professor Velio Vivas Valdes, the official “cronista,” or historian of the island, most notably, his publication entitled “Forjadores,” (Founders) which chronicles much of the early history of the island.  Additionally, he has written a book, which is also available on-line regarding Hurricane Wilma and Cozumel.  A Cozumel island resident since his birth here in 1943, Professor Vivas V. has published much of his writing and Cozumel’s history.

This story originally appeared in the weekly Cozumel 4 You NEWS – the island’s number one source of positive information about our island!  Be sure and subscribe to the weekly NEWS to find out all the island events!…

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