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History 20 Nov 2020

Dr. Francisco Vela González: A doctor in the Revolution

Dr. Vela participated in the armed struggle in the Northeast Army Corps, reaching the rank of Lieutenant Colonel

Born in Agualeguas, Nuevo León, on November 28, 1892. He received a scholarship from Governor Venustiano Carranza to study at the National School of Medicine, where he only attended the first year, since due to the revolutionary outbreak, he interrupted his studies and join the armed movement.

A fervent admirer of Francisco I. Madero, upon learning of the coup on February 9, 1913, he placed himself at the service of General Lauro Villar. Later, after the betrayal of Victoriano Huerta and aware of the Plan of Guadalupe, he joined the constitutional army in Piedras Negras, Coah., Where he was assigned the organization and direction of a small blood bank located in the Monclova hospital.

He participates in the Northeast Army Corps, under the command of General Pablo González and under the immediate orders of General Antonio I. Villarreal, whom he represents in the Aguascalientes Convention, where he had meritorious interventions. He came to hold the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

When he left his arms, he resumed his medical career until obtaining a degree, with the permission and support of Carranza, at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass., On June 23, 1921, and where he worked for a year as an assistant to the chair of Pathological Anatomy.

For many years he was a professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Nuevo León in the area of Anatomy and was director of the Civil Hospital “Dr. José Eleuterio González ”. He was also president of the Mexican Medical Association; Vice President of the State Public Health Council, where he performs important medical and health prevention work.

From a young age he was very inclined to reading and writing history papers, his greatest contribution being the publication of his "Diario de la Revolución", printed in two volumes.

The first volume of the Journal, published in 1971, covers 559 pages in 37 chapters. It contains the antecedents of the armed movement, important documents, speeches, plans and decrees. It begins with the account of the events from February 9 to December 31, 1913, concluding with the fight against the usurper Victoriano Huerta, during December of the same year.

The second volume, published in 1983, is composed of 31 chapters, in 554 pages, also with a daily record, which begins on January 17 and ends on October 3, 1914. It recounts the most important events of the Constitutionalist Revolution until its triumph , as well as the vicissitudes of the Aguascalientes Convention.

The content of the work unfolds chronologically, day by day, and is supported by the experiences of Dr. Vela, as well as the stories of revolutionary writers who left testimony of their performance. Each chapter contains a summary of the events that will be addressed, and these are separated by States, depending on where the event outlined occurred. In volume one three indexes are attached: bibliographic, thematic and biographical.

Among the infinity of topics that it addresses, we can mention: the attacks of the constitutionalist army against the federal forces, in the northeast; the decrees issued by the Chief of the Revolution; the differences and the split with Francisco Villa's Northern Division and with the Southern leader, Emiliano Zapata; how he moved and cared for the war dead and wounded amid so many precariousnesses; life in the northern camps, limitations, diversions, funny cases, food and coexistence; the intakes of Torreón and Zacatecas, among others.

Among the most mentioned characters are: Eulalio Gutiérrez, the Carrera Torres brothers, Gral. Antonio I. Villarreal, Pablo González, Saturnino Cedillo, Lauro Villar, Francisco Coss, Raúl Madero, E. Aguirre Berlanga, Roque González Garza, Martín Luis Guzmán, José Vasconcelos, to point out a few.

The Doctor shows in his work a rigorous methodology by referring all his information, and highlighting the one that corresponds to his authorship, and that which comes from other authors such as Luis and Adrián Aguirre Benavides, Luis Fernando Amaya, Juan Barragán Rodríguez, Isidro Fabela, Martín Luis Guzmán, Gildardo Magaña, Brondo Whitt, among many others. He was preparing a third volume, which would complement his history of the Mexican Revolution until its culmination, unfortunately he passed away on January 31, 1985 at 93 years of age.

Written in a fresh, clear language and without insulting and / or exaggerating the stature of the characters, Dr. Vela addresses two years in a thousand pages, of which a third correspond to the towns of Nuevo León and the northeast, where he witnessed and an active participant in the events he describes. A work that must be read to better understand the events of the armed struggle that began in 1910 and which today marks its 110th anniversary.


Vela González, Francisco. Journal of the Revolution, year 1913, volume 1, Nuevo León University Board, 1st. ed., Monterrey, 1971, 559 pp.

Journal of the Revolution, January / October 1914, volume 2, Government of the State of Nuevo León, 1st. ed., Monterrey, 1983, 554 pp.