|The long illustrious history of rioting as a political weapon...The Torreon Massacre|
Posted by: LateForLunch ® |
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The infamous French post-revolutionary Reign of Terror is among the biggest, longest riots in history - with an evolution into simply one long mass murder spree. But there were other political riots which though much shorter in duration with less loss of life, were no less atrocious.
The Torreón Massacre - May 15, 1911 Mexico
The rebel forces entered the city at six o'clock, accompanied by a mob of over 4,000 men, women, and children from Gómez Palacio Municipality, Viesca Municipality, San Pedro Municipality, Lerdo Municipality, and Matamoros Municipality. They were joined by citizens of Torreón and began the sacking of the business district. The mob released prisoners from jail, looted stores, and attacked people on the street. They soon moved to the Chinese district. Men on horses drove Chinese from the gardens back into town, dragging them by their queues and shooting or trampling those who fell. Men, women, and children were killed indiscriminately when they fell in the way of the mob, and their bodies were robbed and mutilated. It was reported that "[i]n one instance the head of a Chinaman was severed from his body and thrown from the window into the street. In another instance a soldier took a little boy by the heels and battered his brains out against a lamp post. In many instances ropes were tied to the bodies of the Chinamen and they were dragged through the streets by men on horseback. In another instance a Chinaman was pulled to pieces in the street by horses hitched to his arms and legs." The mob finally reached the bank, where they killed the employees and hurled their severed body parts into the streets. A contemporary newspaper reported that "heads of the murdered Chinese were rolled along the streets, and their bodies were tied to the tails of horses."
A number of residents made attempts to save the Chinese from the mob. Seventy immigrants were saved by a tailor who stood atop the roof of a building where they were hiding and misdirected the mob that was hunting for them. Eleven were saved by Hermina Almaráz, the daughter of a Maderista leader, who told soldiers who wanted to take them from her home "that they could only enter the house over her dead body." Another eight were saved by a second tailor, who stood in the rain in front of the laundry they worked at and lied to the rebels about their presence.
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