Corrido del General Gorostieta

    Enrique Nicolás José Gorostieta
was born September 18, 1890 in Monterrey, Nuevo León into a family that was politically aligned with the government of Porfirio Diaz. The young Enrique entered the Colegio Militar in 1906, and in 1911 joined the National Army of the Porfiriato in the struggle with the Maderista rebels and eventually the young Captain Gorostieta joined the side of Victoriano Huerta. With the ultimate overthrow of the Huerta government by the forces of Carranza, the twenty-four year-old Gorostieta went into exile with his family to El Paso, Texas: a decisive point that turned the embittered young man against the triumphant forces of the Mexican Revolution. He traveled to Europe, purportedly serving in the French Foreign Legion during World War I (Negrete, p. 59), and from there went to La Habana, Cuba where the young, promising military leader from a prominent family had to work in a broom factory.
     When Adolfo de la Huerta came to power, Gorostieta was able to return to Mexico in 1921, and he continued to agitate actively against the government, but he also became a successful businessman. After Calles became Presidant and began to harshly enforce the anti-clerical provisions of the constitution, the high clergy suspended all services in Catholic churches throughout Mexico provoking an uneven but bloody guerilla revolt. Toward the end of the conflict in hopes of coordinating their effort, la Liga recruited Gorostieta command the Cristero forces in 1927. He was not necessarily a religious man, but rather represented the conservative reaction to the revolution.


Enrique Gorostieta in his field uniform

   He published a manifesto in which he demanded "equitable land reform with indemnification for hacendados as well as revocation of the reform laws that had stripped the church of its special courts and haciendas." (González, p. 215) His military organization created a much more effective fighting force, though he was often criticized for his lack of religious conviction and piety. General Gorostieta, who toward the end of his campaigns had been plagued by painful conjunctivitis and, perhaps, realizing the hopelessness of his situation, led a small band to the Hacienda del Valle, outside of Atotonilco in Michoacán where he decamped in a perilously exposed redoubt with firm intelligence of enemy troops in the area. He was shot in the ensuing battle on June 2nd, eventually his body was sent to Mexico City and turned over to his family. He was interred at the Panteón Español under a large stone crucifix with the epitaph:

Long live Christ the King
To the memory of the General of the Division
Enrique Gororstieta Velarde
By his wife and children
Born in Monterrey, N.L., the 18 of September 1890
God called him to his side on June 2, 1929
He was a Christian, a patriot and a gentleman
He lived and died for his ideals -

Parte I

El corrido del General Gorostieta,
Es la historia verdadera y sin pasión.
De un valiente que logró escalar la meta
En defensa de su santa religión. (Bis.)

Siendo joven iniciaba su carrera
Como alumno del Colegio Militar.
Y allá fue donde lució por vez primera
Las insignias de teniente Federal. (Bis.)

Manejando una sección de artillería
Fue a Morelos y luchó con tanto afán.
Y arriesgando así su arrojo y valentía
De teniente fue ascendido a capitán. (Bis.)

Fue valiente a los combates de Rellano,
De Machimba, Casas Grandes y Torreón.
Y el famoso y aguerrido mexicano
De sus jefes provocó la admiración.

Y más tarde fue a la acción de Valladares,
Santa Engracia y La Candela con honor.
Conquistando tanta gloria y tantos lares
Y con ellos las insignias de mayor.

Siendo joven pues apenas se asomaba
El bigote en su cara de doncel.
Por sus triunfos allá en Tuxpan conquistaba
Las estrellas que lo hicieran coronel.

Bajo el mando del gran Rubio Navarrete
Con las fuerzas invasoras se batió.
Y arriesgando así su vida el mozalbete
A la línea americana penetró. (Bis.)

Hasta Ulúa se introdujo Gorostieta
Provocando así el asombro nacional.
Y esta hazaña por viril y por discreta
Fue premiada y ascendido a general. (Bis.)

Part One

The ballad of General Gorostieta
The real story, truly told.
Of a valiant man who scaled honor's heights
In defense of his holy religion. (Repeat)

This youth began his career
As a student in the Military College.
There he shone, for the first time
Earning the bars of a Federal Lieutenant. (Repeat)

He commanded an artillery unit,
Going to Morelos, he fought with honor.
Risking all with bravery and guts,
He rose from Lieutenant to Captain. (Repeat)

Battling valiantly in skirmishes in Rellano,
In Machimba, Casas Grandes y Torreón.
And this now famous Mexican warrior
Drew admiration from his superiors.

Later on, he saw action in Valladares
Santa Engracia y La Candela - all with honor.
Conquering with great glory and praise
And by this was decorated a Major.

Being still a youth, his moustache
Just peeking out on his boyish lip.
And for the triumphs earned in Tuxpan
He gained a Colonel's stars.

Under the command of the great Rubio Navarrete
He beat back the invader's forces.
And this lad, risking life and limb
Broke through the American's line. (Repeat)

From Ulúa, the nation grew to know Gorostieta
And incited a patriotic fervor.
And by his manly and modest demeanor
He was awarded the rank of General. (Repeat)

Parte II

Ahora yo canto con motivo del tratado
Dio de baja al insigne general.
Y llego hacer un ciudadano respetado
Empeñoso del progreso nacional. (Bis.)

Cuando al fin surgió la lucha religiosa
Y del pueblo al suelo madre ensangrentó.
Desfondó otra vez su espada victoriosa
Y a las fuerzas del gobierno se enfrentó. (Bis.)

Y el caudillo de las fuerzas insurgentes
Cuyo grito fue "¡Qué viva Cristo Rey!"
Con sus tropas decididas y valientes
Exigieron las Reformas a la Ley. (Bis.)

Fue una lucha muy sangrienta y prolongada
Una guerra despiadada y sin cuartel.
Y a pesar de estar muy mal municionada
La revuelta logró triunfos a granel.

Entre tanto la nación horrorizada
Dio el espectro de una nueva rebelión.
Que el gobierno con sus fuerzas dominaba
En Sonora, en Chihuahua y Nuevo León.

Y deseando que la paz fuera completa
El gobierno con la Iglesia discutió
Y al saberlo el General Gorostieta
Prontamente sus legiones disolvió

Al venir pronto a rendirse fue atacado
Por las fuerzas de gobierno federal.
Y en la lucha Gorostieta fue matado
Provocando una tristeza nacional. (Bis.)

La tragedia causó impacto por doquiera
Y con duelo general en la nación.
Al saber que Gorostieta así muriera
En defensa de su santa religión. (Bis.)

Part Two

With the ensuing peace and treaty
Given under this General's hand.
He became a private and distinguished citizen
Working for the nation's good. (Repeat)

But when the religious struggle broke out
And the people shed their blood on the motherland.
He unsheathed his victorious sword once again
And confronted the government's injustice. (Repeat)

And as leader of the rebel forces
Whose cry was "Long live Christ the King!"
With his valiant and dedicated soldiers
Demanded a reform to the law. (Repeat)

In the prolonged and bloody struggle
An unholy war that gave no quarter.
And in spite of the lack of munitions
The rebellion triumphed in glory.

In this, the horrified nation
Saw the specter of a new revolution rise.
And the government forces prevailed
In Sonora, in Chihuahua and Nuevo León.

But in a desire for peace
The Government and Church negotiated a truce.
And as soon as General Gorostieta learned of this
Quickly dissolved his legions.

Trying to surrender, he was attacked
By forces of the Federal Government.
And in the struggle, Gorostieta was killed
Causing grief throughout the land. (Repeat)

This tragedy shook the land high and low
With great suffering throughout the nation.
To know that Gorostieta should die so
In defense of his holy religion. (Repeat)

Bibliography and Credits Discography of Recordings Return to Corridos of the Cristiada Homepage