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Francisco León de la Barra

Francisco León de la Barra

32nd President of Mexico
In office
May 25, 1911 – November 5, 1911
Preceded by Porfirio Díaz
Succeeded by Francisco I. Madero
Personal details
Born (1863-06-16)16 June 1863
Querétaro, Querétaro, Mexican Empire
Died 23 September 1939(1939-09-23) (aged 76)
Biarritz, France
Nationality Mexican
Political party Independent

María Elena Borneque

María del Refugio Borneque

Francisco León de la Barra y Quijano (June 16, 1863 – September 23, 1939) was a Mexican political figure and diplomat who served as interim President of Mexico from May 25 to November 6, 1911.

He obtained a degree in law in Querétaro before entering politics as a federal deputy in 1891. In 1892 he attended the Ibero-American Judicial Conference held in Madrid on the occasion of the four hundredth anniversary of Columbus' discovery of America.

In 1896 León de la Barra entered the Mexican diplomatic corps, serving as envoy to Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the United States (1909–11). He is credited in Mexico with convincing U.S. President William Howard Taft that the 1911 Mexico revolt against Porfirio Díaz did not justify U.S. intervention.

He was Mexico's representative at the The Hague peace conference in 1907. During this time, he earned a reputation as an authority on international law. On 25 March 1911 he briefly became foreign secretary under Díaz.

President Porfirio Díaz was re-elected for a seventh time on October 4, 1910. As a result, Francisco I. Madero rose in revolt, proclaiming the Plan de San Luis. The revolt was successful, and Díaz signed the Treaty of Ciudad Juárez on May 21, 1911, in which he agreed to resign. His resignation took effect on May 25, and León de la Barra was made interim president until new elections could be held. He served until November 6, 1911, when Madero took office as the duly-elected president. León de la Barra ran for the Mexican congress in 1912 and was elected a senator, aligned with the cientificos and the National Catholic Party.[1]

León de la Barra colluded with U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Henry Lane Wilson to oust Madero from the presidency.[2] During the Ten Tragic Days of February 1913, Madero resigned and was then murdered; General Victoriano Huerta assumed power and León de la Barra served again as foreign secretary from February 11, 1913 to July 4, 1914 in his government. He was elected governor of the State of Mexico in 1914, but he soon resigned to pursue a career in international law in Europe.

He was ambassador to France and president of the Francisco Franco for French recognition of the Spanish Nationalists as the legitimate government of Spain.[3] The Spanish Nationalists under overthrew the Second Spanish Republic in the Spanish Civil War, allying with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. As a result of the talks León de la Barra began, France recognized the Spanish Nationalists in February 1939.

He married María Elena Barneque, and when she died he married her sister, María del Refugio Barneque. He died in Biarritz on September 23, 1939, without ever returning to Mexico.


  1. ^ John Womack, Jr. "The Mexican Revolution" in Mexico Since Independence, ed. Leslie Bethell. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1991, p. 138.
  2. ^ Womack, "The Mexican Revolution", p. 139
  3. ^ Duroselle, Jean-Baptiste (2004). France and the Nazi Threat. New York: Enigma Books. p. 339.  


  • (Spanish) "León de la Barra, Francisco", Enciclopedia de México, vol. 8. Mexico City: 1996, ISBN 1-56409-016-7.
  • (Spanish) García Puron, Manuel, México y sus gobernantes, v. 2. Mexico City: Joaquín Porrúa, 1984.
  • (Spanish) Orozco Linares, Fernando, Gobernantes de México. Mexico City: Panorama Editorial, 1985, ISBN 968-38-0260-5.

External links

  • Short biography
  • (Spanish) Short biography
  • (Spanish) Another short biography
Political offices
Preceded by
Porfirio Díaz
President of Mexico
25 May – 5 November 1911
Succeeded by
Francisco I. Madero
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