Massacres/Mass Murder · Mexico · Racially Motivated

The Torreón massacre: 300+ dead when Mexican citizens attacked Chinese immigrants for taking away jobs

May 15, 1911
Torreón, Coahuila, Mexico
Maderistas (members of revolutionary militia) attack the city, resulting in the deaths of over 300

The massacre, which spanned from May 13-15, was a result of civil unrest over recent arrivals of Chinese immigrants, whom the Maderistas believed were taking the jobs of Mexican women.

The Leavenworth Post (Leavenworth, Kansas) wrote of the massacre in their June 10, 1911 edition, stating:

“In a detailed report the Torreón massacre is laid at the door of both sides of the revolution. It says the federals gave no notice they were going to evacuate the city after being hopelessly beaten and when ruffians knew the soldiers had gone they began an anti-Chinese demonstration, killing many. Then the rebels entered the city and the carnage was given impetus. The federals are blamed for not giving notice they intended evacuating and the rebels for joining the massacre.

“The report recites tale after tale of barbarous slaughter, stories of how victims’ arms were tied to horses and their bodies torn asunder; heads cut off and savagely rolled around the streets as the Mexicans grinned with glee; bodies cut into small bits and scattered about the streets and of dead and half dead Chinese dragged about the town at the ends of ropes attached to horses. Blood dripping through the floor in the Chinese bank was terrible evidence of the murder of twenty-five men in the second story.

“An American woman saved the life of one Chinese boy by throwing her arms around his neck as the Mexicans were about to stab him and a Mexican girl protected nine Chinese in her home after her father had been shot dead before her eyes when he protested he was not harboring any Orientals.”

Over 300 were killed, predominantly Chinese immigrants. However, 25 Federales, 26 Maderistas, and 34 bystanders were killed as well. Aside from the loss of human life, roughly US$1 million (approximately $24 million in today’s economy) in property damage was also inflicted, mostly upon the Chinese-owned establishments.

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