"There is the latifundio of Babícora, he said. With all the wealth and power of Mr Hearst to call upon. And there are the campesinos in their rags. Which do you believe will prevail? "
William Randolph Hearst
Public DomainWilliam Randolph Hearst - Credit: Wikimedia Commons

After the Revolution finally put an end to Hearst’s aspirations to rule Mexico for himself and the lands he had acquired in Chihuahua came under threat from President Lázaro Cárdenas's land reforms, his enmity for the Mexican people deepened.

Hearst had used his newspapers to call for U.S. military intervention in Mexico throughout the years of the Revolution, and had even been investigated by the U.S. Bureau of Investigation (a forerunner of the F.B.I.) in 1916 for secretly financing revolts near his ranch in Mexico and for funding a military expedition directed against Mexico. It was even rumoured that Hearst's involvement in the campaign to criminalise marijuana in the 1930s was motivated by his dislike of Mexicans, believed by many white American citizens to be the principal distributors and consumers of the drug.

After Álvaro Obregón came to power Hearst seemed to accept the right of the Mexican people to govern their own country, but this did not prevent him from continuing to rule his estate in Mexico like a medieval fiefdom; using his teams of lawyers to hold up Cárdenas's land reforms, believing as a U.S. citizen the abolition of the hacienda system did not apply to him.

As it happens Qujiada’s claim that Hearst’s days were numbered would prove prescient. Following Hearst’s death in 1951, La Babícora was sold to the Mexican government where it was broken up and divided into smaller estates.

Click here for a 1953 Time article written on the sale of La Babícora, appropriately entitled Mexico: End of An Empire.