family on her mothers side comes from a line of land holding
families and famous generals. Leticias great grandfather General
Antonio Sanchez Gamboa, had two sons both trained for the military;
the older son, Colonel Antonio Gamboa fought in the war against the
French occupation of Mexico in 1865; the younger son, General Manuel
Castillo Palacios, was the father of Leticias grandfather, General
Manuel Castillo Gil, who at the age of 21 was the youngest general
in the Mexican Army. He fought in the Revolutionary War of 1910. This
war, lasting from 1910 to 1917, led to many reforms in the Mexican
government and eventually, in 1917, to the Party of the Mexican Revolution,
whose name was changed to the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI),
in 1946. This is the party that has governed Mexico from 1917 to the
date of this book, 1998.
Leticias mother, María Elia Castillo, grew up with her
father, General Manuel Castillo Gil. (He is the grandson of Colonel
Gamboa, but has a different name since his mother remarried and changed
the family name to Castillo.) Leticias Mother learned much history
from her father. She relates that when he led an attack, he carried
his sabre in his right hand, his rifle in his left and guided his
horse by the positive pressure from his legs. He had the custom of
shouting to his troops, No se me arruguen, vencer o morir.
Dont shrink from battle, conquer or die.