Who was the ‘Fusilado de Halachó’, the soldier who survived 8 shots and the coup de grâce to the head?

The story began in 1915, during the Mexican Revolution, when Wenceslao Moguel Herrera He was captured and sentenced to death along with other soldiers from Pancho Villa’s rebel army, with whom he fought for the freedom of Mexico.

Moguel Herrera was the last in the firing squad and saw his companions in battle die. He got 8 shots and a coup de grace to the head; however, surprisingly, she survived. This is how the ‘Fusilado de Halachó’ appeared.

a rebel soldier

Pancho Villa and the rebel army in 1915. Photo: Clarín

Wenceslao Moguel Herrera lived in Halachó, in the Yucatán peninsula, Mexico.

Since adolescence, he longed for the freedom of Mexico, so he joined the rebel army of Pancho Villa. However, his battalion was about to face a large and powerful one.

That disadvantage caused his defeat and the capture of several soldiers, including Wenceslao. These few survivors were turned over to a jury, who sentenced them to death.

To date, the time and day of the execution are unknown, although some local media indicated that it was on March 19 at 5:00 a.m.

They were all taken to the firing squad. Wenceslao was the last one, so he could see how his battle companions died.

It was the turn of the young soldier. The squad shot him eight times in various parts of the body and, as it was part of the execution, the gun was missing. touch of grace to all. Wenceslao was hit on the head.

All the bodies were left inert in place and in full view of all to serve as a lesson, according to the army, which was withdrawing to head north for another similar mission.

The only survivor

They all thought they were dead; However, the unexpected happened: Wenceslao was the only survivor of the execution, he was even able to crawl almost 300 meters until he reached the doors of the church of St James Apostle, where he fainted. There, a woman approached him and asked for medical help.

They thought that he would not resist, since he had several holes in his body and a disfigured face. However, she made it, as the shots had not compromised her brain. Wenceslao was left disfigured and without a jaw, but stable, for which he had to hide for a month to protect himself from the military in Campeche, where he underwent surgery and recovered.

From that moment on, this rebel soldier, who also took refuge in the United States, became history, or a myth, as some connoisseurs consider it. ‘Fired by Halachó’ is the description that Wenceslao received and with which he became popular, thanks to the media that sought his statements.

Wenceslao Moguel and Robert L. Ripley on the NBC radio show “Ripley's Believe It or Not!”.  Photo: BioBioChile

Wenceslao Moguel and Robert L. Ripley on the NBC radio show “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!”. Photo: BioBioChile

It was in 1937, when Moguel Herrera was contacted by Robert L Ripleyknown as the King of Curiosities and Amazing, for an interview on his NBC radio show Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, which means “Believe it or not”. The focus was the incredible story of the only survivor after a firing squad with nine shots (one to the head), which became successful in the United States.

Wenceslao had managed to survive, continue with his life, start a family and achieve fame. On July 29, 1976, he passed away naturally at the age of 86.. Today his story is still present, there is even a book titled “The miracle of the saint of Halachó or the story of a shot” that tells the most outstanding events of his life.