Francisco_Leon_de_la_BarraFrancisco León de la Barra

President of Mexico

In office May 25, 1911November 5, 1911
Vice President Abraham González
Born June 16, 1863(1863-06-16) Querétaro, Querétaro
Died September 23, 1939 (aged 76) Biarritz, France
Nationality Mexican
Political party No Party
Spouse María Refugio Borneque

Francisco León de la Barra y Quijano (Querétaro, June 16, 1863September 23, 1939 in Biarritz, France) 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’s discovery of America. In 1896 León de la Barra entered the 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 March 25, 1911 he briefly became foreign secretary under Díaz. President Porfirio Díaz was reelected 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 Díaz 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 served again as foreign secretary, from February 11, 1913 to July 4, 1914, in the government of usurper General Victoriano Huerta. 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 Permanent Court of Arbitration, located in The Hague. He participated in various international commissions after World War I and wrote many works on judicial and administrative affairs. He died in Biarritz in 1939, without ever having returned to Mexico.

He married María Elena Barneque, and when she died he remarried, to her sister, María del Refugio Barneque.