Memoirs of a Second Lieutenant
Tomochic is a controversial and celebrated example of Mexican fiction. Tomochic is the fictional narration of the 1892 military campaign that resulted in the massacre of the small village of Tomochic, located in the Tarahumara mountains and ordered by the dictatorial regime of Porfirio Díaz. The work is narrated by an eyewitness, the then second lieutenant, Heriberto Frías, and written by him in collaboration with Joaquin Clausell,
editor of the newspaper which published it in serial form between March and April of 1893. For a period after the series' publication, the author chose to maintain anonymity. It was expressly this stance which excited more public
interest than any other Mexican writer of the 19th century and which eventually led to a drawn out trial to uncover the identity of the author and to implicate him. For, although it is a work of fiction, the general plot of the work, involving a confrontation between a professional army and a handful of citizens, was too similar to the actual massacre as to not be seen by Porfirio Díaz as a reprovement of himself and his regime. As a piece of literature, the novel is also admired for its
incorporation of two important trends of the nineteenth century-history as literature and the war novel.