Emiliano Zapata Salazar was a leading figure in the Mexican Revolution, which broke out in 1910, and which was initially directed against the president Porfirio DÃaz. He formed and commanded an important revolutionary force, the Liberation Army of the South, during the Mexican Revolution. Followers of Zapata were known as Zapatistas. Zapata came from a middle class family who were able to avoid peonage and to maintain their own land (rancho). In fact, the family had been porfiristas: supporters of Porfirio DÃaz. Zapata had the reputation of a dandy, appearing at bullfights and rodeos in his elaborate charro (cowboy) outfit In 1906, he attended a meeting in Cuautla to discuss a way to defend the land of the people, on which he had worked as a farmhand.