News Releases

UWI Unveils Bust in Honour of Mexican Revolutionary 'Francisco Villa'

For Release Upon Receipt - November 23, 2023

St. Augustine



  The bust of Mexican revolutionary, Francisco Villa on display at the Alma Jordan Library at The UWI as part of the exhibit “Héroes de la Patria,” a collection dedicated to heroes who have shaped the region.

 St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago – 23 November 2023 – The bust of iconic Mexican revolutionary, Francisco Villa, a symbol of resistance against repression and dictatorship, embodies the spirit of one of Latin America’s most significant figures. A larger-than-life figure renowned for his military prowess and leadership in the División del Norte (Division of the North), Villa also fought against oppressive regimes and held a deep sympathy for the plight of the poor, a trait stemming from his humble beginnings.

On Monday 20th November 2023, The University of the West Indies (The UWI) St. Augustine Campus in collaboration with the Embassy of Mexico in Trinidad and Tobago, His Excellency Victor Hugo Morales Meléndez officially unveiled the bust of the iconic Mexican revolutionary, Francisco Villa, commonly known as Pancho Villa, at the Alma Jordan Library.

As Villa himself once reflected, he "learned his military strategy in the hard school of experience when little more than a boy in the Sierra Madres of western Chihuahua." Interestingly, history documents that he was able to combine his knowledge of the land with a keen military strategy to help Francisco Madero overthrow Porfirio Diaz and Victoriano Huerto, eventually becoming governor of the state of Chihuahua.

Delivering remarks at the event, Deputy Principal, Professor Indar Ramnarine reflected on the significance of Villa's life, by stating that his “life was a testament to fighting for the marginalized and disenfranchised. His advocacy for reform in Mexican society left an indelible mark on history and garnered international acclaim. His legacy resonates with The UWI’s mission of promoting social justice and equality.”

As The UWI celebrates its 75th anniversary, this bust donation underscores the university’s long-standing commitment to battling discrimination and championing social justice. The UWI has historically been a hub for intellectual discourse on colonialism, slavery, and other forms of oppression, actively advocating for independence and social reform. The Deputy Principal also emphasized that “Villa’s enduring legacy aligns closely with our mission to uplift and enhance the lives of our citizens and contribute to the overall progress of the region.”

The Alma Jordan Library is proud to be the recipient of a bust of this legendary figure as a central piece of the library’s exhibit, “Héroes de la Patria,” a collection dedicated to freedom fighters, the great architects of independence and heroes who have shaped the region such as Simon Bolivar, Jose Marti, and Juan Pablo Duarte.

The UWI is grateful to His Excellency Victor Hugo Morales Meléndez and the people of The United Mexican States for this generous gift which not only strengthens cultural ties but also highlights shared values and aspirations for a just and equitable world.



Prof. Lancelot Cowie, Honorary Professor of Latin American Studies (UWI). Prof. Indar Ramnarine, Deputy Principal (UWI), H.E. Victor Hugo Morales Meléndez Ambassador Mexico in T&T and Senator the Honourable Dr. Amery Browne, Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs toast at the unveiling of the bust of Francisco Villa.

 H.E. Victor Hugo Morales Meléndez Ambassador Mexico in T&T (left) and Senator the Honourable Dr. Amery Browne, Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs, pose for a photo to celebrate the unveiling of the Francisco Villa Bust.

 About The University of the West Indies

 The UWI has been and continues to be a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development; residing at the centre of all efforts to improve the well-being of people across the region for the past 75 years.

From a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948, The UWI is today an internationally respected, global university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and its Open Campus, and global centres in partnership with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe.

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Culture, Creative and Performing Arts, Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences, and Sport. As the Caribbean’s leading university, it possesses the largest pool of Caribbean intellect and expertise committed to confronting the critical issues of our region and the wider world.

The UWI has been consistently ranked among the top universities globally by the most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education (THE). The UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists since its debut in the rankings in 2018. In addition to its leading position in the Caribbean in the World University Rankings, it is also in the top 25 for Latin America and the Caribbean and the top 100 global Golden Age universities (between 50 and 80 years old).  The UWI is also featured among the leading universities on THE’s Impact Rankings for its response to the world’s biggest concerns, outlined in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Good Health and Wellbeing; Gender Equality and Climate Action.

2023 marks The UWI’s 75th anniversary. The Diamond jubilee milestone themed “UWI at 75. Rooted. Ready. Rising.” features initiatives purposely designed and aligned to reflect on the past, confront the present, and articulate plans for the future of the regional University.


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