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Around 1910, Rafael, a peon living outside of Mexico City in the shadows of Mount Ixtaccíhuatl and Volcán Popocatépetl, studies to become a politician to free his people from serfdom, as his father bade him to do on his deathbed. During his first public speech, Rafael falls in love at first sight with Rosita de Aradon, daughter of the wealthy Hacandado Don Gonzalo, a plantation owner who is his conservative opponent for election. When Rosita's horse-drawn carriage runs away, Rafael rescues her and they fall in love, despite their difference in social status. At the same time, Don Gonzalo's foreman, a foreigner known as Thornton, has used Don Gonzalo's name to buy land on which an Indian village is situated, because he found oil there. Thornton ruthlessly evicts the Indians, and when Rafael attempts to defend them, he is captured and buried alive, with only his head sticking out of the ground, after which a herd of horses runs over him and he is left for dead. Rosita rescues Rafael, who is just barely alive, and he is resuscitated by an old witch doctor. Upon his recovery, he and Rosita part ways, but promise to reunite one day. Although Thornton has placed a price on Rafael's head, Rafael tries to help the captured Indians, but is captured himself. Rafael escapes by jumping off a cliff to a river far below, and convinced of his death, a devastated Rosita consents to Thornton's proposal in order to save her father. Rafael, who survived his fall, has been taken in by peons hiding from slavery in the jungle, but all except Rafael are captured by Thornton and enslaved. Rafael finds his hosts at Don Gonzalo's estate and arms them, unaware that elsewhere on the estate, Rosita and Thornton are being married. When Thornton hears of Rafael's return, he vows to kill him, and is confronted by Rafael just outside the chapel door. Rosita disarms Thornton, and Rafael overpowers him in a fight and leaves him in a ditch. Thornton and his assistant, Fry, leave for Mexico City when they hear that the lives of all foreigners are in danger because a revolution is spreading. Don Gonzalo confesses to Rafael that he now recognizes Thornton's treachery, and Rafael provides him and Rosita with some of his followers as escorts to Mexico City, after taking note of the wedding ring on Rosita's hand. In the city, Thornton plots to assassinate the new president and fire on Rafael's house, while Rafael urges the peons to trust in the new president. Rosita tries to warn Rafael but is captured by Thornton just as the house is bombed. Rafael rescues Rosita once again from Thornton's clutches, and Thornton is killed by the tumbling walls of the house. Rafael becomes a leader in the revolution and, after their victory, returns the Indians' land to them, and serenades Rosita with his love songs. Rafael and Rosita are together at last.