Alcalde Ignacio De Soto
|Alcalde Ignacio De Soto is never supposed to be the Alcalde of Los Angeles. He acquires the appointment as Alcalde through treachery. He is an arrogant man who will do anything to further his selfish interests. While in many ways he is exactly like Alcalde Ramone, he also stoops to new lows. On one occasion, De Soto places a child in jail and threatens to whip him if he doesn't reveal the location of Zorro's cave. Alcalde De Soto is also more cowardly than Alcalde Ramone. Whenever he knows that there is likely danger, he makes certain that one of his men goes first rather than himself.
|We learn that De Soto went to school with Diego. He was three years ahead of Diego and was at the school on scholarship. This fact is significant as it reveals that De Soto came from a poor family and should understand the plight of the poor better than Zorro who does not come from a poor family. It is incredibly ironic that a poor man oppresses the poor and a wealthy man fights for the rights of the poor. The Alcalde's lack of compassion for the poor is surprising and makes him truly contemptible.
In spite of all of De Soto's shortcomings, he does have some redeeming qualities. On a few occasions, De Soto does express remorse for his actions and does seem repentant. He apologizes for his actions on several occasions. Unfortunately, De Soto never seems to learn from his mistakes and continues to commit despicable deeds. However, it does show that someday De Soto might overcome his greed and become a better person.
|From the episode "The New Broom". . .
|In the city of Madrid, De Soto taunts the man appointed Alcalde of Los Angeles into a fight and disarms him. De Soto picks up the man's sword to give it back to him. Don Xavier refuses the sword and says, "I'll not fight with you anymore."
"The result will be the same, señor. You see, all of these people are just witness to your utter cowardice. Will the king send a coward to govern one of the most troublesome outposts in all his empire? I don't think so."
De Soto continues, "You see, no Alcalde has ever succeeded in Los Angeles. They have either been hounded out of office or died in disgrace. Perfect place for a man to make a reputation overight."
"Or die overnight," adds Don Xavier.
"I'm prepared to take that risk. See, unlike you Don Xavier, my family is not well placed at court. I've had to work hard and fight hard for everything I have, and unlike you, I will bend Los Angeles to the will of the king, or I will break them!"
De Soto breaks Don Xavier's sword. "And then, I shall return to my beloved Madrid, a hero. Until then, farewell Don Xavier. Wish me luck."
The new Alcalde's arrival in Los Angeles is heralded with much fanfare and gaiety. Diego is quite happy to see that his old schoolmate Ignacio is the new Alcalde.
|"Ignacio was on a scholarship. He had no connections. His father was a farmer, I believe. He succeeded through sheer ability. He should be very sympathetic to the problems of the poor."
Sgt. Mendoza is the first person to discover that Alcalde De Soto is going to be a difficult person to have as Alcalde.
|"I had to work my way through the ranks. I wore a Sergeant's stripes for five years. I know every little trick, every little dodge ever conceived, and you cross me, I'll make you eat your Sergeant's stripes in your next enchilada. Is that clear, Sergeant?"
Ignacio De Soto gets his information about Zorro from Alcalde Ramone's records. He decides to hold the caballeros captive at the de la Vega hacienda until Zorro is apprehended.
|"I can do anything I want to do! Madrid is 8000 miles away. I am the only law here."
Diego speaks up, "You really don't understand, do you? The people of this pueblo will not be a stepping stone for corruption, ambition, or greed."
Diego knows that Zorro must now take action. Zorro visits De Soto in his quarters at the cuartel.
Ignacio De Soto's role model is Niccolo Machiavelli, known for being a political philosopher. Machiavelli is associated with corrupt government. Machiavellianism is the view that politics is amoral and that any means no matter how unscrupulous can justifiably be used in achieving polictical power.
|When Zorro sees De Soto's portrait of Machiavelli, he comments, "Niccolo Machiavelli, your hero, I presume. How appropriate since he was a despicable little man who kissed up to the rich and failed in everything he tried to do."
From the episode "Balancing the Books". . .
|De Soto regards his portrait of Machiavelli almost as though it were a real person. It appears to be his most prized possession and is his inspiration for his misdeeds.
|While Zorro confronts De Soto in his office, Zorro prepares to cut a Z onto the portrait of Machiavelli.
De Soto exclaims, "Not that!"
|Zorro replies, "If you insist. . ." and then breaks the portrait over De Soto's head. After Zorro departs, De Soto is devastated about the damage to the portrait and moans as he examines the portrait.
|As De Soto tries to repair the portrait, he speaks to it. "I can't go back to Madrid, not like this. Not yet, you, you do understand that, don't you?
|"Ah! That's it! I'll give Mendoza his money's worth and destroy all of the evidence at the same time. Thank you! Thank you!"
From the episode "Miracle of the Pueblo". . .
|Señora Claus exclaims, "Now I remember you! You are that nasty lamb from Cadiz! You used to steal your baby sister's presents every year! Shame on you!"
From the episode "The Arrival". . .
|For once, Alcalde De Soto shows that he is capable of being dignified and courageous.
|Sgt. Mendoza begins to blindfold De Soto in preparation for his execution.
"No blindfolds. . .the De Sotos have always faced death with dignity. I'm not going to break my family's tradition."
From the episode "The Discovery". . .
|Alcalde De Soto shows that he does have some good in him. After killing Resendo, he states, "Well, if you'll excuse me, I have a compelling need to see Padre Benites."
|Don Alejandro (Efrem)
|Don Alejandro (Henry)