Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Felipe Carrillo Puerto and the socialist legacy in Mexico

The presence of Felipe Carrillo Puerto, the socialist governor of Yucatan who was executed in 1924, is everywhere in Merida, Mexico. There is a park, statue and district (“colonia”) with his name, as well as the Teatro Felipe Carrillo Puerto that is part of the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán that he founded as governor of the state. Carrillo Puerto was allied with Zapata (and later Obregón and Calles) and attempted to apply the agrarian reform to Yucatan. He also promoted worker unionization, the diffusion of the Mayan language and defended women’s rights. He was executed in a right-wing revolt that spread to the rest of Mexico in an attempt to overthrow the government of Obregón and Calles. The veneration of the socialist Carrillo Puerto in Mérida serves to refute the half truths and stereotypes promoted by those who vilify the socialist tradition and legacy.


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