Challenging Authoritarianism in Mexico : Revolutionary Struggles and the Dirty War, 1964-1982 book cover
1st Edition

Challenging Authoritarianism in Mexico
Revolutionary Struggles and the Dirty War, 1964-1982

ISBN 9780415889049
Published December 13, 2011 by Routledge
248 Pages

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Book Description

The Cold War in Latin America spawned numerous authoritarian and military regimes in response to the ostensible threat of communism in the Western Hemisphere, and with that, a rigid national security doctrine was exported to Latin America by the United States. Between 1964 and 1985, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uraguay experienced a period of state-sponsored terrorism commonly referred to as the "dirty wars." Thousands of leftists, students, intellectuals, workers, peasants, labor leaders, and innocent civilians were harassed, arrested, tortured, raped, murdered, or 'disappeared.'

Many studies have been done about this phenomenon in the other areas of Latin America, but strangely, Mexico's dirty war has been excluded from this particular scholarship. Here  for the first time is a sustained look at this period and consideration of the many facets that make up the nearly two decades of the Mexican dirty war. Offering the reader a broad perspective of the period, the case studies in the book present narratives of particular armed revolutionary movements as well as thematic essays on gender, human rights, culture, student radicalism, the Cold War, and the international impact of this state-sponsored terrorism.

Table of Contents


Acronyms and Glossary


Héctor Guillermo Robles Garnica

Introduction: The Unknown Mexican Dirty War

Fernando Calderón and Adela Cedillo

1. "Madera 1965: Primeros Vientos"

Elizabeth Henson

2. Seizing Hold of Memories in Moments of Danger: Guerrillas and Revolution in Guerrero, Mexico

Alexander Aviña

3. At the Vanguard of the Revolution: The Revolutionary Action Movement (MAR) and the Armed Struggle

Verónica Oikión Solano

4. "Por la reunificación de los Pueblos Libres de América en su Lucha por el Socialismo": The Chicana/o Movement, the PPUA and and the Dirty War in Mexico in the 1970s

Alan Eladio Gómez

5. From Books to Bullets: Youth Radicalism and Urban Guerrillas in Guadalajara

Fernando Herrera Calderón

6. A Revolutionary Group Fighting Against a Revolutionary State: The September 23rd Communist League Against the PRI-State (1973-1975)

Romain Robinet

7. Armed Struggle Without Revolution: The Organizing Process of the National Liberation Forces (FLN) and the Genesis of Neo-Zapatismo (1969-1983)

Adela Cedillo

8. Subjugating the Nation: Woman and the Guerrilla Experience

Lucía Rayas


9. Armed Forces and Counterinsurgency: Origins of the Dirty War (1965 - 1982)

Jorge Luis Sierra

10. Transcending Violence: A Crisis of Memory and Documentation

Elaine Carey





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Fernando Herrera Calderón is Visiting Assistant Professor at Beloit College.

Adela Cedillo is a graduate student in Latin American Studies at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. She's the author of El fuego y el silencio: Historia de las Fuerzas de Liberacion Nacional de Mexico (1969-1974), the first comprehensive history on the organization that gave birth to the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN).