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Birth of Benito Juarez

Birth of Benito Juarez (March 21st)

Photography by WIKIPEDIA

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Benito Juarez lived one of the most important times in Mexico, considered by many historians as the consolidation of the nation as a Republic. Juarez marked a watershed in national history, being a leading protagonist of this time. His biography during his years as president is almost entirely the history of Mexico as well.

Benito Juarez was born on March 21, 1806 in San Pablo Guelatao, Oaxaca, leads a somewhat hazardous life in his early childhood, receiving his academic instruction at a seminary in Oaxaca City, so that in 1834 he received the title of Law degree from the State Institute of Arts and Sciences.

With the liberal Miguel Mendez as his mentor, he has made an impressive rise in his political career and within the judiciary, since his election as councilor he has projected himself as a man of strong convictions, to the extent of fighting against the abuses of the clergy and achieve the vindication of the offended. He was a local deputy, magistrate of the Superior Court of Justice, civil judge and finally governor of Oaxaca.

After returning from exile to which Santa Anna condemned him, he joins with Ignacio Comonfort and Juan Alvarez in the liberal revolution inspired by the Ayutla Plan of 1854. Once these triumphs, the well-known Reform Laws begin, being issued on the 23rd of November 1855 the Law on administration of justice, and organic of the courts of the nation, which abolished the ecclesiastical and military were, within the presidency of Alvarez.

Given the pressure exerted on the radical government, President Alvarez resigned and his place was taken by Comonfort, moderate in that sense. In November 1857, Comonfort was elected president and Juarez took office as president of the Supreme Court of Justice, a position that was legally considered the vice-presidency. Felix Zuloaga, a conservative general and supported by said group, pacts and later betrays Comonfort by making him resign from office. It is then when Juarez assumes the presidency of the Republic and begins a fierce persecution against his government, flees the country and returns to the port of Veracruz on May 4, 1858.

Finally, and after two sites established by Miguel Miramon in 1859 and 1860, the liberal victory of Calpulalpan on December 22, 1860 opens the way to Juarez for its triumphal entry into the capital on January 11, 1861. However, the agitation politics claimed as victims’ men like Miguel Lerdo de Tejada and Ocampo, among others; In addition, the public treasury made it impossible to pay the service of the foreign debt, so on July 17, 1861 Juarez issued a decree by which he suspended that payment for two years. France breaks diplomatic relations and at the London Convention on October 31, agrees with England and Spain to intervene militarily in Mexico.

Once they disembark in Veracruz, the government manages to agree with England and Spain (April 9, 1862), but France does not give in and advances on the 19th, taking Orizaba the next day. On May 17, 1863, the French took Puebla and Juarez fled and took refuge in San Luis Potosi until December 22. It was not until May 15, 1867 that the republican forces obtained a decisive victory in the city of Queretaro. Being executed in the Cerro de las Campanas Maximiliano de Habsburgo, Miramon and Mejia on June 19. On July 15, Juarez triumphantly enters Mexico City.

Juarez was reelected in 1867 and 1871, being able to witness the collapse of the liberal group into the Juarista, Lerdista and Porfirista factions. General Porfirio Diaz Mori, launched his Plan de la Noria, expressing his disagreement with the reelection of Juarez in 1871, which was put down shortly after.

Benito Juarez died on July 18, 1872 after a life full of countless episodes. His legacy is his own strength, triumphing first against the conservatives and then against the Second Empire, always carrying the liberal flag.


Autonomous University of Queretaro