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Juárez, Benito (1806–1872)

Leticia Pacheco Espejel


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Known for participating in a plot to overthrow Mexican President Antonio López de Santa Anna (1794–1876) and as President of Mexico from 1858 to 1871, Benito Juárez Garcia was born on March 21, 1806, in San Pablo Guelatao in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, a member of the Zapotecas indigenous group. His parents, Marcelino Juárez and Brírezgida Garcíreza, died when he was 3 years old, and he was placed under the guardianship of his grandparents and uncle, Bernadino Juárez. At 13 years of age, Benito Juárez moved to the city of Oaxaca where his older sister, Guadalupe, worked as a maid for the Maza family. Some years later, in 1843, he married the Mazas' daughter, Margarita. After arriving in Oaxaca, Juárez studied under the Catholic priest Antonio Salanueva, who taught him Castilian and instructed him in religious theology. He joined the Santa Cruz Catholic order but not did wish to dedicate himself to the priesthood. Instead, he joined the Institute of Science and Arts at Oaxaca to study and later teach law. In 1952, Juárez was designated secretary and director of the Institute. While in Oaxaca, Juárez was twice elected governor, in 1848 and 1856. In 1853 Juárez went into exile in the United States for 18 months, during which time he made contact with other liberal intellectuals in exile like Ponciano Arriaga and José Maria Mata y Melchor Ocampo. This small group of intellectuals created ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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