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Madera Uprising, Chihuahua, 1965

Benjamín Anaya González

Subject History
Social Movements » Collective Behaviour

Place Central America » Mexico

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics equality, guerilla war, justice, movements, revolution

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.00951.x


September 23, 1965 marks an important date in the rise of guerilla movements in Mexico. On that day, Arturo Gámiz García and Pablo Gómez Ramírez, original members of the Mexican General Union of Farmers and Peasants (Unión General de Obreros y Campesinos de México, UGOCM), launched an assault against the military facilities of Madera City, a large village located on the shores of the Sierra Tarahumara in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua. The attack, carried out in the early morning, was the first guerilla operation of the 1960s. The Mexican government responded with repression, with the support of the CIA, during the so-called “Dirty War.” The assault was part of a resistance movement that had emerged in Chihuahua, the largest state in Mexico, against the exploitation of the pine woods. The movement was led by farmers, peasants, and professors of the UGOCM, who demanded economic justice, equality, and an end to exploitation and repression. The Vallina family, which had amassed large landholdings after taking land from the Tarahumara Indian tribes, led the drive to prosecute UGOCM leaders, with the support of the government. Professors Gámiz and Gómez, as well as other members of the organization, such as the brothers Salomón and Salvador Gaytán, had tried to negotiate, preparing the First Sierra Encounter in October 1963. They also called for a Second Encounter in February ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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