Felipe Carrillo Puerto

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Felipe Carrillo
Felipe Carrillo Puerto.JPG
Felipe Carrillo Puerto
Governor of Yucatán
In office
Preceded byManuel Berzunza
Succeeded byJuan Ricardez Broca
Personal details
Born(1874-11-08)November 8, 1874
Motul, Yucatán
DiedJanuary 3, 1924(1924-01-03) (aged 49)
Mérida, Yucatán
Cause of deathExecution by shooting
Political partySocialist Party of the Southeast
Spouse(s)Isabel Palma (wife);
Alma Reed (fiancée)
Professionnewspaper owner, El Heraldo (in Motul)

Felipe Carrillo Puerto (8 November 1874 – 3 January 1924) was a Mexican journalist, politician and revolutionary who became known for his efforts at reconciliation between the Yucatec Maya and the Mexican government after the Caste War. He was governor of the Mexican state of Yucatán from 1922 to 1924.[1]

Prerevolution and personal life[edit]

Carrillo Puerto was born in the town of Motul, Yucatán, 45 km northeast of Mérida, and was of partly indigenous Maya background; he was rumored to be a descendant of the Nachi Cocom dynasty of Mayapan. His parents were the merchant Justiniano Pasos Carrillo Puerto and his wife Adelaide Solis. He was one of fourteen children, thirteen of whom lived into adulthood. Although his family were Spanish speakers, he also grew up speaking Maya (Mayathan), the language of the neighborhood children.

He was a socialist who favored land reform, women's suffrage, and rights for the indigenous Maya people. As a teenager during the Caste War, he was briefly imprisoned for urging the Maya people to tear down a fence that had been built by the large landowners around lands in the community of Dzununcán to keep the Maya out.[2] He obtained work on the local railways (known as tramways), joined the railway workers union, and married Isabel Palma.[2]

Carrillo Puerto then began publishing and editing the El Heraldo de Motul, which was briefly closed down in 1907 by the authorities for insulting public officials.[3] In the Yucatán gubernatorial election of 1909, Carrillo Puerto supported the candidacy of the poet Delio Moreno Cantón in the three-way race against the Antirreeleccionista Party's (Maderista's) José María Pino Suárez, and the pro-Díaz Enrique Muñoz Arístegui. Arístegui was announced as the winner in what is generally considered to have been a fraudulent tally.[3][4] In 1910 he attended the Third Congress of the Associated Press of the States (Congreso de la Prensa Asociada de los Estados) in Mexico City and spearheaded a resolution to free the political prisoners being held at San Juan de Ulúa; a resolution that President Díaz acceded to.[3] In 1912, he went to work as a reporter and columnist for the periodical Revista de Mérida run by his friend and colleague Carlos R. Menéndez.

In 1923, he had a romance with a United States journalist, Alma Reed of San Francisco, California, which was commemorated in the song commissioned by him: "Peregrina", written by the poet Luis Rosado de la Vega and the composer Ricardo Palmerín.[3][5]

As governor[edit]

In February 1922 Felipe Carrillo Puerto took the oath of office and made his first speech as governor, and did so in the Maya language . He promised to respect and enforce the Federal Constitution, as well as the resolutions adopted by the Workers' Congress of Motul and Izamal.[2] During his 20 months as governor, Carrillo Puerto initiated land reform, confiscating large estates and returning land to the native Maya. He promoted new farming techniques, granted women political rights, began family planning programs, fought against alcoholism, and fought for the conservation and restoration of the pre-Columbian Maya archaeological sites. In the first year of his administration 417 public schools were opened.[3]

As governor he founded the Universidad Nacional del Sureste, now called the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán (UADY).[6][7]

Carrillo Puerto was not a supporter of the Adolfo de la Huerta rebellion against President Alvaro Obregon, and General Plutarco Elias Calles. As a result, he was captured by rebel army officers, tried by a military tribunal, and executed by a firing squad on 3 January 1924, along with three of his brothers, Wilfrido, Benjamin, and Edesio, and eight of their friends.[8]

Felipe Carrillo Puerto was called the "Red Dragon with the Eyes of Jade" ("El Dragón Rojo de los Ojos de Jade") by his enemies[9] and the "Apostle of the Bronze Race" ("Apóstol de la raza de bronce") by those who loved him.[2]


The movie Peregrina regarding his life was made in 1974 starring Antonio Aguilar.[10]

The towns of Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Quintana Roo (formerly Santa Cruz de Bravo), Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Michoacan and Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Oaxaca, were named in his honor.


  1. ^ Fallaw, B. (1998). Carrillo Puerto, Felipe. In M. Werner, M. Werner, & M. Werner (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Mexico: History, Society & Culture. London, United Kingdom: Routledge.
  2. ^ a b c d "Historia Biografía y Geografía de México: Felipe Carrillo Puerto" (in Spanish). Porrúa. Archived from the original on 22 January 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Felipe Carrillo Puerto" (in Spanish). Government of Mexico. Archived from the original on 5 May 2009.
  4. ^ Colell, Juan Duch, ed. (1998). "Arístegui, Enrique Muñoz". Yucatán en el Tiempo: Enciclopedia Alfabética (volume I) (in Spanish). Mérida, Yucatán: Inversiones Cares. ISBN 978-970-9071-04-7.
  5. ^ "Diario Mujer: Peregrina" (PDF). Diario de Colima (in Spanish). 13 February 2008. p. 3. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 December 2013.
  6. ^ de Hernández; Margarita P. (1977). Monografía de la Universidad de Yucatán (in Spanish). Mérida, Yucatán. OCLC 644379013.
  7. ^ "Reseña Histórica de la UADY: Diversas Etapas Históricas de la Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán: Universidad Nacional del Sureste" (in Spanish). Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán. n.d. Archived from the original on 12 December 2013.
  8. ^ "La Universidad de Felipe Carrillo Puerto fortalece Programas de Calidad, Trascendencia y Responsabilidad Social" (in Spanish). Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán. 3 January 2010. Archived from the original on 25 September 2013.
  9. ^ "Carrillo Puerto Felipe" (in Spanish). Memoria Política de México. Archived from the original on 17 May 2012.
  10. ^ Antonio Aguilar (I) on IMDb

Further reading[edit]

  • Reed, Alma M. (2007). Peregrina: Love and Death in Mexico. Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0-292-70239-4.
  • Carrillo, Antonio Bustillos; Rosado, Esteban Durán (1974). Felipe Carrillo Puerto: Los primeros congresos obreros de Yucatán (in Spanish). México, D.F.: Sociedad Mexicana de Geografía y Estadística. OCLC 45721983.
  • Macosay, Berenice Lacroix (1985). Felipe Carrillo Puerto. Colección Conciencia cívica nacional, #13. México, D.F.: Departamento del Distrito Federal de México. ISBN 978-968-816-048-0.
  • Sarkisyanz, Manuel (2003). Felipe Carrillo Puerto: Actuación y muerte del apóstol rojo de los mayas (in Spanish) (second ed.). México, D.F.: Mesa Directiva LVIII Legislatura H. Cámara de Diputados. ISBN 978-968-7181-94-3.
  • Oroso Díaz, Jaime (1983). Felipe Carrillo Puerto (in Spanish). Mérida, Yucatán: Maldonado. OCLC 11241897.
Preceded by
Manuel Berzunza
Governor of Yucatán
Succeeded by
Juan Ricardez Broca