Manuel Torres Bueno
A lawyer by profession, Torres Bueno abandoned his practice in December 1941 to take over as leader of the Union from Salvador Abascal, who had left to start a sinarquista colony in Baja California. As leader he sought to define the movement along more moderate lines than his predecessor. Continuing the themes of anti-communism and opposition to liberal democracy, Torres Bueno argued that fascism and Nazism were equally dangerous to the "Christian Order" that he sought to establish in Mexico. He saw this order, which he also called "Christian democracy" despite its differences from that concept, as being based on a plot of land for each family that had been afforded legal recognition. His comparatively moderate views, as well as Torres Bueno's desire to consider changing the Union into a political party, saw Abascal leave the movement altogether and he was soon joined by the brothers Jose and Alfonso Truebas Olivares, the movement's two leading ideologues.
Under his leadership the UNS fell into disarray and factionalism, even leading to a public fist fight between Torres Bueno and a rival for power, Carlos Athie, in front of the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. A ban was placed on the movement on 23 June 1944 which also ceased publication of their organ El Sinarquista and Torres Bueno attracted criticism for his lack of resistance to this law.
He lost power to Athie in early 1945 and soon broke away, heading up his own dissident splinter group. Later that same year he turned leadership of the faction over to his ally Gildardo González Sánchez. Despite having been replaced as leader Torres Bueno received a single write-in vote in the 1946 Presidential election. Torres Bueno was also involved in the creation of the Partido Fuerza Popular as a short-lived political arm of the sinarquista movement.
Although Torres Bueno would drift from politics, the split in the UNS remained in place and indeed has continued to date. The Torres Bueno faction fully politicised in the late 1970s as the Mexican Democratic Party, a group that is now defunct.
- John W. White, Our Good Neighbor Hurdle, Kessinger Publishing, 2005, p. 105
- Daniel Newcomer, Reconciling Modernity: Urban State Formation in 1940s León, Mexico, U of Nebraska Press, 2004, p. 91
- White, Our Good Neighbor Hurdle, p. 106
- Michael J. Ard, An Eternal Struggle: How the National Action Party Transformed Mexican Politics, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003, p. 44
- Newcomer, Reconciling Modernity, p. 147
- Newcomer, Reconciling Modernity, p. 105
- Stephen R. Niblo, Mexico in the 1940s: Modernity, Politics, and Corruption, Rowman & Littlefield, 2000, p. 140
- Newcomer, Reconciling Modernity, p. 145
- Dieter Nohlen (ed.), Elections in the Americas: A Data handbook Vol. 1, Oxford Univ. Press, 2005. p.472.