Red Shirts (Mexico)

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Red Shirts
Camisas Rojas
LeaderGovernor Tomás Garrido Canabal
Founded1931
Dissolved1935
HeadquartersTabasco, Mexico
IdeologyMarxism[1][2][3][4][5]
Leninism[6][7][8][9][10]
Communism
Anti-clericalism
Left-wing terrorism
Fascism (accused)[11]
Political positionFar-left
Colors  Black and   red
Party flag
Camisas Rojas flag.png

The Red Shirts (Spanish: Camisas Rojas) were a paramilitary organization, existing in the 1930s, founded by the atheist[12] and anti-Catholic anticlerical Governor of Tabasco, Mexico, Tomás Garrido Canabal, during his second term.[13] During the ongoing conflict over the anticlerical articles of the 1917 constitution, they systematically destroyed church buildings.[14] The group, created to carry out the governor's orders, takes its name from its uniform of red shirts, black pants, and black and red military caps. It consisted of men and women aged 15 to 30.[13]

History[edit]

Apart from religion, the Red Shirts also attacked other things they considered detrimental to progress, most notably alcohol. They have been described as "fascist";[15] however, the anthem of the Red Shirts was the Internationale, widely considered to be the socialist anthem, and Garrido named one of his sons after Vladimir Lenin, a Marxist[13] and also considered himself a Marxist Bolshevik.[16][17][18][19][20]

Some scholars have argued that Garrido's authoritarian policies were more akin to European right-wing dictatorships,[21] though he wished to turn the traditionally conservative state of Tabasco into a socialist model and fought for socialist causes.[22][23][24] Tabasco has been called a "socialist tyranny" by Martin C. Needler, Dean of the School of International Studies at the University of the Pacific in California.[25] Garrido also invited the First Congress of Socialist Students to meet in the state of Tabasco and created a form of socialist education which he termed "Rationalist".[26][27] The Red Shirts have been described as "shock troops of indoctrination for the intense campaign against 'God and religion.'"[28] The Red Shirts were also used against the Cristeros revolt, an uprising against the persecution of Catholics by the government of Plutarco Calles.[29] The Red Shirts practiced socialist marriages, and two Red Shirt members, José Correa and Victoria Ley, pronounced their own vows:

Before society, before Comrade Tomas Garrido Canabal, and all present, we declare that we have united in matrimony by our express will[30]

And another two members sent out invitations:

J. Felix Gutierrez and Amalia Gonzalez have the honor to invite you to the civil and socialist matrimonial act, to take place at 21 o' clock the 17th of this month at 305 Gomez Farias Street. Please honor us...[30]

In 1934 Garrido was named secretary of Agriculture by the new president Lázaro Cárdenas, hoping to contain the Red Shirts that way. However, Garrido took the Red Shirts with him to Mexico City at the National Autonomous University of Mexico to intervene in student politics.[13]

Attacks[edit]

On December 30, 1934, approximately sixty Red Shirts from Tabasco, who had been organizing anti-religious demonstrations including the questioning of God's existence, were involved in a confrontation outside of San Juan Bautista church in Mexico City that killed five Catholics who were shot,[31] and one red shirt was beaten to death by the crowd.[32] The Cardenas government later arrested 62 red shirts for involvement in the attack, along with three Catholics for the lynching of the red shirt.[33]

In 1935, after he ordered his Red Shirts to kill Catholic activists in Mexico City who were seeking to return to Tabasco, Garrido was forced to step down and into exile in Costa Rica.[28] His paramilitary groups, including the Camisas Rojas, were subsequently disbanded.[citation needed]

Media[edit]

The Red Shirts hunt for a priest from Concepción, Tabasco, in Graham Greene's 1940 novel The Power and the Glory.[34]

See also[edit]

General[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ World vision magazine, Volumes 10-11
  2. ^ National republic, Volumes 22-23
  3. ^ Buchenau, Jürgen. The Last Caudillo: Alvaro Obregn and the Mexican Revolution, Volume 12 of Viewpoints/Puntos de Vista: Themes and Interpretations in Latin American History. John Wiley & Sons, 2011. ISBN 1405199032
  4. ^ Bennett, Charles. Tinder in Tabasco: a study of church growth in tropical Mexico.Eerdmans, 1968 (Original from University of Texas).
  5. ^ Ard, Michael J. "An eternal struggle: how the National Action Party transformed Mexican politics". Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003. ISBN 0-275-97831-1
  6. ^ World vision magazine, Volumes 10-11
  7. ^ National republic, Volumes 22-23
  8. ^ Buchenau, Jürgen. The Last Caudillo: Alvaro Obregn and the Mexican Revolution, Volume 12 of Viewpoints/Puntos de Vista: Themes and Interpretations in Latin American History. John Wiley & Sons, 2011. ISBN 1405199032
  9. ^ Bennett, Charles. Tinder in Tabasco: a study of church growth in tropical Mexico.Eerdmans, 1968 (Original from University of Texas).
  10. ^ Ard, Michael J. "An eternal struggle: how the National Action Party transformed Mexican politics". Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003. ISBN 0-275-97831-1
  11. ^ Stan Ridgeway, "Monoculture, Monopoly, and the Mexican Revolution" Mexican Studies / Estudios Mexicanos 17.1 (Winter, 2001): 147.
  12. ^ Mexico 1910-1982: Reform Or Revolution?, Zed Press, 1983, p. 245, ISBN 9783700303398
  13. ^ a b c d Mabry, Donald J. Tomas Garrido Canabal Historical Text Archive (2001)
  14. ^ Kirshner, Alan M., A Setback to Tomas Garrido Canabal's Desire to Eliminate the Church in Mexico J. of Church and State (1971) 13 (3): 479-492.
  15. ^ Stan Ridgeway, "Monoculture, Monopoly, and the Mexican Revolution" Mexican Studies / Estudios Mexicanos 17.1 (Winter, 2001): 147.
  16. ^ World vision magazine, Volumes 10-11
  17. ^ National republic, Volumes 22-23
  18. ^ Buchenau, Jürgen. The Last Caudillo: Alvaro Obregn and the Mexican Revolution, Volume 12 of Viewpoints/Puntos de Vista: Themes and Interpretations in Latin American History. John Wiley & Sons, 2011. ISBN 1405199032
  19. ^ Bennett, Charles. Tinder in Tabasco: a study of church growth in tropical Mexico.Eerdmans, 1968 (Original from University of Texas).
  20. ^ Ard, Michael J. "An eternal struggle: how the National Action Party transformed Mexican politics". Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003. ISBN 0-275-97831-1
  21. ^ Austin, Ron. "Peregrino: A Pilgrim Journey Into Catholic Mexico". Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2010. ISBN 0-8028-6584-4
  22. ^ Baird, David. Cristensen, Shane. Delsol, Christine. Hepp, Joy. Frommer's Mexico 2011. Wiley, 2010. ISBN 0470614331
  23. ^ Beezley, William H. Meyer, Michael C. The Oxford History of Mexico. Oxford University Press, 2010. ISBN 0199731985
  24. ^ Walker, Ronald G. Infernal Paradise: Mexico and the Modern English Novel. University of California Press, 1978. ISBN 0520031970
  25. ^ Needler, Martin C. Mexican Politics: The Containment of Conflict. 3rd ed. Greenwood Publishing Group, 1995. ISBN 0275952517
  26. ^ Brown, Lyle C. Copper, William F. Religion in Latin American life and literature. University of Texas, 1980, p. 113. ISBN 0918954231 "Tomas Garrido, always proud of the success his atheist teachers had achieved and desirous of winning student support for his political ambitions, invited the First Congress of Socialist Students to meet in Tabasco.", " Tomas Garrido termed this education "Rationalist," which in reality was a forerunner of the socialist education amended into Article III of the Constitution in 1934."
  27. ^ Gonzalez, Michael J. The Mexican Revolution, 1910-1940. University of New Mexico Press, 2002. ISBN 082632780X
  28. ^ a b Krauze, Enrique "The Troubling Roots of Mexico's Lopez Obrador: Tropical Messiah", The New Republic, June 19, 2006.
  29. ^ The Calles Presidency, 1924-28 Country Studies, Mexico, U.S. Library of Congress
  30. ^ a b Parsons, Rev. Fr. Wilfrid. Mexican Martyrdom. Kessinger Publishing, 1936, pp. 238, 239, 241, 243.
  31. ^ Gema Kloppe-Santamaría (2020). In the Vortex of Violence: Lynching, Extralegal Justice, and the State in Post-Revolutionary Mexico. Univ of California Press. pp. 47–. ISBN 978-0-520-34403-7.
  32. ^ Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES (31 December 1934). "6 Killed, 30 Wounded in Mexico As Red Shirts Attack Catholics". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 February 2022.
  33. ^ "62 REDS ARE HELD IN MEXICAN KILLING". The New York Times. 1 January 1935. Retrieved 6 February 2022.
  34. ^ Greene, Graham (1940). The Power and the Glory. London: Penguin Books. p. 22. ISBN 9780140184990.

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