Revolutionary Mexicanist Action
|Leader||Nicolás Rodríguez Carrasco|
|Founded||25 September 1933|
|Banned||February 27, 1936|
|Part of a series on|
The Revolutionary Mexicanist Action (Spanish: Acción Revolucionaria Mexicanista), better known as the Gold Shirts (Spanish: Camisas Doradas), is a Mexican fascist, anti-semitic, ultra-nationalist paramilitary organization that was most active in the 1930s. Many members of the paramilitary had been veterans of the Mexican Revolution under the command of Pancho Villa. Members were known as the Gold Shirts, reminiscent of Villa's elite soldiers who he referred to as "los dorados" (the goldens ones).
Operating under the motto of "Mexico for Mexicans", organization called for the expulsion of the Jews and Chinese from the country. The Gold Shirts advocated for the seizure of Chinese and Jewish owned businesses. The Gold Shirts also fiercely opposed labor movements and often clashed with members of the Mexican Communist Party.
The organization was financially supported by the Nazi Party of Nazi Germany, National Fascist Party of Italy, and Mexican industrialists such as Eugenio Garza Sada. The Gold Shirts also received political protection from Plutarco Elías Calles who vehemently opposed the Cárdenas government.
The group was founded by general Nicolás Rodríguez Carrasco in 1933 with the official title of Acción Revolucionaria Mexicana (Mexican Revolutionary Action). Carrasco, who had been a supporter of Pancho Villa until he deserted in 1918, named the group after the dorados, Villa's "golden" group of elite soldiers. Their uniform consisted of a gold shirt, black pants, a palm leaf hat or sombrero, and a tricolor badge. There was an affiliated women's auxiliary.
In 1935, the Mexican senate sought to ban the organization on account of its fascist beliefs. A few months later, Rodríguez was arrested for promoting "inter-labor conflicts" and deported to Texas in August 1936, from where he continued to lead the group until his death in 1940. They established a new center in Torréon after Rodríguez's expulsion. Gold Shirts toured the United States in 1937 and raised money from American supporters.
Their motto was "Mexico for the Mexicans," a racialized or ethnic group that excluded Mexicans of Jewish or Chinese descent, and those who held anti-fascist political views, supported trade unions, or were communists or socialists. Rodríguez claimed that blood tests carried out by ethnographers showed that Mexicans and Nordic peoples were racially equal. They were fiercely antisemitic and Sinophobic: they demanded the removal of citizenship from and immediate deportation of Jews and Chinese from Mexico, with all their businesses turned over to "Mexicans."
Although the dorados copied their style from the Blackshirts and Sturmabteilung, the anti-communism and authoritarianism of the former and the anti-Semitism of the latter, they nonetheless lacked the fascist mission, being essentially, according to Fascism expert Stanley Payne, counterrevolutionary and reactionary, and as such were more easily employed by the existing state. John W. Sherman, an expert in Mexican right-wing organizations, describes them as "fascist" and "fascist-inspired," for their nationalistic, racist, and pro-business beliefs and activities.
The Gold Shirts often violently clashed with supporters of the Mexican Communist Party and the Red Shirts, including a famous attack on a communist protest in 1935 in Mexico City. Three people died and over fifty were injured, including Rodríguez. They ransacked communist party offices on various occasions.
In 1936, one night the Gold Shirts raided Jewish businesses, destroying them and attacking their owners. The protests in response were immediate, highlighting those of the US embassy, the Mexican Communist Party and the International Red Aid. The general public described the event as a pogrom.
- Gojman de Backal, Alicia (December 1988). "La Acción Revolucionaria Mexicanista y el Fascismo en Mexico: los Dorados". Anuario de Historia de América Latina. 25 (1): 291–302. Retrieved 8 February 2022.
- Sherman, John W., The Mexican right: the end of revolutionary reform, 1929-1940, pp. 62-4, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1997
- Michaels, Albert L. (1966). "Fascism and Sinarquismo: Popular Nationalisms Against the Mexican Revolution". Journal of Church and State. 8 (2): 234–236. ISSN 0021-969X – via JSTOR.
- "MEXICAN SENATE ASKS A BAN ON GOLD SHIRTS; Charges the Group Is Wholly Fascist -- Army Is Urged to Protect Teachers". The New York Times. 1935-11-22. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-11-17.
- Associated Press (1940-08-12). "GEN. RODRIGUEZ, MEXICAN FASCIST; Leader of Gold Shirts, Exiled as Enemy by Cardenas in 1936, Dies in Juarez GOT HIS TITLE FROM VILLA Continued Activities Along the Border--Had 800,000 Ready to March on Capital". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-11-17.
- Sherman, John W. (1998). "Reassessing Cardenismo: The Mexican Right and the Failure of a Revolutionary Regime, 1934-1940". The Americas. 54 (3): 362–4. doi:10.2307/1008414. ISSN 0003-1615 – via JSTOR.
- Ojeda-Revah, Mario (2002). Mexico and the Spanish Republic, 1931-1939 (PDF) (PDF). London: London School of Economics. pp. 244–5.
- Stanley G. Payne, A History of Fascism 1914-1945, London, Routledge, 2001, p. 342