|Died||2000 (aged 90)|
|Political party||National Synarchist Union|
|Religion||Roman Catholic Church|
Salvador Abascal (1910–2000) was a Mexican politician and leading exponent of Mexican synarchism. For a time the leader of the National Synarchist Union (UNS), Abascal represented the orthodox Catholic tendency within the movement.
Born in Morelia into a landowning family, Abascal was the fourth of eleven children. Partly educated at a seminary, Abascal was sympathetic to the Cristeros from an early age. Indeed his father was a member of the Popular Union, the Cristero party. As a result of these sympathies Abascal passed through a variety of Roman Catholic counterrevolutionary organisations during the 1930s.
He was a founder member of the UNS in 1937 and became an organiser in Michoacán, before taking full charge of the movement in 1940 when it was at its peak with 500,000 members. Accused of Nazism by opponents, he officially denounced the system, although he was noted for his anti-Semitism. He was also noted for his opposition to electoral politics and rejected any attempts to convert the UNS into a political party. Instead Abascal called for 'Catholic social order' as the antithesis to his twomost hated ideologies - Marxism and liberal democracy - both of which he felt were closely related. He also resisted attempts by Manuel Gómez Morín to fuse the UNS with the National Action Party in 1939 as a result of these convictions.
An unpopular figure with moderates, he was replaced as leader by Manuel Torres Bueno in 1941 and left to set up a sinarquista commune in Baja California. The colony, known as Maria Auxiliadora, was initially made up of some 86 families (450 people). It has been claimed that Abascal, who stated that he was inspired by God and Thomas Aquinas in his actions, was driven by Millenarianism in leading his followers into what was a hostile desert climate. However the scheme proved unsuccessful, and by 1944, Abascal had been expelled from the sinarquista movement for clashing with its leadership over the failure of the colonisation.
He returned in 1947 and became something of a grand old figure in the movement, even being considered as a potential candidate for the presidency in 1955 (although he declined the offer). Increasinlgy drawn towards integrism, he set up the publishing house Editorial la Tradition in the late 1970s to produce works on this subject, as well as his memoirs Mis Recuerdos.
- L. Bethell, The Cambridge History of Latin America, Cambridge University Press, 1995, p. 411
- J.W. Sherman, The Mexican right: the end of revolutionary reform, 1929-1940, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1997, p. 122
- Philip Rees, Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right Since 1890, 1990
- M.J. Ard, An eternal struggle: how the National Action Party transformed Mexican politics, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003, p. 43
- R. Bartra, Blood, ink, and culture: miseries and splendors of the post-Mexican condition, Duke University Press, 2002, p. 97
- Ard, An eternal struggle, p. 66
- J.H.L. Schlarman, Mexico - A Land of Volcanoes from Cortes to Aleman, Read Books, 2007, p. 620