Specters of Revolution: Peasant Guerrillas in the Cold War Mexican Countryside

Alexander Aviña, Assistant Professor of History at Florida State University, discusses his new book on peasant revolutionary movements and state terror against rural civilians in Mexico in the 1960s and 1970s on Friday, December 5, 2014, 1:00-3:00pm, in the Charles E. Merrill Lounge.

September 26, 2014

By , Coordinator, Politics of Forced Migration Research Cluster 

Specters of Revolution (Oxford University Press, 2014) chronicles the subaltern political history of peasant guerrilla movements that emerged in the Mexican state of Guerrero during the late 1960s.  Led by schoolteachers Genaro Vázquez and Lucio Cabañas, the National Revolutionary Civic Association and Party of the Poor organized popularly-backed revolutionary armed struggles that sought the overthrow of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).  Both guerrilla organizations materialized from a decades-long history of massacres and everyday forms of terror committed by local-regional political bosses and the Mexican federal government against citizen social movements that demanded the redemption of constitutional rights.  Professor Aviña shows how these revolutionary movements developed after years of exhausting legal, constitutional pathways of redress (focused on issues of economic justice and electoral rights) and surviving several state-directed massacres throughout the 1960s.  Ultimately, he argues that the peasant guerrillas represented only the final phase of a social process with roots in the unfulfilled promises of the 1910 Mexican Revolution and the dual capitalist modernization-political authoritarian program adopted by the PRI after 1940.

Alexander Aviña HeadshotAlexander Aviña, Assistant Professor of History at Florida State University, received his B.A. in History at Saint Mary's College of California (2002) and his Ph.D. in Latin American History at the University of Southern California (2009).  His specialization is modern Mexico, with an emphasis on rural social movements and politics, the Cold War, and peasant politics.

The Chicano Latino Research Center is proud to cosponsor this free, public event with the Latin American and Latino Studies Department, Merrill College, and Colleges 9 and 10.