A Lynching in 1968: Communism, Violence, and Religion in Mexico

Sunday, January 8, 2012: 12:00 PM
River North Room (Chicago Marriott Downtown)
Gema Santamaria, New School for Social Research
On September 14th of 1968, in the town of San Miguel Canoa in Puebla, Mexico, five university workers from the Universidad Autónoma de Pueblawere lynched by a vast number of neighbors from the community. According to the most recurrent version, the event was triggered by the belief that these workers were actually communist students whose presence represented a direct threat to the religious and social well being of the community. This paper seeks to answer: to what extent can we read these acts in the context of discourses regarding the “communist threat” to Mexico? In what sense does it resonate with a previous trajectory of state-Catholic Church/Catholics conflicts in Mexican history? Can we historicize this event beyond its immediate dimension?
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