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Magonistas, painting Ricardo

Tierra y Libertad, painting


Ricardo Flores Magón, born in 1874, was the most important and influential anarchist in the Mexican revolutionary movement. He became active in the struggle against the dictator Porfirio Diaz at an early age. In 1901 he came to the forefront of the liberal movement, a reformist organisation opposed to the excesses of the regime and, as editor of the opposition newspapers, Regeneracion (founded by his brother) and El Hijo del Ahuizote he was imprisoned several times by the dictatorship.

Ricardo Flores Magon

Forced to take refuge in the U.S. in 1904 he continued the struggle against Diaz first from St. Louis and later from Los Angeles, in spite of continual persecution and imprisonment by the U.S. authorities at the instigation of the Mexican dictatorship In 1905 Magón founded the Partido Liberal Mexicano which organised two unsuccessful uprisings against Diaz in 1906 and 1908.

During his early years of exile he became acquainted with Emma Goldman, and it was partly through her he became an anarchist.

With the outbreak of the revolution of 1910, the revolution that he and the P.L.M., more than any other group or person, had paved the way for, Magón devoted the rest of his life to the anarchist cause. Through his influence large areas of land were expropriated by the peasants and worked in common by then under the banner of Tierra y Llbertad, the motto of the P.L.M., later to be adopted by Zapata. During the years of struggle Magón opposed and fought successive so called "revolutionary regimes," resisting both the old and new dictatorships with equal vigour.

In January of 1911, they directed the uprising of Baja California, and seized the towns of Mexicali and Tijuana. Francisco I. Madero, leader of the revolutionary movement against the Porfirio Díaz' dictatorship, attempted to bring the "Magonistas" to his side, but Ricardo Flores Magón, leader of the rebels, rejected him arguing that Madero was part of a "revolution of the rich."

A manifesto signed by Ricardo Flores Magón and Librado Rivera, addressed to all the anarchists of the world in 1918, was used by the North American government as a excuse to jail both. Librado was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Ricardo Flores Magón, imprisoned by the U.S. authorities in 1905, 1907, and 1912, was finally sentenced to 20 years under the espionage laws in 1918. He was sent to the prison at McNeil Island, in the State of Washington. He got very ill and was moved to the federal prison of Leavenworth, Kansas, where he died on November 22, 1922.

Ricardo wrote two revolutionary plays: "Tierra y Libertad" ("Land and Freedom") and Verdugos y Víctimas (Executioners and Victims), works of very intensive social criticism and impressive realism. He wrote many essays, fiction and reports.

See Land & Liberty, (Black Rose Books, 1977)


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This page created October 2005

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El horror a la revolución

The history of Mexico & its people includes a page on Flores Magon
& Anarchist Influences on the Mexican Revolution
See also Flores Magon collection at Anarchy Archives
In Espanol,
& also galeano/memoria.del.fuego/19221120.htm
In French, see l'éphéméride anarchiste,

Or visit

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