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Armed Revolutionary Organizations in Mexico Documents
MSS 0523  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Digital Content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Languages: English
    Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla 92093-0175
    Title: Armed Revolutionary Organizations in Mexico documents
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0523
    Physical Description: 0.2 Linear feet (9 microfilm reels and 3 folders in one document box)
    Date (inclusive): 1965-1998
    Abstract: A microfilm collection comprised of printed and manuscript materials created between 1965 and 1998 by twenty-two separate revolutionary groups in Mexico. The collection presents a wealth of primary material documenting the organization and activities of these twenty-two groups. It is particularly strong in ephemeral communiques and periodicals dating from the 1970s and 1980s. The microfilm was generated from a privately owned collection. A small but significant part of the collection is made up of preservation copies made by the Centro de Investigaciones Historicas de los Movimientos Armadas (Mexico, D.F.) However, a great portion of the printed materials are low quality photocopies, stencils, or mimeographs, which may make some frames on the microfilm more difficult to read. Each roll of microfilm corresponds to a box in the container list.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired 2000

    Preferred Citation

    Armed Revolutionary Organizations in Mexico Documents. MSS 523. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego Library.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Nine rolls of 35 mm microfilm containing documents and publications created between 1965 and 1998 by 22 armed revolutionary organizations in Mexico. All of the groups represented in the collection espoused a militarized brand of Marxism and advocated clandestine and guerrilla operations against the Mexican government and North American corporations. Several of the groups aimed at uniting the urban working classes with student groups and indigenous peoples.
    Each roll of microfilm corresponds to a box in the container list. Each folder description contains the frame count for the folder, but the frame count does not necessarily reflect the document count since some documents are small and photographed two to a frame.
    The collection contains a copious amount of material relating to student groups, specifically the Comite Comunista Estudiantil and Frente Estudiantil Revolucionario. Several documents issued by the Liga Comunista Espartaco within days of the Tlatelolco massacre of 1968 reflect Mexico's involvement in the radical student movement of the period. The student periodical 13 de Junio issued in the 1980s by the CCE documents the continuing efforts of radical student organizations in Mexico.
    In addition to the student periodicals, the collection includes runs of several other underground revolutionary newsletters. Among these is an extensive run of the Liga Comunista 23 de Septiembre's magazine Madera (1970s-1980s). Other periodicals represented include PROCUP's Proletario, EPR's Editorial del Pueblo and the LCE's Militar.
    The few books in the collection tend to focus on military tactics, especially weapons and explosive use, guerrilla warfare, and the like. There is also a manual on emergency medical techniques for use in the field.
    Series 1: Asociacion Civica Guerrerense (ACG)
    Founded in 1959, the ACG marks the beginning of the modern guerrilla movement in Mexico. Active through the mid-1960s, the ACG focused its activities in the Costa Chica, Costa Grande and Tierra Caliente regions of the state. Much of the group's program was aimed against the Abarca-Mirandista administration in the state and the PRI in general. Genaro Vazquez Rojas was a leader of the ACG. The group carried out a number of political kidnappings.
    Series 2: Asociacion Civica Nacional Revolucionaria (ACNR)
    The ACNR, founded in the 1960s by Genaro Vazquez Rojas, resulted from a fusion of several earlier groups, including the ACG. The group set forth a plan for a national revolutionary party to be led by a five-member Comando Central Nacional. Several of the documents contained in the collection relate to the ACNR's efforts toward the release of Vazquez during his imprisonment in the Carcel Municipal of Iguala Guerrero.
    Series 3: Comandos Armados del Pueblo (CAP)
    Founded in 1971 by two intellectuals, Jeronimo Martinez Diaz and Roque Reyes Garcia, who believed the solutions to Mexico's social and economic problems lay with armed revolution. The group probably developed as a direct consequence of the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre.
    Series 4: Comite Comunista Estudiantil (CCE)
    A radical student group active through most of the 1980s. The material, mostly issues of the newsletter "13 de Junio," focuses on clandestine operations and practical directions relating to gun use and military tactics. Also included are reports on revolutionary efforts throughout the world.
    Series 5: Consejo de Autodefensa del Pueblo--Guerrero (CAPGR)
    The CAPGR focused its efforts in Guerrero and was especially critical of the Abarca-Mirandista administration in that state. The CAPGR collaborated with other groups in Guerrero, such as the Central Campesina Independiente, in dealing with problems affecting capesinos in the state. Active during the mid- to late 1960s.
    Series 6: Ejercito Indigena Revolucionario Liberacion Nacional (EIRLN)
    The collection contains a single item relating to the EIRLN, a copy of a fax issued from "the mountains" of Oaxaca, dated April 1998.
    Series 7: Ejercito Popular Revolucionario (EPR)
    Active in the 1990s, the EPR, through its political arm, the Partido Democratico Popular Revolutionario (PDPR), called for reorganization of government, including a new constitution based on the needs of the Mexican people, and a better organized economy. Included in the collection is a manifesto of the EPR in an issue of El Insurgente, reflecting the group's status as an armed insurgent organization. A manual of basic military tactics issued for EPR use is also in the collection.
    Series 8: Ejercito Zapatista de Liberacion Nacional (EZLN)
    The EZLN is the most recent of the groups represented in this collection. Its charismatic spokesperson Subcommander Marcos was greatly influenced by earlier organizations such as the LC23S (particularly through Arturo Gamez), and the guerrilla leader Lucio Cabanas. In spite of world attention and a national agenda, the EZLN's primary focus has been on the issues affecting the poor of Chiapas, e.g. land reform, education, and true political representation. Unlike some of the early revolutionary groups based in Mexico City, the EZLN downplays ideological links to Marxist-Leninism, preferring to emphasize its historical roots in the Chiapas region. The group changed its name to Frente Zapatista de Liberacion Nacional (FZLN).
    Series 9: Federacion de Estudiantes Universitarios de Sinaloa (FEUS)
    This student group was important as a vehicle for the activities of the "enfermos de Sinaloa," a student based movement with origins in the transformation of the Sinaloan economy from a largely rural based community of small farmers to one dominated by new industries and agribusiness. This change occured in the mid-1960s through the 1970s, within an atmosphere of student strikes and general unrest at the University Autonoma Sinaloa (UAS).
    Series 10: Frente Estudiantil Revolucionario (FER)
    The efforts of this group seem to have been focused in Guadalajara. Hostilities between government and FER forces on 24 December 1973 in Guadalajara resulted in the death of leader Pedro Orozco Guzman. The FER was allied with the Liga Comunista 23 de Septiembre.
    Series 11: Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias (FAR)
    The FAR was founded on a straightforward Marxist platform and was active in the mid 1970s.
    Series 12:Fuerzas de Liberacion Nacional (FLN)
    The collection contains two minor items for this armed guerrilla group. One is a special extract of General A. Bayo's work on military tactics compiled especially for the FLN.
    Series 13: Fuerzas Revolucionarias Armadas del Pueblo (FRAP)
    This organization was active through the 1970s. The FRAP conducted several armed bank robberies in the state of Chihuahua in January 1972. In 1973 FRAP members kidnapped the American consul at Guadalajara, Terrance Leon Hardy, in order to secure the release of thirty political prisoners.
    Series 14: Guerra Popular (GPG)
    The GPG was active in the 1960s. It was greatly influenced by the writings and actions of Arturo Gamiz, a revolutionary leader killed in 1965 during an attack on a military barracks in Chihuahua.
    Series 15: Liga Comunista Espartaco (LCE)
    Active in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the LCE was vocal in the wake of the Tlatelolco massacre of student protesters. The LCE issued a periodical titled Militante which identifies the group's roots in student protests of the early 1960s and earlier Marxist workers organizations.
    Series 16: Liga Comunista 23 de Septiembre (LC23S)
    Founded by Ignacio Arturo Salas Obregon, this Marxist-Lenist group is named for the September 1965 attack on the Madera barracks in Chihuahua led by revolutionary leader and ex-school teacher Arturo Gamiz. The LC23S was primarily an urban movement. The group produced a periodical, Madera, throughout the 1970s and early 1980s. The collection includes extensive holdings of LC23S publications.
    Series 17: Movimiento de Accion Revolucionaria (MAR)
    This group was founded by a veteran of the LC23S, Manuel Gomez Garcia. The MAR (along with other groups such as FRAP, FAR and LC23S), had its origins in the response to the government repression of the student movement of 1968. Active during the late 1970s and early 1980s.
    Series 18: Movimiento Popular Revolucionario (MPR)
    The MPR set forth a five-point plan for a "Revolucion de Nueva Democracia" in Mexico, including confiscation of "imperialist" property, land redistribution, equality and independence for native peoples, and equality for women. Represented by a single item in the collection issued after 1992.
    Series 19: Partido de los Pobres (PDLP)
    The PDLP was primarily a rural movement based in the state of Guerrero. This group maintained a policy of respect for all religious traditions. Founded by Profesor Lucio Cabanas Barrientos in 1967 and active through the 1970s.
    Series 20: Partido Proletario Unido de America (PPUA)
    Though based in Mexico, the PPUA represents an effort at a pan American revolutionary movement. The collection includes a single document from the PPUA, issued after 1976.
    Series 21: Partido Revolucionario Obrero Clandestino Union del Pueblo (PROCUP)
    The PROCUP, active through the 1980s and 1990s, was closely allied with the PDLP. The collection includes extensive holdings of PROCUP publications, including many issues of the newsletter Proletario.
    Series 22: PROCESOS
    Various articles on the revolutionary process in Mexico.
    Series 23: Vanguardia Armada del Pueblo (VAP)
    The collection includes a single item from the VAP, a book dated 1976 on the origins of socialism and capitalism, the strategy of the armed revolutionary movement in Mexico, etc.

    Digital Content

    This collection has been digitized.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Communism -- Mexico -- History
    Insurgency -- Mexico -- History
    Guerrillas -- Mexico -- History
    Student movements -- Mexico -- History
    Radicalism -- Mexico -- History
    Mexico -- Politics and government -- 1988-
    Partido de los Pobres (Mexico)
    Liga Comunista 23 de Septiembre
    Liga Comunista Espartaco (Mexico)
    Comandos Revolucionarios del Pueblo (Mexico)
    Ejército Popular Revolucionario (Mexico)
    Asociación Cívica Guerrerense
    Asociación Cívica Nacional Revolucionaria (Mexico)
    Frente Estudiantil Revolucionario (Mexico)
    Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias (Mexico)
    Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (Mexico)
    Federación de Estudiantes Universitarios de Sinaloa