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Benito Juarez

Mexican Politician & Hero

Because of his brilliant career as a student, he was named Alderman of the City of Oaxaca in 1932, Deputy Minister of the State Court and a year later, became a local deputy.

Over the following years, his political career rose steadily, occupying several positions including, Civil Judge, Secretary General of the Government and Attorney General of the Court of Justice among others, until finally, he became acting Governor of the State of Oaxaca in 1847.

During his tenure, he doubled the number of schools in the state, economically balanced state finances, carried out important public works such as local roads and reconstruction of the Government Palace, established schools (for training teachers), drafted geographical maps and drawings of Oaxaca City and founded the port of Huatulco to facilitate transportation of goods from the port of Acapulco.

After political problems with dictator Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, President of Mexico for the eleventh time, he was locked up in the San Juan de Ulua prison and later exiled to the island of Cuba, then transferred to New Orleans in the United States. There, he met many influential political figures (Ocampo, Mata, Arriaga and Montenegro) who had also suffered Santa Anna’s persecution and were deported, and with whom he planned to return to Mexico and win public power.

Thanks to the triumph of the Ayutla Revolution in which Juarez actively participated, he managed to overthrow dictator Santa Anna and returned to Mexico to continue his political career. In 1858, he was appointed President, becoming the first president of indigenous origin in a country ridden with inequalities and internal power struggles. The “Benefactor of the Fatherland and the Americas” as stated at the time of his death, passed several laws that removed the inordinate privileges enjoyed by the clergy and the military; both of whom ignored Juarez’s government and tried to have them revoked. For this reason, he was forced to move his government from state to states, in a sort of itinerant presidency, to avoid capture.

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