Ricardo Flores Magón

Many great Mexicans have lived in El Paso attracted by the warm hospitality of the border community. This is the case of Ricardo Flores Magón, who lived for several months in 1906 in a small apartment in the heart of El Segundo Barrio. This place was located a few blocks from where the Centro de los Trabajadores Agrícolas Fronterizos is now located. His brief stay in El Paso was enough to leave us his revolutionary example and his vision of a system free of oppression end exploitation.

The Magon Brothers.
Ricardo and Enrique Flores Magón, founders of the Mexican Liberal Party.

Ricardo Flores Magón was born in San Antonio Eloxochitlán, Oaxaca, in 1873, to a poor family. His parents were Teodoro Flores and Margarita Magón. He attended elementary and high school then went on to Law School in 1893. But he did not become an attorney, instead he became a journalist with "El Demócrata", an opposition newspaper. In 1900, along with his brother Jesús, he founded "Regeneración", a very radical and antigovernment paper that ended him in jail. After he was released from jail in 1902, he joined another opposition newspaper, "El Hijo del Ahuizóte." He was arrested again and in 1904, he was forced to escape to San Antonio, Texas, where he start to publish "Regeneración" again with the help of his brother Enrique. The persecution continues and they fled to St. Louis, Missouri in 1905, and continue publishing their newspaper. In this city, they founded the Mexican Liberal Party in 1906. 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, while Ricardo Flores Magón was sentenced to 20 years. 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 in 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.

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