"The make him into something he wasn't."
Today, on the 200th anniversary of his birth, a national holiday, Mexico both honors and reconsiders Benito Juarez (Wikipedia: Eng
," the nation's first indigenous president, who served two
terms in the 1860s and 1870s. The capital city's airport
, a border city
of 1.1M, universities
, and streets and monuments in just
about every town are named
after Juarez, widely considered a national hero. Politicians left and right invoke his name, especially this year as Mexico prepares to elect a new president in July. For many in the Latin American left, he's a regional icon in the vein of Simon Bolivar and Ernesto "Che" Guevara; Havana unveiled a bust
(Span) of him last year. He's held up as a defender of the poor and the indigenous and an opponent to free trade. Today, however, some historians say
he was neither. For those who read Spanish, a leading Mexican (right-of-center) newspaper, El Universal
, also touches on the topic in "Juarez, a controversial icon."
posted by donpedro
on Mar 21, 2006 -