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Camarilla, popular term to describe a political network in Mexico. Throughout much of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Mexican political leaders have relied on personal networks or contacts to achieve successful careers in public life. These groups, which are frequently known as camarillas, have been described as the cement of Mexican politics. Since the 1940s, the most important locus of camarilla formation has been at the universities, especially the National University, and within the federal bureaucracy. Generally, politicians use their influence as professors and public officials to promote the careers of their disciples and to expand personal ties vertically and horizontally throughout the public arena.

See alsoNational Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) .


Peter H. Smith, Labyrinths of Power (1979).

Roderic A. Camp, "Camarillas in Mexican Politics," in Mexican Studies 6 (1990): 85-107.

Additional Bibliography

Colosio Murrieta, Luis Donaldo, and Jaime González Graf. Colosio: Un candidato en la transición: Frente al México nuevo. México, D.F.: Grijalbo, 1994.

Muñoz Patraca, Víctor Manuel. Del autoritarismo a la democracia: Dos decenios de cambio político en México. México: Siglo Veintiuno, 2001.

                                   Roderic Ai Camp