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Flores Magón, Ricardo (1874–1922)

Flores Magón, Ricardo (1874–1922)

Ricardo Flores Magón (b. 16 September 1874; d. 21 November 1922), Mexican journalist and revolutionary. Born in San Antonio Eloxochitlán, Oaxaca, Flores Magón was the second of three sons; his older brother, Jesús, was born in 1872, and his younger brother, Enrique, in 1877. In 1900 he founded the newspaper Regeneración to oppose the tyranny of the government of Porfirio Díaz. Flores Magón was arrested in May 1901 and Regeneración was suppressed soon after, closing in September 1901. He became a writer for Daniel Cabrera's El Hijo del Ahuizote until its demise early in 1903. Arrested again, Flores Magón was prohibited from publishing in Mexico. In January 1904 he and his brother Enrique entered the United States at Laredo, Texas, and went to San Antonio, where they renewed the publication of Regeneración. They settled in St. Louis, Missouri, between 1905 and 1906 to escape harassment from local legal authorities along the border and to join revolutionary and radical labor groups. Persecution—including activities of local spies, police seizure of the printing press, and imprisonment of local partisans of a revolutionary exile group Flores Magón had founded in St. Louis—eventually forced them to move to Los Angeles, where they established a new organ, Revolución. Arrested in August 1907, Flores Magón was tried in Arizona in 1909, sentenced to eighteen months in the Florence territorial prison, and released in August 1910.

When World War I began in 1914, Flores Magón, now an anarcho-Communist and pacifist, was a vociferous critic. Arrested on 22 March 1918 and charged with sedition, he was eventually found guilty of violating the Espionage Act of 1917. Sentenced to twenty-one years at McNeil Island, he was transferred in November 1919 to Leavenworth penitentiary because of failing health. On the morning of 21 November 1922, Flores Magón was found dead in Cell House B at Leavenworth. Although several radical scholars claim that he was murdered, the most likely explanation is that he died of natural causes, probably a heart attack.

See alsoJournalism; Revoltosos.


An excellent current biography of Flores Magón is Ward S. Albro, Always a Rebel: Ricardo Flores Magón and the Mexican Revolution (1992). For a general study of the magonistas see W. Dirk Raat, Revoltosos: Mexico's Rebels in the United States, 1903–1923 (1981).

Additional Bibliography

Flores Magón, Ricardo, and Fernando Zertuche Muñoz. Ricardo Flores Magón: El sueño alternativo. México, D.F.: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1995.

Maldonado Alvarado, Benjamín. La utopia de Ricardo Flores Magón: Revolución, anarquía y comunalidad India. Oaxaca: Universidad Autónoma "Benito Juarez" de Oaxaca, 1994.

                                                  W. Dirk Raat

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