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Sanjuanistas, a group of individuals gathered at the Hermitage of San Juan Bautista in Mérida, Yucatán, to discuss religious and social questions, particularly the conditions of Indian servitude. They were under the direction of the hermitage's chaplain, Father Vicente María Velázquez. The imperial crisis of 1808 turned their discussions to political issues. Avowed autonomists, the Sanjuanistas supported the liberal reforms introduced by the Cortes and were determined partisans of the Constitution of 1812. When the first printing press was brought to Mérida in 1813, the Sanjuanistas battled the rutineros, the partisans of absolutism, through newspapers and pamphlets.

The Sanjuanistas included Lorenzo de Zavala, José Matías Quintana—father of Andrés Quintana Roo—and Francisco Bates. When the constitutional system was abolished in 1814, the Sanjuanistas were persecuted and some of them were imprisoned. Zavala, Quintana, and Bates were sent to San Juan de Ulúa, where they remained imprisoned until 1817. Encouraged by Zavala, the former Sanjuanistas reorganized the society when the constitution was restored in 1820, and numerous Masons joined the new organization. The Junta de San Juan ultimately changed its name to the Confederación Patriótica, which managed to force the swearing in of the constitution once again, even though the authorities opposed it. Shortly afterward the group deposed both the governor and the captain-general of Yucatán.

See alsoZavala, Lorenzo de .


Ignacio Rubio Mañé, "Los sanjuanistas de Yucatán I. Manuel Jiménez Solís, el padre Justis," in Boletín del Archivo general de la nación, 2nd ser., 8, nos. 3-4 (1967): 1,211-1,234, 9, nos. 1-2 (1968): 193-243, and nos. 3-4 (1968): 401-508, 10, nos. 1-2 (1969): 127-252.

Virginia Guedea, "Las sociedades secretas durante el movimiento de independencia," in The Independence of Mexico and the Creation of the New Nation, edited by Jaime E. Rodríguez O. (1989), pp. 45-62.

Additional Bibliography

Antochiw, Michel. Los primeros años de la imprenta en Yucatán: El período colonial, 1813–1821. Mérida: Centro de Apoyo a la Investigación Histórica de Yucatán: Instituto de Cultura de Yucatán, 1994.

Rodríguez O, Jaime E. The Origins of Mexican National Politics, 1808–1847. Wilmington, DE: SR Books, 1997.

                                        Virginia Guedea