Vidaurri, Santiago (1808–1867)

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Vidaurri, Santiago (1808–1867)

Santiago Vidaurri (b. 25 July 1808; d. 8 July 1867), governor of the state of Nuevo León—Coahuila, Mexico (1855–1865). Born in Lampazos (Nuevo León) near the United States border, Vidaurri was one of the most outstanding leaders of northern Mexico. While secretary of the Nuevo León government in 1855, he rebelled against President Antonio López de Santa Anna and became one of the stalwarts of liberalism in the northeast. On 23 May 1855 he occupied Monterrey, the capital of Nuevo León. Two days later he revealed the Plan Restaurador de la Libertad (Plan for the Restoration of Freedom), which announced his support for the republican cause. On orders from the Northern Army, he took possession of Saltillo, the capital of Coahuila, on 23 July 1855. From then until his dismissal by President Benito Juárez, he governed both states, which he formally united on 19 February 1856. His military and political hegemony extended to Tamaulipas, where the border and maritime customhouses proved to be strategic. During his administration, he furnished customhouses on the Río Bravo, instituted the so-called Vidaurri tariff, and maintained strong liberal trade policies. This program won him the support of merchants from Monterrey, other areas of the northeast, and from Texas, and helped him amass substantial resources for supporting armed forces under his control, which he used to defend liberalism and maintain his own regional power.

The Vidaurri era, which coincided with the Civil War in the United States, laid the foundation for the future economic and industrial development of Monterrey. Vidaurri's autocratic behavior and harsh exploitation of the customhouses provoked a crisis with Juárez, which exploded in the beginning of 1864. In order to subdue Vidaurri, Juárez decreed the separation of Nuevo León and Coahuila on 16 February and imposed martial law. In March, Vidaurri abdicated and left the country. Some time later he joined the empire of Maximilian. He was named consejero (adviser), ministro de hacienda (chancellor of the exchequer), and commander of one of Maximilian's brigades. Vidaurri was captured in Mexico City when the French forces were defeated. Porfirio Díaz ordered his execution by firing squad.

See alsoDíaz, Porfirio; Nuevo Léon.


Israel Cavazos Garza, Diccionario biográfico de Nuevo León (1984).

Mario Cerutti, Economía de guerra y poder regional en el siglo XIX: Gastos militares, aduanas y commerciantes en años de Vidaurri (1855–1864) (1983).

Additional Bibliography

Berrueto Ramón, Federico. Tres vidas. Saltillo, Mexico: Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila, 2003.

Gálvez Medrano, Arturo. Santiago Vidaurri: Exaltación del regionalismo nuevoleonés. Monterrey, Mexico: Edición Facsimilar, 2000.

Gálvez Medrano, Arturo. Regionalismo y gobierno general: El caso de Nuevo León y Coahuila, 1855–1864. Monterrey, Mexico: Gobierno del Estado de Nuevo León, Secretaría General, AGENL, 1993.

Tyler, Ronnie C. Santiago Vidaurri y la confederación sureña. Monterrey, Mexico: AGENL, 2002.

                                      Mario Cerutti

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Vidaurri, Santiago (1808–1867)

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