JANUARY 27, 1875


A Caxcan Indian from the state of Durango, she was an anarchist, feminist activist, typographer, and journalist.  In May 1901, she co-found a newspaper called Vésper in which she attacked the Catholic Church and President Porfiro Díaz for not caring for the needs of the people.  By 1903, Diaz had her newspaper confiscated and was jailed for three years.  When Diaz resigned in 1911, she went after his successors, Francisco Medero and Venustiano Carranza.  She had been a strong supporter of Carranza’s rival, Emilio Zapata and, by 1914, was a colonel in Zapata’s “Victoria” regiment, a military unit she organized from scratch and commanded.  She also became editor of La Reforma, a newspaper advocating liberation of Indian masses.  After another term in jail, she established El Desmonte in which she argued against trusting the leadership of political parties.  An uncompromising foe of injustice, she died forgotten by most of her compatriots in Mexico City on July 13, 1942.

Source:  “Gutiérrez de Mendoza, Juana Belén (1875–1942),” Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia, Encyclopedia.com.  Retrieved 6/6/2019, https://www.encyclopedia.com/women/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/gutierrez-de-mendoza-juana-belen-1875-1942
Photo:  Author unknown, circa 1920.   Possibly public domain in U.S.:  Pre 1/1/1925.  Likely also public domain elsewhere where copyright term is author’s life plus 70 years or less.  Also, possibly Fair use as only source for this photo, author is unknown, and the subject is deceased.

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