Week 5- Caudillo and the National Guard

Last week we discussed how important political representation.  This reminded me of why it is so important to vote and use your voice to elect the representation you want. When you don’t vote you don’t have the opportunity to be represented when decisions are being made that will directly affect your way of living.

Independence is not as it seemed for the Latin Americans.  Ultimately someone still has to make decisions and the inhabitants need to be willing to follow along or listen to the new ‘leader’ or governing party. Other issues that came after independence were the numerous wars.  They not only fought against their colonizers but also amongst themselves (Latin Americans). There were also racial, political, and social fighting.  They were also suppressing Indigenous and I am sure, although it is not explicitly stated, African Slaves, and mixed raced people too.  It’s also important to not that fighting, and war was not just happening within Latin America but also in Europe.

The idea of liberalism is great but in practice it fails has many times. Liberalism is the idea that everyone is equal under the law.  But Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) and Moslem know better.  These individuals are at a disadvantage because of race, colour, and/or religion.  There is much left to be desire where the rights of BIPOC and Moslems are concerned.

BIPOC: Look at what is happening in the US with the Black lives matter movement, it brought forth so many issues we have ignored in Canadians regarding the treatment and genocide of the Indigenous people.  Its important to acknowledge that Canada has swept a lot under rug, and we need to support BIPOC who fighting for justice.

Its crazy to think we still do not teach or educate each other on the realities of the discrimination that happened in the past and that continues to happen today.

The Caudillo system seems so favourable and yet it really only benefits those who know someone of higher status and those who are of higher status.  It is a system that allows the rich to stay rich.  Whereas the poor only get small favours that will not help them escape their status.  For those who did not know anyone of high enough status what happened to them? How did they make it by? Did they just have to endure all taxations and laws placed on them? How was this system good for them?

This is one of the images that comes up when you google search Caudillo, I thought it was interesting that this was the image that is conveyed as a Caudillo.  Almost as if they were royalty?

Finally, the one thing that has stuck out to me in the Caudillos Versus The Nation State readings is that The Illinois National Guardsman took General Antonio Lopez De Santa Anna left prosthetic leg as a form of victory or treasure.  General Antonio was the eleven-time Mexican president fighting in the war they called the North American Invasion.  Little was said about the importance of stealing this prosthetic, it was just mentioned that it served as a trophy like reward for the men who stole it and a show of how disrespectful the Guardsmen were towards the Mexicans.

I was also mentioned that when General Antonio lost is leg, he had a funeral for it. At first, I thought why, then I wondered if there was some sort of significance to burying your lost limbs.   I then learned that his political enemies dug up the grave and dragged this leg until, as the text describes, it disintegrates. Why is it that they (his political enemies) hated him so much?  What did this act symbolize? What message was it meant to send? Disrespect obviously.

Sarita 🙂

3 thoughts on “Week 5- Caudillo and the National Guard

  1. Simran Dhaliwal

    Hi Sarita!
    Thank you for sharing! I found your blog very interesting.
    I would say the idea of Liberalism is great on paper but very hard to achieve in the real world. Especially after colonial rule, implementing a liberal system would have not been realistic, so that’s why I think so many people preferred the caudillo system. On the top of Santa Ana, I was quite confused knowing he came to power eleven times but each ruling was worse than before.

    1. sarita ponce Post author

      HI Simran,
      Thanks for you thoughts. I agree after colonial rule it would have been difficult to see everyone as equals. Especially after the Casta paintings were made. These paintings were used to divide and classify each individuals worth based on their race/ racial mix. I think that the post colonial war was as far from implimanting a liberism system that you can be.

      Sarita 🙂

  2. Nitya Ramirez Machado

    Hi Sarita,
    Thanks for your interesting blog. I agree in the way that a genuine liberal system is easier said then done. As you pointed out, even here in Canada, there is a lot room for improvement. With the movement of Black Lives Matter taking presence in the United States, I was shocked to learn about the situations that Indigenous people currently face here in Canada, not to mention the path of reconciliation from the past. Though liberalism in full fails here, it must be getting something right, in comparison to Latin America countries. Why else would there be so many Latin Americans looking for refuge.


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