Growing up Indio during the Mexican miracle: Childhood, race and the politics of memory

Timo Schaefer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This article explores the childhood of a Mexican Indigenous activist, Raúl Javier Gatica Bautista, who was born in 1963 in the Oaxacan market town of Tlaxiaco. Growing up in poor circumstances, Gatica would become a leader in the social movements that between the 1980s and early 2000s pushed Mexico toward gradual democratic reform. The article seeks to describe what it was like to grow up poor and Indigenous at a time (later dubbed the Mexican Miracle) of impressive social and economic advances. Paying special attention to the experience of racial abuse, the article also asks how Gatica's childhood came to inform his political militancy. While other historians have linked the phenomenon of political radicalism in twentieth-century Latin America to particular social conditions, or to the influence and adaptation of global ideologies, this article seeks the origins of Gatica's radicalism in the experience of a racialised childhood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-202
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Latin American Studies
Issue number2
Early online date23 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • childhood
  • indigenous
  • oral history
  • politics
  • social movements


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