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Violence, Coercion, and State-Making in Twentieth-Century MexicoThe Other Half of the Centaur$
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Wil G. Pansters

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780804781589

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804781589.001.0001

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The Rise of Gangsterism and Charrismo

The Rise of Gangsterism and Charrismo

Labor Violence and the Postrevolutionary Mexican State

(p.185) Chapter Eight The Rise of Gangsterism and Charrismo
Violence, Coercion, and State-Making in Twentieth-Century Mexico

Marcos Aguila

Jeffrey Bortz

Stanford University Press

This chapter focuses on labor violence in Mexico and examines some fundamental continuities and changes in the state between 1920 and 1960. In particular, it looks at two important episodes: the textile wars in the 1920s and the national railroad strikes in the 1940s and 1950s. These battles were linked to the workers' upheaval between 1910 and 1923 that overthrew the old labor regime. The CROM (Confederación Regional Obrera Mexicana), backed by the state, resorted to illegal strikes, assaults, and murders of rival union members, who retaliated in the same manner. State elites applied measures, both legal and extralegal, to subdue restless unions and impose a co-opted leadership (charrismo). This chapter also explores political and agrarian violence that struck the textile industry in Puebla and how the state employed violence in order to impose its control over unions affiliated with railroads. Finally, it shows how labor law has provided opportunities but also new constraints for trade unions.

Keywords:   violence, textile industry, strikes, trade unions, labor regime, charrismo, railroads, labor violence, Confederación Regional Obrera Mexica

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