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Benito Juárez

Photo: Ron Mader, Guelatao (Some rights reserved)

Mexico commemorates Benito Juárez with a federal holiday on the third Monday of March. His birthday is March 21. A Zapotec, Juárez is the only full-blooded Indigenous leader to serve as President of Mexico.

His name is used frequently throughout the country, from the state university Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez to Mexico City’s International Airport. Other towns named after the leader include Benito Juárez and Ixtlán de Juárez. So who is this illustrious leader?

Indigenous Roots
Benito Pablo Juárez García (March 21, 1806 – July 18, 1872) served two terms (1861-1863 and 1867-1872) as Mexico’s President and is regarded as one of Mexico’s most important leaders.

Born in 1806 in the village of Guelatao, Juárez was orphaned at age three. When he was 12, he moved to Oaxaca City for education.

He led the nation in a struggle against neocolonialism and French intervention and earned the title of ‘Benemérito de las Américas,’ or deserving of the Americas’ praise.

His most-cited quote is ‘El respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz‘ (Respect for the rights of others is peace).

Oaxaca City Tour
For those interested in the Benito Juárez tour in Oaxaca City, visit the following places:
Juarez Museum (childhood home)
Seminario (where he studied as a young man)
San Felipe Neri Church (where he married Margarita Maza)
Independencia and Tinoco y Palacios
Parque Alameda de Leon (where he planted two laurel trees)
Parque Juárez de Leon (where a monument is placed in his honor)
Monumento de Juárez (where a giant statue is placed in his honor)
Monumento a Brígida García (Benito’s mother)

Lincoln and Juárez
There are frequent comparisons between Juárez and U.S. President Lincoln. Lincoln lived between 1809-1865 and Juárez between 1806-1872.

Nacimiento = Birth 21 de marzo de 1806
Fallecimiento – Death 18 de julio de 1872 (66 años/years)

1806 Guelatao
1818 Independencia 1306
1819-1829 Casa Juarez
1834 becomes lawyer
20 de Noviembre y Independencia (now Zapateria)
New Orleans
Mexico City

Marcelino Juárez and Brígida García

Seminario de Santa Cruz
Escuela de Derecho y Ciencias Sociales

Cuando un hombre decide cumplir con su misión, debe aceptar el riesgo de ser bloqueado, criticado y envidiado por los mediocres que se sienten amenazados. (When a man decides to fulfill his mission, he must accept the risk of being blocked, criticized and envied by the mediocre people who feel threatened.)

Que el pueblo y el gobierno respeten los derechos de todos. Entre los individuos, como entre las naciones, el respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz. (The people and the government respect the rights of all. Among individuals as among nations, respect for the rights of others is peace.)

Juárez no debió de morir
¡Ay! De morir
si Juárez no hubiera muerto,
otro gallo cantaría,
la patria se salvaría.
México, sería feliz
sería feliz…

El respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz.
English – Respect for the rights of others is peace.
Deutsch – Die Achtung der Rechte anderer ist der Frieden.
Francais – Respecter les droits d’autrui est la paix.

Benito Juarez

Elsewhere on the Web
Lincoln’s Mexican Visitor
Juárez’s Birthday – Zedilloworld

Benito Juárez

People Named after Benito Juárez
Benito Mussolini

Places Names after Benito Juárez
El Paso Times: On March 14, 1888, Señor Lauro Carillo, acting governor of the state of Chihuahua, announced 17 improvements for the city of Paso del Norte. The first was to rename the city Juárez in honor of the late Mexican President Benito Juárez.


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Benito Juárez (English)
Benito Juárez (Spanish)
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