Keep Trucha Por la Revolucion: Looking for Meaning in a Dead Revolution.

Tomas Marrufo
La Revolucion Mexicana
4 min readJul 24, 2021


Mexican Flag

Vicente Fox Quesada became president of Mexico on July 2, 2000. Quesada, was running for president under the Partido Accion Nacional, a group that opposed the rule of the party that had been in control of the country for almost three quarters of a century, the Partido Revolucionario Institucional. Gonzales discusses how historic the change in parties was for the country. “This shocking turn of events brought to an end a regime that had remained in power longer than the Soviet Communists or the Democratic Party in Chicago. The outcome reflects public discontent over decades of government corruption, scandal, economic mismanagment, and neglect of evolutionary principles” (Gonzales, p 261). While many were hopeful of the new regime for better or worse Fox turned out to be no more content for the status quo and no less corrupt than any of his PRI predecessors. Once again the Mexican people had traded one ineffectual leader for another that was wearing the veil of change. Fox, like almost ever single one of his predecessors since the reign of Profirio Diaz would trade any sort of legitimate reform for economic growth and stability.

Vicente Fox Former President of Mexico

I have a hard time determining if the Revolution has any sort of legs to it. Before this class I was of the assumption that the great revolution that I had heard of for my entire life was a successful example of a peoples willingness to rebel against the government. The sad truth I have come to see is that the revolution as an event was a startling failure. Numerous leaders stepped up to rule just to maintain the same polices that they had just finished rebelling over. By the tail end of the revolution almost every single major figure of the revolution was either dead or exiled to never return. The labor rights and land reform that first sparked the revolution were never truly obtained. Hundreds of thousands of Indigenous Mexicans were never given the rights they fought for. This failure was covered up by people and the government turning every aspect of the revolution into a glorious display of Mexican culture and tradition. I grew up hearing heroic stories of Pancho Villa and Zapata, but in the end they were both deeply flawed individuals who fell victims to the machinations of people who were slightly more politically inclined. The way I felt about the revolution was not uncommon, as Revueltas states, “a process of symbiosis had taken place. Revolution and nationality are consubstantial.” (Benjamin, 165).

Despite not accomplishing its goals the revolution is viewed as a milestone in Mexican culture. The revolution is not a part of the culture, it was the culture itself made manifest. As a Mexican-American I can understand this through the scope of two separate countries. America and Mexico have both built their legacies and cultures around their respective revolutions that it is almost impossible to separate the two and view them rationally. It is almost as if revolution invocess feelings that are stronger than evidence of any sort of meaningful policy development. (Ex-We won the revolution, racism or successful land reform be damned.)

The revolution’s affect on the minds and policies in Mexico was exacerbated by the government co-opting and manufacturing the images of the revolutions for their own purposes. Starting in the 1940s and carrying on until the 1960s the academic and intellectual world in Mexico began to fight back against he romanticized view of the revolution and its various negligible outcomes. Gonzales writes, “Not only was the permanent revolution, la Revolucion hecha gobierno, pronounced dead, but the historic revolution, la Revolution itself, was declared a fraud. Its unequivocal triumph, popular nature, continuity to past struggles (as its discontinuity with the Porfiriato) permanence through reform, and essential unity were all illusory” (Gonzalez, 158). We have seen this same kind of pushback in American history, especially in recent years.

It is because of this contemporary pushback of the issues that I have. trouble declaring the revolution completely dead. As an event it might have been a failure that did not produce much. But as a cultural aspect it serves as a touchstone that allows us to fight for what we think is right. In recent years we have seen protests throughout Mexico and Mexican America for rights and values that are today considered revolutionary. If anything has lived on from the turbulent times of revolutionary Mexico it is the will to see lasting change implemented. Benjamin writes, “Long after the PRI regimes are a distant memory La Revolucion will be honored in memory, myth, and history” (Benjamin, 165). I’ll keep the memory of the revolution in my heart, not the event but the cultures it has inspired. I’ll fight for what is right, even if it seems radical, and I will keep trucha for the revolucion to come.