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Monday, March 16, 2009

Benito Juarez

Benito Juarez Born in 1806 in San Pablo Guelatao, Oaxaca; during most of his childhood and only spoke Zapotec. He lived with his sister and studied at the Santa Cruz Seminary, the only secondary school in Oaxaca. He later studied Law at the Instituto de Ciencias y Artes; where he became a member of Oaxaca Town Council in 1831, and a local congressional representative in 1833. For some time, he worked as a lawyer, defending indigenous communities. After General Paredes Arrillaga was removed from the presidency, Juárez became a federal representative, and was responsible for approving the loan that Gómez Farías had requested from the Church (1847) to finance the war with the United States of America.

Benito Juarez served five terms as president of Mexico; resisting the French occupation, overthrowing the Empire, and restoring the Republic, as well as for his efforts to modernize the country, Juárez is often regarded as Mexico's greatest and most beloved leader. Juárez was recognized by the United States as a ruler in exile during the French-controlled Second Mexican Empire, and got their support in reclaiming Mexico under the Monroe Doctrine after the United States Civil War ended. Benito Juárez was the first Mexican leader who did not have a military background, and also the first full-blooded indigenous national to serve as President of Mexico and to lead a country in the Western Hemisphere in over 300 years.