Ricardo Flores Magón, born on Mexican Independence Day, September 16, 1873, is considered the true precursor and Father of the Mexican Revolution. He dedicated his life to bringing an end to the brutal dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz and to liberating the oppressed Mexican people. In less than forty years Díaz decimated almost half of México’s indigenous population and peasantry. Ironically this tyrant who ruled Mexico with an iron fist had been a national hero in his younger years as a military officer leading the forces that finally threw out the French in 1867.
Beginning his life long struggle against tyranny while a teen in high school in Mexico City, Ricardo and his two brothers Jesus and Enrique, took to the streets joining mass student demonstrations against Diaz’s 2nd re-election. Continuing in the same vein, Magón formed an opposition party to the regime, the Mexican Liberal Party, and founded the newspaper, Regeneración (Regeneration) exposing violations of rights and calling for national unity against the despot. Sustaining repeated incarcerations at Belen, a spider and rat-infested prison, and enduring relentless persecution by the Mexican government, Ricardo and PLM members went into exile in the U.S. in 1903. Díaz used the federal courts to uphold a decree that promised to imprison anyone who would publish articles written by the Magón brothers.
Prospering economically beyond its wildest dreams due to its close relationship with Díaz, the U.S. government gladly teamed up with México and pursued, infiltrated, arrested and incarcerated Ricardo and the PLM members across three countries, shutting down their presses, confiscating their property, and ultimately framing them in court. Ricardo’s message of freedom printed in Regeneración’s liberating pages sparked the flames of revolution on both sides of the border, inspiring hope in the hearts of the desperate masses for a better world. Despite tremendous odds and opposition, and through tremendous self-sacrifice, Ricardo and the PLM members organized the first armed uprisings in Northern Mexico and Baja California in 1906 and 1908, anticipating the Revolution of 1910 which finally exploded shattering the horrific reign of Porfirio Díaz.
Agustin Lira and Patricia Wells present a story of the precursors of the Mexican Revolution of 1910 in song, narrative and theatrical dramatization. Lira and Wells are joined on the stage with Merlinda Espinosa, gifted singer and actor. The three alternate with music and narrate to frame the theatrical vignettes acted by: Espinosa (1st Characters), Willie Lopez (Ricardo Flores Magón), Lorenzo Olgin (Enrique Magón), Vicki Treviño (Margarita Magón – Madre), Christina Reyes (Maria Talavera Broussé), Ernesto Velasquez (the law in Mexico & U.S.), Luis & Xochitl Chavez (student protestors, villagers); technical crew: Jose Chavez visuals mgr., Elsa Castillo sound effects & prompter, Margaret Delgado business mgr., Guadalupe Olgin site mgr.
Funded by the Fresno Arts Council CEP grant, ACTA, Unitarian Universalist, Fresno Center for Non-Violence and contributions/donations.