Caciquismo in post-revolutionary Mexico : the case of Gabriel Barrios Cabrera in the Sierra Norte de Puebla
This thesis focuses upon the cacicazgo of Gabriel Barrios Cabrera, in the Sierra Norte de Puebla, Mexico during the 1920s. It seeks to analysis the extent to which previously identified trends in post-revolutionary regional politics can be applied to this isolated mountainous region. Conclusions are based upon evidence obtained from national, state, municipal, and private archives in Mexico. In addition, a programme of oral history was conducted within the Sierra de Puebla. The study is divided into six main components, each representing a significant aspect of Barrios' cacicazgo. These comprise: local historical precedents of Indian leadership and co-operation with non-Indian politicians; the range of responsibilities and opportunities that Barrios enjoyed in his pivotal role as a federal military officer under Carrancista and Sonorense administrations; the nature of his grass-roots support, his use of cuerpos voluntarios and patronage of municipal officials; Barrios' political affiliations beyond the Sierra and his struggle for political supremacy within the Sierra; the nature and motives of the cacique's regional development initiatives, and an analysis of the contradiction of his apparent pro-campesino, yet anti-agrarian, stance; a case study of the district of Zacapoaxtla, which demonstrates the importance of local factionalism and portrays the practical application of the Barrios cacicazgo at the most local level. After identifying the causes of Barrios' fall from grace in 1930, the thesis concludes by arguing that caciquismo in the Sierra de Puebla was essentially different from models of regional power-broking found elsewhere in postrevolutionary Mexico. While similarities existed, Barrios' style of leadership displayed more of a consistency with local conditions and precedents than any broader ideological tendencies. Continued research at the local level is essential if we are to obtain a clearer understanding of the diversity of experiences endured by Mexicans in the aftermath of revolution.