Mexico Working Group

The Nazas-Aguanaval Group: Radical Priests and Catholic Networks (VIRTUAL)


"The Nazas-Aguanaval Group: Radical Priests and Catholic Networks"

Jorge Puma
Kellogg Institute PhD Fellow, History

This chapter deals with the emergence of the Nazas-Aguanaval priest group in La Laguna in the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council and the 1968 Medellín Conference of CELAM. I argue that both reformism in the Church and the progressive push for a “preferential option for the poor” provided the space for an alliance between the progressive priests of the Nazas-Aguanaval group and the Maoist activists of Política Popular (People's Politics). At the same time, the radical tradition and economic conditions of La Laguna made it possible for the local left-wing activists to connect with transnational currents such as the Latin American priests' movements. Based on a broad array of sources – including oral histories, security archives, and documentation from Mexican and Latin American priests' organizations- this chapter brings together the regional history of protest within La Laguna, the historiography of the "global sixties," and the history of the progressive factions of the Catholic Church in Latin America. Finally, I argue that in order to understand the improbable alliance between priests, Maoists, and students, we need to move beyond the intellectual history of Liberation Theology and focus, instead, on the history of priests' movements.

The workshop will be bilingual in Spanish and English. Please register to attend. 

About the Mexico Working Group
The Mexico Working Group serves as a venue for resident and visiting faculty and graduate and undergraduate students to consider issues related to Mexico. With the goal of strengthening the presence of Mexico at Notre Dame, the group supports conferences, talks, cultural events, and academic discussions. The group also fosters academic and cultural exchanges to link the University with Mexico and Mexican Studies institutions and coordinates a biennial Undergraduate Research Conference focused on Mexican issues.
Chair: Jaime Pensado

Speakers / Related People
Jorge Ivan Puma Crespo

Jorge Puma, a Kellogg Institute PhD Fellow, holds a master's in international history and bachelor's in political science and international relations from the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE), and a bachelor of law from Universidad Pontificia de México. While pursuing a PhD in history at the University of Notre Dame, Jorge is supported by the Mexican Government’s Fulbright-García Robles grant...
Read More