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Mexico and the Masons, the Sandanistas and Somoza

Rotating Compass & Square

World Association of International Studies

Re: MEXICO and the Masons

Randy Black writes: Many of Mexico’s presidents were Freemasons, including Benito Juarez and Porfirio D az. Additionally, while recent presidents of Mexico have not been Masons, a number of the Grand Lodges are and, the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite are closely identified with the ruling party “Partido Revolucionario Institucional” (PRI). In past years the bottom line was that Mexican Masonry appeared in most cases to be irregular in comparison with American Masonry. Some even accused Mexican Masons of “never really understanding Freemasonry” and of “possessing Latin minds incapable of grasping Freemasonry”.

The first American Ambassador to Mexico was Joel Poinsett, for whom the Christmas Flower is named. In Mexico we don’t refer to the Christmas Flower as a Poinsettia because, among other things, Poinsett is regarded as a meddler in Mexican affairs. It was he who brought York Rite Masonry to Mexico, and Mexican historians think this is because he saw the York Lodges as a way to extend American influence, which may be true. But they overlook the fact that all his life he was an enthusiastic Royal Arch Mason and, it was natural that his enthusiasm led him to side with the Yorquinos or Yorkists… and probably not entirely because of politics. (according to Oscar J. Salinas E., Senior Grand Warden-York/Mexico 1999.) Poinsett was a Charleston aristocrat and inveterate traveler; he paid an initial visit to Mexico in the summer of 1822, when he met and formed an unfavorable opinion of the Emperor Iturbide and his Court. Poinsett received the Mexican appointment in 1825, one which had originally been offered to Andrew Jackson. This was at a time when the predominantly Protestant and democratic United States, was suspicious of a Catholic and aristocratic neighbor, wary of increasing British presence in Mexico, and alarmed about Mexican intentions in Cuba. I found this five year old WAIS post on the matter: Tim Brown comments; “I am also interested in what Paul Rich thinks of this, given his expertise. My primary focus is different, but I have often run across Masonic connections when investigating revolutionary movements from Mexico south. For example, in the earlier part of the century, 1918-28 or so, Nicaraguan rebel General Augusto Cesar Sandino was a Mason and received a great deal of support from lodges in the Veracruz region before his final return to Mexico. Among his reportedly Masonic supporters was Lazaro Cardenas, the father of Cuauhtemoc and then army commander in the Veracruz region. The Sandinista Front, the FSLN, was, of course, named after Sandino. Later, during the 1960s and 1970s, the third [not first as most believe] head of that Front, Carlos Fonseca Amador, was often protected by Masonic lodges during his clandestine travels, especially in southern Mexico. But then, the arch rival of both Sandino and the FSLN, Anastacio Somoza Garcia was also a Mason. So, go figure.”


Further Reading:

Freemasonry in Mexico