Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UCLA Electronic Theses and Dissertations bannerUCLA

Popular Opposition to the PRI: Navismo and State Repression in San Luis Potos�, 1958-1961


This thesis examines Navismo (1958-1961), an opposition movement to the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) to explore how authoritarianism in Mexico held force at the regional level. Through an analysis of Dr. Salvador Nava’s Direcci�n Federal de la Seguridad (DFS) security file, I argue that PRI’s response to Navismo reflects the complex measures that the regime took to predict, respond to and subdue conflict. In 1958, Nava launched and successfully won a campaign for Municipal President of the state’s capital, exposing the relationship between Gonzalo N. Santos’s cacical dominance and the party’s predominance. When Nava took office as Municipal President in 1959, the inner workings of the party’s patron-client structure to sustain its hegemony were revealed. In 1960, Nava resigned from his post to announce that he would compete as the PRI candidate for Governor, only to be denied the nomination. Nava continued to compete as an independent candidate, but when the party failed to co-opt Nava into its ranks, it turned to open violence to quell the movement. The study of Navismo demonstrates the contested nature of authoritarian rule in Mexico while underscoring the party’s elasticity in responding to the opposition to preserve its hegemony. Navismo expands our knowledge of the relationship between the PRI and popular groups, grassroots organizations and independent political actors while providing insight into the agency of individual actors under authoritarianism.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View