Migration and New International Actors An Old Phenomenon Seen With New Eyes

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Migration and New International Actors:
An Old Phenomenon Seen With New Eyes
Edited by
Migration and New International Actors:
An Old Phenomenon Seen With New Eyes,
Edited by Maria Eugenia Cruset
This book first published 2012
Cambridge Scholars Publishing
12 Back Chapman Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 2XX, UK
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
Non-state Multi-level Diplomacy and the Basque Diaspora.......................5
Gloria Totoricagena
The Argentine Basque Diaspora: Origin, Role and Political
Cesar Arrondo
The Palestinian Community in South America:
The Diaspora that Was Not.......................................................................37
Ariel S. Gonzlez Levaggi
Arabs and Muslims in Mexico: Paradiplomacy or Informal Lobby?........51
Zidane Zeraoui
Galician in the Tropics: The History of Immigration in Brazil.................91
rica Sarmiento da Silva
Migration, Collective Organisation and Socio-Political Intervention:
Notes on the Role of the Galician Community in Argentine
in the Modernisation of Galicia (1900-1936)..........................................109
Ruy Faras
Armenian Diaspora and the Motherland: Convergences
and Divergencies in Dynamic and Complex Bonds................................131
Nlida Boulgourdjian-Toufeksian
Diplomacy and Diasporas: The Irish-Argentine Case.............................143
Maria Eugenia Cruset
Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland: The Role of Diaspora.....153
Maria Eugenia Cruset
migration, taking into account the practices migrants continue not only in
the destination countries but also with respect to the relations (familial,
cultural, economic, political and religious) that they maintain with their
place of origin. These studies show that there is a synergy, with common
Rodriguez Manzano, Irene. Las Migraciones en el contexto internacional. In:
Revista Espaola de Desarrollo y Cooperacin, N19, 2007, p.32 and 33.
objectives. For this we will study the Irish-American Diasporas modality
of action and degree of success in the signing of the Good Friday
Agreement (1998) which helped end the confrontations in Northern
With all these contributions we embrace a number of situations, both
historical and contemporary, which open the field to new studies from a
transnational perspective and help us to understand the problems of the
migrant in the context of globalization.
Amateur diplomats have gained significance, credibility and agency at
various levels in international relations, and the traditional inter-state
governmental order has a growing number of actors in todays multi-level
diplomacy. Central governments, non-central governments, and non-
governmental organizations intersect and interact in various ways in this
multi-stakeholder environment. Non-central government activities, such as
those in Diasporas, are parallel structures that attempt to accomplish via
other avenues what they cannot accomplish inside the existing hierarchical
structures of state-to-state relations and diplomacy. Contrary to the
arguments of different authors, this article argues that non-state actors are
not a threat to the state system, and have generally been involved with it,
and supported it. During the present phase of globalization, states are
reorganizing and restructuring their powers and responsibilities. Wolfram
F. Hanrieder has argued that it is not a new type of international politics
which is dissolving the traditional nation-state but a new nation-state
which is dissolving traditional international politics" (Hanrieder 1978:
147). He discussed the changes in diplomacy being access rather than
acquisition, presence rather than rule, penetration rather than possession.
The focus is no longer only on getting the attention of other states, but
now also on getting economic attention in commerce and recognition in
the media (Hanrieder 1978), and this serves the strategies of Diasporas
Todays diplomacy is a system of multi-level governmental and non-
governmental interactions, and the non-state actorsuch as the Catholic
Church or multinational corporationhas always been present in the
Westphalian system of international relations. They have been, and are,
powerful influences on the system. Diplomacy is not linear and has many
points of entry and manipulation, and finding the appropriate opening is
essential to gaining agency. Diasporas as non-state actors operate outside
Non-state Multi-level Diplomacy and the Basque Diaspora
the bounds of states and territoriality; they are multi-centric and are often
focused on identity politics as they search for the appropriate entry point in
international politics. Which entry points for influence are most likely to
be the most effective for Diasporas? Those in local politics, in central
government, or those in international institutions? Are NGOs likely to be
useful for gaining attention to Diaspora issues? How might academic
institutions be used? The United Nations and Amnesty International?
When analyzing the Basque Diaspora, a stateless Diaspora, we can
look at the characteristic forms of Basque Diaspora activity intended to
influence public policy, and then separate the attempts to influence mass
Gloria Totoricagena
established channels. Though infrequently, they have, for example,
targeted powerful individuals in central governments such as national
congressional Deputies in Argentina, United States Senators, Representatives
and state Governors, and well-known writers, artists, and business leaders.
Basques living in New York and on the U.S. east coast organized peaceful
rallies in front of the United Nations building in Manhattan in order to
draw attention to Spanish dictatorial abuses of human and civil rights, and
later from the Transition to democracy beginning in the late 1970s, to
continuing non-democratic policies and events in Spain.
When a Diasporas agenda conflicts with the host countrys politics,
Non-state Multi-level Diplomacy and the Basque Diaspora
immigrants to the newly independent American countries, with heavy
flows to Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina and
Uruguay. Basques also sought their luck in the 19th century gold-rushes in
Australia and the western United States; and with the railroad connecting
the east and west coasts, they could
now cross the ocean by water to New
York, and then cross the continent by land in order to get to the
opportunities of the American westa much cheaper, faster and safer
travel route than going the long way round by sea.
Basque associationism in the Diaspora communities emerged with
their immigration in the New World. Founded in 1612 in Lima, Peru was
the Ilustre Hermandad de Nuestra Seora de Aranzazu de la Nacin
Vascongada, whose first statutes are dated 1635. Basques in Mexico
followed with the founding, in 1681, of the Hermandad or Cofradia de
Nuestra Seora de Aranzazu de Mxico; and in Madrid, Basques who had
left the Basque territories for central Spain established the Real
Congregacion de Naturales y Oriundos de las Tres Provincias Vascongadas
in 1715. In Mexico again, the Colegio de las Vizcainas was initiated in
1732. The membership and participation in the Real Sociedad Bascongada
de los Amigos del Pas spread throughout the Americas by the mid-18th
century. By the second half of the 19th century, Basque hotels and
boarding-houses were being established in Argentina and the United
States, and Basque cultural associations were being founded in South
America by the immigrant and first generation born in the new host
country. The setting up of communication between boarding-houses
helped immigrants find employment and social networks in other
geographical settings. They formed socorros mutuos, or mutual benefit
Gloria Totoricagena
During these centuries, migrants maintained contact with their Basque
families and homeland churches, and established commercial and business
See Totoricagena 2007, and Castro and Ugalde 2004.
Non-state Multi-level Diplomacy and the Basque Diaspora
Gloria Totoricagena
There have not been any known
quid pro quo
programmes involving
government grant funds, nor any particular pushes by employees in the
Directorate to register Diaspora Basques to vote for the governing party,
nor to campaign to those already with double citizenship and qualified to
vote in homeland elections.
. There is no specific Diaspora representation
in the Basque Parliament, as there is for other Diasporas in their
homelands, such as in Armenia, or in Croatiawhich reserves 12 out of
127 votes in her national parliament for winners of Diaspora elections.
Law of Relations with the Basque Communities
in the Exterior: Public Law 8/1994
The single most influential piece of Basque parliamentary legislation
related to homeland-Diaspora relations has been the passage of Public Law
8 in 1994, the Law of Relations with the Basque Communities in the
Exterior, Ley 8/1994. Ley 8/1994, was passed by the Basque parliament of
Euskadi in May 1994, establishing a qualitative change in the relations
between the institutions of the homeland and those of the Basque
communities abroad. It was described by parliamentarians as being a
means of repaying our historic debt to Basques overseas (Sainz de la
Maza speech 1994: 14). President Jos Antonio Ardanza also described
the law as a starting point that would mark a new direction in relations
In Euskadi and in Nafarroa, political parties do not actively campaign for the
parliament outside of their respective autonomous communities b
ecause the
Basque Diaspora vote does not make an electoral difference. It simply is not yet
large enough in numbers. This differs from the autonomous community of Galicia,
where in each election since the 1990s, the vote of those resident abroad has made
the difference for the winning Presidential candidate.
Non-state Multi-level Diplomacy and the Basque Diaspora
early 2011, another planned office in Boise, Idaho.
Ley 8/1994 provides for a registry of Basque centres that are officially
recognized by the Basque Autonomous Government, and it establishes the
requirements for members of those centres to also register with the Basque
Government and be recognized for possible benefits for individual
persons. Organizations must prove that they comply with the requirements
of democratic organizational structures, and the associations must request
their own recognition and follow the procedures to obtain it.They must
have a valid constitution filed with the judicial system of their host
country, and their organizational objectives must include the maintenance
of Basque culture and ties with the Basque Country, its people, history,
language, and culture.Each centre is required to collect the names,
birthplaces, ancestral town names, languages spoken, and citizenships held
by its members.
Public Law 8/1994 grants to the individual members of
Basque institutions that are registered with the Basque government various
material benefits including, among other things, the eligibility to attend
universities in the Basque Country, receipt of senior citizens pensions,
qualification for public housing in Euskadi (only the three territories
Araba, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa), and being able to apply for grants for the
Diaspora communitys projects.
Once a Basque centre is officially recognized by the government in
Euskadi, it is qualified to receive grants and subsidies for projects and
programmes. The law specifically mentions support for the operating costs
of centres, maintenance of the infrastructure of their buildings, the
promotion of activities and programmes related to the homeland, and
economic assistance for especially needy members (Article 8, section 3).
The statutory benefits specifically given to registered Basque Diaspora
organizations in Ley 8/1994 include:
A) Access to information of a public nature, with a social, cultural, or
economic content; B) The right to participation in different forms of
expression of Basque homeland social, cultural, and economic life that
contribute to the external Diaspora projection of such; C) Treatment
identical to that of homeland associations; D) The right to ask the Basque
Autonomous Community to participate in activities organized by a
Diaspora centre to promote Basque culture; E) Centre participation in
programmes, missions, and delegations organized by Basque homeland
Because of numerous complaints first from the United States Basques and later
from others regarding rights to privacy and their not trusting the Spanish
government and the possibility of this info
rmation falling in to the hands of right-
wing Spanish parties or governments, this requirement has been relaxed and is
often overlooked.
Gloria Totoricagena
institutions in the centres territorial area; F) The right to request and
receive advice on social, economic, or labour matters in the Basque
Country; G) The right to a supply of material designed to facilitate the
transmission of knowledge of Basque history, culture, language, and social
reality; H) Collaboration in activities of communication centred on the
There are Basque centres which are newly established which have not registered
with the Basque Government, or have requested registration and have not yet
received their acceptance, or were registered in the past but have since dissolved as
an organization.
Non-state Multi-level Diplomacy and the Basque Diaspora
legal residence in Spain was in Euskadi, and provided they retain their
Spanish nationality [citizenship].
The law does not distinguish among specific host country influences
used in their Basque Diaspora identity maintenance in regards to content
or processes. For example, as mentioned above, the Basques in Argentina
are accustomed to, and are knowledg
eable regarding discussions of,
homeland partisan politics, while Basques in Australia or the United States
much prefer cultural activities.
English being the language of later
generation Basques living in those Anglo-colonized countries, and their
consequent probable inability to follow homeland news in Basque, French
or Spanish, is only one factor in the differences amongst these Basques.
Defining Basque homeland institutions also becomes complicated when
taking into consideration that there are actually three different political
administrations dividing the cultural Basque Country: Euskadi is one
autonomous community in Spain, Navarre is another, and Iparralde is
included in the French department of Pyrnes-Atlantiques. As there is no
Basque state, to which political administration would Diaspora individuals
and institutions give their loyalty? Euskadi? Navarre? Pyrnes-
Atlantiques? Like the Basque homeland, the Basque Diaspora is
heterogeneous and de-centralized.
Identity and Mobilization
How does the Basque Diaspora effectively mobilize and generate
domestic and international sympathizers and constituencies? What resources
can and do they use? What are the issue contents of their political
activities? The positive social status linked to Basqueness, has been
significant in South American cultures where colonizers and independence
movement elites surnames were often Basque, and in communities with
high numbers of Basque immigrants. In Australia and the United States,
perhaps in small communities with high numbers of Basques, Basque
identity is recognized and appreci
ated; otherwise there is general
ignorance about the Basque Country and its people in those two countries.
Basques use their reputations as honest, trustworthy, frugal and
entrepreneurial in order to gain access to host country politicians and
In my 1995-2000 fieldwork in United States, Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, Australia
and Belgium, anonymous questionnaire data from nearly 900 participants
demonstrated that Basques in Argentina were significantly more interested in, and
knowledgeable about, current politics in the homeland including details about the
different political parties. There are Diaspora branches of three Basque political
parties in Argentina, though not in the other countries.
Gloria Totoricagena
opinion leaders in order to draw attention to non-democratic policies in
Spain. They also ask for recognition and attention to the endangered
Basque language and Basque culture.
Though Basque in South American and several North American
communities generally enjoyed either an unknown, neutral, or a positive
connotation related to Basque immigrants reputation until the 1970s,
violence from Euskadi ta Askatasuna, or Basque Homeland and Liberty
(ETA), negatively affected that positive reputation, and Basque in media
reports was now tied to political troubles in Spain. In order for influential
Basques living outside of the homeland to engage in promoting Basque
issues in their own host communities, they had to address the negative
news associated with political conflict in the Basque territories. The fact
that Basques have had a positive status in their communities for so long is
beneficial to lobbying efforts. Activists might consider that lobbying their
governments to open their doors to the non-state Basque Government and
its programmes and projects does not mean that they have to close their
doors to Spain. An approach of either/or might be against their host
countrys existing policy and interest with Spain, and therefore self-
defeating for the Basques. Diasporas are more successful if they use
human and civil rights issues for entry into the international political scene
and media attention, and not themes of nationalism, rights to self-
determination or political violence, which are much more complex and
require time and attention to understand.
During the 1930s-1990s Basque homeland and Basque Diaspora
international political mobilization tended to highlight issues of self-
determination, Spanish central government abuses of civil rights and
human rights of Basque political prisoners, and the need for the Spanish
central government to follow through with the negotiated hand over of
powers to the Basque Autonomous Communitys government. Civil rights
questions regarding the closing of Basque language newspapers and the
prohibiting of specific Basque nationalist political parties followed in the
new millennium. Basque Diaspora initiatives extending these issues to the
international scene and specifically to their own respective host country
media and opinion leaders were sporadic, generally not coordinated, and
usually came from individuals and not the Basque centres as institutions.
Non-state Multi-level Diplomacy and the Basque Diaspora
Basque Government itself has taken
the approach that deeds are more
powerful than words. Their campaign to elites and decision makers has
focused on the economic miracle of the Basque Country and its
conversion from an industrial to a service sector knowledge economy,
See Totoricagena III World Congress of Basque Collectivities Inaugural
Address 2003.
The Office of Relations with Basque Collectivities initiated a series of research
publications titled
Urazandi: Basques Across the Seas
, 22-volume collection that
describes and investigates Basque identity in the Americas, Australia, and Europe.
Gloria Totoricagena
state have devolved or been assumed by other non-central government
actors or even outsourced to private businesses. The typical diplomat,
formerly an educated professional who was sent to represent a
interests, might now be an individual who represents an NGO, a business,
or a specific Diasporas ideology; or a lobbyist.
Since the 1970s, the
political initiatives coming from the United States
toward relations with the Basque Country have arisen mainly from
individuals in the States of Idaho, California, Nevada and New York. U.S.
Non-state Multi-level Diplomacy and the Basque Diaspora
and to establish a relationship with the United Nations rather than to lobby
at the host countrys central government executive branch. During the
administration of Lehendakari Jos Antonio Ardanza Garro (1985-1999)
there were quite energetic Basque efforts to lobby the United Nations,
using intimate contacts of U.S. Basques within the Mexican Delegation.
The fact that Basques have no state creates disequilibrium in power and
prestige, yet opens doors for numerous states to be influenced from within
by their Diaspora immigrant communities.
The organizational structure of the Basque Diaspora is of general
global de-centralization and state-by-state organization. There are
federations of Basque Centres which co-ordinate activities and efforts in
Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela and North America (United States and
Canada), mainly because of the large numbers of centres in each country.
Internationally, though there are leaders in each country who do know
each other, and regularly communicate with each other, there is no
established centralized organism used to streamline programmes or to
create a specific Basque Diaspora policy: not even the Basque government
itself attempts to do this with its
Diaspora communities. When a Diaspora
is well organized, with central organizations, it is easier for the host
country to follow and engage with what their communities and individuals
in the Diaspora are doing. There is additional consistency and efficiency to
identity politics based simply on scale, and the one-size-fits-all approach is
sometimes easier politically. In some cases it is more beneficial to not
have central or hierarchical organizations of the Diaspora, and to
Gloria Totoricagena
there is no Basque state, to which political administration would Diaspora
individuals and institutions give their loyalty? Euskadi? Navarre? Pyrnes-
What points of entry for influence are available to Diaspora politics?
Local level, state level, international level and all the combinations with
branches within governments, individual non-governmental actors and
NGOs are open opportunities. Actors must also question themselves as to
which is more likely to directly affect a successful outcome from Diaspora
intervention; the number of people involved and supporting the issue, or
the status and influence of the specific people who participate in the
network? Quality or quantity, or does it depend on the particular issue
and/or host country culture and political environment?
In Canada over the last few years, a very positive attitude toward the
use of Diaspora organizations in establishing better relationsespecially
economic relations with some of the countries from which they comehas
developed. The Prime Minister of Canada has visited China, Russia and
Ukraine with delegations of people who come from the Canadian Diaspora
organizations of those countries, and used them because of their special
knowledge of the homeland and language and also because of their cultural
ties. Diplomacy now clearly includes the influence and participation of
citizen diplomats and amateur diplomat
s, as in the above example. The
Westphalian system has demonstrated the inability of the state system to
promote a peaceful globe. The state system has also been unsuccessful in
creating a global reality of social justice, human rights, and economic and
environmental sustainability. Perhaps the democratization of diplomacy,
together with todays easier access to
information and telecommunications,
will influence the continuing development needed for ongoing democratic
Non-state Multi-level Diplomacy and the Basque Diaspora
Brinkerhoff, Jennifer. 2009.
Digital Diasporas: Identity and Transnational
. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Cooper, Andrew F., Brian Hocking, and William Maley. 2008.
Governance and Diplomacy: Worlds Apart
? New York: Palmgrave
Crawford, Michael, and Jami Miscik. 2010.
The Rise of Mezzanine
. In,
Foreign Affairs
. Special Issue, The World Ahead. Vol.
89, Num. 6. November/December. Pp. 123-132. New York.
Croce, Mariano, Daniele Archibugi, and Seyla Benhabib. 2010. 28.
Toward a Converging Cosmopolitan Project?
OpenDemocracy: Free
Thinking for the World
. London: OpenDemocracy Ltd. January 2010.
Gloria Totoricagena
. Gloria Totoricagena, Editor. Reno: Center for Basque
Totoricagena, Gloria. Forthcoming.
Transnational Relations Concept-
ualization and Practice: Histor
y, Comparisons
and Possi
Bilbao: Fundazioa Basques 2.0.
The Basque
Even though their origin is uncertain, some studies say that the Basque
people are submerged into prehistory and that thirty-five thousand years
ago they were settled on both sides of the Pyrenees. The Basque called
themselves Euskaldunak, speakers of Euskera, or Basque language. In
spite of the fact that linguists and philologists have been speculating for
Professor at La Plata University (Argentina)
William A Douglass, Jon Bilbao and Roma
n Basurto Larranaga, Los vascos en
el Nuevo mundo, University of Nevada, Publications Service of the University of
the Basque Country, 1986, 3536.
Ibid., 37.
The Argentine Basque Diaspora: Origin, Role and Political Participation
7,000 BC. That they strive for a singular personality is not exclusive of the
learned Basque people. The industrial workers of Bilbao, the countrymen
of the mountains, or the fishermen of a coastal village share this same
The Basque or Euskal Herria people cover an area of 20,664 km
Ibid., 38.
Cesar Arrondo 25
stated that expulsion to other lands is the punishment of the people who
have abandoned the right path and denied the old laws (Cohen 1996,
The concept of diaspora has latterly been transformed into a
positive concept of scattered groups with connotations of multiculturalism
and transnationalism as a result of globalisation.
This term has been associated with the Hebrew tradition, though, in
fact, it has a Greek origin, meaning to sow extensively. The Greek
normally used the expression with positive connotations to describe
military expansion, colonisation and immigration. As a contrast, the notion
Ibid., 2.
Gloria Totoricaguena Egurola,
La identidad Vasca Diasprica Contempornea
Center for Basque Studies, University of Nevada, Reno, 2005, 2.
Ibid., 3.
The Argentine Basque Diaspora: Origin, Role and Political Participation
Government of the CAV, more precisely of the Direction of Relationships
with Foreign Basque Centres. In this sense, to give a legal frame to the
relationship, on May 27, 1994 the Basque Parliament approved the 8/1994
Law of Relationship with the Communities and Foreign Basque Centres of
the Autonomous Communities of the Basque Country. The norm was
promulgated by the Lehendakari Ardanza on June 7, 1994.
At present, according to the information from the Registry of Basque
Centres and Institutions Abroad dated May 2010, the World Diaspora is
formed by: 5 federations and about 173 Basque institutions distributed in
the following way:
Germany 1 USA 37
Andorra 1 France 3
Argentina 79 Japan 1
Australia 3 Italy 1
Brazil 2 Mexico 3
Canada 2 Paraguay 1
Chile 4 Peru 2
China 1 United Kingdom 1
Colombia 2 Dominican
Cuba 1 Uruguay 9
El Salvador 1 Venezuela 3
Spain 10
The Argentine-Basque Diaspora
The formation of what we today call Basque diaspora has been the
product of successive immigration waves throughout the whole world and
particularly towards Argentina. In this sense, we can distinguish three
Basque immigration stages to Argentina:
(1)Non-institutionalised immigration. This took place from the
formation of the Viceroyship of the Rio de La Plata up to the National
Organisation. During this period we find Basque immigrants arriving
in these lands as merchants, seamen, and shepherds This last activity
was developed mostly in the Province of Buenos Aires since 1853
when there was a commercial phenomenon, the wool trade, because
Basque Government, Relationship of the Communities and Basque Centers Law
in the Autonomous Community of the Basque country, 1994, 9.
Cesar Arrondo 27
Cesar Arrondo and Maria Elena Angione,
Los Vascos en la Ciudad de La Plata
organizacin institucional y actividad social, 2004, 2324.
The Argentine Basque Diaspora: Origin, Role and Political Participation
where the organised Basque collective developed its activity, whose
role was to preserve or divulge the culture and principles of the Basque
The organised Argentine Basque collective has its origin in the foundation
of the present Basque Centre Laurak Bat of Buenos Aires in the nineteenth
century. We can broadly identify three stages in the organisation of the
Argentine Basque community:
(1)The first stage covers the foundation of the Laurak Bat in Buenos
Aires at the end of the nineteenth century to the 1930s. An example of
that period is the foundation, among others, of the Basque centres
Laurak Bat in Buenos Aires, Necochea, Rosario, Iparralde and the
present Basque Union in Bahia Blanca, where the members, at the time
of the foundation, were almost exclusively native Basques.
(2)A second wave has as its main cause the end of the Spanish Civil
War. As a consequence of that last immigration, the Basque Centres in
La Plata, Mar del Plata, Lomas de Zamora, Pehuajo and Tandil were
founded, among others. These centres have as their main goal the
preservation of culture, before the prohibition of some cultural
manifestations in Euskalherria.
(3)A third stage runs from 1980 to the present day where, mainly in
the cities in the interior of the country, Basque centres begin to appear
FEVA, Present Statute of the Basque Federation in Argentina, 1.
Cesar Arrondo 29
Third Article
a)The Federation will try to establish the best harmony among
affiliates, it will endeavour to obtain the union of all the Basques and
Argentine Basque forces and it will contribute in the most effective
way to the best knowledge of Euskadi (Araba, Benabarra, Bizkaia,
Gipuzcoa, Lapurdi, Navarra and Zuberoa) in the Argentine Republic
and to exalt and defend the unprescriptible rights of the Basque and
Argentine people keeping institutional relationships with the
governments of the Historical Territories and Intercontinental Basque
Mikel Rodriguez, Basque Spies,
Editorial, Euskal Herria, 2004,
The Argentine Basque Diaspora: Origin, Role and Political Participation
new scene emerged called bipolar world, where, under the authority of
the United States and the USSR, the nations of the world were aligned
behind each. In this sense, the USSR formed an important block with its
presence in the centre and south of Europe, Asia and Africa. This situation
brought about the beginning of the Cold War, during which those
nations confronted one another through conflict in other countries, such as
Cesar Arrondo,
La Nacin Vasca ayer y Hoy
, 13.
Ibid., 14.
Cesar Arrondo 31
the committee were fruitful and even though Argentina had closed
immigration, President Ortiz sign
ed a Decree which would make it
possible for the Basques in Iparralde to come to Argentina with the
documents they had, or simply, with no documents at all.
In spite of repeated pressures and complaints imposed by the Spanish
Ambassador, the Decree was enforced in 1940 until the arrival to power of
Peronism in 1946. Those Basque countrymen arrived in the country with
only the guarantee of the members of the Pro-Basque Immigration
Committee which attested to their honesty, and also that they were
working people. Finally, the diaspora maintained its political role, not only
for the facts already mentioned but also because it acted, since the end of
the Spanish Civil war and up to Francos death, as the first moral and
economic support of the culture and the Basque National Cause in
moments of extreme seriousness for the future of the Basque Nation.
Another important reference of the cultural political role of the
Ibid., 14.
Ibid., 15.
The Argentine Basque Diaspora: Origin, Role and Political Participation
Blanca, Mar del Plata and Rosario. In recent decades, other representations
of Basque adherent policy have settled their bases in the country. In that
sense, the Albertzale Left has a group of militants while Eusko
Alkartasuna is organised with two headquarters, one in the city of Buenos
FEVA, Statute, 1.
Cesar Arrondo 33
we speak of politics? The statute will therefore have to be modified. Even
more, in the last Basque World Congress, one of the workshops was given
by members of the three diasporas of nations without state that are states
today, i.e. Israel, Ireland and Armenia.
It is to be imagined that their
presence was a comment to the Basques on what the roles of these
diasporas were when they were nations without state attempting to obtain
Basque World Congress, Gasteiz, 2003.
The Argentine Basque Diaspora: Origin, Role and Political Participation
To make this possible, a plan has to be designed which departs from
Euskal Herria. To that purpose, the unity of the arbertzal forces is
necessary which must arrive at minimum agreements and then, add that
task to the diaspora where work has already been done, as support to
members of parliament, deputies and personalities of culture and sciences,
sovereignty lies in the internationalisation of the conflict and, in that sense,
the Basque diaspora is going to fulfil a fundamental role.
Final reflections
The Argentine Basque diaspora forms half the current total of world
diaspora, and is in healthy and full expansion, at least as certified by the
affiliation applications which constantly come into the FEVA. We know
the general role the diaspora, and the Argentine diaspora in particular, had
Cesar Arrondo 35
diaspora will have to be elaborated and the Basque centres and their
leaders will be responsible for the adap
Maybe we will be able to find countries that can contribute in kind. Chile,
Argentina, etc (i.e. give land).
The Palestinian Papers
The disruption suffered by the Arab people of historical Palestine after
the Independence War of Israel (19481949) generated a great
dispersion of a people that began to assume a double identity: Arab and
Palestinian. Even though the Palestinian gentile was not the immediate
auto-referential denomination, its social and economic life developed in
the territories mentioned in the quote above, and territorial identification
tied the inhabitants to historical Palestine. Around 1947, the Palestinian,
non-Jewish population, that is to say, the sum of Muslims (around 1.1
million) and Christians (more than to 150,000) was almost twice that of
the Jewish population (around 650,000), a doubling of the population in
the territories since the 1922 Census.
Owing to the consequences of the first Arab-Israeli war, an important
part of the Arab population of Palestine (711,000 according to United
Nations data) was obliged to leave or was voluntarily re-located and
included in the registers of Palestinian refugees. Nowadays, three quarters
of the Palestinian people find themselves in a situation of displacement,
with more than half of them outside the boundaries of their historical home

Licentiate in International Relations (UAK), Master in Political Science and
Sociology (FLACSO, in course), Coordinator of the Middle East of the Argentine
Centre of International Studies / Centro Argentino de Estudios Internacionales
Rice: Send Palestinian Refugees to South America, CBS News, January 24,
According to projections from the data of the 1932 census of the British Mandate:
A Survey of Palestine: I, 141.
The Palestinian Community in South America
(Rempel 2007). Lebanon, Trans-Jordan, Egypt and Syria were the original
destinations of the refugees who now number 4.8 million, of which 1.4
million are registered in fifty-eight refugee camps along the Palestine
territories Jordan, Syria and Lebanon (UNRWA 2010).
One of the less studied aspects of this problem is the migration of Arab
inhabitants in the Palestinian territories before and after the Nakba,
South America. In the first period, from the end of the nineteenth Century
to 1948, there is a process of progressive migration, whereas after the first
Arab-Israeli War, the moving of the Palestinian population changes into a
diaspora of a regional (and secondarily global) character.
Even if, in recent years, there is a progressive advance of studies on
Arab migrations in Latin America, in general (Akmir 2009; Klich 2006)
the Palestinian migration/diaspora to South America has been studied only
In Israels triumphant War of Independence (which Palestinians characterize as
, their catastr
ophe), Israeli gains expanded the territory ceded it by the
original 1947 UN Partition Resolution by almost one-third, widening its
cartographic waistline, evicting 750,000 of the 850,000 or so Arabs living within
enlarged Israel in order to ensure a Jewish majority (Lentin 2008, 17).
Lic. Ariel S. Gonzlez Levaggi 39
comprehensive method of social analysis has had a central place in social
sciences since it allows the explanation of the sense and motivation of the
individuals as well as the social phenomenon that they create (Weber
A novel contribution within the Weberian comprehensive tradition is
Juan Recces plasticity theory. Plasticity is the capacity of adaptable
change conditioned by the contingencies which have preceded it. Such
conditioning comes about from the symbolic and material realities that
have been objectivised along the history of social life (violence, scarcity
and utility) (Recce 2010, 1819). Reality is built by man through a
combination of material and symbolic factors which operate, condition and
modify everyday life. The symbolic, materialistic man, builder of symbols
and manager of material reality as well as social institutions are
constituently plastic realities (Recce 2010, 13).
Migration is a social and historical phenomenon based on the
translation of the human being to a different geographical space from their
own, which has allowed for the expansion of boundaries and the inhabitation
of most of the Earth. However, migrations or forced demographic movements
of pre-modernity were limited by the rudimentary means of transport, the
inability to control nature, and the slowness of communications. With the
eruption of modernity, its internal processes made an impact on migrations
of a traditional order in the rhythm of change, the environment of change,
on the social institutions with the strengthening of the nation state, the
industrial production, the commercialisation of products, and the dislocation
The Palestinian Community in South America
individuals from their native land, connecting them with other territories.
The actors of this process move to other nations owing to two motivations
rooted in human anthropology: the search for security, or material well-
being. In terms of the theory of international relations, the agents seek to
ensure their own survival (defensive realism) or to increase the benefits in
a long period (liberalism). However, these actors are conditioned and
transformed by the structures that surround them.
Even though structural reality is built and conditioned by the subject, two
dimensions applied to the problematics of
migrations in general can be identified:
identitarian (political, economical and sociocultural) and extra-identitarian.
Lic. Ariel S. Gonzlez Levaggi 41
b. Migrations and Diasporas
The displacement of persons from a ge
ographical place to another may
be caused, from the point of view of individuals, by two reasons: violence
and scarcity of resources. The search for welfare or security pushes the
individual to leave their homeland and seek new horizons, and migration
contain two processes: (a) immigration, defined as the movement of
The Palestinian Community in South America
a common history, the transmission of a common cultural and
religious heritage and the belief in a common fate
Lic. Ariel S. Gonzlez Levaggi 43
2. Arab and Palestinian migrations in South America
Demographic movements (migrations and diasporas) developed since
the birth of industrial modernity from the end of the eighteenth century to
1989 are inserted inside a centre-periphery model in which the main poles
of power settle their disagreement
in the world of geopolitics and
ideological Frontiers (Recce 2010, 55), whereas the non European world
lives under imperialist, military and/or economic pressure of the great
In the Middle Eastern zone, in general, and Palestine in particular, we
can identify three historical stages which correlate with the migratory
currents towards South America:
The Ottoman Period (1876 ascent of Sultan Abdul Hamid II to the
throne of the Ottoman Empire to 1914). This stage is characterised by
the dominion of the Ottoman Empire in the region, with a
patrimonialist tradition increasingly challenged by European potencies.
Period of boom in Arab migration to South America.
The Colonial Period (19181945). After the fall of the Ottoman
Empire the responsibility shifts to the British Empire and France
through the system of mandates of the League of Nations. Decreasing
Arab migration to the South American region.
The Post Colonial Period (19451989). In the frame of a
progressive post-colonisation there is a recovery of the autonomy and
independence of the Arab nations even though one of them, Palestine,
The Palestinian Community in South America
The studies on Arab migration in South America and Latin America have
generally centered on the migratory process, the strategies of communal
insertion, demographic characteristics of migrants, the spaces of labour
insertion, intra- and inter-ethnic labour relations, the assimilation
processes and the local distribution of migration (Dimant 2010; Klich
Lic. Ariel S. Gonzlez Levaggi 45
As most immigrants arrived in the time of the Ottoman Empire, they
were taken as Turks (Klich 1996), generating confusion on the identity of
The Palestinian Community in South America
Christian, especially from villages such as Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Beit
The main historical motives by which they modified their natural
habitat were the escape from the Ottoman Empire and especially military
service, since being Christian they had some limits to professional growth
and suffered ill-treatment. Added to this were the pressures of the constant
economic crisis, the political and administrative instability of the Ottoman
Empire, the Palestinian crisis after the Balfour Declaration, the creation of
the State of Israel and the
, the Six Day War, and finally the
intifadas at the end of the 1980s and beginning of the twenty-first Century
(Rashed 2006).
The Palestinian diaspora, suffered after the
, can be catalogued,
Some of the institutions that foster th
e participation on Palestine in the national
debate are: Palestinian Federation of Chile, General Union of Palestinian Students
of Chile (UGEP Chile), Asociation of Youths for Palestine AJPP, Argentine
Association of Solidarity with Palestin
e (AARSOPAL), and the Palestinian Centre
of Rosario, among others.
Lic. Ariel S. Gonzlez Levaggi 47
community in the country is in the city of Rosario. Presently, there are not
be more than seventy Palestinian families living in Argentina compared to
the Jewish colony of 500,000 inhabitants (Rashed 2006, 9).
Table 3.3. Percentage of immigrants
by nationalities in Argentina
(18911926) (De Luca 2006, 16).
Period Spanish Italians Frenc1h Russians Turks Others
20.31% 65.66% 3.95% 2.69% 1.79% 5.60%
36.99% 45.63% 1.96% 4.22% 3.78% 7.43%
48.89% 28.83% 2.09% 4.71% 4.87% 10.61%
27.51% 40.92% 1.21% 3.47% 1.89% 25.12%
Chile has received the greatest Palestinian population. In 1941, the
Personal Census of Arab speakers in Chile included in the Social Guide
of the Arab Colony in Chile estimated 6,590 as the number of
Palestinians in Chile (Mattar 1941, 378). 81% of the Arabs who arrived
The Palestinian Community in South America
Akmir, Abdeluahed. Introduccin. In
Los rabes en Amrica Latina:
historia de una emigracin
, edited by Akmir, Abdeluahed. Siglo XXI.
Baeza, Cecilia. Les identits politiques lpreuve de la mobilit. Le cas
des Palestiniens dAmrique latine,
Raisons politiques
21 (1) (2006):
Cohen, Robin.
Global Diasporas: An introduction
. London and New
York: Routledge, 2008.
De Luca, Julin. La inmigracin sirio-libanesa en la Argentina,
Seminario Permanente de Migraciones - Instituto de Investigaciones
Gino Germani
(UBA). (2006),
Dimant, Mauricio. Los inmigrantes de Medio Oriente en las zonas de
frontera en conflicto en Amrica Latina. El caso de la Patagonia,
Argentina-Chile, 1900-1945.
2010 Congress of the Latin American
Studies Association
, October 69, 2010.
Lic. Ariel S. Gonzlez Levaggi 49
Rashed, Sundus Nasser. La emigracin de los palestinos a Amrica
Latina con especial atencin en la emigracin a Chile,
Sprachen - Fachhochschule Kln
, 2006.
Recce, Juan.
Poder Plstico: El Hombre Simblico-Materialista y la
Poltica Internacional
. Instituto de Publicaciones Navales, 2010.
Rempel, Terry. Quines son los refugiados palestinos?
Migraciones Forzadas
(27) (2007) 57.
Revueltas, Andrea. Modernidad y Mundialidad,
Estudios de Filosofa-
(23) (1990), Instituto Tecnolgico Autnomo de
Schultz, Lindholm & Juliane Hammer.
The Palestinian Diaspora:
Formation of Identities and Politics of Homeland
. London: Routledge
Press, 2003.
UNRWA. UNRWA in Figures June 2010,
United Nations Relief and
Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
, 2010.
Weber, Max. "Sobre algunas categoras de la sociologa comprensiva" in
Ensayos sobre metodologa sociolgica
. Amorrortu, 1978.
Analyzing Arab and Muslim communiti
es in Mexico, and in particular
their ties with the Middle East, entails several problems. First, most Arabs
in Mexico are Syrian-Lebanese and
predominantly Catholic or more
precisely Maronite,
making them closer to the national Catholic community
than to the political problems of the Middle East. In addition, their
concerns have been more cultural than political, in contrast to the Jewish
community that has been more active in support for the Jewish migration
to Palestine first, and the interests of the State of Israel later.
Furthermore, the Islamic national community is made up by a large
number of converts in addition to Muslims of origin. They are more
involved in national problems than changes in the Middle East. And their
bonds to the main Islamic centers are due either to economic needs
(financial support) or to nostalgic relations (as in the case of Torreons
Shiite Muslims).
This makes the Arab and Islamic participation in Mexican foreign
policy more difficult to apprehend. On the one hand, there are no formal
lobbies to protect their members interests and, to the extent that many
Muslims are converts, they have no foreign country of origin. Their
actions are focused on national issues rather than interests further afield.

Professor and researcher at the Monterrey Institute of Technology, director of the
Research Chair on Regionalization and New International Actors, and author of
several books about Arab immigration such as:
rabes y musulmanes en Europa.
Historia y procesos migratorios
, (San Jos: Universidad de Costa Rica, 2006);
Arab Immigration in Mexico in the Ni
neteenth and Twentieth Centuries.
Assimilation and Arab Heritage
, (Austin: Augustine Press, 2003);
Islam y poltica.
Los procesos polticos
rabes contemporneos,
(Mexico: Trillas, 2008); and
en Amrica latina
, (Mexico: Limusa, 2010).
Maronites represent around 20% of the Lebanese population, but in Mexico they
cover 60% of the Arab community. See Zeraoui,
Arab immigratio
Arabs and Muslims in Mexico: Paradiplomacy or Informal Lobby?
These particular characteristics of both communities explain the
limited literature on this topic. This chapter is aimed at analysing the
concepts of paradiplomacy and lobby as well as their role in national
communities. We then focus our attention to the Arab and Muslim
communities themselves.
1. Paradiplomacy and Lobby
In an increasingly globalised world, the traditional nation-state has
gradually lost its presence and power, giving up part of its sovereignty and
privileges. Cities and regions, as well as sub-national groups, have more
autonomy and activity on the international stage, consolidating economic,
cultural and political relations with other sub-national entities. According
to Bell, the nation-state is too small for big things and too big for small
Bell quoted by Juregui Bereciartu, Gurutz.
Los Nacionalismos
Minoritarios y la
Unin Europea: utopa o ucrona?
, (Madrid: Ariel, 1997).
Arts, B., Noortmann, M., Reinalda, B.
Non-State Actors in International Relations
(Aldershot: Ashgate, 2001).
Zidane Zeraoui
Paradiplomacy is not new, but since a decade, it seems to be popular to
open offices abroad, to get involved with international organizations or to
be present in conferences without a break. This activity has produced
results such as the introduction of the EU concept of
in the IV Lom Convention (with the ACP countriesAfrica,
the Caribbean, and the Pacific), which allowed organizations beyond the
central government to use resources addressed by the (European)
Commission for cooperation.
Arabs and Muslims in Mexico: Paradiplomacy or Informal Lobby?
the Belgian delegation at the World Trade Organization; Australian states
are part of the Australian governmental representation at the United
Nations conference on development and environment; the Baden-
participates in peace recovery operations in
Bangladesh, Russia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Burundi and Tanzania; Jordi
Pujol, President of Catalonia, meets President George Bush (father).
On the other hand, paradiplomacy, considered a global phenomenon,
exercises a low profile in the mass media due to its complex and diffuse
nature, though it is a trending topic in academic spheres.
Paquin, Stphane Paradiplomatie identitaire et diplomatie en Belgique fdrale :
le cas de la Flandre,
Canadian Journal of Political Science/Revue canadienne de
science politique
36 (3) (2003): 621642.
Andr Lecours, Paradiplomacy: reflections on the Foreign Policy and
International Relations of Regions in
International Negotiation
7 (1) (2002): 91
Zidane Zeraoui
structure is involved with the national agenda and the interests of the
regions, in other words, between high and low politics.
At the international level, paradiplomacy has been developed by a
combination of factors, particularly the new structure of the international
system. Indeed, new international organisations allow regions to have
more presence in the world, for example,
la francophonie
among the
French-speaking regions such as Quebec and Wallonia. Also, central states
are providing direct support to other countries sub-state entities for
Stphane Paquin,
Paradiplomatie et relations internationales. Thorie des
stratgies internationales des rgions face la mondialisation
, (Qubec: P.I.E.-
Peter Lang, 2004).
Jos Luis Rhi-Sausi,
La cooperacin internacional en los proceso de
descentralizacin y regionalizacin de los pases Latinoamericanos: La experiencia
Italia-regin de Atacama
(accessed October 20, 2008).
Arabs and Muslims in Mexico: Paradiplomacy or Informal Lobby?
This parallel diplomacy is a mandate given to local governments for
negotiating with other international actors. Economic and trade policy;
the promotion and attraction of foreign investment and decision-making
centers; the promotion of exports, science and technology, energy,
environment, education, immigration and persons mobility, multilateral
relations, international development and human rights, are all part of the
main issues of parallel diplomacy. Paradiplomatic actors usually lose
interest in military matters, but not totally.
A second level of a regions international action is represented by
identity paradiplomacy, which is a sub-state foreign policy that is aimed
to reinforce or build a minority nation in a multinational country.
However, this international policy can rapidly turn to protodiplomacy,
whose main goal is to achieve the minority nations independence from
the central state.
In classical IR, paradiplomacy is usually underestimated due to the fact
that sub-state entities are not considered international actors. This idea
comes from the hegemonic realist approach in IR theory, which affirms
that states are the only or at least the most relevant international actors.
Nevertheless, the development of paradiplomatic actions can no longer
be undervalued because they are even
more present at the international
stage. Kincaid takes the example of the American states, which form part
of a quite centralised country: the states of the United States have
approximately 183 offices in foreign countries (only three states had
offices abroad in 1970); all states have at least one relation with another
brother state abroad; and more th
an 1.100 municipalities posses around
1.775 sister cities in 123 nations.
Therefore, we can affirm that
paradiplomatic actors are now taki
ng a more important place among
governments and non-governmental organisations and that their actions
are gradually becoming permanent, decisive, intensive, and autonomous
from central states. They enjoy a relevant presence due to their important

Stphane Paquin,
Paradiplomatie identitaire en Catalogne
, (Qubec: Les Presses
de luniversit Laval, 2003), 11.
Ibid., 12.
In the case if the Iraqi
Kurdistan, it is more protodiplomacy than identity
paradiplomacy to the extent the local authorities demand their right for
independence. In contrast, Catalonia is half the way. There is a clearly defined
identity paradiplomacy, to recover and construct a Catalan nation; but sometimes,
its discourse is closer to
protodiplomacy. The line that splits these two ideas is so
thin that it is possible to pass from one
to the other in an imperceptible manner.
Kincaid quoted by Rhi-Sausi
La cooperacin internacional
Zidane Zeraoui
resources, consolidating their autonomy and increasing their influence on
international politics.
For its part, Catalonia has developed an original paradiplomatic
concepta sports country
as an element to promote itself
internationally and consolidate its country-brand.
Thus, sport has
becomes an instrument of parallel diplomacy, particularly to expand the
image of the region worldwide. The Declaration of the First International
Sport Countries Conference held in Barcelona on April 5, 2003 states that
sport is the base of national identity. In deed, on March 2007, Joseph-
Lus Carod-Rovira, Vice-President of Catalonia, proposed to the President
of the International Olympic Committee, in Lausane, the organisation of a
sports tournament for stateless nations.
Another concept that evolved within the idea of regional international
policy is Constituent Diplomacy,
which is used to express that a states
foreign policy is a result of a combin
Jordy Xifra, Building Sport Countries Overseas Identity and Reputation: A
case Study of Public Paradiplomacy,
American Behavioral Scientist
4 (53)
(2009): 504515.
The concept country-brand has r
ecently been developed regarding the strategies
that some nations use to promote themselves in the global stage. In fact, sport
country is a term that belongs to this nationalist marketing to create a nation-
Theodore H. Cohn & Patrick J. Smith, Subnational Government as
International Actors: Constituent Diplomac
y in British Columbia and the Pacific
The British Columbian Quarterly
110, Summer 1996; Raoul y Arnold
Federalism in a changing world. Learning from each other
, (Qubec:
McGill-Queens University Press, 2003); and Rob Jenkins, Indias States and the
making of Foreign Economic Policy: The limits of the Constituent Diplomacy
33 (4) (2003): 6381.
Arabs and Muslims in Mexico: Paradiplomacy or Informal Lobby?
promoting socioeconomic, political or cultural affairs as well as any other
No Cornago, Exploring the global dimensions of paradiplomacy: Functional
and normative dynamics in the global spreading of subnational involvement in
foreign affairs (2001) in
Foreign Relations of Constituent Units
, Forum of
Federations/Forum des Fdrations, quoted by Ferrero, Mariano,
http://www.ciff.on.ca (accessed June 20, 2002); La globalizacin en accin:
regionalismo y paradiplomacia en Argentina y el Cono Sur Latinoamericano, VII
National Congress of Political Science, Sociedad Argentina de Anlisis Poltico,
November 2005.
Pedro Carren, Paradiplomacia y su desarrollo en el mundo, in
Foreign Affairs & Lifestyle
(accessed April 29, 2008).
Zidane Zeraoui
On the other hand, sub-national groups generally act as lobbies to
achieve their goals in international politics. In the United States, this
activity is legal and it is regulated as part of these interest groups
behavior. Nonetheless, in Mexico their official existence is denied, though
in practice there are lobbies that protect and promote their interests.
Regarding this countrys Arab community, their involvement in Mexican
life since three or four generations ago has entailed demands that are more
addressed to protect their interests in
Mexico rather to solve concerns
about the situation in Lebanon, Syria or Palestine.
2. The Mexican Arab community
Studying Arab immigration to Mexico is not easy. Data from the
governments is not reliable. National censuses are incomplete and become
reliable only after the Mexican Revolution. The systematic registration of
immigrants began in 1926, but in an incomplete way because immigrants
change their names when they register at the Mexican Ministry of Interior
The case of Carlos Slim Hel, fighting against local broadcasting companies and
the government in regards to the telecommunication networks conflict, clearly
shows that his economic interests are in Mexico despite his Lebanese origin.
Arabs and Muslims in Mexico: Paradiplomacy or Informal Lobby?
[Mexican] citizenship, these efforts did not work for several reasons; one
of them is that the United States, Argentina, Brazil and Canada had a
stronger force of attraction among immigrants and most of them moved to
these countries.
Because of its instability, Mexico was not an attractive destination among
immigrants during the nineteenth century. Indeed, small countries like
Cuba and Uruguay received more immigrants. The main immigration
wave to Mexico did not occur until the 1920s when other countries started
to apply restrictions and Mexico began its oil boom in Tampico. Despite
the liberal laws of the Daz govern
ment, Mexico was not considered a
viable country for massive immigration. There were very few cases

Gilberto Loyo,
La poltica demogrfica de Mxico
Zidane Zeraoui
despite the low arrival restrictions. In fact, Mexican citizenship was easily
granted in order to promote foreigners to set up in national territory. The
Immigration and Citizenship Law of May 28, 1886 stated in article 12
that: at least six months before applying for citizenship, a written request
should be present at the city hall in the [immigrants] residence place,
expressing the desire to become a Mexican citizen and resigning to [his]
foreign nationality.
In addition, the time of residence in Mexico
required before applying was two years.
Considering that Mexico was perceived as an under-populated country,
particularly because of the Revolution, further laws were established with
the objective of promoting the arrival of new immigrants chosen according
to their cultural affinity. One example of this was article 15 of the March
13, 1926 Immigration Law that granted authority to Mexican consuls
(who) have the obligation to issue individual identification cards, attending
a written request of those (immigrants) who have to present documented
proof regarding their nationality, civil status, morality, previous labor
Diario Oficial
. Congress Decree 9,542, May 28th, 1886, Ley de Extranjera y
Naturalizacin, Chapter. III "De la Naturalizacin."
Diario Oficial
, Ley de Migracin of March 13, 1926.
Ley de Migracin of August 30, 1930, art. 42,
Diario Oficial
61(53) August
Reglamento de la Ley de Migracin, article 228,
Diario Oficial
72 (37) June 14,
Arabs and Muslims in Mexico: Paradiplomacy or Informal Lobby?
families and the lack of an efficient control before 1932.
2.2 Arab Immigration
Despite selective opportunities, foreign immigration to Mexico had a
small effect on this countrys population increase. In addition, the absence
of reliable data from the nineteenth century to 1926 does not allow for the
creation of an accurate study on human movements to Mexico.

Ley General de Poblacin, article 7, Sections 2 y 9,
Diario Oficial
97 (52).
Ley General de Poblacin of December 23, 1947, articles 4 and 7
, Diario Oficial
145 (47).
Zidane Zeraoui
The analysis of Arab immigration to this country
included 7,533
individuals in addition to the 657 Palestinians, totaling 8,190 persons who
arrived from the Middle East until 1950. To the extent that the first records
of the Ministry of Interior were made up to 1926, and data prior to year
does not match exactly, despite the Arab immigration trends they reflect.
In fact, many who arrived at the end of the nineteenth century adopted
Mexican names and did not register because of their illegal arrival present
in many cases. Also, we have to consider a 1% margin of error in the
handling of the cards for several reasons: errors from data capturing at the
National General Archive (NGA) to computer programming.
The first data captured, the gender of non-Palestinians, reflects a strong
presence of women (2,523 persons or 33.5%). Men represented two-thirds
with 4,973 persons. This data was complemented by the civil status
category. Actually, 3,428 were married with foreigners. This number
reflects that most Arabs (45.5%) ma
rried with someone from their own
community. Nevertheless, if we only take men, 68.9% of Arabs married
The study of Arab immigration was made at the National General Archive
during the 1990s.
Arabs and Muslims in Mexico: Paradiplomacy or Informal Lobby?
key role on national issues, Arabs looked for reinforcing their community
by intra-communitarian marriages and not to be present on the countrys
political and social life or to interfere in Mexicos foreign policy.
Arrivals to Mexico were linked to this countrys history and to the
internal problems of Lebanon. Indeed, these arrivals began during the last
decade of the nineteenth century and intensified during the first of the
Zidane Zeraoui
Table 4.1: Non-Palestinian Arabs and their religion
Religions Number Percentage
Atheist 93 1.2
Anglican 4 0.1
Baptist 20 0.3
Catholic 4,529 60.1
Christian 45 0.6
Hebrew 122 1.6
Israelite 1,356 18.1
Jewish 27 0.4
Free thinker 28 0.4
Muslim 345 4.6
Masonic 3 0.0
Maronite 95 1.3
Orthodox 467 6.2
Protestant 49 0.7
Druze 157 2.1
Romanist 84 1.1
Other 108 1.2
TOTAL 7,533 100.0
Source: Data tabulated by the author based on the information collected from the
National General Archive. The religion declared by immigrants was respected in
Arabs and Muslims in Mexico: Paradiplomacy or Informal Lobby?
the 1920s. In the next decade, the Israeli arrivals began to diminish but
significantly increased in the 1940s when almost half of all Arab
immigrants were Jewish: 38.9% in 1941, 52.7% in 1942, 40.1% in 1943,
44.4% in 1944 and 43.1% in 1945. The Semitic immigrant population in
Mexico stabilised around one-fourth since this last year.
The beginning of World War II explains this immigration flow to
Mexican coasts. Additionally, the Arab-Jewish community stance was not
to enter Palestine as the Zionist movement planned, but to stay far away
from the Middle East for economic reasons. In general, this was the
attitude of the strong Jewish community of Aleppo that almost disappeared
in Syria today.
The strong presence of Jews at the heart of the Arab community and
their moral bonds with the Jewish community that was chased in Europe,
explain their participation and involvement in political movements
particularly with regards to the creation of the State of Israel. Although
this was not a proper lobby, Israel newspapers were (and continue to be)
very active to defend the Zionist thesis in comparison to a divided Arab
population both in Lebanon (because of their inter-communitarian
conflicts) and in Mexico (
over the Meso-Oriental problems).
Table 2: Religion of Palestinian immigrants
Religion Number of persons Percentage
Catholic 468 70.6
Muslim 54 8.2
Orthodox 61 9.2
Jewish 51 7.7
Atheist 11 1.6
Other 18 2.7
Source: Data tabulated by the author based on the information collected from the
National General Archive. The religion declared by immigrants was respected in
Zidane Zeraoui
entrepreneurs and their Catholic origin place them away from the Meso-
Oriental controversy.
2.3 Arabs and the creation of the State of Israel
If Arabs did not try to influence national politics, the issue of the
creation of the State of Israel was a driving force of a certain political
behavior for the Meso-Oriental community. In fact:
several Israeli communities began to look for international support and
intervention for their cause among governments, so in 1933 the Presidency
of Mexico received a post requesting its moral support and, if it was the
case, material assistance for reestablishing the Israeli nation in Palestine. J.
Fed. Philippe, representative of the Israeli community of Mexico (in the
1930s), requested Mexican President Abelardo L. Rodrguez and Mexico
to promote in the League of Nations
the transfer of the British government
mandate to another government, preferably the Mexican, to procure a
declaration of absolute sovereignty
for Palestine, and to recognise the
Israeli nation immediately. In return for the help that our country could
provide in any of these senses, Israel promisedPhilippi writes
investment advantages and friendship from the Jewish nation.
Mexicos lack of experience, its desire to avoid conflict with Great Britain
Archivo Histrico Genaro Estrada de la Secretara de Relaciones Exteriores
file III, 10920.
Arabs and Muslims in Mexico: Paradiplomacy or Informal Lobby?
Antagonisms between Arabs and Israeli made Mexico to act cautiously
with regards to establishing legations or appointing representatives. On
June 11, 1949, shortly before the Isr
ael entry into the UN, the government
of Mexico authorized the accreditation of the Israeli representatives in
national territory, [who] were charged to handle issues of possible
migrants to that country. The first Consulate of Israel in Mexico was
established in 1951. At the end of a one-year negotiationJuly 1, 1952
the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affa
irs informed the decision of raising
its offices to the rank of legation. Later, on May 1, 1956, Gustavo Ortiz
Hernn was the first Mexican representative appointed to Israel, with the
position of Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary; and in 1959
both representations became Embassies with Jorge Daessl Segura as the
first [Mexican] Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary at the Tel-
Aviv mission.
Nevertheless, the establishment of a Lebanese Embassy in Mexico happened
earlier, in 1947, due to the presence of a strong cedar community in
Mexico. However, relations between the Mexican Arab community and
the Middle East were cultural (such as the
Clubes Libaneses
) or
economical (such as the remittances sent to their relatives that stayed in
Lebanon, though fewer because of the chain migration phenomenon).
Due to the strong presidential political system in Mexico that lasted
throughout this period up to the presidential election of the year 2000,
which also marked the end of the one-party-in-power regime, it was
difficult for the Meso-Oriental community to make pressure over this
countrys foreign policy. Most of the associations created by Arab
immigrants were focused basically on promoting ties among their
descendants and maintaining their cultural presence, especially the
Lebanonese, the main country of origin of the Meso-Oriental community.
3. Islam and Muslims: The birth of a Mexican Islam.
The Muslim community has a long presence in Mexico dating back to
the process of the Spanish colonisation itself:
Since the first moment of the Spaniard conquest of America, there were
some sorts of (pre-) orientalist images. As a comparative resource, several
modern authors have underlined in [their] chronicles a countless allusion
of customs, institutions and natura
l phenomena of the Moor world to
explain American realities. At the same time, we have the adaptation of
Islamic names to Amerindian ones, theater plays or romance with the old
themes of the Reconquista, references to the wars with the unfaithful, the

Zidane Zeraoui
usual appearance of Santiago, the anti-Islamic saint, in the Indian battles,
Hernn G. H. Taboada.
La sombra del Islam en la conquista de Amrica
Mxico, FCE/UNAM, 2004.
Seymour B Liebman,
The Jews in New Spain
, (Coral Gables: University of
Miami Press, 1970), 42.
was highly spread and legitimized both by Shiism (because of the Sunni
persecutions against their leadership) and by Islam, in general, when Muslims were
means to continue being Muslim but acting as if adopting
another religious practice in public.
Felipe A Cobos Alfaro, Los musulmanes de Mxico en la Umma, in
Diario de
, Internal bulletin of researchers in the area of anthropology (96) (2008): 10.
For example, the author found in the city archive of Tampico that in 1926 a
Turk, Bambur complained before the local authorities.
Interviews with Omar Weston, director of the Islamic Center of Mexico and Jos
Luis Snchez Garca, ethno-historian from the Mexican National School of
Arabs and Muslims in Mexico: Paradiplomacy or Informal Lobby?
Anthropology and History on August 8, 2009; and with Rachard Sabag Sabag from
the mosque of Torren, Mexico on August 14, 2009.
Roberto Marn-Guzmn and Zidane Zeraoui.
Arab Immigration in Mexico in the
Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries.
Assimilation and Arab Heritage,
Agustine Press, 2003).
In many sources, dispersed data has been found the existence of 318,
Muslims in the country, and many researchers usually confuse Arabs and Muslims
when talking about the arrivals of the Syrian-Lebanese in their research focused to
Islam. In addition, the percentage of Mu
slims that came from the Middle East
(until 1950), according to the NGA data, was 4.89% (399 from a total of 8,196). In
Mexican Muslims in the Twentieth Ce
ntury: Challenging Stereotypes and
Negotiating Space at
Muslims in the West: fr
om Sojourners to Citizens
, (United
States: Oxford University Press, 2006), Theresa Alfaro-Velcamp mentions 343
Muslims from the 8,240 Arabs who arrived in Mexico (4.16%), a similar number
to ours. However, in her previous works, the percentage she handled was 10%.
Cobos Alfaro (ibid.) mentions 14% without specifying particular sources.
Wikipedia (by searching on Islam in Mexico) underlines that the Mexican 2000
census specifies the existence of 1,500 Muslims in this country, but the number
would be between 1,500 and 2000 due to conversions and re-Islamization. In fact,
the 2000 census states the existence of 1,412 Muslims in Mexico, at least the ones
who declared themselves as such.
Zidane Zeraoui
Islamic countries to join this nation as immigrants, Muslims periodically
set up in this country for a short period of time (usually four years), but
some of them decide to stay. Nevertheless, the conversion phenomenon
has been very important, particularly during the last two decades:
Followers of Ali, son-in-law and cousin of Mohammed, who divided Islam in
is the most radical branch of Islam and is practiced in Saudi Arabia,
is a leaning that looks for the true path found in the first practices of
religion, according to the most orthodox Muslims. The
consider themselves as the guardians of Allahs oneness.
Interview by the author with Omar Weston, director of the Mexican Islamic
Cultural Center, in his mosque (Dar Es Salam)-hotel (Teques Inn, previously Hotel
Oasis) of Tequesquitengo, on August 8, 2009.
Arabs and Muslims in Mexico: Paradiplomacy or Informal Lobby?
States, and I came back to Mexico looking for more Muslims, but there
were few. In those days there was a
at the
Club Egipcio
Polanco [neighborhood], Federal District [Mexico City], at Presidente
The prayer temple in Islam is the mosque (
). However, places
that were not built as such but which allow prayer are called
(the place to
do the
or prayer).
Actually, it was just a simple apartment available for Muslim prayer. The
was opened in 1986.
refers to the sermon (a word which really means speech in Arab) of every
Friday, the holy day in Islam.
The noon prayer.
, the sermon of Islam, the spreading of the religious message.
Zidane Zeraoui
opened in Mexico with the support of brother Niaz and Riaz Siddiqui and
Sohaib Irfan. The
was established there with its entire hours
schedule, and courses on Islam and Arab were offered. However, the
advent of the economic crisis times in Mexico prevented this office to
maintain open. In August 1995, with the support of the local community
and from other countries, Islam was legally born in Mexico
under the
name of Centro Cultural Islmico de Mxico, Asociacin Civil, known
by the [Spanish] acronym of CCIM, in a 4m x 4m office
that was mainly
used as a prayer room and library at the Del Valle neighborhood in
Mexico City. With the initiative of several members of CCIM, among
them Abdullah Weston, Ali Ahmed Karim Salinas and Muhammad
Abdullah Ruiz, and under the leadership of Omar Weston, CCIM opened
spaces once closed for Islam, mainly in universities, as well as one event
in Mexico typically for the entertainment among intellectuals called Feria
del Libro [Book Fair]. Exhibitions and conferences about Islam were set
up in these places. These activities, the individual attempt of the CCIM
members to deliver
As a matter of fact, the Muslim community of Torren registered before their
association at Gobernacin (June 15, 1993) in the same way as
, the Sufi
organization of Mexico.
4m x 8m according to Weston himself.
Ruiz, Muhammed Abdullah El Islam en Mxico, http://planet.com.mx/islam February 14,
1999 (accessed August 18, 2009).
This number refers to prac
ticing and not secular Muslims.
Mohammed Abdullah Ruiz al-Meksiki (the Mexican), who sometimes identifies
himself as Mohammed Abdullah al Salafi Ruiz, collaborated with Omar Weston
during the first years of the CCIM. However, he later founded the Centro Salafi de
Arabs and Muslims in Mexico: Paradiplomacy or Informal Lobby?
Mxico (Mexican Salafi Center), breaking ties with the organization and
radicalizing his religious stance.
A kind of Islam prayer or recitation.
Zidane Zeraoui
In contrast, for Jos Luis Snchez Garca,
Interview on August 8, 2009.
Koran school.
Arabs and Muslims in Mexico: Paradiplomacy or Informal Lobby?
origins in the Koran as well as in the mystical Christian and Hindu
traditions, is considered heretic and contested by fundamentalist groups.
Nevertheless, Sufism has always been well accepted in the West even
during the Middle Ages. Several Spanish mystics, like San Juan de la
Cruz, have a religious practice originating more from Sufism rather than
from Christianity. Today, many conversions in Europe and Latin America
have been through Sufism. This mystic approach has made many
Christians adopt Islam.
In Sufism, the place of the mystique practice is called
, a Turkish word
different from the mosque.
Amina Teslima responde sobre el Islam, interview with the
by BBC on November 5, 2006 during her participation at the International
Congress on Islamic Feminism, in Barcelona, in the site Web Islam,
retrieved on August 18, 2009.
Zidane Zeraoui
there; there is no need to pursue it or fight for it; what has to be done is to
see if one is faithful in society in relation to the Koranic revelation; thats
what has been lost.
For being a woman leading the prayers of the followers at the
There are four juridical schools in Islam: Hanafi, Maliki, Shafii and Hanbali.
Each has its own interpretation of the rules
of religion. The first is the most liberal
and the latter the most conservative. For more details, see Zidane Zeraoui,
Islam y
Arabs and Muslims in Mexico: Paradiplomacy or Informal Lobby?
Lebanon. During my visit to the Islamic center of La Laguna,
Muslims that were praying the
salat el yumua
were born in Lebanon.
Some of them had been living in the country for forty-nine years while
others for just a few months or years. The Islamic Community of La
Laguna was registered at Gobernacin on June 15, 1993 as a religious
association. It is one of the oldest organisations authorised in the country
with the sheij acting as its legal representative and Elas Serhan as its
The Arabs and Muslims arrival to Torren began in 1885, but it
increased during the 1920s and 1930s when the La Laguna region initiated
its agricultural development with the participation of several Palestinian
families. Nonetheless, in contrast to Shiites who came from southern
Lebanon, almost all Palestinians who arrived there were from Bethlehem
and, therefore, were Christians. Today, the Islamic community of the
region is made up of:
35 to 40 families with 170 to 220 individuals. These [people] are Islam
practitioners because [they are] the sons and grandsons of the first
Muslims who came here. There are at least 200 families. Their last names
are Nahle, Nez (originally Yunes), Jalil, Hamis, Hechem, Harb, Mehde,
Appes, Sabag, Braham, Karrum, Ramadan, Ale, Elas, Darwich, Chamut,
Bugdud, Jalife, Zain, Mansur, Sobh, Chain, Fayad, Hamdan, Beder,
Abraham, Serhan, Salum, Rachune, Charara, and others.
Despite the importance of the community set up in La Laguna, the
religious pressure in Mexico at the beginning of the twentieth century and
the weight of Catholicism pushed the abandonment of Islamic practicing,
though many of these Arabs were Maronites:
Before the foundation of
the Syrian-Mexican school in 1912, there were professors who teach Arab
to their sons. The religious issue was relegated due to fact that many of
them married to Mexican Christians and they did nothing to preserve
Islam within their families. However, they remained Muslim until the last
days of their lives.

The author visited the Suraya Mosque on Friday August 14, 2009 to interview
the persons in charge of the Islamic community of the Laguna region and the
faithful of the mosque.
Omar Weston, Entrevista a Augusto Hugo Pea Delgadillo, in
Islam en tu
, (Mexico: Centro Cultural Islmico, 2006).
Maronites are Roman Catholic apostolic Lebanese but who practice more
Oriental rituals.
Weston, Entrevista a Augusto Hugo Pea Delgadillo.
Zidane Zeraoui
Before the construction of the Suraya Mosque, the practicing of Islam
in La Laguna was usually in houses or in small groups:
Hassan Chain, the
or `leader of La Laguna community recalls that
when he was a child, in 1940, there were various groups originally from
the Middle East who lived and worked in the region, some groups around
Uribe Jimnez, Yohan El Islam en La Laguna, una tradicional minora religiosa in
El Siglo
De Torren
, Torren, Coahuila, August 10, 2008.
The Mihrab found in all mosques is used to guide the faithful to M
ecca during
the prayer.
Arabs and Muslims in Mexico: Paradiplomacy or Informal Lobby?
3.4.2 The Educational Center of the Muslim Community
While CCIM has attracted more converts because of its non-orthodox
view of Islam, particularly the openness of its worship places to non-
Muslims, the Saudi Embassy financed the opening of a
in Polanco
(Mexico City) in 1998. In addition, in response to a request of the
Ambassador, the CCIM moved to that place. In 2000, the Imam Said of
Morocco, who led the prayer, proposed to collect funds for building a
mosque and acquiring a cemetery. In this way, a legal entity was created in
2001: el Centro Educativo de la Comunidad Musulmana A.C. (The
Educational Center of the Muslim Community or CECM).
This CECM, of a Hanafi
profile, opened its own
in the
Anzures neighborhood. It left its goal of looking for funds for the Islamic
cemetery, at least temporarily, to focus on being the official representative
of Islam in Mexico. The participation of Pakistani, Arab and Muslims of
other countries of the Middle East and Africa made this center an
important voice for the Islamic community of Mexico City. Their
participation on their Fridays
is probably the most attended of all
in this country, except for Chiapas. However, its location in
Polanco does not allow many Muslims to attend, especially the ones who
are in the south of the city or far away from the
. Also, if Friday is a
holy day in Muslim countries, in Mexico it is a working day. So this
means that many believers cannot participate in the
Because of the presence of Muslim diplomats, CCEM has not tried to
play a political role in this countrys life or interfere in the matters of the
Middle East. Their participation on the debates about the Middle East is
made individually, mainly by researchers (either Muslim or non-Muslim),
and not as speakers of any particular community.
3.4.3 The Mexican Salafi Center
By accessing the Centro Salafi de Mxico (The Mexican Salafi Center)
website, there is an impression that we are in front of one of the largest
Islamic organisations of the country. Nonetheless, attending on Friday the
Salat el Yumua
Among the four schools of Sunni Islam in
terpretation, Hanafi is the most liberal.
Zidane Zeraoui
very important time scheduled for prayer. They have a virtual perspective
but not a real one.
The Mexican Salafi Center is the first Spanish-speaking Salafi
organisation and the only one in Mexico
now called the Muhammad Ibn
Abdul Wahab
. According to this groups own interpretation, their
orientation follows the
Salifi Saleh
, in other words, the wisest Muslims
such as Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahab (eighteenth Century) and Ibn
Taimiyah (thirteenth Century), considered two of the most conservative
renovators of religious interpretation. The first was the spiritual father of
Saudi Arabia, today a Wahabi nation.
The Centers stance is clear with their denouncement against the
Hanafi orientation of the Anzures
and their attachment to the the
Ahlu Sunnah
and the
Consensus of Saudi Arabia. In
addition, Salafi condemn both the liberal and Hanafi ways of Islam as well
as Sufism considered a non-Islamic element, a
or innovation,
following the Wahabi tradition.
Words of Mohammed Abdullah Ruiz,
of the Salafi comunity, Mexican
Salafi Center Internet site, http://www.islammexico.net, retrieved on August 15,
Located at 616 Fernando Iglesias Street and Caldern Street, Col. Jardn
Balbuena, Mexico City.
Arabs and Muslims in Mexico: Paradiplomacy or Informal Lobby?
Thus, the Salafi community decided to establish bonds with other
groups inclined to it in order to restore ties which were highly damaged
by many contradictions within the existing Islamic organisations with
the authorities and Islamic organisations of Saudi Arabia
. This way, the
Mexican Islamic Center set apart itself from the Saudi conservative stance,
although Weston worked at the Saudi Embassy, and the Salafi Center
became the speaker of Wahabism interests.
The Organizacin Islmica de Mxico (The Mexican Islamic
Organisation) was founded on October 2003, supposedly to follow the
initial goals of CCIM. In the next year, it changed its name to Centro
Salafi de Mxico (Mexican Salafi Center) radicalising its position by
eliminating elements such as the half-moon and the stars on its website.
Due to some economic problems, the Mexican Salafi Center closed the
Al Markaz as Salafi musala temporarily on February 2006. It reopened
on September 10, 2006 as Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahab musala,
Shaykh Ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisee,
Lumah al-Itiqaad
, refered by Muhammad
Ruiz Al Meksiki El Islam en Mxico, May 20, 2009 taken from
Zidane Zeraoui
(5)They have promoted campaigns against Muslims, like the FEERI
proposal to chase Islamic entities in Spain.
(6)They echoed Western propaganda against Islam and Muslims.
(7)They brought suit against sheij Kamal and testified on the
prosecution inside Spain.
(8)They repeated anti-Islamic comments in their site [that are]
extremely offensive for Muslims without stating the proper
(9)They published in their site serious insults against sheij Kamal and
other sheijs in general, even with racist and xenophobic comments.
Religious decision or edict.
Shaykh Ibn Qudaamah,
Lumah al-Itiqaad
The Hanbali school, especially with its Wahabi radicalization, does not
any role of women, not even voting which is recognized by the Koran.
Arabs and Muslims in Mexico: Paradiplomacy or Informal Lobby?
political participation. Thus, no Muslim community of Mexico City
participates on the debate of political problems of the Middle East.
3.5 The Indigenous Islam
Since the 1990s, a phenomenon that revolutionised the idea of Islam in
Mexico and draw attention worldwide has occurred: the Islamisation of the
Tzotzil Indians of Chiapas. This began when two Spaniards from
GranadaAureliano Perez Yruela, Emir Mohammad Nafia, and Esteban
Lpez Morenoarrived to San Cristobal in 1994, accompanied by an
Islamised Mexican from CCIM, Luis Garca Miquel, in order to began the
in the context of the Zapatista uprising. The Center for Social
Development for Muslims (Misin para el Dawa, AC) was founded, and
its rapid success was due to a trad
itional abandonment from Catholicism
among indigenous people in the poorest state of Mexico. In fact, the
Roman Catholic Church lost its predominance in this state in the middle of
It is a reference to the Spanish place where Muslim converts revolted between
1571 and 1579.
In fact, one of the first persons Islamized was Domingo Lpez ngel, a political
leader of the communities violently expelled from the town of San Juan Chamula
to the surroundings of San Cristbal de las Casas in the 1970s.
Zidane Zeraoui
leadership of the Mission has close tie
s with the board of the Murabitum
World Movement
headed by a Muslim convert from a Sufi tariqa, named
Sheij Abdel Qadir (As-Sufi) Al Murabit whose goal is to expand his
movement that conceives Islam as a perfect social system revealed by God
to Mohammad and which explicitly expresses the conviction of making a
proposal of an Islamic society with an economic and political plan that
releases the community from the prevailing capitalist society, usury, and
waged labor. The project, that had great acceptance within the indigenous
from Spain. Nevertheless, the Islamic community of Chiapas is still
present, though divided. Due to its indigenous origin and its lack of
interest on the Middle East, a region totally away from their concerns, this
community has no interest in influencing national life or mold the
countrys politics.
The heterogeneous origin of both the Arab and Muslim communities in
Mexico has entailed their absence in the national political debate over
Meso-Oriental issues. The Arab community is basically Maronite and
Lebanese, and their total integration into the economic life allows them to
play a role in this countrys politics (several Mexicans of Arab-origin have
been Governors or Ministers) but not in the Middle East. Their concerns

It is known in Spain as the Islamic Community, with headquarters in Granada.
Diana Ibez Tirado, "La Daawa en Mxico, in Zidane Zeraoui,
El Islam en
Amrica latina
When the author visited San Cristobal in 1999, people talked about the presence
of the Muribatun in the region. He had the chance to speak with the leaders of the
movement who then had a bakery in the city.
Arabs and Muslims in Mexico: Paradiplomacy or Informal Lobby?
are usually focused over cultural or social activities rather than political
Zidane Zeraoui
Constituent Units
, Forum of Federations/Forum des Fdrations.
http://www.ciff.on.ca (accessed June 20, 2002). Referred by Mariano
Ferrero. La globalizacin en accin
: regionalismo y paradiplomacia
en Argentina y el Cono Sur Latinoamericano, VII National Congress
Arabs and Muslims in Mexico: Paradiplomacy or Informal Lobby?
Paradiplomatie iden
titaire en Catalogne
. Qubec: Les Presses de
luniversit Laval, 2003.
Pea, Moiss T. de la. "Problemas demogrficos y agrarios." In
agrcolas e industriales de Mxico
2 (34) (1950).
Reglamento de la Ley de Migracin, article 228.
Diario Oficial
72 (37)
Rhi-Sausi, Jos Luis
La cooperacin internacional en los proceso de
descentralizacin y regionalizacin de los pases Latinoamericanos:
La experiencia Italia-regin de Atacama
. In
on/sausi.pdf (accessed October 20, 2008).
Ruiz, Mohammed Abdullah, at the Salafi comunity, Mexican Salafi Center
Zidane Zeraoui
Islam y poltica. Los procesos rabes contemporaneous
. Mexico:
Trillas, 2008.
The present-day composition of
the population of Brazil is tied to
immigration. The active participation of diverse people from four
continents, with their d
istinctive customs and cultures, has contributed to
about since the days of colonialism,
the contribution of multiculturalism
process of modernisation becoming part of the system of capitalist
production. Brazil was a country that
maintained its economy based on the
export of raw materials, but at the same
time began to take the first steps
transportation, the creation of first industries and the growth of the tertiary
federal capital. It was against this backdrop that Brazil received the largest
number of immigrants in its history. There were no longer slaves to work
on coffee plantations after abolition in 1888; it was necessary to change
the master-slave model for the bourg
eois-capitalist model. However, the
economy continued to revolve around
agriculture, specifically the main
export of coffee, hence the need to seek manpower to supply slave labour
through an immigration policy that w
ould pay the fare of migrants, and
Translation by Marcos Valerio Melo Carneiro, a graduate in English Language,
English & American Literatures from UERJ (Universidade do Estado do Rio de
Professor Erica Sarmiento, PhD from the University of Santiago de Compostela,
Post-Doctorate from State University of Rio de Janeiro, Professor at the State
University of Rio de Janeiro and Professor in the Masters program in History at
Universidade Salgado de Oliveira
Galician in the Tropics: The History of Immigration in Brazil
The first attempts at subsidised
immigration did not however come at
the time of the coffee plantations of western So Paulo. Despite being the
most significant period in terms of
immigration to Brazil, it was before
independence in 1822 that the first ex
model based on free family labour were made. One of them, the colony of
Nova Friburgo in the province of Rio de Janeiro, brought in 1819 two-
thousand Swiss immigrants who received a great deal of land and
promises of prosperity from the Brazilian politicians and traders. This
immigration policy initially had the go
al of populating th
developing an agriculture for supp
ly, besides the intention of bringing
immigrants skilled in arts and craf
ts for the building of cities. However,
the promises were not kept by the recruiting traders, nor by the
government: the difficulties of plan
ting, the lack of medical care, poor
1850, such as the city
immigrants, but the precariousness
conditions continued to exist. The
In 1840, the first attempts to int
roduce immigrants in large estates had
already been initiated. That same
year the landowner and politician
Nicholas Vergueiro proposed a syst
em of partnership, but only after the
Proclamation of the Republic in 1899 that immigration is seen as a natural
development in the transition fro
m slavery to the free manpower.
coffee plantations in the west of So Paulo and the Abolition of Slavery
headed Brazilian immigration policy toward the calling of thousands of
Europeans that could replace the former slaves. Immigration, which in the
years prior to abolition had never exceeded an average of twenty-five
thousand people, received 150,000 foreigners in 1889 (Mendona Motta
Law, enacted in 1850, confi
rmed that the interest of local elites was to
maintain control over the properties and continue preserving the landholding
system, and to not donate the land to
the immigrant; ins
tead, to sell it to
them. To land oligarchy,
the immigrant should only be a worker, not a
Southern Brazil was where small la
ndowners mostly developed their
The partnership system was a private initiative whose goal was to introduce
manpower on coffee plantations, paying workers a percentage of the harvest.
rica Sarmiento da Silva
colony was So Leopoldo, founded in
the 1820s by German immigrants.
By the end of Empire, about eighty German colonies had been founded in
Brazil, located mainly in the south. The state of Santa Catarina was
markedly colonised by Germans until
the arrival of Italians and Poles. The
Urban development was exercise
d by the immigrants themselves,
by those artisans and workers am
ong them who brought technical
expertise to develop small towns.
Brazilian immigration policy can be
divided into two stages: the
the coffee plantations of So Paulo. The first aimed to populate the
unoccupied areas of the Brazilian terr
itory where they
founded colonies
with the recruitment of European
immigrants, based on the regime of
small farm polyculture. The second stage, in the 1880s, was a period of
subsidised migration to the coffee plantations of So Paulo. These
under the program of small farming. Th
e promises of land, working tools,
and upkeep of their expenses by the
Brazilian government were not met.
Hence some countries banned migration to Brazil, such as Prussia in 1859,
countries being already in the period
of massive immigration) (Paschoal
Guimares 1988, 23).
The subsidisation of the state of So Paulo attracted thousands of
immigrants, including many Spaniards
willing to abandon their country to
work on coffee plantations. This type of immigration provided new
opportunities for the European coloni
st, such as it being free of fare
charges for travel, subsidised by p
ublic funds. The So Paulo government
opportunity to bring their entire fam
ily, and promised numerous benefits
of enrichment and land ownership.
However, the reality was not as the
landowning policy, usually r
did not allow immigrants easy access to the land. In 1850, as a noteworthy
example in the immigration policy
foreigner to acquire land if not by
purchase. Apparently, any immigrant
could buy land in Brazil, but they would have to come up with enough
capital to do so. It was the law of
It includes the states of Parana, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul.
Galician in the Tropics: The History of Immigration in Brazil
traditional oligarchic families, wh
o manipulated the administrative and
judicial systems, for a foreign newcomer
force this was a task close to impossible (Fausto 1995, 108).
The first to arrive at the coffee plantations of western So Paulo were
Italians and Portuguese. The Spanish arrived later, when in 1902 the
Italian government prohib
ited migration to Brazil. The foreigners arrived
in the State and were immediately taken to the Immigrant's Hostel where
they would spend their early days until sent to a farm. Many of the
Spaniards who migrated to this state were those who did not have the
opportunity to go to other
countries such as Argen
tina, due to
the inability
Andalusian peasantry, landless labourers who saw in these contracts a
groups of foreigners such as Germans and Swiss, few Spaniards managed
to acquire properties in Brazil, because most had no capital to buy land
and work in coffee plantations could not provide it. The move ended up as
expensive for many immigrants, unpro
tected in the hands of landowners
and forced to obey their commands, is
olated under the control of the
powerful Brazilian Colonels
(Gonzlez Martnez
The expansion of coffee plantations had created wealth, and capital
accumulation led to greater investment in cities and the federal capital, Rio
de Janeiro, above all. Urban centres appealed to migrants in another way.
If land was not accessible and agriculture did not provide the expected
benefits, the cities offered an expanding service sector and opportunities
for social advancement. That does not mean that all those who had been
seeking opportunities in
cities achieved their dream of richness, but they
had certainly received an implicit proposal that there they could generate
wealth though the expense of hard work. They also had the examples of
the means of justification chosen by
the Galicians to migrate to Brazil.
What differentiates them from the Andalusians is that they were not hired
laborers; many of the Galician migran
They were peasants who could barely
live on land that
was partially their
own and partially rental. The Galician farmer would use property of their
own or of their family to pay the mo
rtgage for journey expenses (Vzquez
1988, 90). Regarding the mortgage,
Alejandro Vzquez states that: "A
good part of rural families who sent
a member to America had some land
of their own, although usually not enough to support travel costs, so they
rica Sarmiento da Silva
immigrant, hired or not, involved peopl
e who often do not belong to the
same community, spreading new flows" (Vzquez 1999, 246).
The structure of the Galician agrar
Rial (Buxn County) which states that "having made the decision of
leaving the city of La Habana gives away to and confers on his brother
all power, in behalf of the grantor, hi
s actions and rights, to manage and
rule the properties belong
ing to the grantor
; or the case of farmer Jose
Vazquez, from the Parish de Fontecada (Santa Comba), who left a deed of
obligation to the owners of the steamboat Paloma Cantabria, Misters
migrating to Buenos Aires: "to join
a relative who had called him out. In
this case, the contract clearly specifies that "these payments will be
precisely made in gold or silver.
This last example demonstrates two
mechanisms used by Galicians to
move from their country of origin:
kinship; secondly, the way one travel
s, based on spontaneous migration,
by means of family funding for the journey expenses.
This difference was crucial in making a decision in favour of migration
because, at least at first glance, the migrant was independent in seeking the
best way to earn a living and how th
Historical Archive of University of Santiago de Compostela (AHUs). Protocol of
public instruments, district of Negreira, 1870. Notary D. Angel Montero Torreiro,
Ibid., 247.
Galician in the Tropics: The History of Immigration in Brazil
bad records of land policy had follo
wed the Galician peasants who were
victims of the forums, lease systems, high taxes and local patronage.
Moreover, there were reasons to
village and familys improvement. It
would not be surprising if they
should seek other forms of enrichment
other than by agriculture. One was
Money from America was a complement
to Galician economy, useful for
the purchase of properties by sm
all farmers. Until 1926, the Galician
countryside was characterised by the charter system. Peasants longed for
the redemption of the forums (i.e. the purchase of property by the primary
users of the earth). In central and southern Galicia, America's money
bought more significance to this pr
ocess of charter redemption by banking
turns from Buenos Aires and Cuba up
to 1925, since th
ese countries had
to Rio de Janeiro have produced a
new perspective on migration. From
1830 onwards, an incipient and limited flow of Galician immigrants
on the creation and dynamics of mi
origins: The typical method of s
taff-hiring strung among the Galician
immigrants in Cuba was called nephewr
y (sobrinismo): an uncle paid for
the trip and offered a job to a G
alician countryman
In the state of Rio de Janeiro, which hosted most of the Galician and
Portuguese immigrants to Brazil betw
een 1850 and 1880, the choice of
destination is associated with the Port
uguese influence, mainly through
intrapeninsular migration from Pontevedra counties to the northern
Portuguese towns and cities such as Lisbon and Porto.
It is not easy to distinguish how many spontaneous migrants there were
from those who joined the driven migration, nor even what impact
subsidised migration has made on th
e Galician flow, but we can show the
number of immigrants who entered Brazil from 1884 to 1939, according to
official data, in fig. 5.1 below.
rica Sarmiento da Silva 97
Fig.5.1. Total of immigrants who arrived in Brazil (18841939)
Figure of immigrants
Figure of Spaniards
Source: Revista de Imigrao e Colonizao, September 1944, n.3, Year V.
A decrease in the migration flow begins in 1914 as a consequence of the
World Wars and the Brazilian political situation, which in the 1930s was
under the dictatorship of Getulio Vargas. The veracity of this source
should also be questioned, because these figures do not show those who
migrated illegally or who entered Brazil from Argentina or Uruguay.
The escape from military service also had a significant impact on the
Galician migration within the peninsula, when the young men migrated to
Portugal, Andalusia, Castille and the cities of Porto, Lisbon and Cadiz.
During much of the 18301930 period, the Galician refugees continued
migrating to other areas of the peninsula. With the opening and
consolidation of migration to America, the destination of refugees is
extended to the American countries. In the Cantabrian and Atlantic coasts
of Galicia, streams of refugees who were heading to the most active and
1840 and 1850 by those from Cuba and Rio de la Plata respectively.
Within areas of the province of Pontevedra and its frontiers with Lugo,
westside to La Corua, and in the southern provinces neighbouring
Portugal, the men were mostly oriented toward the main Portuguese cities
Galician in the Tropics: The History of Immigration in Brazil
and, through them, towards Brazil. With more traditional migratory
agendas, the Lugo and Ourense countrysides guided their destinations to
Castille, Andalusia and Portugal. For many rural or bourgeois families,
military service meant a void in household maintenance by losing "arms"
for agricultural exploitation or for extra savings of seasonal migrations,
and the youths deprivation in instruction or vocational training (in the
case of wealthier families). The scarcity of economic resources of most
Galician families decreased the chance of those summoned from getting
exemption from military service, or at least paying for a replacement, the
cheaper procedure costing between 500 and 1250 pesetas. According to
data from
Recruitment and Replacement Statistics
, published from 1912
1920, the list of provinces with the highest rate of refugees were mostly
Canary, Oviedo, La Corua, Pontevedra, Almera, Ourense, Lugo, Mlaga,
rica Sarmiento da Silva 99
Table 1. Number of refugees in
the municipality of Santa Comba
Total of
Other American
(Argentina, Cuba
and Uruguay)
Total of
1901 to
884 163 (36,54%)218 (48,87%) 446
1911 to
886 97 (15,15%) 146 (16,47%) 640
1921 to
1214 31 (3,60%) 99 (11,48%) 862
Source: Author's calculations from the military expedients, AMSC
It is quite a large number if we consider that more than half of the boys in
this city did not comply with the obligations of military service. One
problem with this source is that, starting from the 1920s, the notes become
increasingly scarce, particularly those relating to the destination of the
In the 1930s and 1940s the destinations of the refugees has not been recorded.
Fourteen refugees were registered in Brazil, eleven in Argentina, two in Uruguay,
seven in Cuba, one in Madrid and one in Portugal.
Galician in the Tropics: The History of Immigration in Brazil
total refugees has not decreasedon
There is little doubt that those who moved from Galicia to the interior of
northern Portugal to work as construction workers, or those who went to
urban areas such as Porto and took many different occupations, from
servants to dealers, were influenced by local society, by the Portuguese
opportunities. Brazil would become part of the possible routes of the
Galicians towards America and the stories of the naturalized Brazilians
of migrants moved to cities like Viana do Castelo to get a passport and
leave for Brazil. Just as had happened to most Portuguese who landed in
Brazil, it also demonstrated to the Galicians a distinctive destination, Rio
de Janeiro, to where more than 81% of these went (Fernandes Rodrigues
1992, 179).
The Galician writer Xoan Neira Cancela, in one of his texts of the late
nineteenth century titled
The Brazilian
, tells the story of a young boy,
Orense, near Portugal.
The reference to the neighbouring country is not a
coincidence; it demonstrates the author's knowledge of the influence that
received the Galicians from areas close to Portugal as regards the choice of
their migratory destination, namely Rio de Janeiro. Studies related to the
Boldtyped by the author.
rica Sarmiento da Silva 101
County of Melon (Ourense) indicate that from the period of 1651 to 1920,
the figure of 48.9% of migrants went to Portugal. From 1851, the
neighbours of this county began to migrate to different Latin American
countries, among them Brazil as the second country of destination after
Cuba, and the city of Rio de Janeiro as the first choice of place in Brazil
data relating the move of Galician municipalities to Portugal as a "bridge"
for the subsequent migration to Brazil.
Among notarial protocols in the county of Santa Comba, references to
migrants in Portugal confirm the route Galicia-Portugal-Brazil as that
made by inhabitants from certain Galician counties with significant
convergence on Rio de Janeiro, as was the case of Santa Comba. In 1870,
journey-widow Josefa Barbeito Caamao, neighbour of the parish of
Mallon (Santa Comba), states before a notary that: her son Manoel
Currais Barbeito, resident in the city of Oporto, in the Kingdom of
Portugal, with the purpose of taking over his life and providing livelihood
to his mother, has decided to depart for South America and, as being the
age of twenty-three and free of houses, so solicits the license of his mother
to be admitted to the vessel has already hired and paid the freight.
Although the document does not specify which South American country
Manuel Corral headed for, we know he went to Rio de Janeiro, because in
1873 he was admitted to the Spanish
Hospital of this city. Moreover,
several relatives of his, with the family name Barbeito and from the same
parish, also entered the same institution. Along with another relative
named Jose Anselmo Barbeito, he was among the first migrants from the
parish of Mallon to enrol in the Spanish Hospital and possibly one of the
pioneers of migration networks in the municipality of Santa Comba that
began in the late nineteenth and spread throughout the twentieth century
(until the 1960s).
In another county, Cotobade (Pontevedra), along with migration to Rio
de Janeiro in the nineteenth century, intra-peninsular moves bound for the
northern cities of Portugal also played an important role. A fugitive named
Jose Gomez of Viascn Parish provides a representative examplein
1831, he moved from the city of Oporto to Rio de Janeiro, according to
information provided by his family.
A further example can be found in
Jos Igncio, Manuel and Antonio from the Parish of Valongo (Cotobade),
AHUS. Protocol of public instruments, district of Negreira, 1870. Notary D.
Angel Montero Torreiro, page 91.
Municipal Archive of Cotobade Town Hall (AMC). Farm Book, register 535 / 1,
Galician in the Tropics: The History of Immigration in Brazil
the former two having migrated to Chaves (Portugal) and the latter to
All were fugitives and were absent from the Town Hall in 1831.
In the nineteenth century (ranging from 1831 to 1880), Portugal received
72.6% of Cotobade refugees. In the following century, immigrants began
The above examples illustrate the influence of intra-peninsular
migration, present in the nineteenth century, with later migration to
America. Former migration records of Galicians, in the eighteenth and
rica Sarmiento da Silva 103
considered as unmixable and dangerous
to national security. Preference
was given to the Latinos, Portuguese, Italians and Spaniards, as they were
seen as culturally close, and more assimilable (Pjaro Peres 1997, 57).
Measures were taken to protect the domestic worker who eventually
reached out to immigration. The Constitution of 1930 establishes the quota
system for spontaneous immigration, i.e. the influx of immigrants could
not exceed the 2% limit on the total of their national populations:
"However, there is not an appreciable decrease in immigration; although it
has fallen by almost two thirds, the immigration movement does not stop
the entry of immigrants" (Diegues Jnior 1964, 61).
Source: Klein 1996, 143147
In the 1930s and 1940s, in spite of the dictatorship, these immigrants had a
positive image of Brazil. They analysed the story from their perspective,
Galician in the Tropics: The History of Immigration in Brazil
in a period of economic growth. If they did not get involved with political
issues and had the legal documentation, they could work freely in the
country. Moreover, in both interviews, migrants reach a generally
important point: safety. They make a comparison with earlier times and,
from their perspectives, realise they are safer in a dictatorship than in a
democracy. Thus they value, above any political regime, the ease of work
and growth that the country offers, and the tranquillity of the capitals
neighbourhood during these times.
With the end of Vargas dictatorship in 1945, coinciding with the post-
war period, migration becomes more selected with professional skills to
national manpower at the technical level (Santos 1996, 9597). Under the
command of President Juscelino Ku
bitschek, there was great economic
growth due to investments made by the State, especially in basic and
automobile industries. The industrial development opened the doors to the
skilled worker the country lacked. Due to legal requirements and the need
for specific labour, it was necessary for an immigrant to prove his
professional activity (mainly technicians for industry) through labour
contracts (Martnez Gallego 1995, 23). Aiming to attract immigrants,
Brazil became part of the International Committee of the European
Migration (ICEM), and in 1957 a program for the migration of workers
request. The ICEM provided a free license to those who entered through it
(Gonzalez Martinez 2003, 206). The national policy on migration takes a
more technical position, the migrant was the machine and the immigration
process was the process of industrialisation (Pjaro Peres 1997, 65).
The requirements for migration after World War II also reveal how the
migration chain that resumed after World War I took an urban and
spontaneous character. In both periods, urban growth and industrialisation,
with its new technical activities, contributed to the entry of immigrants in
foreigners, most of them Spaniards (27.4%), followed by Italians with
21.2% under the category of skilled workers. In the group of technicians,
Diegues Junior (1964, 309) accounts for the years 19451958: 7,245
immigrants. Of this total, 20.2% were Italians, 11.8% Americans and
11.2% Germans. Spaniards appear to contribute 3.85% in this professional
rica Sarmiento da Silva 105
group. Many took advantage of their technical training to enter the country
and start their own business or to get a skilled job.
Although the state imposed certain conditions, the Galicians continued
the Brazilian policy. Even if the Brazilian economy demanded skilled
workers and technicians, it could not prevent the entry of those who
migrated by family regrouping, or those who violated the law by bearing
false letters of employment and fake professional qualifications. Proof of
were on the professional staff of housekeepers, against 17.6% of skilled
workers, which, on the one hand, may explain the greater presence of
women migrants (Diegues Junior 1964, 317).
Table 2. Immigrants by occupational categories in Brazil (19451958)
Workers Technicians Trade
Total of
234 066
7245 (1,6%)
Spaniards 21824
no available
279 (3,85%)
Data from 1953. Portuguese share of trade was of 21,806 immigrants.
Total of immigrants: 622,584
Source: Diegues 1964, 304310
Brazilian statistics pointed to the increase of immigrants qualified as
technicians or skilled workers or for trade in the years after World War II.
For the state of So Paulo, Diegues Jr. selects immigrants professionally
from 1946 to 1951 and obtains the following results:
Table 3. Migrants in the State of So Paulo (19461951)
Years Farmers Skilled
Trade and
1946 569 417 101 632
1947 1280 696 156 1069
1948 1519 1117 291 1546
1949 2490 2217 486 1841
1950 3168 3715 571 2690
1951 6628 7606 755 1687
Source: Diegues Jnior, 1964: 315
Galician in the Tropics: The History of Immigration in Brazil
Note that from 1949 the number of skilled workers begins to rise and, as
of 1947, the branch of trade and industry almost doubled. The data is not
concerned with Spanish migration only, but helps to illustrate the new
immigration policy in Brazil, seeking to
attract technicians and workers to
the factories. In trade and industry, the growth of this sector shows that
immigrants occupied positions not required by the government, seeking
work where their countrymen had already been established for decades. If
it were not so, why would the Galicians still be working mostly in the
sector of trade and/or hotel services? Despite representing the second
group of immigrants with more skilled workers (27.4%) in the national
total, in Rio de Janeiro most of them are concentrated in urban lodging and
food services, according to the census of 1950. Behind only the
Portuguese, the Galicians also predominate in the business of hotels, inns
and restaurants (Diegues Jr. 1964, 317318). This demonstrates the
professional sectors, regardless of job vacancies offered by the
government and the new immigration policies in Brazil. It was clear that
the networks of solidarity, which included personal and professional
contact, were worth more than any policy.
Cohen, Robin.
Global Diasporas: An introduction
. London: Routledge,
Diegues Junior, Manuel.
Imigrao, urbanizao e industrializao
Ministerio da Educao e Cultura, 1964.
Fausto, Boris
Brasil, de colonia a democracia
, Alianza Amrica, 1995.
Fernandes Rodrigues, Enrique. Emigrao galega para o Brasil atravs de
rica Sarmiento da Silva 107
interior de la provincia de Pontevedra entre 18011950: caractersticas
y puntos de destino. In
Galicia nos contextos histricos
, Edited by
Pilar Cagio, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela,
(2000): 270278.
Martnez Gallego, Avelina.
CEM, 1995.
Medeiros de Menezes, Len.
Os indesejveis: desclassificados da
modernidade. Protesto, crime e expulso na Capital Federal (1890
. EdUERJ. (1996),
Mendona Motta, Mary Hesler de,
Imigrao e trabalho industrial- Rio de
Janeiro (1889-1930)
. Dissertao de mestrado apresentada na
Universidade Federal Fluminense, 1992.
Nez Seixas, Xos Manoel
Emigrantes, caciques e indianos
, Xerais,
Pjaro Peres, Elena. Proverbial hospitalidade? A Revista de Imigrao e
Colonizao e o discurso oficial sobre o imigrante (1945-1955).
Revista do Arquivo Nacional
10 (2) (1997): 5370.
A inexistncia da terra firme. A emigrao galega em So Paulo 1946-
, EDUSP, 2003.
Paschoal Guimares, Maria Lcia.
Espanhis no Rio de Janeiro (1880-
Contribuio historiografia brasileira
. Tese de concurso
livre docncia de Historiografia apre
sentada ao Instituto de Filosofia e
Ciencias Humanas da Universidade do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ), 1988.
Santos, Ricardo Evaristo.
Poltica migratoria es
paola a iberoamrica:
aporte Brasil (1890-1950).
Edicis do Castro, 1996.
Sarmiento da Silva, rica.
O outro Ro: a emigracin galega a Rio de
, 3C3 editora, 2006.
Souza-Martins, Jos de. La inmigracin espaola en Brasil y la formacin
de la fuerza de trabajo en la economa cafetalera, 1880-1930. In
Espaoles hacia Amrica. La emigracin en masa, 1880-1930,
by Snchez-Albornoz, 249269. Nicolas Alianza, 1988.
Seyferth, Giralda. A imigrao alem no Rio de Janeiro. In
Histrias de
imigrantes e de imigrao no Rio de Janeiro
, edited by ngela de
Castro Gomes,1143. 7 letras, 2000.
Yez Gallardo, Csar.
La emigracin espaola a Amrica (siglos XIX y
Colombres, Archivo de Indianos, 1994.
Vzquez, Alejandro.
La emigracin gallega a Amrica
. Tese
de doutorado, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, 1999.
. La reducida aportacin gallega a la agricultura americana, 1830-1936:
Galician in the Tropics: The History of Immigration in Brazil
. La emigracin gallega. Migrantes, transporte y remesas. In
Espaoles hacia Amrica. La emigracin en masa, 1880-1930
, edited
by Nicols Snchez-Albornoz, 80104. Alianza Amrica, 1988.
. O uso da fontes persoais para o estudo da emigracin galega a
Amrica (1830-1930): estado presente e perspectivas.
2, (1996): 139175.
Villares, Ramn. A agricultura galega, 1870-1930. Unha poca de
grandes transformacins. In
Terra e progreso. Historia da Galicia
, edited by Lourenzo Fernndez Prieto, 6182. Xerais,
Considering that many of the evils that afflict our region have their origin
in the indifference and apathy, causes of the ignorance in which our life,
social as much as political develops within a selfish individualism harmful
to the collective interests, and the foundation for the creation of the type of
cacique among our people whom the villagers believe to be a demi-god,
for these considerations and many others that it would be obvious to
enumerate among them, religious fetishism which grows in the countryside
thanks to exploitation Being these causes confirmed, and being
agriculture the only source of work of our region, all regeneration work
should come from the peasants, to be effective and of positive advantages:
it is for these Considerations that a nucleus of citizens creates a useful
work for our region by creating the possible greatest number of agrarian
societies in the villages to disinfect
the licentious atmosphere in which the
authorities of the rural town halls develop [,] first step of national politics
and contribute with all their means to the farmers intellectual elevation.
for these Considerations, the Committ
Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento, Universidad autnoma de Entre
Ros, Museo de la Emigracin Gallega en la Argentina.
Archive FAGA-MEGA, Renovation Centre Fund of Puenteareas, Sub-fund
Auxiliary Committee of Agrarian Societies of Puente Areas in Buenos Aires, Act
Book, p. 2. All translations are the authors.
Migration, Collective Organisation and Socio-Political Intervention
the 1880s.
On the general characteristics and consequences of Galician migration to the New
World, see Villares and Fernandez (1996).
See Villares and Fernandez (1996, 44), Villares (2004, 327).
is a type of land renting peculiar of Galicia, characterized by its long
duration (perpetually or to generations). In fact, the tenant (
) acquired an
almost indefinitely renewable right to the use of the land.
is a movement that embodies the long and complex process of
political claims of Galicia as a national entity, and the parallel genesis of a body of
ideas that justify those claims. Its historical evolution is divided in three stages:
provincialism, from 1840 to approximately 1885; regionalism, from 1885 to 1915;
nationalism, from 1916/18 forwards. See Beramendi and Nuez Seixas (1995, 17).
As Ramn Villares summarizes (2004, 308), the radical social, economic and
political change in Galicia experiments is connected to three great processes: the
Ruy Faras 111
The great influence of migration in th
e configuration of Galicia prior to
the Spanish Civil War can be synthesized in three elements: the economic
remittances sent by the migrants to their families (material remittance); the
cultural and educational remittances (particularly in the form of educational
; and the impact that the returned migrants had on the political
and associative spheres.
The two last are known as immaterial
remittance. According to Xos Mano
el Nez Seixas, the sociopolitical
impact of migration was even greater than the economic impact of the
remittances in Galicia.
This is precisely the aspect in which the present
work will be centred on, by focusing on the case of a colony settled in
Argentina. The presence of numerous Galician communities in receptor
countries, and the proliferation of associative forms at the local, county
and regional levels, made possible the coordination of aid initiatives in
favour of their localities of origin.
We will now turn our analysis to this
last aspect.
1. Galician migration in Argentina, local associationism
and socio-political mobilisation
In quantitative terms, Argentina was in the nineteenth and twentieth
centuries the main destination of
Galician migrants. According to
statistical information gathered by Argentina, more than two million
See the interesting graphic collection published in Conselleria de Educacin
See Villares (2004, 3312), A review of historic and sociological literature extant
Migration, Collective Organisation and Socio-Political Intervention
See Nuez seixas (2001b, 268).
Ruy Faras 113
arrival of the big waves of migrants prior to WWI, the capital of Argentina
Cited in Moya (2004, 305).
See Nuez Seixas (1999, 195, 2023). For a typology of Galician societies in
function of their territorial size, see Pea Saavedra (1991, 35588).
Migration, Collective Organisation and Socio-Political Intervention
See Nuez Seixas (2000, 3512), Cagiao Vila and Nuez Seixas (2007, 1089,
Usually, micro-territorial associations we
re referred to as instruction societies.
Yet, strictly speaking the term refers to
those that included among their goals the
foundation or funding of schools in their pl
aces of origin. In general terms, the
Ruy Faras 115
a moderate socio-political ideology, mostly related to a vague democratic
progressive project and centred on issues related to local power. This
project could be defined in general terms as an anti-caciquesystemand
as regeneration-oriented, aimed at th
See Nuez Seixas 1999, 218, 2256, 22930). A treatment with more details is
in Id (1998).
An analysis of the management and leadership in the Galician community in
Buenos Aires in the first third of the tw
entieth century, in Nuez Seixas (2000,
35974), Cagiao Vila and Nuez Seixas (2007, 1239).
Migration, Collective Organisation and Socio-Political Intervention
to a kind of parallel community where they became key actors in shaping
the dynamics present in rural and semi-urban areas in Galicia up to 1936.
Thus, from the beginning of the century the migrants represented an
important factor of modernisation for their places of origin, due to their
economic help in funding public works as well as their charity activities
(individually or collectively). In addition, migrants contributed to the
See Nuez Seixas (2006, 1167).
See Pea Saavedra (1991, 163225).
Ruy Faras 117
systems and the religious fanaticism that affected their democratic rights
(according with the ideology of those who promoted these initiatives).
A relevant example of these initiatives is provided by the schools
See Nuez Seixas (1999, 2223), Id (2000, 375), Cagiao Vila and Pea Saavedra
(2008, 536).
See Botana Iglesias and Cerdeira Louro (2010), Cerdeira Louro (2010, 89101,
160200). For other cases, see the seminal work of Pea Saavedra (1991).
Migration, Collective Organisation and Socio-Political Intervention
innovations, the abolition of the
system, the privatisation of the
See Soutelo Vazquez (2001, 200). A global interpretation of the Galician agrarian
movement compared to other European sceneries, in Cabo Villaverde (1998).
Ruy Faras 119
did not play a major role since there were few micro-territorial associations
Ibid., 17780.
Ibid., 1812.
See Nunez Seixas (1998, 2005) and Herves Sayar (1997, 21920).
See Cabo Villaverde (2001, 181n). Other examples in Dominguez Almansa
(1997), Nuez Seixas (1998), Soutelo Vazquez (2007).
Migration, Collective Organisation and Socio-Political Intervention
provide the participants of a social
movement with a shared perception of
themselves (a collective identity) and of their antagonists, therefore easing
the integration and fighting centrifugal tendencies. In the elaboration and
diffusion of these images, the associations, and in particular the Galician
press in the Americas played an important role. The
the mouthpiece of the dynamic Federation of Galician Agrarian and
On the Galician press in Argentina (a
nd in immigration in general) see the
excellent Pea Saavedra (1998).
See Cabo Villaverde (2001, 1827).
See Soutelo Vazquez (2001, 203).
Ruy Faras 121
There was a positive correlation between the foundation of local and
See Nuez Seixas (1998, 3336), Soutelo Vazquez (2001, 200).
See Soutelo Vazquez (2001, 211214), Nuez Seixas (1998, 101n), Diaz (2007,
Migration, Collective Organisation and Socio-Political Intervention
Galician agrarian movement or the federative plans envisioned in the
1910s and the 1920s overcame the traditional localism of these associations.
The idea of creating a single encompassing association integrating all the
local Galician associations of Buenos Aires was a permanent theme of
discussion within the Galician community in the city in the 1910s. In
1921, the ambitious FSG was founded in Buenos Aires.
Although it was
originally shaped by agrarianism, the FSG was also influenced by
and republicanism and later by Galician nationalism. Its
influence grew, and by 1927 it had gathered forty
associations. Since its beginnings, the FSGs features were republicanism,
its defence of Galician identity and culture, and a strong commitment to
intervention in the political life of the country, beginning with the demand
for suppression of the
The ideological and political relationship
For a history of this institution, see Diaz (2007).
Many of their leaders were considerably influenced by Argentine socialism and
The FSGs political program focused on several points: abolition and not
redemption of the
, greater commitment of agrarianism with reformist
politics, vaguely situated between republicanism ideological and socialism,
laicism, social reformism and cooperativism, and support for the socialists and left-
wing republicans.
See Nuez Seixas (1998, 253300), Id. (1999, 232). Some time later, during the
Spanish Civil War, the FSG displayed a hectic activity and constituted a specific
organization (the Galician Central of Help to the Popular Spanish Front) in order to
support the war effort of the legitimate Spanish government. This support did not
finish with the defeat, in 1939, but it continued in favor of the exiles and refugees
and, sometimes, of those who had suffered Francos reprisals. Some notes on that
in Nuez Seixas (1992, 3005), Montenegro (1997), id. (2002).
See a general analysis of the lives of artisan and industrial workers in modern
Galicia in Villares et al. (2007).
Ruy Faras 123
in the labour struggles in Argentina at the turn of the century and became
involved in the strongly repressed Argentine anarchist movement. After
these experiences in the Argentine labour movement, even as leaders,
Galician returned migrants fulfilled active organisational tasks within the
Galician labour movement. This involvement in labour activities was
particularly intense after 1929, when the economic crisis forced many
migrants to return to Galicia. Thus, the
contributed to the
introduction of new forms of labour unionism in some regions of Galicia,
and were crucial in the process of strengthening and consolidation of
workers organisations already existing.
Examples of this phenomenon are abundant. Thus, Manuel Mario
Mndez, delegate of the Progressive Union of Salvatierra of Mio in
Buenos Aires, and mayor of the municipality of Salvatierra de Mio
See Nuez Seixas (1998, 342), Cagiao Vila and Nuez Seixas (2007, 1089),
Villares (2007, 20).
See Nuez Seixas (1998, 339), Penelas (1996, 812), Herves Sayar (1997,
Migration, Collective Organisation and Socio-Political Intervention
instance, in A Estrada or Vilalba,
See Nuez Seixas (1998, 338), Villares (2004, 33540).
The 1932 Agrarian Reform Law excluded Galicia since it was conceived for
lands where extensive agriculture and
prevailed. In Galicia, the structure
of landownership was based on the small owner or tenant and the cultivation of
several crops devoted to self consumption. SeeVelazco Souto (2000, 11011).
On the development of Galician nationalism during the II Republic, see
Beramendi and Nuez Seixas (1995, 14364).
A synthesis of the acting of both political forces, in Velazco Souto (2000, 2536,
Ruy Faras 125
referendum until June 28, 1936. In order to be approved, the statute had to
be supported by two thirds of the votes. The support of the coalition of
parties in power in the national government, the Popular Front, made this
goal easier. On July 15, the representatives of the Central Committee for
Autonomy (formed in late 1932) submitted the statutes draft to Congress,
but the process was interrupted by the attempted coup dtat on July 17
and the subsequent civil war.
When it was obvious that Primo de Riveras dictatorship was doomed,
from Buenos Aires began the process of reorganisation of
Galician nationalism in Galicia. Thus, soon after the formation of ORGA,
the FSG and the group of people gathered by the remarkable cultural
expressed their support for ORGAs agenda (the
Republic for Spain and autonomy for Galicia),
and on May 1932 created
the Argentine section of ORGA.A year later, in the Ordinary Congress of
the FSG, the nationalists obtained the control of its Executive Committee
and its newspaper, which became the non-official organ of the Galician
republican nationalism in Buenos Aires. When the news of the proclamation
of the Republic arrived in Buenos Aires, the mobilisation of the republican
Galician in the Argentine capital extended to sectors previously unaffected
by political activism.
The FSG (without the socialist branch, which
The Statute of Autonomy reached Congress in 1938, but it was not passed due to
the indifference or even the obstruction of some allegedly allied forces of
Galleguismo. Ultimately, the Statute was passed in the Republican Congress in
exile (Mexico) in 1945. It was never enforced. See Velazco Souto (2000, 11732,
appeared fortnightly in Spanish and Galician between 1924 and 1932.
Some of the most conspicuous representa
tives of the Galician culture in Buenos
Aires, such as Eduardo Blanco Amor, Ramon Surez Picallo or Eliseo Pulpeiro,
contributed to the magazine.
was one of the most dynamic cultural
enterprises of the Galician community in Bu
enos Aires. The ideas of the moderate
nationalists were spread out to Galicians
all over South America through its pages.
From 1925, European
wrote in
. The magazine supported the
creation of a federal republic in Spain, l
eaning towards the democratic-progressive
wing of
The penetration of nationalist ideas in the
Federation began in 1925
during its IV Congress, when several celtigos (headed by Suarez Picallo and
Eduardo Blanco Amor) became directives of the Federation.
Even the Galician Centre of Buenos Aires, traditionally apolitical, was
moderately opening to the acceptance of a moderate autonomist
; thus,
it took an active part in the December
1932 Assembly of Galician Municipalities in
favor of the Statute. A history of this institution, up to the end of the 1930s, can be
found in Rodriguez Diaz (2000).
Migration, Collective Organisation and Socio-Political Intervention
abandoned the organization in 1928
) the ORGA from Buenos Aires and
decided to support the Republic and the autonomy of Galicia. The
political mobilisation encouraged by the FSG, the ORGA and
reached a peak when they sent a united representation to the Galician
Centre of Montevideo. The FSGs representatives were Antonio Alonso
Ros, Ramn Surez Picallo and Pedro Campos Couceiro.
Despite its internal division, the Galician FSG decisively acted in
Galician politics during the Second Republic. The FSG delegates actively
participated in the pro-Statute Assembly held in A Corua in June 1931
and in the several elections celebrated during the Republican period,
supporting republican and
candidates. Some of the FSG
delegates became elected deputies in the Spanish Chamber. Surez Picallo
was elected deputy for the constituent Congress of 1931 as representative
of ORGA, receiving the funding of the FSG. For the first time, the
sent their representatives to the Congress in Madrid, among
them a returned migrant sent from Argentina in order to participate in this
Nevertheless, the FSG later broke its links with Casares Quirogas
republicans, and joined as an adherent entity to the PG. The Buenos
Aires branch of the ORGA became a branch of the PG with the name of
the Galician Republican Nationalist Organization (ONRG after its
Galician acronym). The FSG, in its VIII Ordinary Congress (1932)
modified its principles, by defining Galicia as a national entity within the
Spanish State and by defending the right of Galicia to the full enjoyment
of its sovereignty in equal terms to the other peoples of Spain. The fight
for a greater autonomy for Galicia became the fulcrum of its political
activity. The FSGs newspaper, renamed
in 1930, focused on the
propaganda of the autonomy, and kept a nationalist and moderate left-
About the disputes between nationalists and socialists in the FSG, its division
and co-existence with a pro-socialist Federation of Galician Societies of Buenos
See Beramendi and Nuez Seixas (1995, 16670), Nuez Seixas (1998, 299
305), Pea Saavedra (1998, 12830), Velasco Souto (2000, 25), Diaz (2007, 31
Ruy Faras 127
received the support of almost all Galician associations from Buenos
The political awareness and willingness to participate in politics within
the Galician community in Buenos Aires was greatly encouraged by the
activities of Surez Picallo and Alonso Ros. They played an important
political role in Galician nationalism and the agrarian
Antonio Hiplito Alonso Ros was born in Silleda (Pontevedra)
in 1887. He was trained as a teacher at the Normal School of Santiago de
Compostela. He worked as a teacher for the prestigious Polytechnic
Institute of Santiago and in the province of Mendoza (Argentina). From
party. During the campaign in favour of the Statute of Autonomy, Alonso
Ros travelled throughout the country and, with other leaders of the PG,
was actively involved in propaganda tasks.
Surez Picallo was born in Sada (A Corua) in 1894. He worked in the
fields from an early age and when fourteen went to the sea with his father.
In 1912, he left for Buenos Aires, being employed in non-qualified jobs in
his first years in the city. He was actively involved in politics and trade
See Nuez Seixas (1998, 305), Id.(1999, 332), Beramendy and Nuez Seixas
(1995, 16973).
See Cagiao Vila and Nuez Seixas (2007, 140).
See Repertorio (2006, 13), Alonso (2008, 731). Other references in Vilanova
Rodriguez (1966 II, 13612).
Migration, Collective Organisation and Socio-Political Intervention
unions in Argentina, writing for various workers newspapers, being the
director of
Correo de Galicia
See Repertorio (2006: 580-1). Other references in Vilanova Rodriguez (1966 II:
1354-9), as well as in several of the articles joined in Villares et al (2009).
Ruy Faras 129
Consellera de Educacin (2002),
Legado sociocultural da emigracin
, Xunta de Galicia.
Daz, Hernn M. (2007),
Historia de la Federacin de Sociedades
Gallegas. Identidades polticas y prcticas militantes
, Fundacin
Sotelo Blanco/Biblos.
. (2010), Aproximacin historia da Federacin de Sociedades
Gallegas, in Faras, R. (coord.),
Bos Aires galega
, Toxosoutos, pp.
Dminguez Almansa, Andrs (1997), O papel da emigracin na
transformacin da sociedade rural galega: asociacionismo agrario e
poder local no Concello de Teo. 1900-1936), in Fernndez Prieto, L.,
Nez Seixas, X. M., Arteaga Rego, A. & Balboa, X. (coord.),
local, elites e cambio social na Galicia non urbana (1874-1936)
Parlamento de Galicia / Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, pp.
Hervs Sayar, Henrique (1997), O unicato bugallalista: Ponteareas, 1891-
1923. Elementos para unha anlise do caciquismo e do clientelismo
Migration, Collective Organisation and Socio-Political Intervention
Estudios Migratorios
, n 11-12, June-December 2001, pp.
. (2008),
La parroquia de ultramar: Redes sociales y asociacionismo
inmigrante gallego en la Argentina (1880-1940)
, unpublished.
. (2010), Un panorama social da inmigracin galega en Bos Aires,
1750-1930, in Faras, R. (coord.),
Bos Aires galega
, pp. 47-70.
Penelas, Carlos (1996),
Los gallegos anarquistas en la Argentina
, Torres
Agero Editor.
Pea Saavedra, Vicente (1991),
xodo, organizacin comunitaria e
intervencin escolar. La impronta socio-educativa de la emigracin
transocenica en Galicia
, Xunta de Galicia, 2 vols.
. dir. (1998),
Repertorio da prensa galega na emigracin
, Consello da
Cultura Galega.
Repertorio biobibliogrfico do exilio galego.
Unha primeira achega
, Consello da Cultura Galega.
Rodrguez Daz, Rogelio (2000),
Historia del Centro Gallego de Buenos
[1940], Instituto Argentino de Cultura Gallega.
The term diaspora was originally used to explain the forced
dispersion of the Jewish people and, from that paradigmatic case, it was
extended to others, such as the Armenian diaspora. A diaspora, prior to the
Armenian Genocide of 1915, was identified as traders, militaries, and
intellectuals as survivors integrated into a new context. This article focuses
on the post-Genocide diaspora, and it proposes to identify, from a
historical perspective, the paradigms and institutions which functioned as
organising criteria for the Armenian collective. However, the central aim
of this work is that of characterising the nature and modalities of the bonds
N. Boulgourdjian-Toufeksian, Phd. in History d Civilisation (EHESS);
Armenian Diaspora and the Motherland
To generate evidence on this hypothesis we focus on community
sources and documentation from the Republic of Armenia.
1. A Revision of the Noti
on of Diaspora Applied
to the Armenian Case and the Distinction of Two
To attain the object of these notes we will briefly revise the notion of
diaspora itself. The Armenians see themselves as a people in diaspora
because they dispersed to different European countries establishing small
colonies in England (Manchester and Liverpool), France (Marseilles) and
in East Europe (Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary). They settled also in the
Middle East and in India where in 1997 they founded the first Armenian
in Madras. These migrants were mostly traders, cloth
Anahide Ter Minassian, La diaspora armnienne, in
, edited by
Michel Bruneau(Montpellier: Reclus, 1995), 2425.
Nlida Boulgourdjian-Toufeksian 133
According to this definition, then, those who consider themselves part of a
Diasporic project integrate the diaspora.
Martine Hovanessian, from an anthropological perspective, proposes
that diasporas are distinguished by their contribution to cultural generational
transmission and, particularly in the Armenian case, for their capacity to
develop a culture of duration or an ideology of non dilution of the
From our point of view, the Armenian case, starting from these
readings, allows us to understand the changes that operated in the formation
of the new Armenian communities after the Genocide of 1915. These
traumatic changes, in the dimension of the individual, meant a break with
the past and, at the same time, a need to recover the pre-genocide culture.
In the collective dimension, however, the word diaspora was adopted to
explain the dispersion of the Armenian people, its later community
Rogers Brubaker, The diaspora diaspora,
Armenian Diaspora and the Motherland
differential registers depending on the prevalence of different causes of the
migratory process.
2. The Armenian Apostolic Church: An Institution
Common to Armenia and the Diaspora
In this section we consider it relevant to examine the decisive role of
the Armenian Apostolic Church in the whole Diasporic process. The
Supreme Spiritual leader of the Armenian Church is the
Patriarch and
Catholicos of All Armenians
, the worldwide spiritual leader of the
Armenians in Armenia and the diaspora.
The Apostolic church was
The spiritual and administrative See of the Armenian Church was established in
1441 in Echmiadzin, in the old territory of Vagarshapat where king Drtad,
following St Gregory, promoted the adoption of the Christian faith in the
Armenian people. J. P. Hornus, glise armnienne et culture dans lArmnie
daujourdhui. Lglise armnienne en URSS et le Catholicossat dEchmiazn, in
Histoire des Armniens
,(Paris : Privat, 1982), 567.
J. P. Hornus, glise armnienne et culture dans lArmnie daujourdhui.
Lglise armnienne en URSS et le Catholicossat dEchmiazn,
Histoire des
(Paris : Privat, 1982), 572.
Nlida Boulgourdjian-Toufeksian 135
The religious buildings and the seats of the associations with
architectonic elements
thatat least in some casestake them nearer to
the Armenian styles, reflect the interest to keep with the traditions of their
ancestry. These are places that express the collective memory of the
diaspora, either because of the images exposed or for the community
commemorations and patriotic holidays. The existence of a community
around a place of worship is common to a great number of diasporas
(among the oldest examples is how Judaism is organised around the
synagogues), and in the case of the Armenian it is linked to the Apostolic
This demonstrates a significant fact: in spite of the difficulties that the
Juan C. Toufeksian,
Esquema de la arquitectura armenia,
(Buenos Aires:
Secretara de Extensin Universitaria, Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo,
UBA), 1991.
Nlida Boulgourdjian-Toufeksian,
Los armenios en Buenos Aires. La
reconstruccin de la identidad,
(Buenos Aires: Edicin del Centro Armenio),
1997, pp. 146152.
Armenian Diaspora and the Motherland
Claire Mouradian, L'immigration des Armniens de la diaspora vers la RSS
d'Armnie, 1946-1962,
Nlida Boulgourdjian-Toufeksian 137
with the addition of the adjective nor (new) as Nor Malatya, and Nor
Arapkir, among others.
For the foundation of these new cities, specific
associations, the Armenian compatrio
tic unions, intervened, which were
also another channel to win supporters for the reconstruction (verlek) of
Armenia. In their origin, these associations had been created in the new
Nlida Boulgourdjian,
Le rseau associatif armnien
Buenos Aires et Paris:
entre tradition et intgration 1900-1950,
doctoral thesis, EHESS, Paris, 2008.
Armenian Diaspora and the Motherland
in sympathy with communist ideas, for fear of disturbing or annoying the
Argentine authorities. The ARF, in opposition to this group, also had its
celebrations, on February 18, 1921 in which the momentary recovery of
year 1, n 1, February 1933, p. 56, Report from A. Keradjian.
Nlida Boulgourdjian-Toufeksian 139
traveled from one context to the othe
r to promote closer ties. The contacts
and cultural interchange were encouraged through the provision of
textbooks and the invitation of intellectuals to Armenia. In this stage of
Aleksandr V. Gevorkyan and D. A. Grigorian,
Armenia and its Diaspora,
Armenian Diaspora and the Motherland
directive council (from the President of the Republic of Armenia to the
Supreme Head of the Armenian Church, representatives of the three
Armenian political parties of the diaspora, and of their main associations),
and by the characteristics of the work it promoted, such as the construction
of the road that joins Armenia with Karabagh; the building of housing in
shortage after the 1988 earthquake, and the construction of hospitals and
educational buildings.
Since then, and particularly from the Independence of Armenia in
1991, the diaspora offered a great deal of aid that was strengthened thanks
to the active presence of more organised communities of the diaspora,
such as in the United States, Canada, France and Russia.
The projects were implemented through a global net of twenty-one
affiliated countries with a center in the United States (Los Angeles and
New York), Canada (Toronto and Montreal), France, Great Britain,
Germany, Austria, Holland, Switzerland, Australia, Brazil, Lebanon.
Argentina (Buenos Aires and Cordoba), Greece, Cyprus, Syria, Uruguay,
Aleksandr V. Gevorkyan and D. A. Grigorian,
Armenia and its Diaspora,
I am thankful to the Armenian Found of Argentina for this information.
Nlida Boulgourdjian-Toufeksian 141
Armenian Diaspora and the Motherland
measure that the bond was broadly perceived as guarantee of its
Professor, researcher and director of the Chair on Irish Studies La Plata
University (Argentina)
Brian Hocking,
Localizing Foreing Policy: Non-Central Governments and
Multiplayer Diplomacy
, (London and New York: Macmillan and St. Martins
Press, 1993.
Gloria Totoricaguena,
Nationalism and Ethnic Politics
, (EEUU, Taylor and
Francis Inc., 2005).
Diplomacy and Diasporas: The Irish-Argentine Case
time, leaders among them come to the
fore seeking a more formal contact
with the homeland they have left, generating a mechanism of feedback and
Patrick McKenna, Nineteenth Centur
y of the Irish in Argentina. In
edited by Edmundo Murray, (Buenos Aires, EUDEBA, 2004).
Eduardo A. Coghlan,
Los Irlandeses en la Argentina: Su Actuacin y
, (Buenos Aires, edicin privada, 1987).
Maria Eugenia Cruset 145
Carolina Barry, La Primera Convencin de la Raza Irlandesa en Sudamrica. In
The Southern Cross
129 (5883) (January 2004): 3.
The Southern Cross
, April 28, (1916): 13.
Diplomacy and Diasporas: The Irish-Argentine Case
governments to honour the memory of those men who sacrifice themselves
for the ideals they believe will forge the freedom of their people.
The very important issue of financing was also present. In 1921, an aid
committee was created: The Irish Argentine UIT Cross, and during many
months the list of people who contributed and the amounts donated were
For example:
For the victims of the Revolution in Ireland Appeal to the Irish-Argentine
Mrs. Edward O`Brien (Buenos Aires) $200
Fr. Patrick O`Grady (Capilla) $50.
Rev. John M. Sheehy (Rosario) $20
Mr. Guillermo Murphy (Salta) $20
Mr. Thomas O`Reiley (Flores) $10
Mrs. Maria Clara O`Reilly (Flores) $10
Rev. Francis Meaghes (Rosario)$10
Mrs. Meaghes (Rosario) $10 ...
The list is very interesting because it allows us to observe some of the
characteristics of the Irish-Argentines and how they collaborated. Firstly,
it must be said that some contributed significant sums initially through
their generosity, and also because they were able to. For example, $200
was the equivalent of a police officers monthly salary, one of the best-
paid public servants of the time.
The geographic distribution of the people who collaborated is also
interesting. If indeed they are from all over the countryas we can see
there are contributions from as far af
ield as Saltathe majority are from
the capital, Rosario and the north of the province of Buenos Aires. That is
to say, they coincide with the distribution of the foremost communities.
There is also important information on gender. It has been said that
women did not play an important role in the rising. This is true, but what is
significant is not the amount of women, but that there were any who
contributed in the first instance. This is important information in evaluating
womens participation in a historical cont
ext. In fact, if we look at the list,
women contribute equally. We see marriages where the spouses contribute
Carolina Barry, El nacimiento de una terrible belleza. In
The Southern Cross
Ao 131 (915) (August 2006): 12.
The Southern Cross
May 19 (1916): 13.
Maria Eugenia Cruset 147
separately with equal amounts. This leads us to believe that the wives had
Diplomacy and Diasporas: The Irish-Argentine Case
In summary, the Irish community got involved in what was happening
in the Mother Country: it got information, organised itself and supported
what was happening there. To illustrate this, I would like to discuss the
Irish-Argentine who raised the flag above the G.P.O. during the Easter
Rising as mentioned above, Eamon Bulfin.
Eamon Bulfin was born in Buenos
Aires in 1892, the son of William
Bulfin, who immigrated to Argentina at twenty years old. In this country,
he became a writer, journalist, editor and owner of
The Southern Cross
He helped the republican cause economically and with publicity through
Maria Eugenia Cruset 149
La Nacin
The Southern Cross
accused itof being extremely nationalist,
with an ultra Anglo-Saxon viewpoint and ignorant of Irish history.
The Southern Cross
, April 28 (1916): 13
La Nacin
, May 2 (1916), 8.
La Prensa
, May 3 (1916), 9.
Diplomacy and Diasporas: The Irish-Argentine Case
there was no such thing as a Readers Letters section, it is difficult to
know what consequences the dissatisfaction towards
La Nacin
seen in the
pages of
The Southern Cross
had, for example. What is certain is that until
the news coverage of the uprising ended, a little over a month later, the
editorial line was maintained.
It is known that the richer, more powerful and more influential a
diaspora is, the easier it can involve the host country in working for the
interests of their Mother Countries. This has been widely studied in the
case of the U.S., nevertheless, there is still an outstanding debt in the case
of the Irish-Argentines.
The introduction of Diasporas as a category for study in Social Science
in general, and of Political Science and International Relations in
particular, allows for newer and richer approaches to the theme. Without a
doubt, this is something new and will require further study. The analysis
of the Irish Diaspora and its interaction with others will allow us to
broaden our knowledge of history. The role of the Irish-Argentines in the
Easter Rising of 1916 was not a leading one, that is clear, yet it would be
unfair and untruthful to say they had none or if we minimised it. This
theme requires study in greater detail. It will be important to research the
relationship of the Diaspora in Argentina with Ireland and that with other
Maria Eugenia Cruset 151
Hocking, Brian.
Localizing Foreing Policy: Non-Central Governments
and Multiplayer Diplomacy.
Londres/New York: Macmillan and St.
Martins Press, 1993.
Mckenna, Patrick. Nineteenth Century of the Irish in Argentina. En
Devenir Irlands
. Buenos Aires: EUDEBA,2004.
Mulhall, Marion.
Los Irlandeses en Sudamrica
. Buenos Aires:
Murray, Edmundo.
Devenir Irlands
. Buenos Aires: EUDEBA,2004.
Murray, Thomas.
The Story of the Irish in Argentina.
New York: PJ
Kennedy and Sons, 1919.
Sabato, Hilda and Karol, Juan Carlos.
Cmo fue la inmigracin irlandesa
en la Argentina.
Buenos Aires: Plus Ultra, 1981.
Totoricaguena, Gloria.
Professor, researcher and director of the Chair on Irish Studies La Plata
University (Argentina).
Cedric Gouverneur,
Le Monde Diplomatique
7 Enero (2000): 89.
Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland: The Role of Diaspora
The concept of peace is difficult to
define because of its deeply
Irish Nationalism
Irish history is signified by the fight against the invader. Often this
fight has meant a more or less dissembled resistance, and at other times a
straightforward revolutionary movement, but it has never been in a state of
These uprisings in several cases coincided with what some authors call
the bourgeois revolutionary circle (Hobswam 1987), or more recently
J. Galtung,
Peace: Research, Education, Action
1 (25) (Copenhagen: 1975), 29
Traditional Irish dances are quite well known where dancers dance with their
arms stuck to their bodies. According to
tradition, they do it so that the English
will not notice their joy. In a way, humour, happiness and music turn into methods
of resistance.
Eric J Hobsawm, Las Revoluciones Burguesas (
The Age of Revolution)
(Barcelona: Labor, 1987); A. Lettieri and L. Garbarini,
Las Revoluciones Atlnticas
, (Buenos Aires: editorial longseller, 2001).
Maria Eugenia Cruset 155
A minority of those involved in the Independence War refused to accept
the treaty and caused the Irish civil war, which lasted until 1923 and cost
the lives of some of the independence movement leaders, especially
Michael Collins and Rory OConnor. The consequences of the treaty
which, in turn, were the fundamental causes of the civil war, were
Irelands autonomy with the status of dominion within the British
Commonwealth and the separation of the northern counties. In 1948, a
republic was finally declared in the south of Ireland and in 1949 the
country abandoned the Commonwealth.
From the end of the 1960s to the signing of the 1998 agreement, a
succession of violent attacks known as The Troubles took place. During
those thirty years, the Unionist sector, close to the dominion of Great
Britain, and the Nationalist sector which looked for annexation with the
Irish Republic, were violently opposed. The conflict began in 1968 when
groups defending catholic civil rights began with demonstrations and
disturbances. The escalating violence drove the Prime Minister to ask for
direct intervention from England. From this confrontational stage between
Unionists and the IRA emerged the so-called Bloody Sunday in 1972, in
which a Catholic demonstration ended in violent repression with fourteen
people (some only children) were killed by the British army, and a hunger
strike in 1981 headed by the prisoner Bobby Sands.
In 1978, more than thirty Republican prisoners refused to use convict
clothes and to get out of their cells, covering themselves only with a
blanket. Their protest centred on five demands:
(1)the right to wear their own clothes
(2)the right to abstain from prison work
(3)the right of freedom of organisation
(4)the right to recreation and education facilities
(5)restoration of the right of remission of punishment.
Finally, and before the refusal of the authorities to grant these rights, in
October 1980 seven prisoners started a hunger strike. This strike ended
after fifty-three days when they were allowed to wear their own clothes.
However, on March 1, 1981, Bobby Sands, then leader of the Provisional
Irish Republican Army, (IRA-P) began a hunger strike at Maze prison.
During the following weeks and months, other prisoners joined the strike
These two examples serve as an illustration of the depth and violence of the
conflict, but it is not our intention in this work to develop a detailed history of the
Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland: The Role of Diaspora
in an organised way. It should be taken into account that Sands had also
been elected to British Parliament during this period.
The hunger strike grew and on May 5, Sands was the first to dieit is
estimated that 100,000 people attended his funeral. The strike finally
ended on October 3, 1981 with three people dead. Following this, the
prison regime was modified and their petitions granted.
The Good Friday Agreement
The Good Friday Agreement was signed, as stated, on April 10, 1988
Maria Eugenia Cruset 157
a) The assignation of the presidency, ministers and members of the
committee proportional to the forces of the party
(Gobbi, 1993).
Other notable aspects were:
The creation of a British-Irish Council with representatives of all
The modification of the Irish constitutional demand on Northern
The elimination of the Irish Government Act of 1921 on the part of
the British Parliament wherein the partition of Ireland was proclaimed.
The official acknowledgement of the Irish language in Northern
Also included are:
The transformation of the militarised Ulster Royal Police into a
civil police service.
The withdrawal of British troops.
The liberation of the paramilitary prisoners belonging to the
organisations who honoured the stop fire and the demilitarisation of
their groups.
The Role of President Clinton and the Diaspora
During the negotiations, Bill Clinton, the President of the United States
of America, strongly pledged himself with the peace process, urging and
pressing the parties involved. He named a peace envoy, George
Mitchell, who was to lead the International body of Decommission of
Weapons (IBDW). This same commission was later in charge of
supervising and keeping regular contact with the IRA. Mitchells work
was so important that he was decorated numerous times in his country and
the Red Cross and Gentleman of the British Empire were granted to him,
as well as being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
The traditional policy of the United States in relation to The
Troubles was to consider them an internal affair of Great Britain. This
changed during Clintons presidency, and the sending of a commissioner
Non-official translation summarized in: Gobbi, Hugo, Estado, Identidad
yLibertad, Buenos Aires: Abeledo-Perrot, 1999, 304.
Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland: The Role of Diaspora
was one of his electoral campaign promises. In this matter, he had the
strong support of senator Joseph P. Kennedy and sixteen other
congressmen, even though this had to wait until the disarming of the IRA
and Sinn Fein leader Jerry Adams petition for the active intervention of
the USA, as in South Africa and the Middle East. There are two
fundamental causes for President Clintons involvement in these matters:
the presidents own agenda of his vision of Foreign Politics, and the
strength of the Irish North American diaspora.
The history of North American foreign politics can be characterised by
the use of Realism and Idealism in an interchangeable way since the 1823
Monroe doctrine which, for some authors, is the first expression of the
latter, leading to Wilsons ideas and the period after 1915, with Realism
more evident after 1945. The idealists tend to universalise humanitarian
ideas and moral principles, advocating support to international organisation,
international law, armament control, human rights and, above all,
democratic government. Idealists believe in the possibility of creating a
most prosperous, sure and just world order. These are the ideals which
influenced Clintons administration to intervene in different conflicts as
The Irish-Americans
Irish immigration to the United States has always been a strong and
numerous group with nationalist tendencies. This group gradually came to
be known as Irish American.
Irish nationalism in the United States
underwent three stages:
North Americans of Irish origin.
Maria Eugenia Cruset 159
Day. Much of this phase has to do with the presidency of John F.
Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland: The Role of Diaspora
In 1858, the Republican Irish Brotherhood was founded in Dublin,
owing to the initiative of the North American immigrants. Soon a sister
association was born with the same name in New York. These groups with
Fenian orientation tended to become
radicalised, and some even became
illegal. For this reason, and to evad
e proscription in 1867, the Clan na
Gael was founded. These radical groups controlled the newspapers Irish
Nation and United Irishmen, while moderate nationalists published
The Pilot in Boston and The Irish World in New York.
Summing up, it must be stressed how important a role the Irish
community played in relation to the main Irish leaders, and the privileged
position it had. To have an idea of the importance of this phenomenon we
have to remember that from July 1919 to December 1920, the president of
the Dail Eireann, Eamon de Valera, made a journey through the United
States to raise funds, awake consciousness, and strengthen bonds with the
powerful Irish community in America, and to make their position known
in public opinion and to politicians in particular. With the idea of evading
internal divisions, he founded the Association for the Recognition of the
Irish Republic. From 1922, delegates of the first level were sent with the
same purpose, and the first diplomatic legation was that of the United
States in 1924. The arrival of John F. Kennedy to presidency marked a
peak. His tragic death did not mean a drawback, since his family, strongly
politicised, continued his task. On the other hand, it is important to note
that the electorate of Irish origin was always congenial with the Democrat
Party, the same to which Clinton ascribed.
With these antecedents, it was not difficult for the congressmen of Irish
origin in particular, and the Irish lobby in general, to involve President
Clinton by presenting participation in the conflict as something with low
costs and great benefits, and besides which it chimed with his own
international agenda and was even part of the platform of his campaign.
The importance of the American role in the success of the peace process is
difficult to measure, but it was definitely significant. It is also not possible
to measure the importance of the diaspora in obtaining participation of the
national state, but again it has to be acknowledged that it was important.
Maria Eugenia Cruset 161
The Three Anchors and the Peace Agreement
The peace agreement was very important in promoting development in
Northern Ireland and cannot be underestimated. However, this covenant
university. In this way, an unjust situation which is hundreds of years old
Bishop John McAreavey: Central to the identity and mission of Catholic schools
is faith in Jesus Christ a
nd the commitment with the way of life and the vision
based on Catholic tradition. The Catholic Church believes that young people
formed in this traditionwhere a central
tenet is love your neighbourare well
Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland: The Role of Diaspora
is allowed to continue, where Protestants have the best possibilities to the
detriment of Catholics. Furthermore, education in Northern Ireland is
compulsory up to the age of sixteen, whereas in England it is up to
eighteen. In a way this fact, which is not only cultural but also economic,
marks the difference inside Great Britain.
2. The Police
Another key point of the agreement is the creation of an acceptable
police force for both parties. For this reason, British Prime Minister Tony
Blair asked for a report on the police situation from the ex-Hong Kong
Governor, Chris Patten, filed in September 1999. However, up to now, his
recommendations have not b
Maria Eugenia Cruset 163
In spite of that initiative, the agreement looks to the future but without
recourse to the past. Nothing is said of reparations to the victims of either
party. The matter is beginning to be timidly discussed by small academic
circles and by human rights activists, but even in these cases a monetary
compensation is spoken of, rather than a legal or judicial one. One of these
organisations, perhaps one of the strongest, is the Healing through
Remembering Project, born in 2002 by the initiative of some help groups
to the victims of violence, and with the advice of Dr Alex Boraine, a
member of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee of South Africa. Up to
now, his merit has been in bringing to the discussion a subject which has
been virtually set aside:
What we need is measured and reasonable debate on these issues. The
experience is that honest and inclusive debate in an appropriate
environment can bring agreement on reconciliation, truth and justice by
those who hold opposing views and opinions.
Kate Turners words, director of a NGO. In Bulletin 5. Summer 2009. Available
from the website of the institution:
2009.pdf. What we need is a moderate and reasonable debate on these subjects.
HTRs experience is that honest and open debate in an adequate environment may
obtain an agreement on reconciliation, tr
uth and justice for those who think
differently (accessed 22/1/2011)
Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland: The Role of Diaspora
Kingdom, the creation of a nation-state) is solved, it will be difficult to
find peace.
Peace processes are always an opportunity for a new civil contract and
to face the iniquities and separations-exclusions which caused the conflict.
However, it will not be possible until all the actors commit themselves to
Migration and New International Actors

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