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Feliz Cumpleaños, Benito Juárez!

A statue of Benito Juárez in the small town of Comalcalco. | Photo by Roberto Arias

Today marks a national holiday in Mexico in honor of the birthday of Benito Juárez, a greatly celebrated Mexican politician and lawyer who served five terms as president of Mexico from 1858 – 1872.

Born in Guelatao, Oaxaca, Juárez is remembered most for his ardent commitment to promoting democracy and for his long and prosperous rule as president, a time in Mexican history which has come to be known as La Reforma del Norte. 

During this time period, Juárez is credited with bringing about much progressive reform in Mexico. Among the accomplishments commonly attributed to him are: the separation of church and state in public affairs, the expropriation of church lands, and the subordination of the army to civilian control.

Today he is remembered as a liberal leader whose dedication and commitment helped to modernize Mexico.

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