Teresa Eckmann

Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



Waving the banner of the Virgin of Guadalupe before an audience of 5,000 in Guanajuato, Le6n on September 10, 1999, Vicente Fox Quesada, the Mexican Presidential candidate of the Partido de Acci6n Nacional (PAN) shouted "Viva Mexico!" and "Death to bad government!" The image of Fox with the Virgin made the front page of the Mexican daily newspaper La Reforma under the headlines "Fox Wraps His Campaign in the Virgin of Guadalupe" (Figure 1 ).1 To reproaches from the ruling PRI, the military, the PAN, and the bishop Onesimo Cepeda of the Catholic Church who spat "One doesn't mess with the Virgin of Guadalupe!" Fox retorted "No one can stop me from carrying the Virgin's image in my campaign [ ... ] The Virgin is no one's property, she belongs to all Mexicans.,,2 Why would Fox blatantly ignore the laws of Church and state separation, risking expulsion from the PAN and even arrest? Fox is clever. He knows that the predominant symbol of Mexican national unity, the beloved Guadalupana, will surely win him votes.


Latin American and Iberian Institute

Language (ISO)



The Latin American and Iberian Institute of the University of New Mexico


Chicano, artists, neo-Mexicanists, national identity