The fourth chapter sheds new historical insight on a key but little-studied demographic of incarceration in the United States: Mexicanos, including immigrants from Mexico and U.S.-born persons of Mexican descent. It is a story that unfolded across the U.S.-Mexico borderlands but peaked in Los Angeles when, in the summer of 1907, two LA PD officers kicked in the door of a shanty on the outskirts of town and arrested three leaders of a rebel movement to oust Mexico’s president, Porfirio Diaz. These men, Ricardo Flores Magon, Librado Rivera, and Antonio Villarreal, were political exiles living in hiding in the United States. Their arrests, as with the arrests of thousands of their supporters across the borderlands, were part of President Diaz’s counterinsurgency campaign to cage (if not kill) Magon and crush his rebel movement, which demanded massive political reform and land redistribution in Mexico. Yet, while incarcerated in Los Angeles, Magon, Villarreal, and Rivera cultivated new ways to stoke rebellion in Mexico. Their ongoing assault on the Diaz regime pushed Mexico toward the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution (1910–17). Therefore, Chapter 4 unearths how the incarceration of Mexicanos in the United States surged during the age of revolution in Mexico. It is an epic tale.
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