Ignacio Manuel Altamirano

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Ignacio Manuel Altamirano

Ignacio Manuel Altamirano Basilio (1834 – 13 February 1893) was a Mexican radical liberal writer, journalist, teacher and politician.

Altamirano was born in Tixtla, Guerrero, of indigenous Nahua heritage. His father was the mayor of Tixtla, this allowed Ignacio to attend school there. He later studied in Toluca thanks to a scholarship that was granted him by Ignacio Ramírez, of whom he was a disciple.

As a liberal politician, Altamirano opposed Benito Juárez's continuation in office in 1861, allying himself with other liberal foes of Juárez and supporting Jesús González Ortega.[1] With the French invasion of Mexico in 1862, Altamirano understood how dire the situation was for Mexico, since unlike the U.S. invasion (1846–48), which united Mexicans against the invader, the French were supported by Mexican conservative.[2]

He founded several newspapers and magazines including El Correo de México ("The Mexico Post"), El Renacimiento ("The Renaissance") (1869), El Federalista ("The Federalist"), La Tribuna ("The Tribune") and La República ("The Republic").

Altamirano was president of the Sociedad Mexicana de Geografía y Estadística (Mexican Society for Geography and Statistics) from 1881 to 1889. He was also public prosecutor, magistrate and president of the Supreme Court, as well as senior officer of the Ministry of Public Works and the Economy.

Statue in San Remo, Italy

Altamirano wrote several books which had considerable success in his time; among them were:

  • Clemencia (Clemencia) (1869) - considered the first modern Mexican novel
  • La Navidad en las montañas (Christmas in the mountains) (1871)
  • Antonia (1872)
  • Beatriz (1873)
  • Cuentos de invierno (1880)
  • Rimas (1880)
  • El Zarco (written 1885–1889, published 1901)

His literary work portrays the Mexican society of the time. He died in San Remo, Italy, in 1893.


  • Clemencia (1869), Ed.Elibros, ebook. ISBN 9789588732312
  • La Navidad en las montañas (1871), ebook, Ed.Elibros ISBN CDLPG00010825
  • El Zarco (2002), Ed. Siglo XXI, México. ISBN 9789682322402

Further reading

  • Nacci, Chris N. Ignacio Manuel Altamirano. New York: Twayne Publishers 1970.


  1. ^ Brian Hamnett, Juárez, New York: Longmans 1994,128.
  2. ^ Hamnett, Juárez, p. 178.
  • Auto-translated Bio at mexicodesconocido.com.mx ("Unknown Mexico" website)

External links

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