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CONGRESO MEXICANISTA. The Congreso Mexicanista, sometimes referred to as El Primer Congreso Mexicanista, met in Laredo from September 14 to 22, 1911. Clemente Idar, whose family owned and published La Crónica, proposed the meeting to organize the Gran Liga Mexicanista de Beneficencia y Protección (Great Mexican League for Benefit and Protection) to advance education, culture, and civil rights for Mexican Americans. The Idars invited the OCH (Orden Caballeros de Honor), members of lodges and sociedades mutualistas, all Mexican consuls in the state, and Texas-Mexican journalists. They also issued a special invitation to women from the region, including Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas. La Crónica furnished free advertising for the conference and, in a series of articles, called on all Texas Mexicans to send representatives. The Congreso was scheduled to coincide with the celebration of el Diez y Seis de Septiembre, Mexican independence day, and an OCH convention. Workshops focused on social oppression and the Texas-Mexican economic situation. Soledad de la Peña spoke on the need to educate women. The congreso established the Gran Liga Mexicanista de Beneficencia y Protección and the Liga Femenil Mexicanista to promote cultural and moral values among Texas Mexicans, provide protection from abuse by public authorities, and combat segregation of Texas Mexican students. Nicasio Idar was chosen the leader of the Gran Liga, and Jovita Idar, his daughter, was elected president of the Liga Femenil, which emphasized free education for poor Texas Mexican children. Both organizations took the motto "Por la Raza y Para la Raza."
BIBLIOGRAPHY:José E. Limón, "El Primer Congreso Mexicanista de 1911," Aztlán 5 (Spring, Fall 1974).
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