During the Cold War, the influence of Maoism as a third way of establishing a new international order inspired several Latin American guerrilla groups, including some in Mexico. This article analyzes the influence of Maoism in Mexico in particular, and pays specific attention to how Florencio Medrano, a peasant leader, was motivated by Maoist thought to establish the Rubén Jaramillo Proletarian Neighborhood, a self-governing neighborhood, and how this site was considered a critical factor for his development as a guerrilla. In the continuing debate over the relationship between agency and structure, the life and work of Florencio Medrano evidences how both social context and personal history influenced his aspirations and demands. By conducting an analysis of primary and secondary sources, this article analyzes some elements of Maoist thought and its diffusion in Latin America in the context of the Cold War. In addition, the article explains the political formation of Florencio Medrano in the Mexican post-revolutionary period, examines Maoist influences on his political formation and participation in pro-communist organizations, and reviews Maoist influence on the organization of the Rubén Jaramillo Neighborhood. Finally, the conclusions emphasize how the peasant origins of Medrano gave rise to his particular understanding of Maoism.

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