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“Las razas indígenas mexicanas y sus estadistas ante el problema de la existencia de la Patria,” was written in 1921 by Francisco Bulnes, a Mexican intellectual and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs under President Porfirio Díaz. In the article, published in the Mexican periodical El Universal, Bulnes attributes the high levels of poverty among indigenous Mexicans to their natural indolence and passivity. He claims that indigenous Mexicans only work for survival and are inclined to fill the rest of their time with drinking and leisure. According to Bulnes, higher salaries do not motivate indigenous workers to greater exertion, but rather, have the opposite effect of instilling complacency in them. The author cites a study by Carlos Basave and Castillo Negrete that determines that the coefficient of civilization among indigenous peoples is 10%. In other words, as Bulnes explains, 10% of indigenous workers possess the same valuable qualities as their European counterparts. Bulnes argues that indigenous Mexicans have not made significant progress since the conquest, and that this backwardness can be attributed to their lack of a moral code. He explains that civilization has only progressed because inferior races have been compelled to work by stronger races. Before the Mexican Revolution indigenous peoples were obliged to work by their need for food, however, according to Bulnes, since the Revolution, theft and crime have become their means of procuring sustenance. Unfortunately, Bulnes explains, Mexico does not possess the means to import European laborers, following the example of Argentina and Brazil. Bulnes criticizes the idea of doling out ejidos, or plots of communal land, to indigenous workers. He explains that in the towns where ejidos already exist, they suffer from neglect at the hands of lazy and inert indigenous populations. According to Bulnes, the indigenous population of Mexico represents a significant burden to the country.
Francisco Bulnes (1847-1923) was a Mexican intellectual and polemicist who served as the Secretary of Foreign Affairs under the dictator Porfirio Díaz. Díaz served multiple terms as President of Mexico, the first from 1876 to 1880 and the second from 1884 to 1911, after the interim rule of Manuel González. Although the Díaz regime is remembered for bringing about the paz porfiriana, a period of modernization and economic stability, Díaz’s popularity waned because of his use of political repression. Francisco Bulnes supported the Díaz regime for its establishment of order and economic progress. Bulnes adhered to Mexican positivism, emphasizing the application of scientific analysis to his writings on history and politics. His publications include El verdadero Díaz y la Revolución (1920), The Whole Truth About Mexico: President Wilson's Responsibility (1916), and El porvenir de las naciones hispano americanas ante las conquistas recientes de Europa y los Estados Unidos (1899). In El porvenir de las naciones hispano americanas Bulnes described Mexico as backwards, attributing this lack of progress to the debility of the indigenous race. Bulnes’s strongly held opinions were criticized by Mexican liberals and conservatives alike.