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    Los cuarenta y un bailarines
    La Patria : Diario de México (México, D. F., México). -- Nov. 22, 1901.
    p. 3
    Newspaper article – Reviews
    "Los cuarenta y un bailarines." La Patria: Diario de México (Mexico City), November 22, 1901.
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La Patria was the historic source of the name for this event: The Forty-One, when it commented that “Forty-one men and an old woman were at a dance where the men were having a good time, nineteen of them in women’s dresses.” It goes on to tell of an anonymous police officer who “observed that there was a stream of carriages with couples riding in them.” In addition, it relates that the arrest was carried out by order of “Police Commissioner Manuel Palacios, who determined that some police officers in fatigue dresses had gone to the place and stayed there until three in the morning.” Moreover, it describes the punishment imposed by the Mexico City governor: “The 22 dancers dressed as men were sent to the 24th battalion barracks, where they were booked and shaved. Regarding the 19 dressed as women, for the time being, they were in the Montada barracks, waiting to be consigned to the armed services.” Not to mention that they were to be sent to the state of Yucatán to enlist in the army to fight against the Maya.


La Patria, a newspaper with official backing published by Ireneo Paz, did not specify any details about this dance, which would subsequently attract so much attention. Three days after the fact, little was known: on calle de la Paz, the police interrupted a dance attended by homosexuals, transvestites and the offspring of families prominent during the Porfirio Díaz administration (1876-1910). What did attract a lot of attention was their punishment: most of those detained were sent to the Yucatán to perform forced labor. Though some managed to escape through the tiles on the roof, others bought their freedom, and the rest swept the streets that led to the railroad station, more precise information is unavailable. The governor of Mexico City at the time was Ramón Corral (1901-03), and the mayor was Guillermo de Landa y Escandón (1900-03).

During those years, José Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913) captured the scandal in engravings that mocked the participants, which were published as flyers by Antonio Vanegas Arroyo. 

Alejandro García
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico

Fondo Reservado del Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliográficas : Biblioteca Nacional/Hemeroteca Nacional