Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art Home


Document first page thumbnail
  • ICAA Record ID
    Salidas de tono : la aristocracia de Sodoma al servicio nacional
    El Hijo del Ahuizote : Semanario político y de caricaturas (México, D. F., México). -- Nov. 24, 1901.
    p. 915-918
    Newspaper article – Essays
    "Salidas de tono: La aristocracia de Sodoma al servicio nacional." El hijo de Ahuizote: Semanario político y de caricaturas (Mexico City), November 24, 1901.
Editorial Categories [?]

El Hijo del Ahuizote, which was opposed to the Porfirio Díaz administration and was in fact one of its fiercest enemies, continued to publish texts with the same satirical tone: “to the innocent Army, forcing it to welcome and include among its members men [were they?] that were labeled with the most repugnant and filthy depravity.” The reference here was to the Forty-One being sent to fight in the army as a punishment; the article contends that the army would be denigrated by their presence.


In the scandalous raid on the Ball of the Forty-One where forty-two men were detained, many of them dressed as women, the law was not applied impartially: only the poorest, who lacked influence, were consigned to the police station to suffer public derision. They were required to sweep the streets in the neighborhood; were locked up at Arcos de Belén; and were forced to enlist in the army and sent to the state of Yucatan to fight against the Mayan Indians. But what was the offense? El Hijo del Ahuizote summarized the essence of the problem once and for all: "The depravity of the ‘forty-one’ is not classified as an offense in the Civil Code; the committed offense against morality was not public, and it would not have reached the proportions of a scandal had it not been for the political intervention that revealed it and made it notorious. Two factors were at stake: moral and political. The tacit understanding in the moral sphere was broken: to tolerate without verifying and to suggest without proving. Through pure chance, the dance broke the rules of propriety and invaded public space. There was an attack on and a transgression against Catholic customs; the divine truth was compromised; the ultimate purpose of [sexuality, which the Catholics believed to be] procreation, forgotten." 

From that night on, in Mexican culture, to say "forty-one" was both a reference to homosexuality and an indicator of intolerance.

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

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