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Mexican historian and educator Artemio Benavides Hinojosa dies at the age of 79
Artemio Benavides investigated and published books about Santiago Vidaurri and Bernardo Reyes.

By: Ernesto Delgado

MONTERREY, MEXICO.- Artemio Benavides Hinojosa (1933 – 2012) was born in a small town, situated in the northeast of Mexico, called “Los Herreras”. Due to this, he was destined to follow his predecessors’ footsteps and become a rancher or, if he had any luck, become the town’s telegraphist because of his clear inclination towards books from a very young age.

He had the fortune and misfortune of going through his father’s separation from a young age. It was a tradition in these towns for the father to migrate to the United States in the hopes of improving the family’s situation and resources. He resented his father’s absence from his first years of age. However, this consequently made his mother, along with her children, move to the city of Monterrey, capital of the state of Nuevo Leon, a place situated 200 miles away from his native town.

The change to a bigger city allowed Artemio to have access to a better education. Throughout his life he studied in public schools, graduating with his Bachelor’s Degree as Attorney-at-law from the state university halfway through the 1950’s. His professional thesis was awarded with a scholarship to study a master’s at Soborna in Paris. Afterwards, he would finish his formal education with another master’s degree in the University of Texas in Austin.

His educational journey allowed him to work as a director and teacher in diverse institutions of High Education in both Monterrey (city) and Mexico (city). He also collaborated with North American universities that offered summer courses to American students in the city of Guanajuato.

His opportunity to work as the director of a university’s library and as the director of the archives in his native state, allowed him to get close to sources of information which made his historian labor possible. During this time he wrote a theater play, which was awarded by Bellas Artes , about the life of the illustrious insurgent Fray Servando Teresa de Mier y Noriega.

He also investigated and published books about Santiago Vidaurri and Bernardo Reyes, celebrated Governors of the state of Nuevo Leon during the second half of the XIX century. They are notorious because they established the basis in which the state ultimately developed.

It was in the field of education where he showed his visionary capacity to establish and direct one of the first schools that offered a world-wide level program of international studies. The institution’s primary objective was the study of opportunities and threats the process of globalization represented in contemporary issues.

A brief detailing of his works…
It was in the field of ideas where Artemio influenced most of the people around him. He was born and raised in an epoch where the studious youth in Mexico was attracted to studying by dogmatic stance of both ideological signs. Leftists were attracted to the problems in the Soviet Union and Cuba, basically. Rightists observed Franco’s Spain and his accomplishments. In this state of things, Artemio followed North America. Few were the people who saw the United States as a paradigm to be followed.

He saw in North American democracy the best way to solve issues, where a respect for people’s differences was more purified than in other latitudes. He was thrilled and captivated by North American cinema, his undisputable heroes being the Marx brothers and their irreverent way to face and solve problems. He was an avid reader of the New Yorker, which he considered as the best written cultural seminary in the planet. Artemio was almost like a North American citizen born in Los Herreras, Nuevo Leon, without a document that could protect his nationality or residence.

There is no doubt Artemio was a different kind of man, he kept his distance from those in power and the powerful. He loved freedom more than anything else. To Artemio, a man’s freedom was first and then came everything else. However, it must be said that he understood freedom without any disregard for the law. After all, his formal studies in Law had accompanied him throughout his life.

Rest in peace.

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