Mexico City, May 8 (EFE).- Mexican writer and journalist Francisco Martin Moreno pulls no punches, saying “Mexico is a classist and pathetically racist society,” as he attempts to show in his latest novel, “Mexico Esclavizado” (“Mexico Enslaved”).
The book tells the story of the son of a large henequen producer in the Yucatan peninsula, who discovers the brutal working conditions in his father’s hacienda.
Although the novel takes place in the early 20th century, the author told EFE that “modern slavery” still exists in Mexico.
“There is human trafficking, extorsion, horrible exploitation; there are children who work and there are 3 million women who work more than 8 hours per day as housekeepers,” Martin Moreno said.
“Mexico is a classist and pathetically racist society and this book denounces all this, so that history does not repeat itself,” he said.
The idea for “Mexico Esclavizado” appeared when Martin Moreno realized that “many issues in Mexican history had not been properly addressed,” including the virtual slavery that existed in haciendas in southeastern Mexico.
Martin Moreno is convinced that his new book “will not land softly in Yucatan,” due to the fact that many Yucatecan businesspersons and intellectuals deny what happened in the region.
The novel, however, is based on extensive research and the author challenged anyone to disprove him.
According to Martin Moreno, the Catholic church played a crucial role in this system of slavery, as priests would encourage workers to accept exploitation as an earthly suffering that would provide them “greater heavenly glory.”
The government also encouraged this exploitation, as many governors, judges and congressmen were also hacienda owners, the author said.
Martin Moreno, 72, the son of a Spanish-German couple who went into exile because of Nazism and Francoism, has written a score of historical novels about Mexico.