Serapio Baqueiro Preve . . . died here in 1900
Casa Mexilio received the emissary sent by City Hall (Ayuntamiento de Merida) and he explained that the city wanted to put a plaque on our building designating an event in the history of Yucatan.
Of course. It will be an honor. And so the albañil came and cemented the plaque into the plaster wall beside the front door, and the following week a ceremony was planned. The neighbors and friends were invited. We met on the sidewalk and the little curtain was pull back showing the new plaque. The press came and even some relatives of the deceased. And then we walked across the street to our private home and enjoyed an intimate party with a few of the movers and shakers of the Merida city government.
The sign says: that Serapio died here in 1900. And a friend came, a few days later, saying that he had located the grave of Don Serapio within the Colonial Era church of Candelario a few blocks away.
And so my search began to find out exactly what Serapio Baqueiro Preve was noted for.
The list of accomplishments is long: Judge in the cities of Merida and Tekax, Fiscal de Hacienda, Judge of the Tribunal Superior, diputado to the local congress and council for the Government of Yucatan. He became the interim governor in 1883.
He was a distinguished history professor. For one year he became director of the Instituto Literario of the state of Yucatan. He was a member of the Liberal Party. And he belonged to the group that fought against the French domination and the Hapsburg government of the Emperor Maximiliano.
His most distinguished claim to fame was his first person account of the Caste War of Yucatan, a conflict that pitted the ruling class elites against the Mayan Indians for a period exceeding fifty years.
To read more and fill in the gaps of this period of Yucatan's history, read Nelson Reed's book The Caste War of Yucatan and enjoy a movie called La Casta Divina. You can find it on youtube.