La Crónica, a Spanish-language newspaper, probably began publication in Laredo in the 1890s with Nicasio Idar as editor and later became a family business when several of the Idar children joined their father in the enterprise. La Crónica became noted for its coverage of the economic and social condition of Texas Mexicans and for championing their cultural heritage and exposing racial exploitation. The newspaper also promoted economic development of the border region and included commentary and essays on philosophical, religious, literary, and political issues. One of its contributors was poet Sara Estela Ramírez. Idar became the owner and publisher of the paper in 1910. He asserted that La Crónica defended "enthusiastically and frankly the interests of Mexico-texano" people. To this end, the paper promoted the intellectual development and civil rights of Hispanics. It ran poetry columns, editorials against bigotry, and promotions of civic leagues.
La Crónica often provided the only in-depth coverage of events affecting Texas Mexicans. As a result, its pages are filled with Tejano history that would otherwise be lost. In 1910–11, in particular, it portrayed the devastating impact of educational segregation on Tejano children, the loss of their culture and language, social discrimination, and the complacent attitude of the powerful toward the lynching of Texas Mexicans. The paper attacked each of these problems with specific charges and solutions. One series called for an end to "ethnocentric" approaches that accorded only an inferior education to Tejano children. In another, reporter Clemente Idar wrote about discrimination against Texas Mexicans throughout South Texas and called on the Mexican consul to review the situation personally. The murders of Antonio Rodríguez and Antonio Gómez, probably at the hands of sheriff's deputies and a mob, respectively, were decried in other articles in La Crónica. The first Congreso Mexicanista in September 1911 was conceived and promoted by the editors of La Crónica to discuss social, educational, and women's issues. The paper was still in existence in 1914. In its pioneering efforts to rally the Texas Mexican community to gain its "rightful place" in the society, La Crónica was a precursor to the Chicano movement newspapers of half a century later, which often combined cultural nationalism with a political defense of the community.
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José E. Limón, "El Primer Congreso Mexicanista de 1911," Aztlán 5 (Spring, Fall 1974).
Writers, Authors, Publications, and Literature
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Teresa Palomo Acosta,
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 17, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
March 1, 1995
Most Recent Revision Date:
August 7, 2020
This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: