National League for the Defense of Religious Liberty
National League for the Defense of Religious Liberty (Liga Nacional Defensora de la Libertad Religiosa - LNDLR) or National League for the Defense of Religious Freedom was a Mexican Catholic religious civil rights organization formed in March 1925 that played a crucial role in the
The LNDLR, along with the Catholic hierarchy, initially advocated peaceful resistance to the Calles Laws including a boycott of tax payment and nonessential goods and a petition drive to rescind the offending constitutional provisions. When the Church failed to obtain a compromise from Calles, the Mexican hierarchy ordered the priests to go on strike beginning July 31, 1926, the day the Calles Law was to go into effect.
Soon after the clerical strike began on July 31, 1926, sporadic popular uprisings began and beginning in September 1926 the LNDLR began to discuss revolt, but they maintained the policy of boycott. As the popular uprisings continued, especially in
While the LNDLR served the purpose of giving the rebelling peasants organizational structure and military guidance, the onset, development and character of the war were more rooted in grass roots circumstance and groups. At first the rebellion was only able to sustain suppression in a half dozen western states where there was intense popular support and the organizational aid of local groups, the Popular Union (UP), initially spearheaded by
In 1927, the LNDLR reorganized the rebellion in the west and, in August 1928, gave the rebellion its first military leader, the well experienced soldier who had fought in the Federal Army under
The LNDLR were excluded from any participation in the peace negotiations between the Mexican State and the Church. They rejected the argument of the Archbishop of Mexico, Pascual Díaz, "that the Cristeros were doomed to failure because they lacked the two critical elements: adequate military resources and the diplomatic support of the United States government. Alberto María Carreño, who was close to the archbishop of Mexico, "questioned the morality of continuing a war that could not be won."
After intense and lengthy negotiations by the U.S. ambassador