Ignacio Ramírez, Nigromante
By Sandra Ríos
On June 22, Mexico will celebrate 188 years since the birth of Ignacio Ramírez, “El Nigromante,” one of the most important personalities in Mexico and a great promoter of the Mexican Reform laws. His name is emblazoned on schools and cultural centers, such as Bellas Artes, in San Miguel.
A native of San Miguel el Grande, Ramírez began his career at the age of 27 as a writer for various national newspapers under the pseudonym of “El Nigromante” (The Necromancer). In a satirical tone, he wrote of the acts of the government, always advocating for reform of the country in the economic, religious, and political areas, which repeatedly caused his imprisonment.
He was appointed Secretary of Justice and Public Instruction by President Juárez and served for five months creating the National Library and unifying the primary education in the Federal District as well as in federal territories. He also worked within the Secretariat of Development, making effective independence between the State and the Catholic Church. He reformed the general education curriculum. In 1864, during the empire of Maximilian of Habsburg, Ramírez was sent to United States. When he returned to Mexico before the fall of Maximilian, he was again imprisoned. After the restoration of the Republic, the Congress of the Union appointed him Judge of the Supreme Court of Justice in 1868, a position he held until his death in1879. Ramírez was noted as a writer, academic, journalist and poet. He was the instigator of secular and free education and established scholarships for children so that they could continue to study. He also required that text-books be provided free of charge.