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Mayda Grano de Oro

Liborio Mateo established a religious community in San Juan de la Maguna, in the southern Dominican Republic, shortly after a storm devastated the area in 1908. He and many of his followers were Afro-Dominicans. While not directly confronting authorities with protest or destruction of property, they established a community that functioned autonomously, both politically and economically. Beginning in 1910, when Mateo was ordered arrested (but managed to escape), authorities—urged by the Roman Catholic Church—stepped up efforts to crack down on the movement. Official hostility was motivated in large part by distrust of the group's political and cultural separateness and rumors of alleged immoral activities connected to its religious practices. It was only when confronted with this government repression that the group became armed in self-defense. With the fall of President Ramón Cáceres (1906–1911 the community s relations with the government improved In fact the government ...