Skip to main content
Indigenous Immigrants and Refugees in the North American Borderlands by Brenden W. Rensink, Texas A&M Press, 2018

Chapter 3, Note 35 (pages 59 and 235)

Turner’s use of the word “extermination” would have considerable contemporary and lasting influence. (p. 59)

…for additional sources and discussion of the framing of Yaqui in history in terms of genocide, extermination, et cetera. (p. 235)

Comparative genocide studies are complex, and application of the word “genocide” is not an action to be taken lightly. Other associated terminology does make the proposition an intriguing one. The term “extermination” was broadly applied contemporaneous to the deportation, and this conjures distinct ideas of wholesale, genocidal murder. Evelyn Hu-DeHart even used the term “The Final Solution,” in one article, suggesting relevant comparisons with Nazi Germany. Other items also suggest possible comparisons: government backed campaign to physically eliminate or remove a specifically defined population, the use of cattle-cars to transport detainees, use of deportees for forced labor after deportation, etc. Though there are a number of reasons for why this era of Yaqui history does not represent genocide, namely, that the Mexican “extermination” campaign was undertaken in the context of overt Yaqui-Mexican war. Even in this last qualification, however, the fact that noncombatant Yaquis were targeted for extermination or removal along with combatant Yaquis suggests further complications. As the extermination and genocide verbiage have worked their way into much of the primary and secondary literature on Yaqui deportation, it is a topic worthy of more in depth analysis and discussion


  • Evelyn Hu-DeHart, Yaqui Resistance and Survival: The Struggle for Land and Autonomy, 1821–1910 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1984), 155.
  • “The Yaquis and their Heroic Story,” San Francisco Call, January 17, 1897.
  • “Mexico to Blame for Yaqui War,” San Francisco Call, August 9, 1899.
  • “Mexico is now Waging a War of Extermination,” San Francisco Call, August 6, 1899.
  • Aleš Hrdlička, “Notes on the Indians of Sonora, Mexico,” American Anthropologist 6 (January–March 1904): 62.
  • “Mexico Will Wage a War of Extermination,” Pensacola Journal, January 8, 1905.
  • “Mexico Will Use Indians to Fight Indians,” New York Times, June 24, 1906.
  • Dean Harris, By Path and Trail (Chicago: Chicago Newspapers Union, 1908), 50, 58-59.
  • Stephan Bonsal, “The Last Chapter in the History of a Race that is Doomed,” Washington Post, March 8, 1908, RF4.
  • “Extinguishing a Race,” Imperial Valley Press (El Centro, CA), March 7, 1908.
  • Marc M. Reynolds, “Scourge of the Yaquis,” Harpers Weekly 52 (May 2, 1908): 10-12.
  • “Persecuted Yaquis Are Finally Granted Peace,” San Francisco Call, January 3, 1909, 27.
  • “Yaquis in Slavery, Mexico Accused of Grave Crimes,” New York Tribune, October 31, 1909.
  • Phoebe Bogan, “The Yaqui With us, 1909,” unpublished manuscript, 4, Arizona State Historical Society, Bogan Manuscripts, 1909-1926, MS 0081.
  • John Kenneth Turner, Barbarous Mexico (Chicago: Charles H. Kerr & Company, 1911).
  • Manuel Balbás, Recuerdos del Yaqui: Principales Episodios Durante la Campaña de 1899 a 1901 (Mexico City: Sociedad de Edición y Librería Franco Americana, S.A., 1927), 117.
  •  82, 98-99, 107-8.
  • Ramón Corral, “Biographía de José María Leyva Cajeme,” in Obras Históricas (Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico: Bilbioteca Sonorense de Geografía e Historia, 1959), 187, 197.
  • Eduardo W. Villa, Historia del Estado de Sonora (1937; repr., Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico: Gobierno del Estado de Sonora, 1984),321, 350, 359.
  • Andres Molina Enríquez, La Revolución Agraria en Mexico (Mexico: Instituto Nacional de Estudios Históricos de la Revolucíon Mexicana, 1985), 350, 357.