Julián Herbert – La Casa del Dolor Ajeno

On May 16th, the Guardian newspaper reported the tragic events in Torreón, Mexico, during the Mexican Revolution under the headline. The headline read: Mexico faces up to the uneasy anniversary of Chinese massacre.

As the librarian, I look mostly for Latin American Studies-related materials without any judgment about the contents and collect for our library a representative and sustainable collection of all aspects of Latin America that are diverse and neverending. After reading the headline, it reminded me of my research on Chinese in Mexicali during my graduate school. Today, I leave you with some library materials that relate to Chinese in Mexico and Latin America.

The house of the pain of others: a chronicle of a small genocide / Julián Herbert; translated from the Spanish by Christina MacSweeney (Minneapolis, Minnesota: Graywolf Press, [2019]). The publisher’s description in WorldCat states, “Early in the twentieth century, amid the myths of progress and modernity that underpinned Mexico’s ruling party, some three hundred Chinese immigrants–close to half of the Cantonese residents of the newly founded city of Torreón–were massacred over the course of three days. It is considered the largest slaughter of Chinese people in the history of the Americas, but more than a century later, the facts continue to be elusive, mistaken, and repressed. ‘And what do you know about the Chinese people who were killed here?’ Julián Herbert asks anyone who will listen. An exorcism of persistent and discomfiting ghosts, ‘The House of the Pain of Others’ attempts a reckoning with the 1911 massacre. Looping, digressive, and cinematic, Herbert blends reportage, personal reflection, essay, and academic research to portray the historical context as well as the lives of the perpetrators and victims of the ‘small genocide.’ This brilliant historical excavation echoes profoundly in an age redolent with violence and xenophobia”–Page 4 of cover.”

Here is the presentation by the Author for your information.


On one-hundredth anniversary of the Chinese Massacre of Mexico, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador(AMLO) held a ceremony whose title was, “Petición de perdón por agravios a la comunidad china en México, desde Torreón, Coahuila. Lunes 17 de mayo 2021.” Below is an excerpt from his speech.