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08-Dec-2019 15:26

In 1579 Carvajal was granted land in what is now northeastern Mexico, just north of what was then considered New Spain.

This area welcomed both Conversos and practicing Jews, with about seventy five percent of the initial settlers being secretly Jewish.

The largest number of prosecutions by the Mexican Inquisition occurred in the wake of the 1640 dissolution of the Iberian Union, when Spain and Portugal were ruled by the same monarch.

Portuguese merchants more easily entered Spanish America, and a complex community of crypto-Jews connected to transatlantic and transpacific trade networks emerged.

Their wealth was based on asientos (licenses) for the black slave trade in Mexico, since Portugal controlled the African coast where they were sourced.

Portuguese merchants also held contracts for tax-farming, and for supplying the Spanish fleet and forts with stores and munitions.

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They came from Europe and later from the crumbling Ottoman Empire and what is now Syria continuing into the first half of the 20th century.

These Jews settled both in Mexico City and various other areas in the country, including rural areas often as traveling salesmen.

About half of Mexico's Jewish population can be linked to this wave of immigration.

Another group of Jews that came at this time were industrialists from France.

However many of the French arrivals were not interested in staying permanently and eventually went back after making their fortunes in Mexico.

They came from Europe and later from the crumbling Ottoman Empire and what is now Syria continuing into the first half of the 20th century.These Jews settled both in Mexico City and various other areas in the country, including rural areas often as traveling salesmen.About half of Mexico's Jewish population can be linked to this wave of immigration.Another group of Jews that came at this time were industrialists from France.However many of the French arrivals were not interested in staying permanently and eventually went back after making their fortunes in Mexico.The history of the Jews in Mexico can be said to have begun in 1519 with the arrival of Conversos, often called Marranos or “Crypto-Jews,” referring to those Jews forcibly converted to Catholicism and that then became subject to the Spanish Inquisition.