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Benjamín Mendoza y Amor Flores (March 31, 1933 – 2004)[1][2] was a Bolivian surrealist painter who unsuccessfully attempted to assassinate Pope Paul VI in Manila in 1970.


Personal lifeEdit

Mendoza left La Paz, Bolivia, in 1962.[1] From 1962 until 1970, Mendoza lived in Argentina, the United States, Japan, Hong Kong and the Philippines.[1] In Argentina, in the early 1960s, he exhibited his work in a few galleries in the San Telmo district and in 1963 illustrated the book Todo estaba sucio by Raúl Barón Biza. He also makes two murals for the Manila Hotel in Mar del Plata, which are not currently preserved.[3] He then exhibited in the Soviet Union, Hawaii,[4] and after that moved to the Philippines.

Assassination attemptEdit

On November 27, 1970, at approximately 9:30 in the morning, Mendoza, dressed as a priest, crucifix in hand, managed to approach the Pope Paul VI before striking him with two stabs in the neck with a kris (a type of short dagger), worn on both sides of the jugular vein, shortly after the Pope disembarked from his chartered DC-8 jet at the Manila International Airport.[1][5] The weapon had inscribed on both sides the legend "bullets, superstitions, flags, kingdoms, garbage, armies and shit." [6]

The private secretary of Pope Paul VI, Pasquale Macchi, reduced violence shots holding the aggressor's arm. The rigid collar worn by the pope to relieve him from cervical spondylosis also contributes to the lightness of the wounds, the existence of which is only revealed after his death in 1978.

However, the Pope was only lightly stabbed[7][8] and suffered only slight injuries to his chest, and continued his official visit according to the planned program. Mendoza, who said during his trial "will save mankind from superstition" was convicted of attempted murder.

Mendoza was reduced by monsignors Macchi and Paul Marcinkus and subsequently arrested. In the moment he was transported in a truck, Mendoza exclaimed "I want to release".

Life after prisonEdit

Mendoza was subdued and arrested.[1] Later, he was tried and then sentenced to imprisonment. In prison, a gallery owner ordered a series of his paintings for an exhibition. These paintings were sold in their entirety.

After serving a 38-month prison sentence in the Philippines, Mendoza was released on bail of £ 533, approximately US$ 700)[9] and was deported to Bolivia in 1974. Upon regaining his freedom, Flores organized several exhibitions in more than 80 countries. He lived in Lima.[10] Asked about his attempt to assassinate Pope Paul VI, he says he simply wanted to attract attention.[11] According to filmmaker Armando Bó, who made contact with Mendoza, he acted in a "moment of madness".


  1. ^ a b c d e "Apostle Endangered". Time, December 7, 1970. Retrieved April 13, 2007
  2. ^ "La muerte viva en la obra de Benjamín Mendoza y Amor". Amerika (in Spanish).
  3. ^ [de la Sota, Candelaria (2008). The cursed writer (in Spanish). Vergara pp. 16,17,163. ISBN 978-950-15-2385-0.]
  4. ^ [Ferrer, Christian (2012). Barón Biza (in Spanish). Random House Mondadori. ISBN 978-950-07-3906-1.]
  5. ^
  6. ^ [de la Sota, Candelaria (2008). The cursed writer (in Spanish) . Vergara pp. 16,17,163. ISBN 978-950-15-2385-0.]
  7. ^ "On this day: November 27". KCCI-TV News. November 27, 2013. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
  8. ^ "Pope Paul VI Beatified as 'Great Helmsman' of Vatican II". Catholic New York. October 20, 2014. Archived from the original on November 3, 2014. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
  9. ^ [Richards, Keith (1999). The mestizo imaginary (in Spanish). Plural editors. ISBN 84-89891-49-4.]
  10. ^
  11. ^ |15:20:32 July 20, 2013[permanent dead link]

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