In February 1917, before Our Lady of Fatima, and before the Soviets took over Russia, the Communists targeted Mexico first. In it we find the first socialist constitution in the history of the world (Royal, Catholic Martyrs of the Twentieth Century, 15). The Mexican government knew that a direct confrontation with the Church would be futile, so they focused their efforts in one particular area: public schooling.
Here is where the real conflict started. Until then it was the Church who provided education to its parishioners according to the dogmas of the Church, but in harmony with the State. The Church’s sphere of influence was always present to the average Mexican. All the major events of any person’s life (Baptism, schooling, First Holy Communion, Marriage, Funeral, etc.) were conducted by the Church.
Since such influence was an obstacle against the socialists, the new Mexican government attempted to strip the Church of her right to educate, and then fill the void with their Communist education. Although the new constitution of 1917 modified the law and aimed it against the Church, Venustiano Carranza (the leader the constitutional changes) shrewdly decided not to enforce the laws against Church education since Mexico had just come out years of a bloody civil war, and it was too soon to risk a reaction. Nevertheless, the anticlerical seed was planted and all it needed was time to germinate.