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The Last Door: Political Prisoners and the Use of Torture in Mexico's Dirty War

  • Gladys McCormick (a1)
Abstract

In December 1969, former President Lázaro Cárdenas sent a letter to political prisoners in the Lecumberri federal penitentiary in Mexico City, assuring them that he would continue to lobby for their release. In October 1973, Michoacán university students marching in front of the state government building in Morelia held up placards demanding the release of political prisoners. On June 29, 1974, Lucio Cabañas, guerrilla leader of the Partido de los Pobres (Party of the Poor) in the mountains of Guerrero, released a communiqué in which the group's first demand was the release of political prisoners. In its founding document from March 1973, the Liga Comunista 23 de Septiembre (LC-23S), an urban-based guerrilla group responsible for more than 60 direct-action operations, made it clear that political prisoners were one of the costs of carrying out a revolution and, as such, would not distract from its broader mission. These are just some of the references to the imprisonment of activists during the height of what is considered Mexico's dirty war. Taken together, the many references to political prisoners suggest that being held captive by the state was a common threat and, in some cases, a reality in the lives of those challenging the authoritarian government in the 1960s and 1970s.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Alexander Aviña , Specters of Revolution: Peasant Guerrillas in the Cold War Mexican Countryside (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014)

Wil G. Pansters , “Zones of State-Making: Violence, Coercion, and Hegemony in Twentieth-Century Mexico,” in Pansters , ed., Violence, Coercion, and State-Making in Twentieth-Century Mexico: The Other Half of the Centaur (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2012)

Pablo Piccato , City of Suspects: Crime in Mexico City, 1900–1931 (Durham: Duke University Press, 2001)

Carlos Aguirre , The Criminals of Lima and Their Worlds: The Prison Experience, 1850–1935 (Durham: Duke University Press, 2005)

Gladys McCormick , The Logic of Compromise in Mexico: How the Countryside was Key to the Emergence of Authoritarianism (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2016)

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The Americas
  • ISSN: 0003-1615
  • EISSN: 1533-6247
  • URL: /core/journals/americas
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