Descentrada, vol. 7, núm. 1, e197, marzo-agosto 2023. ISSN 2545-7284
Universidad Nacional de La Plata
Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias de la Educación
Centro Interdisciplinario de Investigaciones en Género (CInIG)

Artículos de temática libre

Death of a Revolution: Women’s Suffrage and Mugiquismo in the 1940 Election in Mexico

Stephanie Mitchell

Carthage College, Estados Unidos
Cita recomendada: Mitchell, S. (2023). Death of a Revolution: Women’s Suffrage and Mugiquismo in the 1940 Election in Mexico. Descentrada, 7(1), e197.

Abstract: Hopes that the Mexican Revolution would put an end to dictatorship and bring justice for workers and peasants died young. Many researchers have suggested the presidential elections of 1940 were the point of no return. Few have connected the two deaths that occurred that year, however: radicalism -in Francisco J. Múgica’s failed candidacy- and suffragism -in the quiet disappearance of a constitutional amendment-. This article examines the brief period in the early 1939 when two things still seemed possible: Múgica could be the next president of Mexico and women would vote in the election. Based on these twin assumptions, Carolina Escudero Luján, Múgica’s secretary and future wife, organized a national electoral campaign aimed at women promoting Múgica’s candidacy. Looking at the two failures side-by-side allows us to see how mugiquismo and women’s suffrage were two sides of the same coin. We see how and when the radical potential of the Mexican Revolution died.

Keywords: Suffrage, Múgica, Mexican Revolution.

Muerte de una revolución: sufragio femenino y mugiquismo en las elecciones de 1940 en México

Resumen: Las esperanzas de que la Revolución Mexicana pusiera fin a la dictadura y trajera justicia para trabajadores y campesinos murieron pronto. Muchos investigadores han sugerido que las elecciones presidenciales de 1940 fueron el punto de no retorno. Pocos han conectado, sin embargo, las dos muertes que se produjeron ese año: el radicalismo -en la candidatura fallida de Francisco J. Múgica- y el sufragismo -en la desaparición silenciosa de una reforma constitucional-. Este artículo examina el breve período a principios de 1939 cuando dos cosas aún parecían posibles: Múgica podría ser el próximo presidente de México y las mujeres votarían en las elecciones. Con base en estos dos supuestos, Carolina Escudero Luján, secretaria y futura esposa de Múgica, organizó una campaña electoral nacional dirigida a las mujeres promotoras de la candidatura de Múgica. Mirar los dos fracasos uno al lado del otro nos permite ver cómo el mugiquismo y el sufragio femenino eran dos caras de la misma moneda. Vemos cómo y cuándo murió el potencial radical de la Revolución Mexicana.

Palabras clave: Sufragio, Múgica, Revolución Mexicana.

1. Introduction

“I have become a women’s leader overnight”

(Carolina Escudero Luján, April 1939, s/p).

1939, the year Francisco J. Múgica failed to become president and Mexican women failed to achieve full citizenship, was a turning point in Mexican history. To the extent that the Mexican Revolution was ever truly radical or nationalist, Lázaro Cárdenas’s presidency (1934-1940) represented the apex. The administration had launched an ambitious popular mobilization to promote a vision of progressive modernity: temperate, hygienic, hard-working, patriotic, and secular, favoring the interests of the urban and rural proletariat, indigenous peoples, and women.

Múgica ran to succeed Cárdenas so that they could continue to pursue that vision. Both he and his starry-eyed assistant, Carolina Escudero Luján, believed that once Mexicans understood he represented the highest embodiment of their ideals, they would naturally vote for him. Working under the assumption that the newly passed and ratified constitutional amendment granting citizenship to women would be implemented, Escudero planned and managed a national mugiquista campaign. She had no previous experience in politics.

This article stems from the principle in feminist scholarship that the personal is the political, and that the interplay between historical subjects and systems is what gives rise to outcomes. Escudero kept a careful archive of her organization’s activities. That archive, part of the collection of the Centro de Estudios de la Revolución Mexicana Lázaro Cárdenas (CERM), in Jiquilpan, Michoacán, forms the documentary basis.1 By centering one woman’s perspective, we see how Mexico’s twin tragedies of 1939 were really two sides of the same coin. Escudero experienced the defeat of women’s suffrage and the de facto end to Mexico’s social revolution as one failure.

Her story sits at the conjunction of three historiographies: Cardenismo, Mugiquismo, and women’s suffrage. The friendship between Cárdenas and Múgica is well established, but little of the voluminous work written about Cardenismo reflects its importance.2 They worked so closely together that most important events -from Trotsky to Spanish exiles to oil expropriation- were really products of their partnership more than either individual alone.3 Historiography on women’s suffrage necessarily includes Cardenismo, but not always vice versa, and the connection between the failures of mugiquismo and women’s suffrage in 1939 is largely absent.4 This article ties the three narratives together in a way that is both more accurate and better reflects the lived experiences of the history’s protagonists.

2. Presidential Race Begins

Escudero was born in 1905 in Chihuahua to two loving, brilliant parents. Her father, Ambrosio Escudero Salcido, was the privileged son of the administrator of one of Luis Terraza’s estates. Like many northerners of his class, his education was divided between Chihuahua and El Paso, Texas, leaving him equally comfortable on both sides of the border. Magdalena Luján studied pedagogy but married young and had many children who required her full attention. Carolina had a charmed infancy on the hacienda, climbing trees in orchards of quince, apple, and pecan (Escudero Luján y García Torres, 1992).

When war broke out, the family to move to Mexico City, then Querétaro after the Huertista coup, then back to Mexico. The moves were doubtless fraught with anxiety for her parents (her father, who worked for various revolutionary leaders, was imprisoned twice), but young Carolina was largely sheltered from fear, even though she was the oldest child. She recalled a light-hearted, indulgent mother, and a happy youth spent mostly on roller skates, filled with books, piano lessons, early Sunday morning romps in Chapultepec Park with her father (Escudero Luján y García Torres, 1992).

The family moved to El Paso after the war, where her father set up an export-import business. The skills Escudero acquired in speaking, reading, writing, and translation were useful throughout her career. After high school, she worked in El Paso as a secretary and a translator for a newspaper. She then returned to Mexico City and found work at the Ministry of Communications and Transport, or SCOP, at that time under Múgica’s leadership (Escudero Luján y García Torres, 1992). Work was intense: ten-hour days, seven days a week. On weekends, the staff accompanied the general to his ranch in Cuernavaca, opposite Cárdenas’s own house, where they went right on working. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Múgica’s second marriage began to fall apart. In its wake, the handsome general and his equally talented and beautiful young secretary fell deeply in love.

As Cárdenas’s term drew to a close, Múgica wanted to follow form and delay discussion of the presidential succession until the party assembly. He felt cabinet secretaries like himself should remain in their posts as long as possible in order to continue the pace of reform. Others, however, wanted to unify elements of the party leadership behind a single candidate early, and they put together a coalition supporting Secretary of Defense Ávila Camacho, the “unknown soldier”, whose own brother was shocked at the prospect of “that steak with eyes” attaining the presidency (Bantjes, 1998, p. 185). Reluctantly, Múgica joined Ávila Camacho and Sánchez Tapia in renouncing his cabinet post on January 20, 1939. A year ahead of schedule, the race had begun.

Despite (or perhaps due to) his lack of charisma, the moderate Ávila Camacho had several advantages. As a practicing Catholic, he might assuage some of the religious furor earlier anticlerical policies had engendered. Although he could not hope to rival Múgica’s record, by the same token, he was less likely to provoke fear and ire among those who felt social revolution had gone too far. Meanwhile, conservatives rallied under the banner of the new opposition party and its dashing nominee, Juan Andreu Almazán. Even the safest party candidate was far from safe.

3. Votes for Women

Revolutionary leaders saw myriad opportunities in mobilizing women workers and peasants. The state turned to women to implement hygiene, temperance, and nutritional crusades. As Jocelyn Olcott (2002) has argued, women’s mobilization could modernize patriarchy to make it more compatible with capitalist economic growth. Industrialization would only succeed with an invigorated “feminized realm of reproductive labor and subsistence production” (p. 108). Finally, and perhaps most importantly, state-sponsored women’s organizing acted as a counter-measure to the women’s perceived vulnerability to clerical influence.

The women’s suffrage movement was connected tactically, if not ideologically, to state-sponsored women’s mobilization. Numerous feminist organizations during the 1920s and 1930s pretended to “national” proportions, but few extended beyond the federal district, with the notable exception of the Frente Único Pro Derechos de la Mujer (FUPDM).5 Emerging from three Congresses of Women Workers and Peasants held in Mexico Ciy in 1931, 1933, and 1934, the FUPDM created a network of tens of thousands of women. Their broad platform encompassed everything from opposing Yankee imperialism to combatting inflation. Votes for women were number nineteen. Thus, local chapters were free to protest high taxes or rent hikes, while leaders created the illusion of a ponderous, grassroots suffrage movement. In truth, suffrage was always a minority effort.

Cárdenas doubtless saw through the mirage and was aware that he “would not gain the allegiance of large numbers of Mexican women” by making common cause with the Mexico City feminists, who many viewed as having transgressed feminine norms, placing their morality in question (Olcott, 2002, p. 114). Yet two robust and interconnected international women’s movements, one transatlantic and the other pan-American, had managed to associate women’s political rights with desirable modernity (Marino, 2019). This, combined with the FUPDM’s strategic agility, probably accounted for Cárdenas’s decision, in 1937, to propose a constitutional amendment granting women full citizenship (Mitchell, 2015). Cárdenas pushed the bill through both houses of Congress. By the start of the 1939 campaign season, it had been ratified by a majority of the states. Andreu, Múgica, and Ávila Camacho all courted women voters under the assumption that women would vote in the upcoming election.

4. “Two-Fold” Revolutionaries

Experienced, intelligent, energetic, and obsessively organized, Escudero joined the ranks of career-minded young women in the burgeoning federal bureaucracy (Porter, 2018). At the Ministry of Communications and Public Works, she joined the Bloque Femenino Revolucionario “SCOP”, an organization Secretary Múgica founded for female employees.6 The Bloque operated simultaneously as a quasi-union (it was occasionally referred to as a sindicato), social club, and service organization. SCOP members were encouraged to attend colloquia on important social and economic issues to accelerate the process by which, “…woman's intellectual elevation and progress in every sense will soon be an axiom, rather than an illusory mirage, as it has been up to now”.7 They collected books for needy provincial areas and served meals to soldiers in observance of the “weekly hour of acercamiento militar”.8 Their slogans reflected a characteristic conflation of rights-based and difference-based arguments for the advancement of women, as well as class-based arguments.

The Bloque acquired an intense loyalty for their founder, who had a reputation for advancing women to positions of greater responsibility that was customary. Though short in stature (nicknamed “El Chaparro”), Múgica had an outsized personality. Sarah Blake, the Bloque’s president in 1936, described her colleagues as “robots” before they became organized; they were, she said, “completely disoriented”. However, after joining her organization,

[B]it by bit, by virtue of participation in [the Bloque] and by listening to the words of encouragement and stimulus that perpetually break forth from [Múgica’s] lips, we became conscious of our liberties and began to be aware of the future path we must follow.9

Other female SCOP employees frequently repeated this same sentiment, which may account for their support during the 1939 presidential campaign. They were not pressured (Múgica’s replacement was antagonistic) and they could not expect anything in return (instead, participation was risky).10

In 1936, the Bloque merged with the male SCOP union, and its specifically female orientation was reduced to a subsection of the overall organization. After Múgica formally announced his candidacy in 1939, women who had previously belonged to the all-female Bloque formed the Acción Femenina Revolucionaria (hereafter, AFR) as a “defensive front for the political, social and union interests of each and every female colleague serving in this Department”.11 However, this time, the AFR affiliated with the Centro Nacional Director Pro-Múgica. (Múgica had, in accordance with the law, specifically forbidden campaigning inside the SCOP). Thus, although the founders of the AFR were all SCOP employees, it was not formally connected to the Ministry. Its members worked on the campaign in their spare time and only occasionally resorted to the surreptitious use of government typewriters for their political work.

The AFR proposed to run one of two mugiquista women’s campaigns. Members felt themselves to be revolutionaries twice-over: 1) they followed standard-bearer of the revolutionary left, and 2) they were the first generation of women to take part in the electoral process. A press release prepared in January 1939 declared:

We are witnesses to something highly unusual in our experience, something that I am sure many of us are seeing for the first time and will remember forever. [O]n the occasion of the maderista elections, when the people, desiring to throw off the porfirista yoke, approached the polls filled with promise, the same enthusiasm that now reigns with two-fold cause as the female sector awaits the opportunity to contribute its energies was palpable in the air.12

Interactions between male and female mugiquistas, as well as between female mugiquistas and feminist organizations, reveal layers of inconsistent thinking. Mugiquistas rhetorically championed women’s equality, but their actions sometimes laid bare a contradictory attitude. Male mugiquistas would declare, patronizingly, that the women ran a better campaign than they did, but the subordination of the women's organization to the male directorate was always evident. For example, the male Centro Director Pro-Múgica distributed identification cards to AFR members, yet it did not provide funding. On the contrary, the AFR was obliged to cover its own expenses as well contribute to the male campaign. Between February and April they donated 1,800 pesos.13 Notwithstanding, there were other attempts at parity. For example, when the national directorate established a Commission on Finance in the Federal District, twelve women and twelve men served on the board.14

Female mugiquistas sometimes rationalized their subordination, saying they were political novices. For example, Margarita Robles de Mendoza, president of the Unión de Mujeres Americanas, once suggested the women change their name to something “more vigorous”. “Feminine Action” might once have been appropriate, “but now the women’s struggle must be broader, collaborating on the same level as men and demanding equal representation in directorates and in every activity”.15 Múgica, however, thought women first must be listened to, and then later might demand more equal participation. When Robles de Mendoza began to argue with him, AFR members rose to his defense: “at the moment one cannot ask more than that we initiate the struggle”.16

The following letter from Escudero to a friend shows the degree to which she was willing to challenge gendered norms:

I am, like General Múgica, a great believer in the administrative and organizational virtues of women. In addition to her honor, her indisputable civic valor, her enthusiasm, and her greater moral scrupulousness, is not the woman the inspiration of all the great acts in the lives of men? So why not take advantage of her abilities and incorporate her into the struggle that belongs to all of us—to the citizens, not just the men?17

Thus, both Múgica and female mugiquistas continued to essentialize gendered identities for men and women and to accept a degree of inequality, while simultaneously advocating for enlarging women’s roles.

Sometimes, AFR members chafed at condescension from male compatriots. The “Masculine Central Directorate” wanted to know if women “knew how to work”, one member complained, “and if they were really animated by good will and a readiness to collaborate”.18 She pointed out that during their tour of Morelos, the men's committee was remarkable only for its lack of effectiveness. The men claimed to work hard, she said, but they accomplished little. They left women to distribute fliers while they went out to eat, then disappeared. They absented themselves from a planned meeting, and then failed to appear at a demonstration in which they were to have released balloons into the air.

In these vignettes, we observe a critical and frequently overlooked moment in the development of feminist consciousness. When Escudero began working at the SCOP, she did not consider herself part of a movement for women’s liberation. Her interactions with Múgica persuaded her to think of herself in a new way, but she did not critique Múgica’s contradictory, fragmentary thinking about women. (When his marriage began to crumble, Escudero faulted Múgica’s brilliant physician wife for failing in her wifely duties to, for example, fold and pack his clothes before a business trip). Yet Escudero’s participation in the campaign forced her and others to confront some of the ramifications of half-baked feminist thinking.

5. Two-Fold Challenge

Astonishingly, for one so at home in the circles of power in revolutionary Mexico, Múgica seems to have thought the party’s candidate would be chosen democratically (Ceballos Garibay, 2004, p. 225). He “believed that the democratic struggle would be realized within a free interplay of ideas in which leftist, centrist, and rightist sectors would confront one another in order to discover the model that best first the interests of the people” (Múgica Velázquez y Moctezuma Barragán, 2001, p. 557). Escudero similarly assumed her task lay primarily in swaying voters. First, she had to convince women to make use of their anticipated voting rights; second, she had to convince them to do so in support of Múgica. AFR members’ only relevant experience was the unionizing they had been a part of in SCOP.

Fortunately, they were inventive and remarkably hard working. With equally striking audacity and ingenuousness, the AFR set out to persuade every woman in the country. “We must organize the entire feminine sector behind Múgica”, Escudero commented at the start of the campaign, “but only by working intensely, taking care that not a single woman remains disoriented, outside of our control, will we achieve success”.19 This they were to accomplish while raising money to cover their costs and support the men’s campaign directorate. All members paid dues, though one’s monthly quota depended on financial resources. As though the campaign did not make sufficient demands on their time, the AFR continued to offer informative lectures for members, as well as social activities such as group swimming lessons.20

Some AFR materials were explicitly gendered, and others were not.

Figure 1
Múgica’s campaign material
Múgica’s campaign material
Source: Escudero Papers, CERM, Jiquilpan, Michoacán.

Figure 2
Múgica’s campaign material, mentioning Acción Femenina
Múgica’s campaign material, mentioning Acción Femenina
Source: Escudero Papers, CERM, Jiquilpan, Michoacán.

AFR produced tens of thousands of leaflets and labels and paid for all printing and distribution with their own funds. For example, Figure 2 bears the name Acción Femenina, but its message is not gendered. Instead, it celebrates Múgica’s integrity and revolutionary credentials. Figure 1 fails to mention women entirely. Most efforts, however, aimed to persuade women to take advantage of their presumed new rights as citizens. For example, the publication Ciudadanas, which had been in print since 1935 when it was founded by the Bloque de Mujeres, re-emerged as the official organ of the women's campaign. The male publication, Acción, printed in the rough, unpolished style of a Communist Party leaflet, included a “women's page”. However, the more sophisticated-looking Ciudadanas was devoted to issues regarding women's political participation. Published fortnightly, Ciudadanas typically included articles such as “The Mexican Women in Politics”, “My First Vote,” and “Letters to Women regarding Civil Rights”.21

The members of the AFR displayed a sophisticated use of media. Five-minute, prime-time radio spots were designed to reach, as AFR’s secretary of propaganda put it “so many sweet little useless women [dulces mujercitas inútiles] who, from their homes, could become our allies in the noble Cause”.22 Escudero kept a list of contacts with phone numbers from the major national newspapers -El Nacional, La Prensa, El Universal, and Excelsior- as well as addresses of over a hundred and fifty lesser national, provincial and foreign periodicals.23 She and her Secretary of Press and Propaganda sent articles, many concerning women’s suffrage, to all of these papers for publication. They had weekly column in La Prensa, which they filled with contributions from members.

Both male and female mugiquista campaigns worked to build a grass roots organization with a strong base in Mexico City and a national reach. In Mexico City, the number of other leftist and women’s organizations both simplified and complicated things. On the one hand, AFR could form liaisons with other groups, which was more effective than recruiting individuals. For example, Ana María Hernández, head of the Communist Bloque de Trabajadoras Revolucionarias, offered her organization’s support, placing their resources at AFR’s disposal.24 On the other hand, as both a women’s organization and a political group, AFR could unite neither with male mugiquistas nor with feminists who might have different politics. Thus, for example, when AFR successfully recruited the Millers’ Union, the molineros affiliated not with the AFR, but with the male directorate because they were men.25 When the well-known Communist leader Concha Michel invited them to join a women’s coalition that might include female supporters of Manuel Ávila Camacho, the mugiquista women hesitated. As Escudero explained, even though she “agreed in principle”, she feared submitting to a different central authority: “We could become victims of the maneuverings of the leadership [of the central organization], and I don’t think we should expose ourselves to that sort of thing”.26

The members of AFR were so opposed to collaborating with non-mugiquista feminists that they were reluctant to affiliate even with the PRM, since the person in charge of the Women’s Committee, Thais García, did not favor their candidate.27 They eventually managed to grow the AFR to twelve subcommittees operating in the capital.28

One of AFR’s most impressive accomplishments was to create, in a few months, what most so-called “national” groups never could: a truly nation-wide, grassroots, women’s organization. The job was difficult enough in Mexico City, but a presidential campaign required national scope, and time was short. They needed regional subcommittees to coordinate local campaigns. Wherever possible, AFR took advantage of regional women’s groups. In March, the leaders of the Frente Femenino Chiapaneco attended a meeting of the AFR. Natives of Chiapas who resided in Mexico City, they promised to organize a Comité Pro-Múgica in Tuxla Gutiérrez, which, by June, had as many members as there were in Mexico City.29

Sometimes mergers of this sort were serendipitous, as when Escudero contacted someone in Juárez to form a pro-Múgica committee there. They were already doing so via their local FUPDM chapter.30

Although Cuca García, the leader of the national FUPDM, was a long time Múgica supporter, friend, and collaborator, there is no evidence that Escudero co-ordinated a formal alliance between the FUPDM and the AFR. After Communist Hernán Laborde endorsed Ávila Camacho, García fell in line, betraying her old friend (León de Palacios, 1985).31 Other prominent Communist leaders of important women's organizations, such as Estela Jiménez, leader of the women's section of the PRM, and Ana María Hernández, of the Comité Coordinador de la Mujer, did the same.32 Given the FUPDM’s strategy for allowing individual chapters autonomy, the Juárez FUPDM’s affiliation with mugiquismo was probably a local decision.

Because the AFR relied mostly on personal connections, the grass-roots project developed almost haphazardly. Escudero kept lists of contacts, including SCOP union chapters in nearly every state, despite the prohibition on using the union for political campaigning.33 She also used the Bloque Pro-Múgica de Trabajadores al Servicio del Estado, the Communist Party, and several confidential lists of independent, influential sympathizers in various states. She targeted major cities, such as Juárez, Morelia, and San Luis Potosí, but also much smaller towns and villages with no apparent relation to any over-reaching strategy. Instead, members were encouraged to do what they could to organize wherever possible.34

Despite their inexperience and lack of strategic planning (it took months even to establish procedures for chapter formation), AFR managed to establish an impressive network in Sinaloa, Coahuila, Michoacán, Morelos, Chiapas, México, Hidalgo, Mazatlán, Guanajuato, Puebla, Zacatecas, Jalisco, Oaxaca and San Luis Potosí, with sympathizers in Yucatán, Baja California, Colima, Guerrero, and Tabasco.35

Representatives travelled to these states -sometimes with members of the male directorate and sometimes alone- to organize rallies, distribute propaganda, and recruit both individuals and groups. The mugiquista chapters that they founded could be of either sex, although male groups would affiliate directly with the directorate. For example, in April, when AFR founded a male mugiquista committee in Pachuca, Hidalgo with nearly a hundred members, the women simply submitted all the names to the leadership of the National Directorate.36 This pattern is what most distinguished AFR from other feminist groups in the 1930s. It was first and foremost an electoral campaign; their shared conviction that women should expand traditional roles stemmed from, and was secondary to, their mugiquismo.

Yet the political reality was that the AFR’s primary targets had no previous electoral experience. Indeed, many viewed politics as inappropriate for women. Women who engaged in politics were ridiculed as unfeminine, unmaternal, and/or immoral. Much of the AFR’s work was devoted to combatting normative gender assumptions. For example, the article “Open Letter to a Female Friend Who is Not Interested in Politics and Who is Afraid of Everything Relating to Politics”, acknowledged many women saw political involvement as “compromising, dangerous and pointless”, it pointed to what they perceived to be common complaints of women: “On how many occasions have we commented that if women had the run of things, the formation of laws would be more just, and there would be less immorality in their application?”37

As long as women were disenfranchised, they had every right to protest: without the power to “intervene directly in public life”, women had no choice but to accept the world as men had made it. The opportunity to take part in the work of democratic government was not to be taken lightly. It implied “sacrificing time, energy, diversions, and our well beloved mental idleness [pereza]”. It also meant that women would no longer have the right to complain.38

Many revolutionaries rhetorically blamed Catholicism for women’s political “passivity”, which might at first seem like a reluctance to participate in politics. In fact, “passivity” referred to women’s disinclination to support pro-government organizations. For the members of the AFR, the problem was not so much that Catholic women were reluctant to become politically active, but that they tended to oppose mugiquismo. Organized Catholic women were the bane of the entire pro-government women’s movement. During the 1920s, Catholic women were correctly held responsible for the strength and endurance of the anti-government Cristero rebellion. The Brigadas Femeninas were responsible for supplying Cristero troops with intelligence, munitions and supplies (Boylan, 2000). After the Cristiada, Catholic women came to made up more than three-quarters of the peaceful Acción Católica Mexicana. Catholic women were also responsible for much of the popular mobilization that had thwarted the government's attempts at “socialist” education.

Revolutionaries assumed Catholic women acted under the influence of reactionary priests, but they often acted independently of, or even contradictory to, clerical orders. Still, pro-government feminists refused to acknowledge Catholic women’s political agency, preferring to imagine tragically deluded victims of backwards thinking priests. Thus, Ramona Aburto was skeptical about forming a pro-Múgica committee in her town of Arteaga, Michoacán:

It is extremely difficult to procure regular meetings among feminists here because most of them belong to Catholic organizations, and you know well the opposition posed by the ministers of the church to any steps towards progress, especially regarding socio-political matters.39

Neither Escudero nor any of her compatriots was able to bring herself to acknowledge that the problem with Catholic women was not political or social marginalization, but rather vigorous and effective political opposition.

Implicitly, however, the mugiquistas understood. Everyone knew Catholic women opposed the government because of anticlerical policies that many women saw as an assault on their traditional belief system and on their ability to transmit those beliefs to their children. Escudero wrote to Aburto:

[We must make them see that] our work does not by any means include any religious material, and that we are respectful [of others’ religious beliefs], and that taking an active part in politics will greatly benefit our households.40

AFR may have been “respectful” of individuals’ beliefs, but Múgica’s religious intolerance was legendary. Certainly, it was senseless to imagine that anyone in Michoacán -Múgica’s native state where he had served, briefly and unpopularly, as governor- would have been ignorant of his rabid anticlericalism. Everyone in Arteaga would have known that Múgica was as charitable towards “religious fanaticism” as he was towards his three “pet peeves”: drinking, smoking, and thievery.41

Leading up to the 1940 election, Mexican conservatives saw opportunity. Andreu Almazán actively courted Catholic women, offering them guarantees of religious freedom and women's rights. Almazán’s posters included the following:

Alamazán guarantees your parcela [of land].

Almazán respects your [religious] beliefs.

Almazán will bring happiness to the Mexican people.

Small-landholder: only Alamazán will protect you.

Almazán promotes [garantiza] women's rights.

Almazán symbolizes prosperity and protection.

Almazán represents the true sentiment of the Mexican people.

Worker: Almazán will free you from your exploitative leader.

Almazán guarantees the future of your children.42

Far from playing off of ignorant superstition, Almazán was instead capitalizing on widespread and real failures of the revolution. Offers to respect religious freedom, push back against exploitative labor leaders, and protect small landholders resonated with ordinary people, not just captains of industry. Seventeen towns in Michoacán had pro-Almazán committees.

6. The End of Revolution

Most scholars describe Cárdenas as the quintessential Machiavellian politician, with Múgica the prototypical Quijote. According to this line of thinking, Cárdenas never intended for a democratic process to determine his successor; Múgica was foredoomed, and women’s suffrage was a ruse from the start. Ceballos Garibay, for example, points to a private meeting between Cárdenas and Gonzales Santos regarding the political aspirations of Gilardo Magaña, in which Cárdenas purportedly said, “The next president of the Republic will not be from Michoacán” (Ceballos Garibay, 2004, p. 229). To be sure, Cárdenas was a master strategist, but the preponderance of evidence does not support such a cynical view. Certainly, there would have been easier ways to achieve Cárdenas’s objectives if they had indeed remained static over time. It was he who suggested that Múgica run for president, and it was he who not only proposed the constitutional amendment extending the suffrage but promoted its passage to an unsupportive Congress (Estrada Correa, 2007; Mitchell, 2015). It would have been far simpler to convey his true concerns to his friends, suffragist and leftist alike, from the outset. To imagine that he encouraged the people he cared about most while all the time planning to betray them is to turn him into a monster, and there is no evidence to suggest monstrosity in his character.

Cárdenas was deeply conflicted over how much he could afford to change, how far he could push the revolution before it would collapse, like the Spanish Republic, under pressure from the right. On 29 November 1938, he confided to his diary that members of Congress were prematurely forming factions in support of various would-be candidates for the presidency. “They should allow the people, the unofficial opinion, make itself known first”, he wrote (Ribera Carbó, 1999, p. 156). Rather than a scheming Machiavellian prince, Cárdenas was genuinely torn, wanting more democracy than he later determined political realities would permit.

Múgica’s rigid adherence to principle was more like religious faith. As governor of Tabasco, he preferred to resign rather than obey Carranza’s orders to moderate agrarian reform. As governor of Michoacán, he was nearly killed for refusing to obey an unjust order from Obregón -who had him arrested and ordered his assassination (María y Campos, 1939). He was fond of quoting Melchor Ocampo: “I will break, but I will not bend” (Estrada Correa, 2007, p. 51). Cárdenas shared Múgica’s principles, and Múgica showed himself every bit as capable of shrewd political maneuvering as Cárdenas. Much of what has been attributed as Cárdenas’s Machiavellian ingenuity was in fact a joint effort between the two. Their differences lay only in the strength of their faith. Where Múgica clung to principle to the point of recklessness, Cárdenas was more cautious. Cardenismo’s dramatic accomplishments stemmed from the creative interplay between their divergent personalities, with Múgica pushing always for dramatic action and Cárdenas exercising a moderating prudence.

The process of selecting the PRM candidate for president was a complicated combination of top-down and bottom-up influence. As Alan Knight observes, “We cannot quantify this ratio” (Knight, 1994, p. 90). Formal, liberal-democratic conventions mattered less than informal negotiations in which leaders and followers jointly, but unequally, engaged in decision-making. With the exception of a few radical sectors, such as unionized government teachers and SCOP labor groups, Ávila Camacho had the clear advantage in this quasi-democratic, pre-electoral process.

Though the party assembly was not until November, the fate of Múgica’s candidacy was sealed by the end of February, within weeks of having entered the race. Two years earlier, Cárdenas and Múgica had removed Emilio Portes Gil from the party leadership (Ceballos Garibay, 2004). Gil was a supporter of former president Plutarco Elías Calles, who had artfully contrived a way to exercise dictatorship without holding office. Cárdenas and Múgica had defeated the callistas, but they now paid the cost, as Gil assembled a coalition of governors (many of whom he had appointed) to oppose Múgica (Ribera Carbó, 1999). In Congress only six senators remained undecided in January, while fifty-eight declared themselves for Ávila Camacho. Only ten supported Múgica (Ceballos Garibay, 2004).

Múgica still thought he could count on the Confederación de Trabajadores de México (CTM), the Confederación Nacional Campesina (CNC), and Cárdenas. Nevertheless, by February, even he felt the tide turning against him. He called for a public debate. The press came, but the other candidates did not. Before his audience of reporters, Múgica railed against the anti-democratic machinery of the party and the giant, national labor and peasant unions. Lombardo Toledano, who personally opposed Múgica because of the Trotsky affair and was from the same small town in Puebla as Ávila Camacho, called a special meeting of the CTM (Estrada Correa, 2007).43 For Toledano, it was “obvious that Mexico lives in real danger”: Múgica, though of unimpeachable revolutionary credentials, was too repugnant to both Catholic and industrial capitalist interests to ensure a peaceful transition of power. Paradoxically, strident anti-clericalism and virulent leftist politics, combined with a reputation for self-righteous inflexibility made Múgica simultaneously a revolutionary icon and a threat to the stability of the regime. The CTM endorsed Ávila Camacho. The CNC followed suit two days later at a meeting where campesino leaders were bribed to persuade their base to support Ávila Camacho, despite Múgica’s impeccable record on agrarian reform (Romero, 1984; Ceballos Garibay, 2004). Some agrarian leagues and labor unions balked, but there was broad agreement on the basic premise that a Múgica candidacy was dangerous (Múgica Velázquez y Moctezuma Barragán, 2001, pp. 520-523; Ceballos Garibay, 2004, p. 229). A journalist for the New York Times captured this consensus, pointing to the Communist Party’s concern that a failure to achieve national unity would,

facilitate the organization and mobilization of counter-revolutionary forces around an anti-Cardenas candidate. The danger is particularly great because the reactionary element, encouraged by the advances of fascism in Europe, has organized its forces to win power through the elections or through an armed clash against the revolutionary regime. Such a Fascist regime would convert Mexico into a colony of the Berlin-Rome-Tokyo triangle.44

Múgica refused to accept defeat, and instead launched an ambitious national tour, his “auscultación”.

When he departed, the futility of his efforts was clear to nearly everyone except the mugiquistas. When an AFR member in Pátzcuaro, Michoacán reported a rumor that Cárdenas had decided to support Ávila Camacho, Escudero replied:

Don’t let yourself be fooled by all the stories circulated by our enemies. It is unbelievable what you tell me, that the President would even dream about imposing an Ávila Camacho, and I think you will have realized how quickly this good fellow has been losing ground.45

State governors colluded with municipal authorities and the military to obstruct his access to voters.46 Humiliatingly, Múgica was forced to request Cárdenas’s personal intervention to get municipal authorities to permit him even to campaign (Romero, 1984).

It soon became clear that obstruction of the democratic process was not the only problem. Even in Múgica’s home state, there seemed overwhelming support for his less distinguished PRM rival. An AFR member reported:

We arrived home last night from Zitácuaro… The entire route we saw nothing of our propaganda, while of the other there was a tremendous amount. [H]ere there is NOTHING OF OUR CAUSE ABSOLUTELY ANYWHERE.47

The mugiquistas gradually and grudgingly discovered a truth that many historians have been equally unwilling to acknowledge, which was that radicalism was never popular among ordinary Mexicans. At the conclusion of his tour, Múgica assembled a group of his supporters and sadly gave the following report:

I have traversed the country to sound out my popularity among the people, and with profound regret, I tell you that Múgica, founder of the Constitution, he who has fought so much for the liberties of the people, is not popular (Quoted in Ceballos Garibay, 2004, p. 236).

7. Citizenship Denied

Mugiquistas may have been singularly blind to political reality, but they were never alone in thinking women would participate in the selection of the next president. About three weeks before the CTM and CNC effectively ended Múgica’s candidacy, journalist Magdalena Mondragón interviewed him for La Prensa. They discussed the perennial issue of women’s presumed conservatism, but they did so in the context of how, not whether, conservative women’s votes would affect the election. Múgica said women’s suffrage had been “unduly delayed”. “Of course”, he acknowledged, “in the upcoming elections, I will surely not be able to count on the votes of a great number of women who form part of the right”.48 There was little sign that anything would prevent the publication of the constitutional amendment granting women full citizenship. In March, however, Cárdenas privately refused a request to place the item on the congressional agenda.49 He did not imply that he had decided to block his own bill, only suggesting it should wait until Congress’s ordinary session, in August. Nevertheless, his decision to delay is evidence for how heavily the women’s vote weighed on his mind. For Múgica, prudence irrelevant. As he told Mondragón:

in desiring the reform, doubtless I want it for women in general, and not just for some sector in particular, since I consider it just that the woman should be given what has, until now, been a privilege of the man (Múgica Velázquez y Moctezuma Barragán, 2001, p. 530; Emphasis mine).

For most Latin American politicians, however, the question of women’s suffrage was more complex. Indeed, many American leaders wondered how they could extend the suffrage to a particular sector of women, without extending it to all. Ecuador is often lauded as having given women the vote early, in 1929, but the vast majority of women remained disenfranchised, along with the rest of the indigenous population. Getulio Vargas is similarly recognized as having enfranchized Brazilian women, but his reform also excluded all but an educated few. The same was true of Guatemalan revolutionaries who, having toppled Ubico, granted only literate women the vote, neatly excluding nearly everyone. There were a number of tactics that could achieve this goal of seeming to grant women’s suffrage, while limiting electoral disruption. Literacy restrictions were common. Many permitted women to vote only in municipal elections (as Mexico eventually did in the 1950s). Others, as Spain attempted in 1931, allowed women to run for office but not cast votes. Mexico’s revolutionary party had experimented with women’s suffrage in internal elections in 1937, but restricted the vote to women who were “organized”, meaning members of pro-government agrarian leagues or labor unions. Múgica’s insistence that all women vote, regardless of whether they were likely to vote for him or his party, placed him radically out of step with other sympathetic leaders. He believed it was “just”, and for him that closed the matter.

Cárdenas, however, did not have the luxury of such blind faith in principle. They had survived Saturnino Cedillo’s planned uprising in 1938, but cristeros, camisas doradas, and industrialists had joined forces to overthrow the government. Even after the insurrection failed, Cedillo retreated to his ranch to await what he assumed would be a general uprising in 1940 (Ceballos Garibay, 2004). Meanwhile, the economy worsened. The US and its allies blocked trade with Mexico in punishment for the petroleum expropriation. This, together with mass capital flight among the elites, created a cash reserves crisis (Ceballos Garibay, 2004, pp. 221-224). Cárdenas was forced to use deficit spending to support his programs, and inflation spiraled.

International events compounded domestic dangers, especially in Spain. Cárdenas was only too aware of the Spanish experience in 1933 after the Republic (narrowly, and over the vigorous, calculated objections of suffragist Victoria Kent) extended the suffrage. Women were widely credited with having swung the elections for conservatives, hastening the downfall of the Republic, to which Cárdenas had been providing both material and diplomatic support. When Laborde first asked Cárdenas to place the constitutional amendment granting women the vote on the congressional agenda, Franco’s forces had just taken Madrid, forcing the Republicans to surrender two days later. The Spanish Falange almost immediately, in the words of intelligence scholar Aaron Navarro, “ramped up its operation in Mexico” (2010, p. 125). Cárdenas was acutely attentive to the popularity of Spanish-inspired fascism. He sent members of his military on clandestine missions to break up Falange cells (which he promptly made illegal) in Mexico City and to sway public opinion away from the fascists, but it was an uphill battle.50 As even Múgica was eventually forced to admit, “We are a conservative society. We always have been” (Estrada Correa, 2007, p. 224). In the same way that the party could not afford a Múgica candidacy, it could also not risk doubling the electorate. Then as now, few were willing to acknowledge, as feminist Mora Tovar boldly put it, “[T]he women of Mexico, the same as the men, are in a minority when it comes to the defense of the Revolution” (Morton, 1962, p. 33; his translation).

When Adolfo Ruiz Cortinez finally extended the vote to women more than a decade later, he introduced his own legislation. Only a few conservatives bothered to point out that none was really necessary. By that time, the “revolution” had less to fear from voters of any gender. The central irony of the Mexican revolution had by then become clear: the institutions Cárdenas had constructed to protect their reforms had become spectacularly effective at dismantling them.

Escudero’s experiences during the 1939 presidential campaign illustrate the extent to which the failure of the movement for women’s suffrage and the election of Ávila Camacho were two elements of the same failure of the revolution to extend Cardenismo after its apex in 1938. Múgica scholar Javier Romero remarked:

Not a few, both at the time and still today, have asked themselves what happened to make a president with Cárdenas’ tendencies discard one such as General Múgica, who was not only the most sound [definido] of the possible candidates, but also a respected friend, even mentor (Romero, 1984, p. 238).

The answer is plain. The revolution could afford neither radicalism nor women’s suffrage. It was not just, as a popular corrido said, that Múgica and the suffragists had been “sacrificed by a friend” (Michaels, 1970, p. 52). Social revolution had failed to make its case with ordinary Mexicans. It is tempting to imagine Múgica was the solution, that unquestioning adherence to principle could have saved the revolution, but I am more inclined to believe that Cárdenas did as well as anyone could have. As Machiavelli himself famously noted:

there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, then to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new (Machiavelli, 2019 [1532], p.55)


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1 Carolina Escudero Vda. de Múgica also graciously invited me into her home in Pátzcuaro, Michoacán on 14 Nov 1998 where she shared her recollections.
2 Cardenista historiography is so vast that each aspect of his presidency -socialist education, agrarian reform, petroleum expropriation, etc.- has given rise to its own body of literature. It has also suffered dramatic interpretive swings, from contemporary, positive appraisals to the “revisionist” iterations which stressed the way Cardenismo lay the groundwork for the later authoritarian state (among others, Krauze, 1987; Anguiano, 1999; Garrido, 1982). Others view Cardenismo as more radical and sincere (Hamilton, 2014, Raby & North, 1978; Medin, 1987) or have taken a more nuanced approach (Knight, 1985, 1994; Bantjes, 1998; Boyer, 2003; Fallaw, 2013; Porter, 2011; Ginzberg, 2015).
3 Unlike literature on Cardenismo, mugiquista scholarship has not questioned Múgica’s commitment to radical social revolution. Instead, titles like La biografía de la izquierda que perdimos y la que nos hace falta and La patria ha podido ser flor communicate scholars’ enduring respect. Prominent authors include León de Palacios (1985), Zertuche Muñoz (1987), Múgica Velázquez & Moctezuma Barragán (2001), Ribero Carbó (1999, 2020), Ceballos Garibay (2004) Many debate why Múgica failed to become president in 1940. Escudero’s archive supports Ribera Carbó’s thesis that Cárdenas felt Múgica’s candidacy was not popular enough and would have exposed Mexico to a Spanish-style fascist counter-revolution.
4 In 1982, when Anna Macias wrote her pathbreaking Against All Odds, she had little to go on (Morton (1962) was an important exception). The next ten years saw some advances (Ramos Escandón, 1987; Soto,1990; E. Tuñón Pablos, 1992); then, the field exploded, enriching our understanding (E. Tuñón, 2002; Olcott, 2002, 2005; Olcott, Vaughan y Cano, 2006); Fernández Aceves, 2004; Chapa y Barquet Montané, 2004; Rocha, 2016; Osten, 2007; Cano, 2007; Mitchell y Schell, 2007; Mitchell, 2015; Tirado Villegas, 2008; Zaremberg, 2009; Lau Jaiven, 2009; Lau Jaiven y Zúñiga Elizalde, 2013; Lau Jaiven y Rodríguez Bravo, 2017; Noguez, 2012; Castillo Ramírez, 2013; de Dios Vallejo et. al., 2014; García Olmedo, 2014; Rodríguez, Solís Hernández y Serna Jiménez, 2015; Porter, 2018; Oikión Solano, 2018; Castro Ricalde, 2019. Escudero’s archive does little to address Cárdenas’s silence on why the const.itutional amendment that should have permitted women to vote in 1940 was never promulgated. By viewing suffrage through the lens of mugiquismo, we are encouraged to connect the two historiographies. In the same way that Carbó’s thesis is strengthened, so is the dominant view that Cárdenas was responsible for halting publication of the amendment. For a review of the discussion on this topic, see Lau Jaiven, 1995.
5 As elsewhere, the first Mexican women’s magazines and literary societies appeared in the late 19th century. Notable feminist authors like Juana Belén Gutiérrez de Mendoza joined the anti-Porfirian movement and participated in the Revolution. Revolutionary governors experimented with women’s mobilization, holding “feminist” congresses in Tabasco (under Múgica) in 1915 and Yucatán in 1916 (See Alejandre Ramírez y Torres Alonso, 2016; Torres Alonso, 2016). More authentically feminist organizing began in the 1920s and gather momentum during the early 1930s.
6 The EFEN, or Evolución Femenina Economía Nacional of the Ministry of the National Economy, also founded by Múgica, was particularly active. CERM Fondo FUM Caja 1 Exp 50.
7 Archivo del Centro de Estudios sobre la Revolución Mexicana “Lázaro Cárdenas” (CERM), Fondo Francisco J. Múgica (FJM), Caja 2 Exp. 119, n.d. open letter from Ma. Celia del Villar to female employees of the SCOP and CERM, Fondo FJM, Caja 2, Exp. 119, October 1935, open letter from Diana Martínez Milicua to female employees of the SCOP.
8 CERM Fondo FJM Caja 2 Exp. 119, 6 Dec 1935, Múgica to SEP; 3 Feb 1936 Bloque Femenino to Ing. Luis Franco.
9 CERM Fondo FJM Caja 2 Exp. 119, 29 Feb 1936, Blake to Múgica.
10 Most of Escudero’s colleagues lost their jobs over conflict with the new leadership.
11 CERM Fondo FJM Vol. 205, 13 Jan 1939, Bases para la constitución de un grupo de Acción Femenina.
12 CERM Fondo FJM Vol. 205, 28 Jan 1939, unsigned press release.
13 CERM Fondo FJM Vol. 205, 10 April 1939, Frances Lyra to Centro Director Nacional Pro-Múgica; 17 April 1939, Múgica to Guadalupe Arellano de Velázquez. In June 1939, the women raised 8,000 pesos for Múgica's northern tour. CERM Fondo FJM Vol. 205, 19 June 1939, minutes from meeting of the AFR.
14 Six delegates represented the AFR and six the other female campaign, the Bloque de Mujeres Revolucionarias Pro-Múgica.
15 CERM Fondo FJM Vol. 205, 6 Feb 1939, minutes.
16 CERM Fondo FJM Vol. 205, 6 Feb 1939, minutes; emphasis mine.
17 CERM Fondo FJM Vol. 205, Doc. 246, 1 April 1939, Escudero to Minjares.
18 CERM Fondo FJM Vol. 205, 17 April 1939, minutes.
19 CERM Fondo FJM Vol. 205, Doc. 184, 24 Jan 1939, Escudero to Otilia C. de Cuesta.
20 Escudero was, and remained, a strong proponent of women's athletics. Interview 14 Nov 1998.
21 CERM Fondo FJM Caja 8 Tomo LXVIII, 1 March 1939, 15 March 1939, April 1939, Ciudadanas.
22 CERM Fondo FJM Vol 205, Doc. 252, 8 Feb 1939, Ordoñez to Escudero.
23 CERM Fondo FJM Vol. 205 nd, 'Directorio.'
24 CERM Fondo FJM Vol. 205, 6 Feb 1939, minutes. Soon, Mexican Communists would be forced to choose to abandon the party or fall in line behind Ávila Camacho.
25 CERM Fondo FJM Vol. 205, 28 Feb 1939, minutes.
26 CERM Fondo FJM Vol. 20,5 Doc. 105, 17 April 1939, minutes. She was right, of course.
27 CERM Fondo FJM Vol. 205, Doc. 102, 13 Feb 1939, minutes.
28 CERM Fondo FJM Vol. 205, Doc 197, 29 March 1939 Escudero to María Díaz.
29 CERM Fondo FJM Vol. 205, 6 March 1939, 19 June 1939, minutes.
30 CERM Fondo FJM Vol. 205, Doc. 251, 15 Feb 1939, Trinidad Ontiveros to Escudero.
31 El Universal, En el Centro Pro Múgica, 18 March 1939; CERM Fondo FJM Vol. 14, Doc 668. Múgica had alienated many Mexican communists by offering Trotsky sanctuary. Laborde was also adhering to Stalin’s Popular Front strategy, which urged unity at all costs. Ceballos Garibay (2004) has a good explanation of the PCM’s decision. See also, Estrada Correa, 2007, pp. 15-19.
32 “Tres directoras de grupos afirman que se han abstenido de hacer campaña política en su favor porque están celosas de Lidia Blanca Trejo”. La Prensa, 9 March 1939; CERM Fondo FJM Vol. 14, Doc. 519.
33 CERM Fondo FJM Vol. 205, and “Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores Sria. De Comunicaciones”.
34 CERM Fondo FJM Vol. 205, 17 April 1939, minutes.
35 CERM Fondo FJM Vol. 205, nd 'Lista Confidencial de Maestros Sympatizadores y Amigos.'
36 CERM Fondo JFM Vol. 205, 25 April 1939 ‘Lista de adhesiones turnada por Acción Femenina Pro-Múgica, al Centro Nacional Director’.
37 CERM Fondo FJM Vol. 205, Doc. 167, nd 'Carta abierta a una amiga que no se interesa en política y tiene miedo a todo lo que con ella se relacione.'
38 CERM Fondo FJM Vol. 205, Doc. 167 nd 'Carta abierta.'
39 CERM Fondo FJM Vol. 205, Doc. 172, 2 March 1939, Aburto to Escudero.
40 CERM Fondo FJM Vol 205, Doc. 173, 27 March 1939, Escudero to Aburto.
41 “Pet peeves” from an interview with local revolutionary activist Mto. Hilario Reyes, October 1998.
42 AHMM, caja 227, expediente 5, 5 August 1939, list of propaganda to be posted in Morelia.
43 In April of 1937, Toledano had denounced Múgica before the Kremlin. The Kremlin responded with instructions for Mexican communists to subordinate themselves to Toledano and Cárdenas in order to pursue their popular front strategy. The Mexican Communist Party leader Hernán Laborde called Múgica “Trotsky’s candidate,” and alleged that, if elected, Múgica would have joined Mexico to Trotsky’s Fourth International, which competed with Stalin’s Third International.
44 ‘Communists Plead for Mexican Unity’ New York Times, 16 Feb 1939.
45 CERM Fondo FJM Vol. 205, Doc. 268, 30 March, 1939, Escudero to Esperanza Rodicio.
46 Although Múgica, Sánchez Tapia and Ávila Camacho were all military generals, Ávila Camacho was Minister of Defense until he left his post to begin campaigning.
47 CERM Fondo FJM Vol. 205, Doc 259, 23 Feb 1939, Rodicio to Escudero.
48 30 January 1930, interview published in La Prensa, with Magdalena Mondragón, reprinted in Múgica Velázquez y Moctezuma Barragán (2001, p. 530).
49 Agustín Lanuza to Hernán Laborde, March 29, 1939, AGN-LCR 544/1.
50 Interview with José María Paredes Mendoza, “Cronista de Uruapan” who was sent on these missions and recalled them in September 1998. There were about 300,000 sinarquistas active at the time.

Received: 10 November 2021

Accepted: 31 May 2022

Published: 01 March 2023

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