Mexico: Radical magazines Por Qué? and Por Esto!

Por Qué? and Por Esto!

This gallery shows several covers of two radical Mexican magazines, Por Qué? And Por Esto!

Por Qué? had been founded as an organ of social resistance in 1968, by Mario Menéndez.  As Benjamin T. Smith recounts, in his excellent book The Mexican Press and Civil Society, 1940-1976

[f]or six years, Por Qué? had provided a unique space for critical, investigative journalism. The  magazine’s reporters had traced the evolution of student radicalism from the Mexico City streets to the Guerrero jungle and the Chihuahua mountains. They had exposed the violent cacicazgos, crony capitalism, and rigged elections of the provinces, and they had uncovered corruption, repression, and even links to the CIA at the highest levels of the Mexican government. (p. 115).

In face of police repression, Menéndez had gone into exile in Cuba.  He returned in 1974 to launch a new magazine, Por Esto!, which continued the political focus and much of the style or format of Por Qué.  If, as Smith suggests, Por Qué? is little remembered today, there has been some growth in interest in its place within histories of the 1968 student movement and, secondarily, its role as a vehicle for political caricature.  Por Esto! continues to the present day as an on-line news publication.

Will Straw (April 1, 2020)


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