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In 1964, journalist Julio Scherer García received the manuscript of David Alfaro Siqueiros’s autobiography. Three years earlier, in 1961, Scherer García had gone to Lecumberri Prison and managed to obtain some 387 pages. Siqueiros asked him to return to the prison. His goal was to produce the complete book, rather than the one proposed by “Don Julio” since, according to Siqueiros, Scherer García used only 25 percent of the material, and excluded all the introductions and conclusions of a political nature; particularly the passages about the political capitulation of Mexico’s post-revolutionary oligarchic governments. 


In April 1965, under the ERA publishing imprint, David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896-1974) launched his manuscript into the public arena. The book was titled, La piel y la entraña [Skin and Innards]. As mentioned above, Siqueiros’s letter to Julio Scherer García (1926)—the Editor of Excélsior, the Mexico City newspaper— was dated 1964, three years after the 387 pages were written. This was the material used by Angélica Arenal to organize, add, suppress, and then publish the later book titled Me llamaban El Coronelazo [The Called Me The Big Coronel] (Mexico City: Editorial Grijalbo, 1977).   In 1960 the Mexican government sentenced Siqueiros to eight years in prison. Four years later, however, the sentence was reduced and he was eventually released.   The letter written on July 2, 1964, is attached.

Esther Acevedo
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico
© 2011 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico City, Mexico
Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros