The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
This article denounces the director of the Escuela Nacional Preparatoria, Ángel Vallarino, for suspending, by order of the Secretario de Educación Pública [Minister of Public Education], a group of students. The students were suspended for drafting the weekly magazine, Avalancha, andVallarino threatened to expel them if they continued to publish it. It is implied here that the uneasiness brought about by Avalancha was based on its criticism of officials at the SEP. In addition, the magazine was supporting the communist leader Vicente Lombardo Toledano to be Minister of Public Education in the 1924–28 Calles government. Vallarino’s behavior is compared with that of dictator Victoriano Huerta, and he is accused of being “reactionary” for restricting freedom of expression. Finally, the article incites all students to protest by every means possible in defense of the suspended students.
Though the article is unsigned, the inflammatory, aggressive style is very similar to that used by David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896–1974) in other contributions to El Machete. As in those articles, the emphasis is placed on discrediting the adversary more than informing or offering the reader an analysis of the event or situation addressed. The anger toward the director of the Escuela Nacional Preparatoria, Ángel Vallarino, could be associated with the director’s attitude toward vandalism of the murals of Siqueiros and José Clemente Orozco (1883–1949) in midyear 1924. No sanction whatsoever was meted out to those responsible for the vandalism. In addition, Siqueiros claimed that the Secretario de Educación Pública (SEP), Minister José Manuel Puig Casauranc (1888–1939) ordered his recent dismissal from his post as a teacher of Drawing and Handicrafts. At the time when the student editors of Avalancha were suspended, the SEP Minister was actually Bernardo J. Gastelum. However, the communists interpreted such events, taken together, as evidence that what they called the “reaction” sought to take control of public education away from the “revolutionaries.” This was why the reactionaries were trying to eliminate everyone who interfered with their plan. While this event was apparently marginal, it falls within a context of combat over the ideas communists were promoting through their informational publications and other spaces of cultural dissemination and political education. Thus, the threat to do away with Avalancha, a weekly magazine edited by Carlos Zapata Vela, a student sympathetic to the Communist Party, could not be allowed to pass unnoticed.