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 violently criticizes the political and artistic positions taken by Gerardo Murillo (a. k. a. Dr. Atl) during and after the revolution. “Dr. Atl” is accused of having founded the Batallones Rojos [Red Battalions] through the Casa del Obrero Mundial [Worldwide Workers House] in order to support President Venustiano Carranza purely for his own personal gain. The article snidely suggests that after Carranza’s fall from power (in 1920), “Dr. Atl” became a sort of “monitor” or “babysitter” for Popocatépetl, the volcano. Meanwhile the treasury minister, Alberto Pani, who was also Murillo’s sponsor, bought artworks with taxpayer’s money. The article denounces the contents of América magazine—the journal of the Liga de Escritores de América [League of American Writers], of which Murillo was president at the time—condemning its sensationalist allegations concerning links between Judaism and Bolshevism, and its outdated anti-Semitism.
The column titled “Entre la hoz y el martillo” [Between the Sickle and the Hammer] was a fixture in every issue of El Machete. It was jointly written by Rosendo Gómez Lorenzo, Julio Antonio Mella (the Cuban communist leader who founded the PCC) and Hernán Laborde, among other contributors, though it was never signed. It is not easy to determine who wrote the column in the 57th issue, although the scathing tone and accusatory mode suggest that was penned by someone with more than just political reasons to savage Murillo. Similarly, Alberto J. Pani (1878-1955)—whose book, La higiene en México [Hygiene in Mexico] is ridiculed—is attacked purely on the grounds of his relationship with Gerardo Murillo, Dr. Atl (1875-1964).
The roots of the attack can be traced to Murillo’s statements on “Mexican Bolshevism,” but they were not the only bone of contention. Dr. Atl’s passion for landscape painting and volcanology was an affront to Mexican Communist Party painters, who wanted to establish the hegemony of art with a social message, which was why Murillo was repeatedly put in the hot seat.