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Madrazo, Carlos A. (1915–1969)

Madrazo, Carlos A. (1915–1969)

Carlos Alberto Madrazo Becerra (July 7, 1915–June 4, 1969) was a prominent Mexican political leader and a president of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). He was born in Villahermosa, Tabasco, where he pursued his early education before attending the National Preparatory School (ENP) and law school at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City, graduating in 1937. Associated with progressive groups, he was a spellbinding orator and leader in the Bloc of Revolutionary Youth of the Red Shirts (1933–1935) under Tabasco's radical governor Tomás Garrido Canabal. He served as private secretary to Luis I. Rodríguez, his political mentor, during the latter's tenure as governor of Guanajuato (1937–1938) and from 1938 to 1939 was president of the Party of the Mexican Revolution (PRM), forerunner to the PRI. He served in the national Chamber of Deputies from 1943 to 1946; his friendship with Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, later president of Mexico (1964–1970), dated from this time. He served as governor of his home state from 1959 to 1964, and as president of the PRI from 1964 to 1965.

A controversial figure, Madrazo's significance for modern Mexican political life stems mainly from his failure as president of the PRI to make the party more democratic and independent of the presidency. Defeated by an alliance of state governors and cabinet ministers, Madrazo remains a symbol for the still-unrealized renovation of the party. Ironically, his son Roberto Madrazo, who became the party's president and then presidential candidate in 2006, was instrumental in opposing significant internal party reforms in the 1990s and 2000s.

See alsoGarrido Canabal, Tomás; Madrazo, Roberto; Mexico, Political Parties: Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).


Cruz Pereyra, Diogenes de la. Carlos A. Madrazo: Una historia política en el contexto del estado mexicano. Villahermosa: Editorial Chontal, 1996.

Hernández Rodríguez, Rogelio. La formación del politico mexicano: El caso de Carlos A. Madrazo. México, D.F.: Colegio de México, 1991.

                                              Roderic Ai Camp

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