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The Autonomous Department of Press and Publicity (Departamento Autónomo de Prensa y Publicidad)

Summary and Keywords

The Autonomous Department of Press and Publicity (DAPP) created by Lazaro Cardenas’s administration responded to the need for a fixed ideological framework that would allow for the construction of a modern, prosperous, and politically unified nation based on the Six-Year Plan. The materials produced by the DAPP designated collective identities; defined relations between the government and its enemies, rivals and allies; preserved and molded past memories, and sought to project fears and hopes into the future. The department used a variety of mass media technology to produce messages with the aim of controlling criticism of the regime, shaping public attitudes, generating a collective “us,” and effecting change in the thoughts and actions of the public. The continuous use of the media was a response of the Cardenista administration to the constant rejection that its public policies generated, either because they affected particular economic interests or because they were considered as an affront to the way of thinking of various social sectors, particularly those identified with Catholicism. President Cárdenas and his associates perceived that they were a besieged and criticized administration, both inside and outside the country. Hence, they deemed it essential to start up a strong propaganda apparatus in order to reverse the opposition and generate supporters. Its creation is framed by the efforts taken by various governments during the 1930s that viewed propaganda as an effective tool for producing political consensus, generating feelings of national unity, and changing public habits.

Keywords: propaganda, Lázaro Cárdenas, mass media, radio, film, press, posters, propaganda ministries

The Autonomous Department of Press and Publicity (DAPP)

Mexico’s Autonomous Department of Press and Publicity was part of the social communication efforts that emerged during the interwar period and gave life to a form of state-organized propaganda, generating changes that were relevant to the international “communicative ecosystem.”1 At the end of World War I, propagandistic activity had become a subject of study, and there was talk of the emergence of a propaganda consciousness. Such consciousness was a product of the widespread belief among different social sciences of the period that propaganda had manufactured a large part of the emotions that arose during the war.2

The disasters that the war, the Russian Revolution, and the United States’ growing power had further intensified the diversification and confrontation of global ideologies, which led to what has been called “competitive visions of the world order.”3 These visions were expressed in varying ways, one of which was via propaganda. In the 1930s, fears lingered from the negative effects of propaganda activity; however, at the same time, state ministries and departments appeared for the sole purpose of producing propaganda. It included liberal democracies, the United States, and Great Britain, as well as the USSR and the fascist governments in Italy, Germany, Greece, Portugal, Spain, and Japan. Mexico led Latin America during the period of Cardenismo (1934–1940), followed by Brazil’s Estado Novo regime (1937–1945) and Peronism in Argentina (1946–1955).4

The crystallization of this propaganda activity directed by those in power was possible due to a combination of political, economic, social, scientific, and technological circumstances that characterized the interwar period, namely: capitalism administered and planned by the state, ongoing industrialization, the expansion of urban centers, the peak of nationalism, the participation of the masses in public life, studies that used psychology and sociology to dictate the behavioral norms of groups and individuals, and the development of film, radio, and the industrial press.

In Mexico, it was the president Lázaro Cárdenas who created the Autonomous Department of Press and Propaganda (DAPP) by presidential decree on December 25, 1936.5 In the middle of the following year, the department became known as the Autonomous Department of Press and Publicity, and disappeared in December 1939 with the argument that “it had fulfilled its functions.”6 The organization set out to centralize the propaganda works of the state and produce scientifically prepared messages through various platforms: books, magazines, newspapers, brochures, posters, radio, film, photography, visual arts, music, crafts, exhibitions, conferences, massive sports parades, and plays. The DAPP was an organization deemed essential to strengthening the state, inspiring nationalism, effecting public policies, and bolstering Mexico’s image to the outside world. Its goal was to transform the Mexican public’s way of thinking and operating in both public and private settings, and its diverse aims ranged from establishing concepts of collective ethics to modifying hygienic practices.

The department also tried to foster feelings of national unity in an adverse environment, since the regime was facing political struggles from within its own party, as well as open hostility from conservative groups, business leaders, the Catholic Church, and foreign oil companies. These groups rejected the core ideas of the Cardenista government: socialist education, agrarian reform, support for the working class, state-run economic management, and state control of natural resources. Therefore, Cárdenas’s government undertook the intense and ongoing work of propaganda in order to achieve a minimum consensus on his governmental policies. This objective was not entirely achieved since the possibility was brought to light during his presidency that an “ensayo criollo del fascismo y el falangismo” might emerge.7 The constant opposition that the regime faced began with its split from the former president Plutarco Elías Calles (1924–1928), was later expressed with Saturnino Cedillo’s rebellion (1938), and culminated with the disputed 1940 elections. These conflicts also served to illustrate that there were factions within the country that aspired to very different national models.

In the Beginning, the Leader

On January 12, 1936, Texas-based Mexican organizations wrote a letter to President Cárdenas to express their “national sentiment.” In the missive, they affirmed that, thanks to the radio and to the newspaper Noticiero Semanal—edited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs—they had a “vast knowledge” of the work program that his government had set out in 1935. The signatories praised the profound patriotic spirit they had experienced listening to the presidential end-of-year address on the radio and, in particular, in knowing that the president was determined to launch a fair revolution. Finally, the migrants stated that “for the first time in history,” thanks to the radio transmission, they had heard “accurate information about our Mexico.”8

This testimony illustrates the extent to which so-called media historicity was a reality at the start of the Cardenista presidency. The radio had allowed the president to broadcast specific content to a growing number of individuals over a wide geographical area. Thus, Mexicans residing beyond national borders had been able to “bear witness to” the new year’s address. We do not know the letter’s ultimate purpose, but it shows us how a particular group used the symbolic materials transmitted via radio by the government in order to show affinity with the Cardenista administration. The feelings mentioned in the text were precisely what the government hoped to awaken within its constituents.

At that time, the president had been in office for little over a year and had faced his political enemies within his own National Revolutionary Party (PNR), as well as the sectors that rejected his economic or educational policies. His government’s first major political battles took place with the press as their visible setting. Former president Calles and critics of the regime used newspapers to broadcast their messages of disapproval regarding the route taken by the president. The former head of state declared that the new rural and working-class organizations that Cárdenas supported damaged unity and divided the party, and he expressed his disapproval of the official backing of the strikes. This declaration was followed by editorials of support from groups dissatisfied with the new administration—the National Chamber of Commerce, for example, applauded Calles’s statements.9

The accusations against the Cardenista government, in summary, placed the blame on him for promoting anarchy and Communism. In his defense, Cárdenas insisted that Calles’s supporters were enemies of the people, promoted conservative interests, had illegitimate ambitions, were exploitative, sought to benefit themselves personally, were traitors, and wanted to block the rural and working-class organization that had been recovering since his government. In this sense, the regime followed a basic principle of propaganda: individualize the enemy. It concentrated its hate on one person and his group; thus, the political rivalry was reduced to a number of vested interests. These rivals were positioned as national and social enemies.10

In order to reinforce his position, Cárdenas was careful to build his discourse on a basis of truth using practical actions that would be visible to the public.11 In December 1935, when the political crisis intensified, the president detailed the specific measures that had hurt the interests of his opponents, but which had benefited the majority of Mexicans: betting houses had been closed that were “centers of exploitation” and “corruption” for Callistas; property had been distributed from the land owned by relatives of Calles’s son-in-law; the immoderate felling of trees by Agustín Riva Palacio, an associate of Calles, had been curbed in the State of Mexico.12 These measures generated a center of common interests with workers and the rural population, justified the political struggle, and helped neutralize the attacks.

The feud with Calles not only strengthened Cárdenas but also allowed the PNR to improve its image as an organization in line with the working classes, as Luis Javier Garrido had observed. The party gradually positioned itself in support of the government’s actions, and the president was able to appear as the undisputed leader of the National Revolutionary Party. This author highlights that following the political crisis, the PNR became “the main body of communications” on the president’s tasks. It gave new momentum to civic ceremonies and cultural gatherings throughout the country. Following this change, El Nacional increased its press run and began publishing brochures for the rural and working-class population. This publication shifted toward the left and became the principal fighting force of the capital press, in particular against El Excélsior and El Universal, whose inclinations were more right wing.13

The pages of El Nacional constructed the image of a president who could relate to all citizens, no matter how modestly they lived. Rhetoric and photography were both used to this end. The following paragraph summarizes this effort:

Last Saturday, he was accessible to numerous citizens of Morelos . . . a method even faster and more effective than the telegraph to lodge complaints. No waiting, no formalities, no offices. The Chief Magistrate was there within reach, to listen to them personally.14

The labors of propaganda that elevated his image to that of a president in solidarity with the working class saw an upward trend throughout his administration. It involved a strategy that was frequently employed during the interwar period: the image of the simple man. Politicians were presented as ordinary, everyday people with the ability to understand the needs of others, offer solutions, and address them themselves.15 In a pamphlet from 1935, Cárdenas was defined as “honest, capable, and virile”—a man who could solve the people’s problems because he had experienced them.16 This text was written by General Antolin Piña Soria, who was in charge of XFX, the secretariat of public education’s radio station.17 He was part of the government’s propaganda team and had a specific role: to explain in writing what the leader said. In Cárdenas Socialista, extracts of the president’s speeches were compiled and extensively discussed during different moments in his campaign and at the start of his presidency. It also identified the government’s enemies: clerical dictatorships that opposed the freedom of conscience, dictatorships of reaction that opposed working-class culture, and dictatorships of capitalism that opposed the establishment of a minimum wage and government intervention in the economy.18

Cárdenas often recognized the opposition that existed against his government and sought to counter it with three key operations: first, exposing the interests that motivated them; second, using the foundation of truth exemplified in concrete facts; and, lastly, continuously reinforcing the unanimity that existed surrounding his persona through massive acts of support. The president intelligently emphasized his qualities as an average man concerned with finding solutions and justice for common problems with his tours, speeches, mass rallies, and behavior. Nevertheless, after two years of governing, it was decided that the official propaganda was insufficient and that a state propaganda machine must be established, just as it had been done in other countries.

Propagandistic Eclecticism

Those who brought the Autonomous Department of Press and Publicity to life followed several different propagandistic strategies that were not necessarily adapted to the same ideological vision. Early on, for example, the Cardenista government turned to Leninist techniques, combining information, rabble-rousing, and propaganda to encourage certain measures. The president recognized the success of this method in the decree that created the DAPP, in which he presented the resolution of the agrarian conflict in the Comarca Lagunera as a successful model. He declared that the government first took on a widespread propaganda campaign in the hopes of encouraging cooperation from rural areas and later, publicized the legal groundwork of its actions. Indeed, the closing of the case had come with a radio broadcast that praised the expropriation of 500 hectares of land in the area and, therefore, had achieved the agrarian reform.19 This strategy, which summarized the Leninist directive of political disclosure (or exposure) and later the call to order,20 shaped the course of several of his reformist actions, Oil Expropriation being the most well-known both within and outside the country.21

Members of the DAPP also accepted proposals issued by American commercial advertising agencies. Their lines of action became part of the department’s strategic texts: in particular, the art of effectively using the press, radio, and film. Their members included experts in advertising and people with commercial radio experience.22 They were aware of the latest perspectives on social communication issues that were being debated in the English-speaking world at the time, such as the work of Edward Bernays.23 It is likely that works such as this one arrived at the same time as persistent proposals from advertising firms and private agents from the United States vying to work with the DAPP. With few exceptions, the department rejected these offers, as the work was deemed delicate and suited to Mexican nationals.24

Another influence in the department was Germany. This can be partially explained by the admiration held by different members of the governing elite for German methods and procedures and for the notoriety that Nazi propaganda garnered around the world. In the file relating to the creation of the DAPP, there is a document describing the internal structure and the lines of action of the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. There it is noted that the office’s purpose was to exert spiritual influence over the nation, create propaganda supporting the state, and serve as a source of information for the foreign and national public. The means of propaganda that had to be coordinated and created included exhibitions, conventions, posters, brochures, photographs, and slides, in addition to organizing mass demonstrations, the technical and artistic organization of public ceremonies the proclamation of the signs of sovereignty, and organizing and promoting sports.25 This polymorphic model that influenced and coincided with the USSR and Italy was to be implemented in Mexico. It was not an imitation as Dummer claims, but rather an influence that could not be avoided.26

The Driving Force of the DAPP: The Six-Year Plan

From 1934, the proposal was outlined to create a propaganda agency within the federal government. The draft for the creation of a Department of Social Propaganda was written by the Supreme Court Judge Carlos Soto Guevara, Carlos Soto Guevara, who underscored the necessity of popularizing the use of statistical results and suggested that the government should control radio broadcasters and cinemas. According to Soto Guevara, the organization would seek cooperation from governors in order to perform its functions in an integral manner. Finally, he considered federal teachers, the army, and the Federal District and Territories police officers to be key government propagandists.27 In 1936 the Administration of Publicity and Propaganda arose as a subsidiary of the Secretariat of the Interior, but it was not successful.

As President Cárdenas admitted, it was a failed attempt, and an agency must be established that had “full autonomy to develop its role as effectively as possible.”28 The goal was met when the president sent the decree of the DAPP’s creation to Congress. The department began work on January 16, 1937, with an initial budget of 100,000 pesos, and was headquartered at 12 Calle de Bucareli, in Mexico City. In ideological terms, the department aimed to restore the thinking and politics of the Revolution to its “original purity”29 and, therefore, the media produced by the DAPP displayed, in general terms, the concerns of a sector of the political elite who felt that the claims of revolutionary social justice had been distorted.

The appointed head of the new organization was Agustín Arroyo, a politician who joined the revolutionary ranks in 1911 and who, thanks to his contacts, had taken office in the governorship of his home state of Guanajuato (1927–1931). At the beginning of the Cardenista administration he had functioned as Undersecretary of Government (1935–1936), and the creation of the department catapulted him to national public prominence.30 He had been described as a man who enjoyed the spotlight and who took advantage of his friendship with the president to succeed. He thus received praise as well as criticism.31 As head of the DAPP, he was in charge of coordinating propaganda activity, which included editing the government agencies’ periodical publications, generating information intended for national and foreign newspapers, producing films, creating content for national and foreign radio broadcasts, printing official notices and letters, producing plays and wall newspapers, editing the Official Journal of the Federation, and publishing federal laws and mandates.32

The DAPP was created in fulfillment of a public policies program that was expressed in the Six-Year Plan, as well as to confront the critics that the government’s measures had generated. It was expressed as follows:

The development of a defined government program, such as that which currently governs the efforts of the Public Office, requires a set of government bodies of publicity and propaganda coordinated by one single director and intensively applied in order to carry out the continuous work of disseminating facts and doctrines that promote the collaboration of all social sectors within the country, and to make internationally public the true situation of Mexico so that the justice of the revolutionary postulates are understood, at the same time as it effectively counteracts the campaigns of falsehoods and unjustifiable attacks on our nation and its Government by individuals or groups who wish to discredit it.33

In order to achieve these objectives, the director of the DAPP stipulated that, in addition to other measures, all government officials were forbidden from making statements that were not mediated by the DAPP.34 Efforts to centralize state propaganda were not always successful and sometimes sparked conflict with other government agencies and local authorities. For example, the ministry of foreign affairs did not allow the department to carry out its propaganda work abroad, and according to the agreement on January 17, 1937, both organizations agreed to act in compliance.35 On the other hand, as admitted in a summary of activities presented in 1938, not all state governments sought to collaborate directly with the DAPP and, consequently, its intentions to centralize fell short of expectations.36 Therefore, Mexico City occupied a central role in the department’s activities for several reasons: firstly, because it was an exceptional place for the transmission of propaganda via modern means such as film, radio, and large national newspapers; secondly, because it was where the large gatherings in support of the regime took place; and, lastly, because by operating the DAPP in Mexico’s capital, it could have better control of its activities.

The themes that constituted the DAPP’s central propagandistic material were based on the aforementioned Six-Year Plan. This government agenda resembled other governmental economic projects of the era such as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal in the United States, the five-year plans in the Soviet Union, and the four year plans in Hitler’s Germany—a fact that that did not go unnoticed by the critics of the regime who repeatedly accused the government of imitating the Soviets or the Nazis. It was hoped that these opinions could be countered with a number of propaganda activities, some of which took place before the Cardenista government came to power. In July 1934, Ramón Beteta, an official for the Secretariat of Commerce and Industrial Development, indicated in a conference that Mexico was a country plagued by revolutionary plans and that, for the first time, future government actions were being formulated. He defined the plan as an exercise in self-criticism and revision of the revolutionary ideals and principles; and he underscored the fact that its authors had sought to “distance themselves from fascism” and from “a planned and supervised economy” that favored “the corporate state.” The plan did not propose a radical change away from economic organization, as it supported and respected property and private enterprises and was “far from a socialism like that of Soviet Russia.”37 Upon taking office, Cárdenas continually repeated that the Six-Year Plan was a good “guideline” for his government,38 and that, since its establishment, the DAPP had an Office of the Six-Year Plan with the goal of periodically supplying information to summarize the activities undertaken with the aim of fulfilling the plan.39

In May 1937, the department organized the “First Objective Exhibition of the Six-Year Plan,” an event that gave the president the opportunity to commend the recently-created propaganda office. Cárdenas accepted that his work would disappear if the public did not become aware of the problems that afflicted the country. The DAPP was the first step taken in Mexico “with regard to intense propaganda and publicity,” and stressed that the activities were in accordance with “the technical resources that the current era of world progress offered.”40 Thus, the launch of a modern propaganda machine in Mexico was explicitly recognized with this event.

Conflicting Voices: Information, Publicity, and Propaganda

The Administrative Office of the DAPP was tasked with directing messages to the sectors that were considered strategic. The office intended for the foreign and national press to recognize its informational work and sought to create centers of interest among the population based on information that was sent via different government agencies including studies, projects, and data on wealth in the country. The topics were focused on praising infrastructure works (irrigation, street lighting, industries, housing, school buildings, sport complexes, tourism developments, and highways), promoting social organization (trade unions and public land), and the struggle for workers’ rights (such as minimum wage), as well as highlighting the measures taken by the government to improve the lives of the working class.41

While presenting his first activities report, Agustín Arroyo defined the department as a “conduit” used by other executive branches to make their activities known, and the press was free to make as much use as possible of the bulletins.42 This declaration was intended to silence the negative opinions surrounding the department claiming that the government hoped to align and control the press with the creation of a propaganda organization similar to those established by the European authoritarian regimes. Arroyo denied that the government had a dictatorial tendency and stressed that the department’s objective was to unify the information that came from the government in order to avoid inconsistent statements from different public officials. The bulletins, he said, were only intended to inform the public on the administration’s activities.43

The DAPP officials never managed to dispel the suspicion that surrounded the organization, since the emergence of a propaganda department in Mexico occurred during a time in which international public opinion talked openly about the functions that the propaganda ministries carried out in European countries. This had therefore reinforced the tendency among a variety of groups to associate the word propaganda with fraud and manipulation. At the end of the decade, Sergei Chakhotin published Le viol des foules par la propagande politique (Rape of the masses: The psychology of totalitarian political propaganda) in France, which sought to unravel the mechanisms behind “that philosopher’s stone” of the “new political alchemists.” According to his analysis, propaganda was all-powerful and highly dangerous if used by dictators such as Adolf Hitler or Benito Mussolini. It was, in short, a threat to democracy.44

Subtly, without conceding but accepting the negative assessments associated with propaganda, the Cardenista government changed the department’s name, while ensuring that its initials would remain the same. When Arroyo gave the first activities report in 1937, he referred to it as the Autonomous Department of Press and Publicity.45 Thus, the troublesome word had been eliminated from the letterhead in favor of the term “publicity.” This term could be perceived as neutral, since it was exempt from the ideological and persuasive weight of propaganda, and implied simply making something “known” or “public.”46 In this way, it followed the route traced by the United States and England from World War I, whose propagandistic strategy was to affirm that the government would provide the media with factual and statistical information.47 The department continued using the term “propaganda” in various materials.

The Organization

The Technical Office of the DAPP was responsible for researching the political, sociological, economic, historical, and cultural conditions that were at stake in the country, with the goal of resolving “the problems that impeded the fulfillment” of the government program and advise the public on the reasons for such obstacles. It was not a secret that “certain forms of publicity” were issued from this office based on “the general guidelines of doctrinal inclination” that Cárdenas had indicated; that is, ideology was not absent from the information.48 Therefore, it was considered the brain of the department.49

The DAPP’s General Information Office was entrusted with supplying the bulletins that were generated. It had a special division that distributed informational and statistical material for both Mexican and foreign authors who were writing books on Mexico. The general goal for those involved in this office was to provide “official, impersonal, and accurate” information that would “decisively” influence “the unification of national thought.” The departments that generated the most bulletins initially were those that were also responsible for launching the key features of the Six-Year Plan and whose actions had influenced the sectors that supported the government: rural and working-class people. These departments included the Ministry of Agriculture and Development, the Department of the Federal District, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Labor, and the Ministry of Economy. It should be noted that Mexico City generated a wealth of information, showing that the capital was a highly strategic center for the federal government’s propaganda machine.50

The information generated by the DAPP was delivered daily to state officials, via radio to military bases, on printed sheets given to federal officials and foreign embassies, and via radio to Mexican diplomats abroad. Announcements were distributed to newspapers in the capital and the rest of the country, as well as to agencies such as the Associated Press, the United Press, La Alemana de Noticias, Anta, La Prensa Asociada de los Estados, and La Diario de los Negocios.51 Likewise, since the start of its activities and until it dissolution in 1939, the department published in a number of newspapers—El Nacional, El Popular, and La Prensa—a short, informative column titled “News Brief from the Official Department of Publicity.”52

The department tended to publicity demands according to the necessities of each branch, and the material often had a specific intended audience, including students, teachers, people in rural areas, housewives, or scientists—or it was intended for the general population and distinguished by its accessibility.53 Each office was responsible for distributing the promotional material developed for it, and some were sold in the DAPP offices or distributed to the states based on the different military zones in the country. It was common for flyers to be distributed by plane. National and international libraries also received propaganda products, as well as the consulates and embassies located in Mexico. The members of the Ministry of Foreign affairs were expected to hand them out to their contacts at conferences, universities, or association meetings.54 Thanks to the department, the content of the campaigns abroad unified opinions, and diplomats used the publications as a guide when speaking in public. The bulletins were rarely used by the American press as they did not interest them—a topic that generated criticism among the foreign service members, who recognized the localism of the issues addressed in the informational materials.55

The department had an Outreach Office tasked with implementing the various propaganda programs divided into radio broadcasts, cinematography, theater, miscellaneous propaganda, tourism, illustration, photography, and distribution and control. The editorial office was responsible for the production of print materials; the Legal Publications Office printed the Diario Oficial de la Federación (Official journal of the federation) and the Revista del Tribunal Fiscal de la Federación (Journal of the fiscal court of the federation), as well as directing the National Archives.

Consistent with Arroyo, the department did not practice censorship; on the contrary, it respected “the free transmission of ideas and doctrines,” even when they ran counter to the governments.56 Such an assertion requires nuances, as the memories of the department as well as several different studies showed that the DAPP did indeed practice censorship and sought to control the materials that carried its stamp.57 These tasks were carried out by modifications or rejections of various kinds of content. In this sense, the DAPP admitted that it occasionally changed or substituted the materials that it received, with the goal of “adjusting” them to the government’s thinking.58 Reasons for rejecting materials varied: content opposing the government, images of poverty, riots, indifference to the regime’s revolutionary ideology, or criticisms of the president or national symbols.59 According to the biologist Enrique Beltrán’s testimony, the DAPP refused to publish a study on Mexico’s commercial fish species that had been supported by the Department of Forestry, Hunting, and Fishing. The department’s censors argued that the statistics presented were not consistent with the government’s and deemed the tone of the text too pedantic because it used species’ scientific names. Additionally, they viewed the document as lacking practical relevance because it did not include culinary recipes—all of which were reasons biologists emphatically rejected it.60

The DAPP’s activities cannot be summarized in the press/power/censorship equation. The department tackled multiple issues in the country with a variety of aims such as promoting sufficient corn crops, encouraging cooperatives as a model of social organization, creating hygiene and anti-alcohol programs, launching sport activities, encouraging tourism, organizing mass events and cultural activities, defending socialist education, promoting economic nationalism, supporting oil expropriation, and driving campaigns endorsing Spanish republicans.

Outside of Mexico, the DAPP focused on developing the image of a nation in the process of modernizing, one that enjoyed a well-organized workforce and tended to society’s most pressing issues, such as health, education, workers’ rights, and farmers’ rights, and that took on infrastructure projects. The organization carried out powerful tourism campaigns that highlighted the country’s natural resources, cultural diversity, artisan crafts, and folklore. In order to do this, leaflets were printed celebrating Mexico’s archaeological monuments and the landscapes of different regions such as Morelia, Morelos, Oaxaca, Taxco, Uruapan, Veracruz, and Puebla. At the international festivals that took place during Cárdenas’s six-year term, the instructions were to present Mexico in three different contexts: art, tourism, and the revolution. This third subject could be encapsulated in three different movements: agrarianism, labor, and education.61

The Convergence of Letters, Sounds, and Images

An analysis of the wide variety of print materials produced by the DAPP is still being carried out. As mentioned above, the topics covered the main components of the Six-Year Plan and, as Pilatowsky observes, the publications were backed by the ministries of the state and the government departments and had doctrinaire, educational, and informative purposes. The department’s large print runs were gathered from the leaflets containing President Cárdenas’s speeches, as well as the print materials explaining the government’s controversial measures, such as those concerning labor, agriculture, and of course, oil expropriation.62 The DAPP published materials aimed at specific sectors, such as historians via the Boletín del Archivo General de la Nación (Bulletin of the National Archive), the military forces via the Revista del Ejército (Army magazine), or the teachers’ union via El Maestro rural (The rural teacher). These publications came prior to the department’s creation, and their design was very different, as each journal responded to specific needs.

In addition, the DAPP generated other new publications, such as La Palomilla (The moth), which was designed for children and encouraged entertainment with educational messages, values, and activities. In this magazine, for example, sequential art was used to guide the audience’s attention, and sports figures—society’s new heroes—were employed to promote habits of discipline, hygiene, and physical activity. To encourage teamwork, the magazine presented the adventures of scout groups who enjoyed nature and successfully overcame danger. In La Palomilla, anti-alcohol campaigns were also addressed with stories that sought to influence its readers and its pages reported on the nationalistic rhetoric driven by oil expropriation.63 Its graphic elements were equally eclectic: there were illustrations stemming from Mexican graphic art as well as comics that originated in English-language newspapers or Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse and Goofy.

Radio constituted the medium that generated perhaps the greatest amount of content, as its broadcast spanned a large part of each day. In the 1930s, this medium had gained strength between the upper and middle class, as well as among the working classes. It was a household item in the living rooms and dining rooms of Mexico City neighborhoods.64 Furthermore, its audience multiplied when it used loudspeakers in public squares. The government recognized that the commercial stations were willing to broadcast the bulletins composed by the department and, additionally, it was legally a space where the group in power had no competition since it was prohibited for any political party—other than the official one—to generate content and transmit it over the airwaves.65 Radio broadcasting also encountered numerous technical issues, such as weak reception, frequency interference, and lack of power necessary to reach remote areas.66

The DAPP reorganized stations’ way of operating and sought to improve the equipment they used to increase their power. A regular transmission schedule was established for the radio programs and, beginning on March 15, 1937, the propaganda broadcast that the ministries and departments had prepared and issued to the department began.67 The department’s stations were XEDP and XEXA and, after the dissolution of the DAPP, these stations became part of the secretariat of the interior.68

In the promotional spots transmitted by the radio stations, the usefulness of the DAPP stations’ contents to the public was emphasized:

In addition to the recommendations for a national doctrine, you will find good music in the Department of Press and Publicity’s broadcasts.

The DAPP’s radio stations report on the social evolution and cultural development of the country. Do not stop tuning in.69

The content broadcast by the radio was dominated by issues related to health, labor, agriculture, and the Department of the Federal District. The subject given the most prominence, at least in 1937, was education.70 As for the secretariat of public education, it favored the broadcast of educational stories for children and promoted publications that were used for teachers such as El Buzón del maestro (The teacher’s mailbox). The programs summarized the content of these publications in order to reach a wider audience and insisted on taking a socialist stance on education with the aim of consolidating popular opinion. Other educational magazines edited and endorsed by the DAPP included: Revista Educación (Education journal), El Maestro Rural, and La Palomilla, pamphlets such as the Servicio de Higiene Mental Escolar (School mental hygiene service) and Literatura Revolucionaria para niños (Revolutionary literature for children), as well as textbooks for schools.

Within the field of public health, the anti-alcohol campaign was given special attention. The radio announced anti-alcohol committees’ operations throughout the country that were made up of women and children fighting against “the vice,” and their work included conferences and “other methods of persuasion.” These ads were transmitted frequently, and the campaign was supported by posters and various other means.71 In terms of topics related to the work, they prepared a series of news bulletins with the goal of backing the labor movement, whose support to the regime was crucial. They repeated that the government backed the causes of the working masses, applauded their organization, and respected the strike action. Likewise, they promoted corporatism and stated that an organization of the masses was not harmful to the country, as government critics claimed, but rather a legitimate resource of the people:

Organization of the working masses will never represent a threat to the republic, as the better organized we are, the greater our awareness of our responsibilities will be.

The movements currently being carried out by the workers’ organizations have no other role than that of a social struggle that complies with the terms of the law and does not cause alarm for the country or the government. Their requests will never exceed the means of the companies.

With regard to the strikes, the attitude of the State can be none other than that of absolute respect and support which, in accordance with the provisions of the constitution and the federal labor law, represent a right.72

The topics related to agriculture ranged from informative issues to livestock sale announcements, agricultural exhibitions, promotions for administrative acts that involved farmers, or conferences. They also shared the most recent publications from the DAPP, such as the book La Reforma Agraria en México (Agrarian reform in Mexico), which contained the official figures related to communal land matters and was classified as a “fundamental and objective study” that brought to light an examination of the agrarian reform. This type of publication that issued official statistics succeeded in making the government’s labors visible using the argument that they were “objective” data.73

During the DAPP’s first months of operation, La Hora Nacional was established, a program that combined information and propaganda with musical entertainment and whose broadcast took place every Sunday from 10 to 11 pm on a national network. During the first installment, Arroyo emphasized that the content would “faithfully” conform with the truth, fall within the sphere of public interest, and use “the progressive doctrine” of the “Revolution made government” as a framework. He informed listeners that the subjects addressed would be understandable “for all levels of intelligence and culture” and would refer to information related to government activities in order to refine “the sense of responsibility” in the public. At the end of his speech, the head of the DAPP invited all listeners to “make Mexico a universally strong and morally unshakable entity.”74 The topics presented in the program were discussed in the pages of El Nacional, which acted as a constant platform of support for the propaganda department. La Hora Nacional continues to represent the most tangible legacy of what the DAPP was.

Posters, Speech on the Walls

One of the technical resources used most often by the DAPP for its propaganda labors was posters. They were produced by the illustration section that the Outreach Office coordinated. Their creators produced them based on research that focused on observers’ reactions. The governing principle in this sense was that they had “a conclusive force of attraction” and that they inspired. They were required to revolve loosely around subjects or issues by means of color and novelty, and to avoid the repetition of graphic themes. Their creators designed them based on their intended audience; they were aware that they could not broadcast identical messages to groups such as workers, rural farmers, and people from metropolitan areas.75

The posters served to reinforce diverse campaigns or messages that the government hoped would become ingrained in the public. In general, they used attractive images and included propagandistic slogans praising nationalistic sentiment. They included various subjects, such as hygiene campaigns, agricultural or livestock events, and the dissemination of operas or plays that would be broadcast on the radio. Those intended for people in rural areas gave more importance to images and contained very little text. Their subjects dealt with pro-corn campaigns or farming and livestock fairs.

Posters were used to advertise public policies and constitute an accurate indicator of the subjects that the government sought to include in its agenda. Similarly, they serve as testimony for the propaganda techniques that the government employed, such as using labels with positive meanings, appealing to the social instinct that wanted to “hop on the bandwagon,” or from resonant generalizations whose purpose was to create positive images from emotions.76 In the pro-hygiene campaigns, they affirmed that “defending the people’s health” was to be patriotic, or that “all of the people of the Republic” were participating in the week of health. The connection between nationalistic feelings and the intent to set off a chain reaction within the population was clear from the posters the government produced.

The End of the Propaganda Experiment

In December 1939, the DAPP was replaced by the General Directorate of Information (DGI), which became a subsection of the Ministry of the Interior. This directorate was responsible for compiling all official information, statements, and notices and transmitting them to the press so that declarations made by the administration were standardized. At the end of his term, President Lázaro Cárdenas sent a letter to the secretaries of the state, reiterating that the unification of opinions was of utmost importance given the complexity of the period: an uncertain international situation and the approach of the federal elections. Likewise, he emphasized that it would be essential to avoid the “loss of public support or the diffusion of inaccurate or exaggerated alarmist rumors.”77

The end of the DAPP was declared with the Law of State Secretariats and Departments on December 30, 1939. The second Six-Year Plan recognized the importance of propaganda but avoided using the word at all costs. Instead, it used the neutral term “publicity.” During the presidential term of Manuel Ávila Camacho (1940–1946), press offices were reinforced in every federal office with the mission of creating official bulletins.78 The model using the DAPP as a centralizing body of propaganda work did not survive, but the strategies that it had implemented remained in force until the end of the 20th century.

Discussion of the Literature

Until well into the 20th century, the DAPP generated scarce interest in historiography. Although there was already abundant literature on the Cardenista era, and in particular on mass politics, the literature does not address the subject from the perspective of social communication. The first studies to examine the department were written during the 1970s and 1980s, and study the relationship between the media and the state. These articles show that the DAPP was the first model post-revolutionary state social communication and that its influence had been spreading for decades. In doing so, they emphasize its centralizing and censorial qualities. The works of Fátima Fernández,79 Fernando Mejía Barquera,80 Pablo Arredondo y Enrique Sánchez,81 Francisco Hernández Lomelí,82 and Karin Bohmann83 are included in this group.

One of the first steps outside of this line of thinking was taken by Rafael López González. His research aims to analyze the functions of the department that used propaganda; but his work also reinforces the political mythology of Cardenismo.84 The author presents a moralist vision of propaganda: having been used by the regime, Lopez Gonzalez concluded that it lacked manipulative intentions.85

In the 21st century, new studies have pioneered unexplored topics that have allowed an in-depth look at the organization of the DAPP and the way it used the media, as well as aspects of the Cardenista machinery that raise new questions and suggest other explanations for the era. Priscila Pilatowsky details the influences and people that gave rise to the DAPP in her analysis of the numerous subjects that concerned the regime, including flyers and radio broadcasts.86 Sylvia Dummer proposes that the department fulfilled a public diplomacy function that had not been examined and that shows the internal conflicts of the Cardenista government when articulating its social communication strategies to contain external threats, create outside ties, and promote the country abroad.87

In terms of film production, Álvaro Vázquez Mantecón draws a comparison between the films created by Tomás Garrido Canabal’s government in the state of Tabasco and those generated by the DAPP. He suggests that these materials demonstrate the limits of Cárdenas’s power and questions whether the termination of the department concealed the failure of his regime.88 Tania Celina Ruiz Ojeda studies the department’s film production efforts and shows that many projects were never realized. She points out the distribution and screening problems faced within Mexico as well as abroad and examines the strategies to overcome these difficulties. She also shows that the films were a tool that linked organizations of workers, farmers, and scientists from other countries.89

Ana Laura de la Torre looks at the ways in which the political struggles of the period were shown via physical activities, both local and international, and how sports were used to promote youth organizations that used physical culture to promote specific national models. The publication Educación Física (Physical education), edited by the DAPP, evinced the efforts of Cárdenas’s government to show a nation that was progressing, to promote habits of health and hygiene, to drive social organization, to defend indigenous populations, and to become a regional power. These goals, on the other hand, revealed the conflicting values as well as the influences that were present during Cárdenas’s regime.90

Primary Sources

The Archivo General de la Nación in Mexico City contains a wealth of unclassified documentary information on the DAPP. It also offers posters and photographic materials.

Various publications edited by the DAPP can be found in Mexico City’s Hemeroteca Nacional.

The Fondo Agustín Arroyo, located in the archives at the Museo de Alhóndiga de Granaditas in Guanajuato, provides information on the director of the DAPP, as well as on the organization of the department.

The archive of Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs contains correspondence between Agustín Arroyo and diplomats that sheds light on the role that the DAPP sought to occupy in foreign politics.

Short films produced by the department can be consulted at the Cineteca Nacional in Mexico City.

The Nette Lee Benson Library at the University of Texas at Austin contains copies of publications edited by the DAPP.

Further Reading

Aguilar, Miguel Ángel, and Rosalía Wincur. “Ciudad y medios de comunicación: un recorrido desde la antropología.” In La antropología urbana en México. Edited by Néstor García Canclini, 196–220. Mexico City: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2005.Find this resource:

    Garcíadiego, Javier. “La oposición conservadora y de las clases medias al cardenismo.” Istor 25 (Summer 2006): 30–49.Find this resource:

      González Marín, Silvia. Prensa y poder político: La elección presidencial de 1940 en la prensa mexicana. Mexico City: UNAM-Siglo XXI, 2006.Find this resource:

        Haberman, Jurgüen. Historia y crítica de la opinión pública: La transformación estructural de la vida pública. Barcelona: GG Mass Media, 1999.Find this resource:

          Joseph, Gilbert, and Daniel Nugent. Aspectos cotidianos de la formación del estado. Mexico City: Era, 1994.Find this resource:

            Knight, Alan. “Armas y arcos en el paisaje revolucionario mexicano.” In Aspectos cotidianos de la formación del estado. Edited by Gilbert M. Joseph and Daniel Nugent, 53–104. Mexico City: Era, 1994.Find this resource:

              Knight, Alan. “Cardenismo: Juggernaut or Jalopy.” Journal of Latin American Studies 26.1 (February 1994): 73–107.Find this resource:

                Knight, Alan. “Popular Culture and the Revolutionary State in Mexico, 1910–1940.” Hispanic American Historial Review 74.3 (1994): 393–444.Find this resource:

                  Loaeza, Soledad. El Partido Acción Nacional: La larga marcha, 1939–1949: Oposición leal y partido de protesta. Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1999.Find this resource:

                    Lozano, José Carlos. “Tendencias actuales en la investigación mexicana de la comunicación de masas.” In Políticas de Comunicación social y desarrollo regional en América Latina. Vol. 2. Edited by Lenin Martell, et al., 103–135. Mexico City: Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México, Asociación Mexicana de Investigación de la Comunicación, 2006.Find this resource:

                      Novo, Salvador. La vida en México en el período presidencial de Lázaro Cárdenas. Mexico City: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes-INAH, 1994.Find this resource:

                        Ortiz Garza, José Luis. México en guerra: La historia secreta de los negocios entre empresarios mexicanos de la comunicación, los nazis y EUA. Mexico City: Planeta, 1989.Find this resource:

                          Pizarroso Quintero, Alejandro. “La historia de la propaganda: Una aproximación metodológica.” Historia y Comunicación Social 4 (1999): 145–171.Find this resource:

                            Schuler, Friedrich E. Mexico between Hitler and Roosevelt: Mexican Foreign Relations in the Age of Lázaro Cárdenas, 1934–1940. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1998.Find this resource:

                              Thompson, John B. Los media y la modernidad: Una teoría de los medios de comunicación. Barcelona: Paidós, 1998.Find this resource:


                                (1.) Here I use a phrase from Miguel de Moragás, Sociología de la comunicación de masas: Tomo III.- Propaganda Política y opinión pública (Barcelona: GG Mass Media, 1993), 11.

                                (2.) Bruce Lannes Smith, “The Political Communication Specialist of Our Times,” in Propaganda, Communication, and Public Opinion, edited by Bruce Lannes Smith, Harold D. Lasswell, and Ralph Casey (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1946), 31.

                                (3.) Sebastian Conrad, and Dominic Sachsenmaier, “Introduction: Competing Visions of World Order: Global Moments and Movements, 1880s–1930s,” in Competing Visions of World Order: Global Moments and Movements, 1880s–1930s, edited by Sebastian Conrad and Dominic Sachsenmaier (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), 3–7.

                                (4.) See Heloisa Paulo, Estado Novo e propaganda em Portugal e no Brasil: O SPN/SNI e o DIP (Coimbra, Portugal: Livraria Minerva, 1994); Marcela M. Gené, Un mundo feliz: Imágenes de los trabajadores en el primer peronismo 1946–1955 (Buenos Aires: FCE-Universidad San Andrés, 2005); Maurício Drumond, Nações em jogo: Esporte e propaganda política em Vargas e Perón (Rio de Janeiro: Apicuri, 2010).

                                (5.) Lázaro Cárdenas to the President of the Chamber of Deputies, December 25, 1936, in AGN, Ramo Presidentes, Lázaro Cárdenas del Río, Exp. 545.2/33.

                                (6.) Note sent by President Lázaro Cárdenas to the Secretaries of State, May 22, 1940, AGN, Ramo Presidentes, Lázaro Cárdenas del Río, Exp.161.1/11.

                                (7.) Ariel Rodríguez Kuri, “El presidencialismo en México: Las posibilidades de una historia,” Historia y Política 11 (January–June 2004): 138.

                                (8.) Comisión Honorífica Mexicana to the President of Mexico, January 12, 1936, in AGN, Ramo Presidentes, Lázaro Cárdenas del Río, box 1298, file II.

                                (9.) Luis Javier Garrido, El partido de la revolución institucionalizada: La formación del nuevo Estado en México (1928–1945) (Mexico City: Secretaría de Educatión Publica, 1986), 233–238; Fernando Benítez, Lázaro Cárdenas y la Revolución Mexica. III. El cardenismo (Mexico City: FCE, 1985), 28–32.

                                (10.) See Jean Marie Domenach, La propaganda política (Buenos Aires: Eudeba, 2005), 52–55.

                                (11.) Domenach points out that Lenin, for example, emphasized that propaganda was not enough to achieve victory; it must be backed by a just political line and via practical interventions. Propaganda must be authenticated with acts in front of the masses. Domenach, La propaganda política, 30–31.

                                (12.) PRM, Cárdenas Habla, speech from December 22, 1935, 39–44.

                                (13.) Luis Javier Garrido, El partido de la Revolución, 242–243, 294–298.

                                (14.) Quoted by Jacqueline Covo, “El periódico al servicio del cardenismo: El Nacional, 1935,” Historia Mexicana XLVI (July–September, 1996): 134–135.

                                (15.) See John Merrill, et al., Medios de comunicación social: Teoría y práctica en Estados Unidos y en el mundo (Madrid: Fundación Germán Sánchez Ruipérez, 1992), 79. Ellul also highlights the necessity for the common man to see himself reflected in his leader. “The Leader Must Be a Sublimation of the Common Man,” in Jacques Ellul, Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes (New York: Vintage, 1965), 96.

                                (16.) Antolín Piña Soria, Cárdenas Socialista (Mexico City: SPI, 1935), 5.

                                (17.) Radio Educación, Una historia hecha de sonidos: Radio Educación: la innovación del cuadrante (Mexico City: SEP, 2004), 71.

                                (18.) Piña Soria, Cárdenas socialista, 15, 23–24, 39, 97–98, 105–106,141.

                                (19.) Lázaro Cárdenas to the President of the Chamber of Deputies, December 25, 1936, in AGN, Ramo Presidentes, Lázaro Cárdenas del Río, Exp. 545.2/33. Fernando Mejía Barquera, “El Departamento Autónomo de Prensa y Publicidad (1937–1939), Revista Mexicana de Comunicación (November–December 1988).

                                (20.) Domenach, La propaganda política, 24–25.

                                (21.) See Barry Carr, “The Mexican Communist Party and Agrarian Mobilization in the Laguna,” The Hispanic American Historical Review 67 (August 1987), 371–404.

                                (22.) Priscila Pilatowsky, “‘Para dirigir la acción y unificar el pensamiento’: Propaganda y revolución en México, 1936–1942,” (PhD dissertation, El Colegio de Mexico, 2014), 87–88.

                                (23.) Sylvia Dummer, “En defensa de la Revolución: Diplomacia pública de México hacia Estados Unidos bajo el gobierno de Lázaro Cárdenas (1934–1940),” (PhD dissertation, Freie Universität Berlin, 2015), 142.

                                (24.) Dummer, “En defensa de la Revolución,” 178–187.

                                (25.) Reich Ministry for Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda, s/f, AGN, Ramo Presidentes, Lázaro Cárdenas del Río, Exp. 545.2/33.

                                (26.) The Consulate of Mexico in Germany sent the government a descriptive report of this propaganda organization because they thought it would be useful in the organization of the department, while the Head of the German Legation in Mexico sent Agustín Arroyo a summary of the ministry’s operations. See, Dummer, “En defensa de la Revolución,” 136.

                                (27.) Draft of the Reform to the Law of State Ministries, creating the Department of Social Propaganda, October 24, 1934, in AGN, Ramo Presidentes, Lázaro Cárdenas del Río, Exp. 545.2/33. This document can also be consulted in Rafael López, “Departamento Autónomo de Prensa y Publicidad (DAPP). La experiencia del Estado cardenista en políticas estatales de comunicación, 1937–1939,” (Undergraduate thesis, UNAM, 2002), 241–243.

                                (28.) Francisco Hernández Lomelí, “Las oficinas de comunicación social en México,” in Comunicación y Sociedad 25–26 (September 1995–April 1996): 59–61.

                                (29.) Lázaro Cárdenas to the President of the Chamber of Deputies, December 25, 1936, in AGN, Ramo Presidentes, Lázaro Cárdenas del Río, 545.2/33.

                                (30.) See Roderic Ai Camp, Mexican Political Biographies, 1935–2009 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2001), 66–67.

                                (31.) Pilatowsky, “Para dirigir la acción,” 86, 121–122.

                                (32.) Lázaro Cárdenas to the President of the Chamber of Deputies, December 25, 1936, in AGN, Ramo Presidentes, Lázaro Cárdenas del Río, Exp. 545.2/33.

                                (33.) Lázaro Cárdenas to the Secretaries of the Congress of the Union, s/f, in AGN, Ramo Presidente, Lázaro Cárdenas del Río, Exp. 545.2/33.

                                (34.) Dummer, “En defensa de la Revolución,” 139.

                                (35.) Dummer, “En defensa de la Revolución,” 147–149.

                                (36.) Summary of the DAPP’s labors in 1938, in AGN, Ramo Presidentes, Lázaro Cárdenas del Río, Vol. 1298, exp. 704.1/13.

                                (37.) “Algunos aspecto económicos del Plan Sexenal de México,” conference supported by Ramón Beteta on July 28, 1934, and published by the DAPP, Ramón Beteta, En defensa de la revolución (Mexico City: DAPP, 1937), 45.

                                (38.) See for example, Lázaro Cárdenas, Mensaje al pueblo de México (Mexico City: Imprenta Mundial, 1934), 4.

                                (39.) A detailed analysis of the DAPP and the Six-Year Plan can be found in Dummer, “En defensa de la Revolución,” 318–346.

                                (40.) Lázaro Cárdenas, Primera exposición objetiva del Plan Sexenal (México City: DAPP), 109–110.

                                (41.) Lázaro Cárdenas to the State Secretaries and Department Heads, June 17, 1937, in AGN, Ramo Presidentes, Lázaro Cárdenas del Río, Exp. 704.2/4.

                                (42.) See Memoria del Departamento de Prensa y Publicidad. From January to August 1937. Presented at the Congress of the Union by Department Head Agustín Arroyo Ch. (Mexico City: DAPP, 1937), 7.

                                (43.) López, “Departamento Autónomo de Prensa y Publicidad,” 39–42.

                                (44.) The topic was widely discussed in the works of Lasswell. Other examples include Arthur Willert, “Publicity and propaganda in international affairs,” in International Affairs 6 (November-December 1938): 809–826. Serge Tchakhotine, Le viol des foules par la propagande politique (Paris: Gallimard, 1952), 13–17.

                                (45.) In May, when Cárdenas presented his First Objective Exhibition of the Six-Year Plan, it was still called the Department of Publicity and Propaganda.

                                (46.) See María Teresa García Nieto, “La propaganda como fuente de las relaciones públicas,” Historia y Comunicación Social 4 (1999): 37–39.

                                (47.) A path that would be skillfully exploited in the 1930s by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, even when it was clear that he had orchestrated a massive propaganda machine to promote the New Deal. An example from the criticisms and suspicions that the Roosevelt administration’s propaganda machine awoke is available in the article by Albert W. Atwood, “The Great Propaganda Machine,” Saturday Evening Post, June 15, 1935.

                                (48.) Memoria, 13.

                                (49.) Dummer, “En defensa de la Revolución,” 142.

                                (50.) Memoria, 19–21.

                                (51.) Memoria, 8.

                                (52.) López, “Departamento Autónomo de Prensa y Publicidad,” 46.

                                (53.) Memoria, 8.

                                (54.) For details on the deliveries, see Memoria, 20; Pilatowsky, “Para dirigir la acción,” 113–117; Dummer, “En defensa de la Revolución,” 149–150.

                                (55.) Dummer, “En defensa de la Revolución,” 230–231.

                                (56.) Memoria, 7.

                                (57.) Summary of the DAPP’S labors in 1938, in Ramo Presidentes, Lázaro Cárdenas del Río, Vol. 1298, exp. 704.1/13, AGN. The studies cited are discussed in the final section.

                                (58.) Summary of the DAPP’S labors in 1938, in Ramo Presidentes, Lázaro Cárdenas del Río, Vol. 1298, exp. 704.1/13, AGN.

                                (59.) See Pilatowsky, “Para dirigir la acción,” 109–113.

                                (60.) Enrique Beltrán, and Alfredo Barrera, El conservacionismo mexicano (Mexico City: Ediciones del Instituto Mexicano de Recursos Naturales Renovables, 1966), 26–27.

                                (61.) See Dummer, “En defensa de la Revolución,” 334–337, 342–346; Pilatowsky, “Para dirigir la acción,” 145–146.

                                (62.) Pilatowsky, “Para dirigir la acción,” 140–186.

                                (63.) For an analysis of the propaganda regarding expropriation, see Pérez Montfort, “La expresión popular y el 18 de marzo de 1938,” in Estampas de nacionalismo popular mexicano: Diez ensayos sobre cultura popular y nacionalismo (Mexico City: Ciesas, CIDHEM, 1994), 191–218.

                                (64.) See Roberto Ornelas, “Radio y cotidianidad en México (1900–1930),” in Historia de la vida cotidiana en México, edited by Aurelio de los Reyes.,V Siglo XX. Campo y ciudad, Vol. I (Mexico City: FCE-Colmex, 2006); Joy Elizabeth Hayes, Radio Nation: Communication, Popular Culture, and Nationlaism in Mexico, 1920–1950 (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2000).

                                (65.) Fernando Mejía Barquera, La industria de la radio y la televisión y la política del Estado mexicano, vol. I (1920–1960) (Mexico City: Fundación Manuel Buendía, 1989), 51.

                                (66.) Pilatowsky, “Para dirigir la acción,” 213–214.

                                (67.) Memoria, 31–33.

                                (68.) From then on, it was known as Radio Gobernación. An extensive analysis of the DAPP’s radio efforts can be found in Pilatowsky, “Para dirigir la acción,” 187–255.

                                (69.) Departamento Autónomo de Publicidad y Propaganda. Oficina de Propaganda, in AGN, Fondo Presidentes, Lázaro Cárdenas del Río, Exp. 704.2/4.

                                (70.) Memoria, 42.

                                (71.) The anti-alcohol campaigns were a constant in post-revolutionary governments. See Jesús Méndez, “De crudas y moralidades: Campañas antialcohólicas en los gobiernos de la posrevolución (1916–1931), in Cruda realidad. Producción, consumo y fiscalidad de las bebidas alcohólicas en México y América Latina, siglos XVII-XX, edited by Ernest Sánchez Santiró (Mexico City: Instituto Mora, 2007), 213–242. Gretchen Kristine Pierce, Sobering the Revolution: Mexico’s Antialcohol Campaigns and the Process of State Building, 1910–1940, (Arizona: University of Arizona, 2008).

                                (72.) AGN, Ramo Presidentes, Lázaro Cárdenas del Río, Exp. 704.2/4.

                                (73.) Departamento Autónomo de Publicidad y Propaganda, Oficina de Propaganda, June 11, 1937, in AGN, Ramo Presidentes, Lázaro Cárdenas del Río, Exp. 704.2/4.

                                (74.) Memoria, 35–39.

                                (75.) Memoria, 57–61.

                                (76.) These strategies were identified by the United States Institute for Propaganda Analysis; see John C. Merrill, Medios de Comunicación Social. Teoría y práctica en Estados Unidos y el mundo (Madrid: Fundación Germán Sánchez Ruipérez, 1992), 78–79.

                                (77.) Note sent by President Lázaro Cárdenas to the State Secretaries, May 22, 1940, AGN, LCR, 161.1/11

                                (78.) Diario Oficial de la Federación, December 30, 1939, 117.46; Francisco Hernández Lomelí, “Las oficinas de comunicación social en México,” Comunicación y Sociedad 25–26 (Septiembre 1995–abril 1996): 57–72, 62–63.

                                (79.) Fátima Fernández Christlieb, Los medios de difusión masiva en México (Mexico City: Ediciones Casa Juan Pablos, 1987).

                                (80.) Mejía Barquera, “El Departamento Autónomo de Prensa y Publicidad”; Mejía Barquera, La industria de la radio y la televisión.”

                                (81.) Pablo Arredondo and Enrique Sánchez, Comunicación social y poder y democracia en México (Mexico City: Universidad de Guadalajara, 1986).

                                (82.) Francisco Hernández Lomelí, “Las oficinas de comunicación social.”

                                (83.) Karin Bohmann, Medios de comunicación y sistemas informativos en México (Mexico City: Alianza-Conaculta, 1989).

                                (84.) López, “Departamento Autónomo de Prensa y Publicidad.”

                                (85.) López, “Departamento Autónomo de Prensa y Publicidad.”

                                (86.) Pilatowsky, “Para dirigir la acción.”

                                (87.) Dummer, “En defensa de la Revolución.”

                                (88.) Álvaro Vázquez Mantecón, “Cine y propaganda durante el cardenismo,” Historia y Grafía 39 (July–December 2013): 86–101.

                                (89.) Tania Celina Ruiz Ojeda, “El Departamento Autónomo de Prensa y Publicidad: construyendo la nación a través del cine documental en México (1937–1939),” (PhD dissertation, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, 2012).

                                (90.) Ana Laura de la Torre, “La cultura física en la Ciudad de México: Recreación, internacionalismos y nacionalismos, 1896–1939,” (PhD dissertation, El Colegio de México, 2017).