Who's Who in Mexican Government

By Marvin Alisky; Center for Latin American Studies | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

Not since 1946 when Stanford University brought one out has any institution in the United States published a Who's Who for Mexico and even textbooks on Mexican government do not include the biographical data which traces the rise up the public administration or political ladder of many Mexican leaders.

As Professor L. Vincent Padgett observed in his Mexican Political System ( 1966): "The person who is considered available for the presidency usually has been a cabinet officer." Lázaro Cárdenas ( President 1934-1940) had been Minister of War. Manuel Avila Camacho ( President 1940-1946) was Minister of Defense before his nomination as chief executive. Presidents Miguel Alemán ( 1946-1952), Adolfo Ruíz Cortines ( 1952-1958), and Gustavo Díaz Ordaz (1964-1970) had served in presidential cabinets as Minister of Gobernación (Interior). President Adolfo López Mateos became a presidential candidate for the 1958-1964 term after serving as Minister of Labor during 1952-1958.

If one looks a bit earlier in the careers of presidents, cabinet ministers, ambassadors, and other top-level public administrators of Mexico, usually one finds their experience included being governor or mayor or state supreme court justice, and almost invariably federal Deputy and then Senator.

As I pointed out in my monograph Governors of Mexico ( 1965), since the overthrow of the Porfirio Díaz dictatorship in 1911, most presidents have served as governors of their home states, gaining the experience which helped them serve in the cabinets of their presidential predecessors. President Carranza had been Governor of Coahuila. Presidents de la Huerta, Obregón, Calles, and Albelardo Rodríguez were Governors of Sonora. President Portes Gil had been Governor of Tamaulipas. Presidents Ortiz Rubio and Cárdenas were Governors of Michoacán. Presidents Alemán and Ruiz Cortines were Governors of Veracruz.

On occasion, a former Governor will become a Senator -- almost never a Deputy in the lower house of the federal Congress -- for the first time. But usually in Mexico one goes from Senator to Governor. Cabinet Ministers come as often from the ranks of the Senate as from the Governorships. And several Ministers, after serving their six years

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