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Mexican Communist Party Ephemera

Identifier: MSS-664-OV

Scope and Content

This collection contains a few loose newspaper pages containing articles relevant to the Communisty Party of Mexico, as well as numerous posters and flyers. The posters in this collection reflect historical as well as promoting the main cause of the Mexican Communist Party: worker solidarity. Most of the posters and flyers in the collection announce rallies or protests for a particular cause, or, sometimes, commemorations (such as the death of Karl Marx). Though the posters focus on one particular issue, they often also present views on a wide scope of global concerns, as well. Thus, one poster may address education, obligatory military service, or minimum wage, but also provide opinions on U.S. imperialism, the Scottsboro Trials, the accusations against Thaelman, and the world political situation. The principal issues addressed on the posters and flyers are also varied. They include equal rights for women, educational concerns (such as free education for children and protests against sexual education in school), the eradication of anti-semitism, and the unionization of workers from a variety of occupational fields (transportation and railroad workers, educators, graphic artists, miners, and others). The posters tend to be anti-imperialist and anti-fascist. Most are related to events in Mexico City, though this is not, exclusively, the case. All documents are written in Spanish.


  • 1932-1938 (bulk 1933-1934)


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Historical Background

The Mexican Communist Party was formed in 1919, strongly linked (ideologically and economically) to the organization known as La Internacional Comunista. For some time, the organization of the Mexican Communist Party was in foreign hands. This changed with the integration into the Mexican Communist Party of noted Mexican artists, such as Diego Rivera, who eventually rose to the executive ranks of the Party. From 1925 to 1935, the Party was declared illegal, and operated in a clandestine fashion. During this time, many communists were jailed and killed. Police opened fire on numerous manifestations and protests. Workers were unionizing to demand better conditions, and these demands were met with hostility, and, often, violence. There were numerous organizations affiliated with the Mexican Communist Party, though many of these were ephemeral.

Items in this collection date to the time when Hitler was in power in Germany, and Mussolini in Italy. Cuba saw the transition from one dicatatorial regime (Gerardo Machado) to another (Ramón Grau San Martín). The United States was demonstrating imperialist tendencies and exerting military influence around Cuba. In Nicaragua, Augusto César Sandino was a prominent figure (until his death at the hands of the National Guard in 1934). In Mexico, first Calles, then Cárdenas, then Rodríguez were in power. In the United States, race relations were inflammatory. In Scottsboro, Alabama, in March of 1931, nine black youth were falsely accused of rape. They were tried numerous times, sentenced to death numerous times, and re-tried, due to judges overturnining the convictions, due to the defendants' inadequate representation, and ordering new trials. Finally, in 1935, the Supreme Court reversed the convictions of Norris and Patterson, two of the defendants.

In February of 1933, the Reichstag was burned in Germany, and at this time, the governmental persecution of Communist Party members began on a large scale. E. Thaelman, Secretary of the German Communist Party and others affiliated with this party were accused of burning the Reichstag and sentenced to death.


1 folio


This collection contains 46 flyers and posters announcing events or situations pertinent to the Mexican Communist Party or affiliated organizations.

Related Material

Portuguese Revolutionary Ephemera, Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico Radical Pamphlets Collection Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico
Finding Aid of the Mexican Communist Party Ephemera, 1932-1938 (bulk 1933-1934)
Processed by K. Stocker
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//University of New Mexico::Center for Southwest Research//TEXT (US::NmU::MSS 664 OV::Mexican Communist Party Ephemera)//EN" "nmu1mss664ov.sgm.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131