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Title: Managing criticism : intellectuals, journalists and the state during Mexico's dirty war
Author: Watt, Peter
ISNI:       0000 0001 3564 4912
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2008
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This study examines the social role of intellectuals and journalists in Mexico during the period now known as the Dirty War, or Guerra Sucia.  Until recently, the disappearances, torture and imprisonment during the mandate of President Luis Echeverría (1970-1976) were a taboo subject covered only by exceptional journalists and intellectuals.  Generally, however, news of political repression in Mexico rarely reached the press.  In this thesis I attempt to determine whether or not the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) had a consistent policy to control what intellectuals and journalists published.  In doing so, I hope to establish to what extent the PRI under Luis Echeverría sought to control the print media and intellectual culture, a problematic question in what was purportedly a ‘free’ society. I argue that without key support from the intelligentsia the PRI government under Echeverría would not have been able to carry out repression against political opponents with impunity.  As a result, the consent and acquiescence of the print media and intellectuals legitimised the regime by keeping its crimes from public scrutiny.  Some did write about the Dirty War but were sufficiently marginal to pose little threat to the established order. At present there are few studies dedicated explicitly to the role of intellectuals and journalists and their relationship to the PRI’s Dirty War and I hope that this material will bring new perspectives to the period in question, particularly relating to the troubled and complex relationship of negotiation between the print media, intellectuals and the state. It should tell us something about how political propaganda functions not in dictatorships, but in so-called democracies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Mexico