Palacio de Lecumberri
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Lecumberri Prison (1900-1976) is a very important historical prison in Mexico, that currently now is the nations nation archive.
Location and Summary of the prison
The Prison system in Mexico over the many years has had many notorious ones because of the way in which Mexico would uses their prison systems. Lecumberri Prison, Which today houses the nations Nation Archive’s, is located within Mexico City of the center Federal district. Lecumberri Prison is a prison that was located in the North East border of Mexico’s, Mexico City of the Federal District. The Prison now serves and houses as Mexico’s National Archive. The Prison was stationed after the major reforms of the country and after the final resolve of the Mexican Revolution. Lecumberri Prison was in operation by the Mexican government around 1900-1976, and 1978- Present as the Countries National Archive. The prison was mainly constructed to contain major political advisors of the opposing side, or other criminals to the nation from the time of operation. Mexico’s high crime rate could have been the reason for the introduction of these Prisons. The Prisons could of be named some of the highest un right treatment of its Prisoners because of the way many of the administrations didn’t want the word to get out about the prison or their administration itself. Other examples of Prisons would be the Belem Prison, which also held many of Mexico notorious prisoners from all time and many populations of Mexico’s families from years on.
The layout or design of the prison
The system that was used in the Lecumberri Prison was the Panopticon Prison system. The Panopticon Prison System was designed for all the prisoners would be under 24/7 watch by the guards would have more reliability to have a secure prison. The Panopticon Prison system is a type of building designed by the English Philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham in the late 18th century. Originally set up for the design of watchmen to observe up to over 800 inmates. The Lecumberri Prison was setup to imprison 800 men, 180 women and 400 children. It had 804 cells, workshop’s, a nursery, cooking and baking workshops/ Also the Lecumberri prison had an area of government, section dedicated to medical and waiting rooms. The North American Prison system of organization says it’s a prison-based system that allows the process of keeping an eye on every inmate.http://www.prisonplanet.com/the-panopticon-prison-system.html . The concept is all designed to allow watchmen to observe (-opticon) and all (Pan-) inmates of institutions without their knowledge of being watched or not being watched at all. This would present the focus on inmates to have suspension to not accord to personal matters or do something not administer by the prisons guards or staff.
The conditions of living at the Prison
According to “Diary of Lecumberri”, is a description of the life like in Lecumberri and the prisoner’s problems for having to live there during its active years as a prison. The conditions and living of each inmate were very dangerous and enduring due to each inmates treatment form the guards or staff of the Lecumberri prisons. A man also gives a description about even being beaten before being put into his cell and in general being punished for enter the prisons premises. According to http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01924036.1990.9688933#.UlhUVGTwKdA , The intent of this article from Tandfonline was to provide an insight into the Mexican System of prison from the perspective of the Mexican inmates, and to focus on the treatment of the accused and convicted by the police, the court system, and the correctional subsystems. According to this source, Data was collected in a modern Mexican prison by using an open ended questionnaire administered by Mexican American students. From the perspective of the Mexican inmate would discuss the treatment of the accused and convicted by the police, the courts, and the correctional subsystems of Mexico. Also in this Article it displays the importance of why Mexico for the past many years has treated its criminals and prison inmates so brutally, and the major importance students play in Mexican culture and society. Much of the down fall of Lecumberri prison would be responsible to the movements of educated individuals or students because of the questions they posed on the administrations running these corrupt prisons. The Panopticon Prison system really would seem ideal for this prison because of the want for the Mexican government to keep an eye on every prisoner and make sure there would be no escapes to spread the word of the prison. As for much of the public opinion, the prison was first set up privately to the public and not mentioned but later on with inmates escaping the word would spread much of Mexico. “Remembering 1968 in Mexico” By Elema Poniatowska, La Noche de Tlateloco as Documentary Narrative, gives a reflection to how the people of the public would have to deal with just realizing the fact the prison was around and even built. Also the text puts into detail how the country would face devastation when embarrassed other countries or the public would hear about the corrupt prison of Lecumberri. Lecumberri Prison was a very corrupt prison and many are produced out of Mexico because of the Un- Organization or corruption of there government. At the time the Prison was created and controlled by Porfirio Diaz and his administration. The prison is a great example of how at the time Porfirio Diaz had much corruption in controlling Mexico for over 35 years in office. In Nov 1976 the Prison was decommissioned after the President Luis Echeverria. Carlos Salinas de Gortari would be
Luis Echeverria predecessor from 1988-1994, which Lecumberri Prison would soon become the prisons national archive. Mexico would go through many governmentally changes leading up to 1988, coming from a more corrupted government because of the Porfiria Diaz Administration. The 1917 Constitution would be the foundation for the creation of Lecumberri Prison because of the entitlements it gave to each presidential leader. The people that attened the prison were either citizens or even celeberates to Mexico from the start of 1900. Some brief people or citizens that attened the prison were David Alfaro Siqueiros, Juan Gabriel, Roberto "Anulfo" Villegas, Heberto Castillo, Trotsky's murderer Ramón Mercader, Gregorio Cárdenas Hernández and José Revueltas. The most of the inmates that attended this prison were political threats to Diaz and his Administration to keep on their long term in office. Also other Prisoners at the time of its operation could have been student leaders to the youth of Mexico. The title “2nd look at Mexican massacre” goes into the detail about the documentary, budgeted at $ 4 million, will be the directorial debut of Mexican music video/commercials. The major creators of the production were Helmers, Leopoldo and Everardo Gout. Their mother, a document maker, was the only one to gain access to the warden of the Lecumberri Prison where student leaders were imprisoned. Not only were many political leaders and criminals to the country were imprisoned in Lecumberri, but students. The Students that attended the prison were there because of the importance students had on being a voice for Mexico City. Much later the fall of the prison would occur because of riots against the government or such examples like 1968, were students would show demonstrations against the corrupt government. Only a few people have lived or escaped the prison manly to its security and its definition to keep it silence form the public. Also a very important person that would make their escape would be Pancho Villa, who made his es
cape in 1912.
“Escape the TV Movie in 1980”, was a description of an American having to live in the conditions of Lecumberri prison. The American would tell the horrors of Lecumberri prison and many of the treatment among prisoners at Lecumberri. The display of the TV Movie would show much support from outside countries, in the response to finding out more information regarding Lecumberri and why the government had kept political enemies or criminals in such a treacherous prison. Also a connection to the Tv Movie, the prison of Lecumberri would be shut down in the 80’s mainly because of the publics concern and Mexico’s stress for this becoming so public and represe
nting their country. Even major authors such as Mark Kurlansky would give many descriptions to how around the globe, Lecumberri Prison would be seen as a horror to the world. In Kurlansky’s novel “ 1968: The Year that Rocked the World”, he would give a description that described the prison as “ A Old French Style prison, a prison were political prisoners were thrown. The information regarding the men that escaped gives the best and most important information regarding the treatment and the overall culture of the prison at the time of its occupancy in Mexico.
In 1970-1980 the Lecumberri prison would be known for many notorious things as to treatment and captivity of many Prisoners.
“The Globe and Mail (Canada)” Newspaper, No Mexican Leader like President Vicente Fox, supporting the Black Palace or Lecumberri Prison. The news paper described Lecumberri Prison as “ Once the country’s main political prison, he acknowledged publicly that Mexico’s government had kidnapped, tortured and murdered
hundreds of leftists during the 1970s and 80s. Much of Mexico up until the late 1980s would have similar prisons like Lecumberri still in operation since the 1900s. Although many of the presidencies of Mexico would be the foundation of the development of the Lecumberri Prison, the constitution of 1917 really defined much of its development and later on uses to the Mexican Government.
“Problems Of International law in the Mexican Constitution of 1917” By: John P. Bullingtion of the Texas Bar (http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2188477?uid=2&uid=4&sid=21102870311221 ) looks into much detail to how these prisons were popping up so often in Mexican culture. As stated in the text, “ The Constitution of 1917 was the result of the revolution of 1910 in Mexico and was substituted for, the constitution of 1857 which had been in effect until that time” (P. 685). Lecumberri Prison was a main political foundation that many would use to plot and keep away any corruption that a president had produced during or running for political election. Many of the examples to why this prison was setup, was to be able to contain any foreign or regional people that opposed a presidents policies or having known information regarding
the current held party. As to more information to why this prison or other prisons were occurring in Mexico, could be of one of two things. One of the most important facts to why we know this prison was setup was because of the corrupt government that would be leading Mexico from 1900 until the end of the 80s. The second correlation could be to why prisons like Lecumberri were setup was because of the criminal and drug history the county to today would have to face.
Mexico’s history with crime and drugs in relationship to Lecumberri
“Mexico’s Drug Trafficking Organizations, source and scope of the Violence” By: June S. Beittel, Analyst in Latin American Affairs (http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R41576.pdf) the country itself had many internal problems because of the large crime rates it had, that would keep on building up and Lecumberri prison would be the home to many of these criminals. “Mexico’s brutal drug trafficking-related violence had been dramatically punctuated by more than 1,300 beheadings, public hanging of corpses, killing of innocent bystanders, car bombings, torture and assassination of numerous journalists and government officials. Beyond the
litany of these brazen crimes, the violence had spread deep into Mexico’s Interior”(Pg.4).
A text that does a very well job in the correlation of crime, drugs and corruption in Mexico or Mexico City (which were all a build up to the creation to Lecumberri) is the novel, “Imagined Under World and Heart of Darkness By: James Alex Garza. By the late 1880s Mexico City was enjoying the benefits derived from nearly 15 years of Porfirio Díaz’s modernization program of the country and authoritarian rule, although there was still much corruption within the government itself. The political and economic consensus forged by Diaz had begun to yield its fruits of increased foreign investment, a growing middle class, and a modernizing consumer culture that manifested this progress materially. And yet, at this precise moment, fear grabbed the respectable citizens of the metropolis: a wave of highly publicized crimes in the press led to the public perception that criminality threatened to inundate the capital and endanger Porfirian progress, which lasted long under Diaz rule due to corruption with the Elite of Mexico City. Official statistics confirmed this impression of widespread disorder while at the same time with the expanded Porfirian state, undertook a program to energetically prosecute these crimes or criminals, particularly the seemingly endemic problems of public drunkenness and much theft that had been within the society, even up until 1980. According to J
ames Garza in The Heart of Darkness, this intersection produced “an elite-forged criminal narrative” (p. 6) that helped to construct an imagined criminal underworld underneath Mex
ico City, one that sought to demarcate the ordered and ideal city and citizens of Porfirian government from the socially and spatially marginalized urban poor that threatened Mexico itself. James Garza, plumbing the theme of corruption and systematic problems within Mexican government at the time, argues that while this underworld shaped “how the elite saw themselves in relation to the rest of nation” it “also threatened to undermine their own importance in the forging of the Mexican nation” (p. 2). There was also a very different correlation in Mexico among its culture when it would come from class differentially. “Imagined Underworld” By: James Alex Garza, displays in his novel the significance that much of the crime and violence with in the city of Mexico City was due to the corruption that the upper class would support (https://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/the_americas/v065/65.2.bunker.html ).
Chicago Tribute “ Mexicans scrutinize awful chapter past”, Newly opened files may shed light on over hundreds of deaths, disappearances at the governments hand By: Hugh Dellios ,( http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2002-06-29/news/0206290061_1_black-palace-files-national-archives ) Tribute foreign correspondent. This article puts into much detail regarding secret files that were most recently found, putting into place more than 60,000 secret police information in regard to the inmates at Lecumberri prison. Dionisio Garza, would be one of the first to truly look into the much horrors of the past that Lecumberri prison would mark on the country of Mexico its self. A former prison inmate and student would be jailed in Lecumberri prison for up to 6 months during México’s harsh “Dirty War”, Garza would be the first Mexicans to look among the public files of 60,000 that would be released from president Vicente Fox. According to the investigation down by Garza, there could be a major correlation from the 1968 massacre of Mexico City and what would become of 532 people disappearing and many students deaths because of the reaction the government had when before airing the Olympics in Mexico City. The Article stated “Many of us don't believe that these things will ever be resolved, but for the first time we have a formal place to look for answers," said Garza, 56, who w
as jailed in Lecumberri's Dormitory D in 1973.
Fox's release of the files was another step in his promised campaign to end decades of cloak-and-dagger government in Mexico. It also helped fulfill long
-standing demands by the public to expose and confront the worst excesses of the 70-year rule of the authoritarian Institutional Revolutionary Party, which Fox defeated two years ago.” The information in the Archives today is stored in heavy metal doors of the tiny former cells and over 8 million index cards that stretch into 1952 support the much un needed treatment of the prison inmates. The release of this information would be responded as president Fox wants the country to move from a closed private government, to a public that informed on the governments own decision. Overall this information is very important in regard because of the elongated years information supporting the corruption among the secret police and the government keeping tabs on its inmates.
“ Globalization of Supermax Prisons” By: Jeffrey Ian Ross
Chapter 4, Supermaxes South of the Border Patrick O’Day and Thomas O’ Connor.
From the text. (Pg.36) “Mexico’s Prison System: For historical background, conventional wisdom has it that the first federal civilian correctional facility
was Mexico City Lecumberri Prison (which opened in 1902), which was designed to hold as many as five thousand inmates. In truth, as Louis Brister (1986) has noted, Lecumberri Prison was just the signature penological expression of the many fin de sicle glitzy excess of the porfiriato dictatorship (1876-1910), such as the (Unfinished until 1934). Fine Arts palace, with its famous Tiffany stained glass curtain As such, Lecumberri Prison was built on the radical Pennsylvania penitentiary style and served as the model for a great many similar state facilities until the outbreak of the 1910 revolution. This important event, which profoundly changed the country’s zeitgeist, gave pause to the
Mexican penchant for massive, decorative, architectural facilities that would be home in Vienna or Rome than in Mexico City or Guadalajara.” The information provided from the text greatly represents the more detail background of the architecture of the Prison. The outside, at first to the public when the building was being constructed never seemed to appear as a prison because of its newer and elegant styles of Panopticon or Pennsylvania penitentiary style from a European expression. Page 37, describes the building as a military prison from which it would be designed to be escape proof and only accessible from the elite in Mexican society. Even much of the design from the government would be to place inmates into a watchable environment and also some to executed or to be put into Exile.
Houses Mexico’s national Achieve location (Lecumberri Prison)
The Archivo General de la Nación (Spanish for "General Archive of the Nation"; abbreviated AGN) is charged by the Mexican state to "be the governing body of the national archives and the central consultative entity of the Federal Executive." The writer Edmundo O'Gorman was its general director from 1938 until 1952. It is considered the most important among its class in the Americas and one of the most important in the entire world.
Since 1980, the archives have been housed in the Palacio de Lecumberri in Mexico City, a former prison.
Official website and access to Mexico’s National Archives online: http://www.agn.gob.mx/ . The website currently allows the public to access information about the nation archive or displays some of the original documents that are currently at the facility. The site also shows pictures of the old Lecumberri or current national archive and information for regards for the overall importance of the facility to the Mexican public.
“ Forgetting is Not Justice” Mexico’s bares its secret past By: Kate Doyle Kate Doyle
World Policy Journal
Vol. 20, No. 2 (Summer, 2003), pp. 61-72
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Lecumberri prison would have been thought of as a horrible place, where many of Mexico’s citizens or criminals would be isolated and miss treated. “
Today, Lecumberri is no longer a prison. The building was decommissioned; its tower removed, and in 1982 it was converted into the Archivo General de la Nacion (AGN). México’s national archive is where millions of pages of the country’s documentary heritage are stored for public use. Prison Cells have become record repositories; the corridors between them are the galleries in which researchers now sit and pore over their nations history”Pg.61. The Mexican government would completely transform what was Lecumberri prison into the nations largest research facility put into the public hands. Much research would be investigated and done within the facility because of the large interest in the nations history. Many of the researchers that continue to use the national archive would be Historians, human rights activists, journalists, families of the disappeared and the many former inmates at the Lecumberri prison. The national archive would become public due to the administration under president Fox at the time, where he would give more to the public. Many concern for the corruption of the government in Mexico, public works and private administrations would become public because of the concern to meet the demands of the public. The research done within the facility not only would help the need of the country but also show activist’s involvement all around the globe of the importance of human rights. Although much of the collection with the National Archives is still unreadable or out of reach to the public, the provided information makes some guess the still today corruption within the Mexican government. Even much of the design today is still observed and studied because of the rare occurrence of the Panopican prison system. In Mexico City on June 10, 2002 President Vicente Fox Quesada would release to the public the information regarding the new law of “Mexico’s new Freedom Of Information Law”. This in regard to the Lecumberri prison would gain more access to the public, which today the public is freely allowed to have access to these historical files from Mexico’s
history. Senior analyst Kate Doyle and director of the Mexico’s project national Security Archive presented much need to know information regarding the new law. The law itself, represents a compromise between two proposals between Mexico’s government and the civil society coalition.
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Escape the Tv Movie in 1980
“Remembering 1968 in Mexico” By Elema Poniatowska, La Noche de Tlateloco as Documentary Narrative
“2nd look at Mexican massacre” By: de la Fuente, Anna Marie
“Imagined Underworld” By: James Alex Garza
“The Globe and Mail(Canada)” Newspaper
“1968: The Year that Rocked the World” By: Mark Kurlansky
“Problems Of International law in the Mexican Constitution of 1917” By: John P. Bullingtion of the Texas Bar
Chicago Tribute “ Mexicans scrutinize awful chapter past”
“Mexico’s Drug Trafficking Organizations, source and scope of the Violence” By: June S. Beittel, Analyst in Latin American Affairs http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R41576.pdf
“ Golbalization of Supermax Prsions” By: Jeffrey Ian Ross
Chapter 4, Supermaxes South of the Border Patrick O’Day and Thomas O’ Connor.
“ Forgetting is Not Justice” Mexico’s bares its secret past By: Kate Doyle Kate Doyle
World Policy Journal Vol. 20, No. 2 (Summer, 2003), pp. 61-72 Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.