Paco Ignacio Taibo II

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Paco Ingnacio Taibo II
Paco Ignacio Taibo II.JPG
Native name
Francisco Ignacio Taibo Mahojo
BornJanuary 11, 1949 (age 69)
Gijón, Spain
Pen namePaco Ingnacio Taibo II, PIT, Taibo II
NationalitySpanish and Mexican

Paco Ignacio Taibo II (born Francisco Ignacio Taibo Mahojo; on January 11, 1949), also known as Paco Taibo II or informally as PIT is a Spanish-Mexican writer, novelist and political activist based in Mexico City. He is most widely known as the founder of the neopolicial genre of novel in Latin America and is also a prominent member of the international crime writing community. His Spanish language work has won numerous awards including two Latin American Dashiell Hammett Prizes.[1]


Taibo has lived in Mexico City since the age of 9, when in 1958 his family fled from Spain to escape the fascist dictatorship of Francisco Franco. Taibo II is an intellectual, historian, professor, journalist, social activist, union organizer, and world-renowned writer. Widely known for his policial novels, he is considered the founder of the neopolicial genre in Latin America and is the president of the International Association of Policial Writers.[2][3] One of the most prolific writers in Mexico today, over 500 editions of his 51 books have been published in 29 countries and over a dozen languages, and include novels, narrative, historical essays, chronicles, and poetry.[4]

Some of PIT's novels have been mentioned among the "Books of the Year" by The New York Times, Le Monde, and the Los Angeles Times. He has received numerous awards including the Grijalbo, the Planeta/Joaquin Mortiz in 1992, the Dashiell Hammett three times for his policial novels, and the 813 for the best police novel published in France. His biography of Ernesto "Che" Guevara (Ernesto Guevara, tambien conocido como el Che, 1996) has sold over half a million copies around the world and won the 1998 Bancarella Book of the Year award in Italy.[3]

PIT's readership has developed into a cult following. Once when he gave a talk about Mexican Independence hero Miguel Hidalgo in Mexico City, his presentation turned into a rally. His readers consider him their friend and when his presentations are over, people approach him to give him gifts such as cigarettes, apples, and sodas.[4]

A socially and politically conscious writer, PIT's writings respond to and speak of the social pressures he experienced as a young man and allow him to tell what's behind every criminal story: corruption and repression of the political system in Mexico. A militant and veteran of the 1968 student movement in Mexico, his book '68 (published by Seven Stories Press in 2004) was inspired by the events of that year and direct personal experience, it tells the story of the movement including the Tlatelolco massacre of student protesters in Mexico City by government troops: at the La Plaza de las Tres Culturas, thousands of people were arrested, hundreds killed, and hundreds are still missing.[5] To date nobody has been held accountable for these crimes.[6]

Among PIT's most popular works is a series of detective novels, written against the prevailing bourgeois state in Mexico in the last few decades of the 20th century, with the protagonist, Mexican Private Investigator Héctor Belascoarán Shayne, who was introduced in the novel Días de combate. PIT wrote eight more novels with this character.

Other novels include: Cuatro manos (Four Hands); Sombra de la sombra (Shadow of the Shadow); Amorosos fantasmas; and Temporada de Zopilotes: Una historia narrativa sobre la Decena Trágica (Buzzards' season: A narrative history about the Ten Tragic Days) and, the last of the series, Muertos incómodos (The Inconvenient Dead), co-authored with Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.

PIT organizes the 'Semana Negra' ("The Noir Week"), a crime fiction festival held every year in Gijón, Spain.


He is the son of Paco Ignacio Taibo I (†, 6/19/1924-11/13/2008) and the brother of movie producer Carlos Taibo and poet Benito Taibo.

Awards and honors[edit]

  • 1991 Dashiell Hammett (Spain) for his novel Cuatro Manos
  • 1994 Dashiell Hammett (Spain) for his novel La Bicicleta de Leonardo
  • 1998 Premio Bancarella (Italy) for his novel Senza Perdere la Tenerezza


  • '68, translated by Donald Nicholson-Smith, New York: Seven Stories Press, 2004.
  • Cuatro Manos, novel, Buenos Aires (Argentina): Ediciones Colihue SRL, 1991.
  • La Bicicleta de Leonard, novel, Planeta, 1994.
  • Ernesto Guevara, también conocido como el Che, novel, Planeta, 1997.
  • Senza Perdere la Tenerezza, novel, Il Saggiatore, 1998.
  • '68, novel, New York: Seven Stories Press, 2004.


  1. ^ "Paco Ignacio Taibo II". Restless Books. Retrieved 2017-05-25.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-06.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ a b Editor's introduction. Paco Ignacio Taibo II. 2003. Suenos de Frontera/Desvanecidos Difuntos/Adios Madrid. Editorial Planeta. Mexico.
  4. ^ a b "Paco Ignacio Taibo II: el personaje de su propia novela - La Jornada". Retrieved 2016-08-20.
  5. ^ "Books | Seven Stories Press". Retrieved 2017-05-09.
  6. ^ Taibo, P.I. 2004. 68. Editorial Planeta, Mexico.

External links[edit]