In the first half of the 1970s, when Luis Echeverría, now a centenarian, was led by a bunch of irresponsible, corrupt and indecent politicians, led by him, to believe that no one had governed the country better than him: instituting trust funds for ejido development, to promote tourism, to raise rabbits, to stimulate the Third World; He even created a trust to support the other trusts. Dynamic government of tours and meetings, assemblies, agreements until two or three in the morning, with no time to pee. As Gonzalo N. Santos said, Echeverría didn’t have enough time to do stupid things.
It was around those years, 1973 or 74, when I caught a voice on the radio that said something that made me laugh and immediately, a phrase that made me think. The station that transmitted that voice was Radio Universidad, the program was called ‘Words without rest’ and the owner of the voice was Tomás Mojarro, who when addressing his listeners described them as supporters.
For several years, whenever I could, I tuned in to that program where Mojarro made entertaining glosses with a sense of humor of cartoons published in the newspapers. More than once the gloss was funnier than the cartoon itself. I also read, with critical and satirical intent, unsubstantiated and crude statements made by politicians or artists, as well as reactionary writings or fascist opinions by officials, writers or journalists. From there came the program ‘Paliques y cabeceos’, which was broadcast on Saturdays at the same time.
In the course of the program, he invented a family and a neighborhood in which to develop his social criticism. There, his cousin Jerásimo made an appearance, a PRI member, always half chiles, “humble with those above and despotic with those below.” Ariel and Aunt Conchis also came out; his teacher Táchira; as well as the Juguero and Tano who was a vulcanizer and transvestite with the name of “La Princesa Tamal”.
I also followed him in journalism through his column ‘To read between the lines’ published in ‘Uno más uno’. Later he wrote in many newspapers and magazines. Celebrities made their stories always with the message and the idea of making “a call to the countrymen so that, without weapons, we go to change”.
Mojarro chose to address his public -listeners, viewers and readers- the term of champions because he considered that these, by listening to him, seeing him or reading him, gave him value, made him worth it. And just as he called his listeners, spectators and readers, they called the teacher: Valedor.
Already in this century, it continued on Radio UNAM on Sundays from eleven to twelve with a program that was initially called Sunday 6 and, later, Sunday 7. I heard it there before the pandemic. During this several times I tried to tune it without success.
Master Mojarro who was born in Jalpa, Zacatecas, on September 21, 1932, died in this capital last Tuesday. He was a man of one piece, of great congruence between his thinking and his actions. Refractory to the brotherhoods of mutual praise. He discarded prizes and chayotes.
He was a very prominent fiction writer. In his first book of stories published in 1960 ‘El Cañón de Juchipila’, an influence of Juan Rulfo who was his guardian can be guessed. In 1963 he wrote his novel “Bramadero” which aroused the admiration of Alejo Carpentier. He also wrote his autobiography in 1966. That same year another novel: Malafortuna and in 1973 Trasterra. In 1986 he published Yo el Valedor y el Jerásimo. His last publication was in 1998: My supporters! to popular power.
He led workshops on reading, political theory and creation. He did everything with passion, humility and discipline. Although a street in Jalpa bears his name, the Valedor deserves that, like a character from the Juchipila Canyon, they compose a corrido for him.
I end with one of his phrases: “In Mexico there is freedom of self-censorship.”
Writer and television screenwriter
The Privilege of Opinion
Mexican television writer. Known for having written the scripts for programs such as Ensalada de Locos, La carabina de Ambrosio, La Güereja and something else, El privilege de manda, among others.