Lecumberri: The jail that locked Revueltas and Siqueiros

September 30, 2019 at 12:19 hrs.

Lecumberri: The jail that locked Revueltas and Siqueiros


Construction Lecumberri Palace the 9 of May began 1885, but due to its proportions it took longer than expected to finish.

Went to him 29th September 1900 which was inaugurated, being Porfirio Díaz president.

Díaz, wanted a large and modern penitentiary to convey to the world a sense of prosperity.

From that year it worked as originally planned, but the 27 of August of 1976, closed its doors.

However, in 1982 it opened again. On this occasion as General Archive of the Nation.

That was how one of the oldest buildings in America, went from housing prisoners to being guardian of historical documents.

The terror of Lecumberri


The engineers in charge of the work were Miguel Quintana, Antonio Torres Torija and Antonio M. Anza.

Its building was totally atypical for the time being, it was called panoptic prison architecture, which was patented by the Englishman Jeremías Bentham.

It consisted of seven corridors or arms that culminated at the same point, with a watchtower to the center.

That is, there was no place discovered.

Among the legends, it is claimed that many lost their mind by feeling permanently guarded and with high psychological pressure.

Originally planned for 800 males, 180 females and 400 under 18 years.

It began with 996 prisoners, but soon the population grew to 3 thousand thousand 800 people.

It had 804 cells, workshops, nursing, kitchen, psychiatric ward and bakery.

As well as a government area, medical service and waiting rooms.

It was divided into bays, which separated according to the crime committed. There were also punishment cells.

En 1968, As of August, young people began to be imprisoned. It was terrible for the October 2, as they tortured and killed students (the figure is still unknown).

The decision to close the jail was due to the overpopulation, food shortages, unsanitary conditions, corruption and other acts that violated all human rights. 

Among the personalities that played Lecumberri are: Pancho Villa, José Agustín, José Revueltas, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Álvaro Mutis and Juan Gabriel.

Siqueiros He was a political prisoner from 1960 to 1964. On the site he made different sketches of later works.

But his most recognized work during his stay were two screens used in a titled play: Bachelor, don't hurry.

While Riots imprisoned in the student movement of the 68, he remained two and a half years in the Palace and from there he was born The Apando.