Paco Ignacio Taibo II was born Francisco Ignacio Taibo Mahojo on January 11, 1949, in Gijón, Asturias, Spain, into a family of working-class anarchists. He is the son of late journalist, novelist, and biographer Paco Ignacio Taibo and Maricarmen Taibo. In 1958, the elder Taibo and his family fled from the fascism of Francisco Franco’s regime and settled in Mexico.
Inspired by his father, young Taibo—an avid reader who decided as a child to become a writer—studied literature, sociology, and history, immersing himself in the colorful and violent past of his adopted homeland. In the late 1960’s, Taibo became caught up in Mexico’s latest political upheaval. He was forever after radicalized by the student protest movement of 1968, which ended abruptly just before the start of the 1968 Olympics when police and military forces fired on unarmed demonstrators in Mexico City’s Tlatelolco section, killing dozens and wounding hundreds of youths.
In 1969, Taibo started working as a journalist and wrote fiction and nonfiction—especially historical essays—in his spare time. A tireless political activist and union organizer, he served as editor of the newspaper Revista de la Semana, and the magazines Bronca and Enigma and contributed articles to such anthologies as Nacimento de la memoria (1971). He married Paloma Saiz in 1971; they had one daughter, Marina. He began teaching in the mid-1970’s at the National School of Anthropology and History at the National Independent University of Mexico in Mexico City, and from 1985 to 1989 at the University of Mexico campus in Azcapotzalco.
The prolific Taibo has created a flood of prose, publishing short stories, essays, novels, biographies, and other nonfiction. He gained almost instant recognition in Latin...
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