You can see his house from CASA MEXILIO'S front door. Many times I’ve waited there on the curb for the bus. There’s a metal plaque about a Merida musician, a bohemian troubadour named “Guty” Cardenas. Some of Yucatan’s best loved songs were composed by Augusto Cardenas.

As a newcomer to Merida in 1980 I went to the doctor in the Merida suburb of Chuburna, and that doctor’s name was Augusto Cardenas. He said that the troubadour was his father. I’m not sure and - I’ll keep investigating. Maybe he was just an admirer -- Because — Guty Cardenas was murdered when he was only twenty-six years old - in a cantina, el Salon Bach, in Mexico City.

--- “A few days ago I hired Guty for an artistic tour in the State of Yucatan and, in order to finalize the preparations, we headed to dinner, shortly before midnight yesterday at the Salon Bach. We were accompanied by Arturo Larios, also a songwriter, and Rosita Madrigal. After a few moments of pleasantries, Guty invited two Spanish brothers, José and Ángel Peláez to have a drink with us, which they gladly accepted. Jokingly, Guty and José Peláez began to play a macho game, called ‘vencidas’, with their fingers and as neither was satisfied with the triumph of the opponent, abrupt words were said. Pelaez threatened to sock Guty, the latter left the booth and ten seconds had not elapsed when I heard several shots fired; Upon entering the main hall, I found the Yucatecan artist and composer dying from gunshot wounds.

“ An act was recorded in the police office, stating that the Spaniard Ángel Peláez, José's younger brother, was the one who shot Guty.”

-- as told by Don Eduardo Gálvez Torres, a Yucatan businessman who accompanied Guty the night of the tragedy.


Guty was young, handsome, talented and successful, and had written and recorded a song, a “corrido” while living briefly in New York City in 1931, where he met and married an attractive Irish girl named Ann Patrick who returned to Mexico City with him and lived in the Colonia Roma.

It was a song about the end of the Spanish monarchy, a recording which reached a wide public, both in Europe and Latin America.

Guty’s killer was a Spanish monarchist, and after spending a few years in jail for killing Guty in the cantina, Ángel Peláez returned to Spain and fought in the Civil War on the side of the monarchists.

Here is a rough translation of Guty’s song which seems to have precipitated the events of that evening on the 5th of April, 1932 - the murder of Guty Cardenas..


I come to tell you the latest news

that deserves the attention of the whole world:

today old Spain is republican

and Don Alfonso XIII is no longer king.

After the great triumph of the elections

and by the way of civil action,

the republicans, who were already legions,

Got rid of the throne on April 14.

Spain, Spain, your bravery

the monarchy already destroyed;

Spain, Spain, your old story

It has another glory for your courage.

Without disorder, without uproar,

when the time arrived at the destination,

in complete peace to the monarchy

defeated with the votes of Alcalá Zamora.

When the defeat was irremediable

they say the monarch said to Romanones

the peace of the country is the indispensable thing,

I'm going to exile with my traditions.

Spain, Spain your bravery

the monarchy already destroyed

Spain, Spain, your old story has

Another glory for your courage.