Lázaro Cárdenas(redirected from Lázaro Cárdenas del Río)
(full name, Lázaro Cárdenas y del Río). Born May 21, 1895, in the state of Michoacán; died Oct. 19, 1970, in Mexico City. Statesman and military and political figure of Mexico.
The son of an artisan weaver, Cárdenas in 1913 became involved in the Mexican Revolution of 1910–17. In 1928 he received the rank of division general. From 1928 to 1932 he was governor of Michoacan. He became minister of the interior in 1931 and minister of war in 1933. From 1934 to 1940, Cardenas was the president of Mexico. He opposed the predominance of British and American capital in the country. During his tenure, railroads (1937) and petroleum enterprises (1938) belonging to foreign companies were partially nationalized. Cardenas initiated an agrarian reform and fought against the interference of the Catholic Church in the political life of the country. The peasant and labor union movements were developed, and progressive organizations, including the Communist Party, became very active while he was in office. From 1943 to 1945 he was minister of national defense. After 1949 he was active in the peace movement. He was a laureate of the International Lenin Prize for Strengthening Peace Between Nations (1955). In 1969 he became honorary president of the World Peace Council.