Victim of a heart attack, the monero Antonio Helguera died at 55

This Friday, the cartoonist and founder of La Jornada Antonio Helguera died at the age of 55 due to a heart attack. The news shocked friends, colleagues and the public of the monero, who was currently one of the hosts of the television program El Chamuco Tv, produced by Canal 22, Canal Once and Tv UNAM, whose next broadcast, precisely, he recorded yesterday morning .

“Sad day. Moneros are like those friends that you don’t meet face to face, but that you feel close to and that help you understand your environment in a playful way, ”wrote Jorge Meneses, one of the thousands of followers of the cartoonist on Twitter, on social networks.

Helguera was born in Mexico City in 1965. He studied engraving at the La Esmeralda National School of Painting, Sculpture and Engraving, of the National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature, after making the decision not to enroll in the law degree that once he circled in his purposes.

“I chose the cartoon because I didn’t know how to do anything else. Since I was a child, I was a bad student and I had bad grades for doing comics all the time. In 1983 (at the age of 18) I put together a folder of very bad drawings and went to the newspaper El Día; They gave me a job, I don’t know why, and I began to publish in that newspaper, “said the monero in 1996, when he received the National Prize for Journalism and Information, which, by the way, the federal government stopped awarding for accusations of espionage to journalists in the six-year term of Ernesto Zedillo.

Following in the footsteps of his admired Rius, Naranjo and Helioflores, in the company of his lifelong friend, the also monero (Gonzalo) Rocha, who together with Sergio Arau had an engraving workshop, Helguera approached the cartoonists Magú, Ahumada and Feggo.

In 1985, after attending a workshop on the history of caricature in the world and analysis of the mechanisms of humor with Rafael Barajas El Fisgón, he joined the team of journalists who founded this newspaper and “fortunately I forgot about being a lawyer “, used to say.

His cartoons also began to appear in the magazines Siempre !, El Chahuistle and El Chamuco, in the last two magazines he was also a co-editor. In addition, he collaborated for the weekly Proceso, where he did the Mono Sapiens section, with his colleague Hernández.

In 2002 he received the National Journalism Award, this time organized by a civil association, for his cartoon “What to see and not see?”, Where he criticizes pedophiles from the Catholic Church.

His accurate strokes, which showed the great love he had for drawing, and the influence of artists such as El Chango Cabral or Melesio Galván, were mixed with an acid and punctilious critical sense that Helguera recognized was the main element that gave sustenance to his work. cartoonist.

“If the cartoon is not critical it becomes propaganda. And unfortunately today it is very common to discover in some newspapers uncritical caricatures or that even praise the people in power. That for me is not even caricature, but propaganda, which also loses its sense of humor ”, explained the monero.

In 2017, Helguera received the La Catrina Caricature Tribute Award, which is presented at the International Cartoon and Cartoon Encounter, held at the Guadalajara International Book Fair.

Helguera was the co-author of the books The six-year term makes me laugh and The six-year term no longer makes me laugh (Grijalbo, 1994 and 1995, respectively), with El Fisgón, as well as The six-year term gives me pain and The six-year term makes me small (Grijalbo, 2000 and 2003, respectively), with El Fisgón and Hernández.

The cartoonist always recognized that his vision of things was “quite leftist and I am not worried about assuming it or showing it. On the contrary, I want my ideas to be reflected ”. However, he clarified that his position as a monero should be independent of parties and groups: “I am not a member and I have never been a member of any party and I criticize the left itself. When I make political cardboard I like to draw the characters as they are, with a face and a name, to allude to them directly and hold them accountable. The cartoon in Mexico has always reflected the political circumstance very well ”.

Rest in peace this son of hell, as he presented himself together with his companions from El Chamuco.

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Victim of a heart attack, the monero Antonio Helguera died at 55

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