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Blanca Estela Pavón: chronicle of a tragedy

"Atención. Atención. Torre de control, habla el capitán Alfonso Reboul del bimotor XA-DUH. Tenemos una emergencia. Repito tenemos una emergencia grave. Estamos volando por contacto. Acabamos de pasar Puebla se puede ver el volcán Popocatépetl bajo nosotros. Repito... Tenemos graves problemas de visibilidad. Turbulencias severas. Volamos a 1300 pies...". Esa fue la última comunicación entre la torre de control y la aeronave de Mexicana de Aviación. Era el lunes 26 de septiembre de 1949, ese día, la actriz Blanca Estela Pavón, de 23 años de edad, había abordado ese bimotor horas antes en Oaxaca. Semanas atrás, el director Agustín P. Delgado había finalizado el rodaje de Ladronzuela, emotivo relato de redención, escrito por Yolanda Vargas Dulché, protagonizada por Blanca Estela.

Nosotros los pobres (1947, dir. Ismael Rodríguez) Nosotros los pobres (1947, dir. Ismael Rodríguez)

Blanca Estela would be the protagonist of passionate dramas such as: Cortesana y La bien pagada in 1947 and En cada puerto un amor, En los Altos de Jalisco y Los tres huastecos in 1948. The latter by Ismael, with Infante in the roles of the Andrade triplets: Lorenzo the Tamaulipeco, father of La Tucita (María Eugenia Llamas) and, apparently, a bandit nicknamed El Coyote; the priest Juan de Dios, from San Luis Potosí, who plays the violin; and Víctor, the one from Veracruz, an army captain in love with the lovely Mari Toña (Blanca Estela), a young orphan with a mule he sings to: “Arre que llegando al caminito, aquimichú aquimichú… Arre que llegando al caminito aquimichu aquimichu.”

By 1949, Blanca Estela was leading the casts of two intense dramas: Las puertas del presidio, with David Silva, and La mujer que yo perdí, with Pedro Infante, in a premonitory title since it would be the last film in which they would work together. Again, she was nominated for an Ariel for her role in Ustedes los ricos. It’s known that after Blanca Estela's accident, Ismael wouldn’t film Pepe El Toro until 1952. In Ismael's own words: “We were going to make Ni pobres ni ricos, the third Nosotros los pobres movie, but Blanca Estela Pavón passed away. In the end, we made Pepe El Toro. Pedro wanted to make a boxing movie and we hadn't made the third of the pobres trilogy.” In it, Infante's character is a carpenter-gone-boxer who forever mourns his wife La Chorreada (Blanca Estela Pavón), who, along with her twins, is killed by a car – much to the sadness of Lucha, a smitten neighbor played by Irma Dorantes.

The XEW stopped the transmission of one of its music programs to break the news. "…The tragic night of Pico del Fraile began when the twin-engine XA-DUH of Mexicana de Aviación left Oaxaca this past Monday, September 26, carrying as passengers, among others, historian and founder of the Institute of Aesthetic Investigations of the UNAM, Salvador Toscano Jr., Senator Gabriel Ramos Millán, director of the National Corn Commission and our beloved collaborator and great artist of the national cinema, Blanca Estela Pavón, as well as her father, Francisco V. Pavón. It is confirmed that all the crew and passengers perished in the fatal accident. Blanca Estela has left us, but her presence will continue among us through her films, her characters, and in our hearts…"

The radio fades to give way to a beloved and well-known voice, that of the one and only Blanca Estela Pavón singing the theme of the Que Dios me perdone, directed by Tito Davison in 1947. Manuel Esperón's theme, interpreted by Mario Ruiz Armengol's orchestra, sounds distant and ghostly and leaves its audience in tears.

“I kept thinking about what I have experienced, about the bitter things that are suddenly forgotten. A sweet promise, the kiss that wasn't meant, madness, anguish and agony, these things that have a taste of lies, if I could erase them, without pain from my life. Again, I feel that the moment will come to look for sweet hope, for dreaming; it makes me drunk and God forgive me if my thoughts only find another lie in dreams…"