Mexican writer, born in the city of Mexico in 1810 and died in San Ángel in 1894. Finished his studies he worked as an apprentice at the office of his hometown. He then joined the Ministry of war with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel as head of section. In 1842 was appointed Secretary of the Mexican delegation in South America and made his first trip to France and England. Later, the President sent Santa Annato New York and Philadelphia to study the prison system.
In 1847 he fought against Americans and established secret service post between Mexico and Veracruz. During the administration of José Joaquín de Herrera , he was Minister of Finance (1850-1851) and during the Government of Comonfort was Secretary of the same portfolio. It contributed to the 1857 coup, so it was processed him and turned away from politics. Restored the Republic, he was several times Deputy.
In 1882, with the Government of Manuel González, he was sent to Paris. In 1886 he was appointed consul of Santander and then consul-general of Spain. On his return to the Mexico in 1892, was a Senator.
Although he cultivated poetry in his youth and wrote for the theatre, his greatest literary contribution is in the field of the novel. Author of the novel the man of the situation, despite his scruffy style and his novels badly built, represents the SOAP Opera quickly written and published serials. There are critics who say that Payno wrote folkloric sketches rather than real novels, but there are the fistol of the Devil (1845-1846) and the bandits of Río Frío (1889-1891). Although Payno latter pretended to write a naturalistic novel, it is obvious that it failed, Rio Frio bandits it seems, last time, a film script of the genre "western", that a work of art. It is however recognized have skillfully used this folletinesco style to draw this great epic picture of the home of the independent life of the country.
He was a promoter of journalism and collaborated actively at the Mexican Museum, where he wrote stories and narratives of travel then gathered under the title of cloudy afternoons (1871). He also wrote in Mexican Atheneum, new year, Don Simplicio, the federalist and the scientific and literary magazine of Mexico, where unveiled his novel the fistol of the devil.