Documentos de la CIA sobre el 68


Los muertos de Tlatelolco
Usanda los archivos para exhumar el pasado

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 201

Gracias a tres personas:

Susana Zavala Orozco,
for her extraordinary research under very difficult conditions in the AGN;

Jesse Franzblau,
for the dedication and hard work he gave to a new job; and

Emilene Martínez Morales,
for making everything possible.

Editado por Kate Doyle

1 de octubre 2006

Para mas informacion:
Kate Doyle
202/994-7000

Kate Doyle
Proceso
1 de octubre 2006
English/inglés

Los muertos de Tlatelolco

¿Quiénes son los muertos de Tlatelolco? Archivos Abiertos está decidido a encontrar una respuesta.

Parece una pregunta sencilla. ¿Quién, entre las miles de personas que se reunieron en la Plaza de las Tres Culturas la tarde del 2 de octubre de 1968, no llegó a casa esa noche? ¿Quién, en cambio, cayó en algún momento oscuro durante el fuego cruzado entre los agentes gubernamentales que disparaban desde los departamentos en el extremo de la plaza y los soldados que pululaban abajo? ¿Quién murió a causa de sus heridas, mientras una ambulancia de la Cruz Roja se abría paso por las calles de la Ciudad de México rumbo a una sala de emergencias? ¿Quién sucumbió días más tarde en una cama de hospital?

¿Quiénes son los muertos? ¿Cuáles eran sus nombres?

Hay preguntas que han acechado a México durante 38 años. Tal vez en otro lugar, en otra época, habrían sido contestadas en forma sencilla – con autopsias y certificados de defunción, reportes de policía, registros de hospital, películas, fotografías, y buen periodismo.

Pero México no era ese lugar, y 1968 no era esa época. En 1968, México era una nación de secretos y mentiras, donde los rumores desvirtuaban a los hechos, la propaganda se emascaraba como noticia y los funcionarios gubernamentales no le rendían cuentas a nadie.

Como consecuencia, actualmente no tenemos ni una versión oficial ni una extraoficial de la matanza de Tlatelolco, que pueda explicar sus persistentes misterios: ¿Qué órdenes dio el gobierno conducido por el PRI a sus militares, policías y servicios de inteligencia el 2 de octubre? ¿Qué altos funcionarios de la administración de Díaz Ordaz dieron esas órdenes? ¿Por qué empezó la balacera?

Y, ¿quién murió?

Ante la negativa del gobierno a explicar su papel durante los decenios que siguieron a 1968, otros lo intentaron: periodistas, escritores, ex dirigentes del movimiento estudiantil, historiadores, analistas políticos. Una “comisión de la verdad” independiente, creada en 1993, fracasó al no llegar a una conclusión definitiva debido a una falta de recursos, tiempo y autoridad; la Comisión Especial del 68 que lo intentó de nuevo en 1998, se vio maniatada por falta de evidencias.

En 1971, Elena Poniatowska escribió un recuento personal que sin precedentes, basado en testimonios. Líderes estudiantiles de la época, como Luis González de Alba, aportaron importantes testimonios presenciales de la matanza. Sergio Aguayo estableció nuevos hechos en su invaluable libro, 1968: Los Archivos de la Violencia. Su acceso sin precedentes a los documentos de la Secretaría de Gobernación (Dirección General de Investigaciones Políticas y Sociales) ayudó a que su análisis fuera el más definitivo de los que se han hecho hasta ahora.

Y, sin embargo, nadie ha resuelto el problema de los muertos. ¿Quién murió?

“…[U]no de los aspectos todavía pendientes de esclarecer es el número de muertos,” escribió Aguayo en 1998. “En tanto no se cierre este aspecto, difícilmente podría decirse que Tlatelolco tiene un punto final.” (Los Archivos de la Violencia, 250).

Esperando a Fox

Poco después de asumir su cargo en el 2000, el presidente Vicente Fox prometió esclarecer los acontecimientos de Tlatelolco. Al nombrar un Fiscal Especial para investigar la “guerra sucia” -empezando por la matanza de 1968 – y abrir archivos secretos de inteligencia al escrutinio público, Fox parecía enviar una señal de que su gobierno no toleraría más el encubrimiento oficial.

“Estamos dispuestos a llegar a sus últimas consecuencias en el esclarecimiento de estos hechos”, dijo a una audiencia reunida en el Archivo Nacional, con motivo de la inauguración de una colección sobre la “guerra sucia”.

Eso fue hace cuatro años y medio. Conforme el 38º aniversario de Tlatelolco se aproxima, esperamos una aclaración; no ha habido ninguna hasta la fecha.

En diciembre pasado, el equipo de investigadores y analistas responsable de redactar para la Oficina del Fiscal Especial un informe definitivo, al estilo de una comisión de la verdad, completó su labor y turnó el documento al Dr. Ignacio Carrillo Prieto. Cuando Carrillo omitió presentarlo al Presidente, una versión en borrador fue filtrada a un puñado de prominentes escritores y reporteros. El National Security Archive subió el borrador a su página Web con el fin de proporcionar un amplio acceso público a él, e impulsar a la administración de Fox a publicar la versión oficial.

Fox respondió con la promesa de que el informe final sería divulgado el 15 de abril, pero la fecha llegó y se fue sin ningún comentario del Presidente.

¿Cuántos murieron en Tlatelolco? Archivos Abiertos decidió que debíamos abordar e investigar el asunto por nosotros mismos.

Nombres y números

¿Fueron cientos?

John Rodda, un reportero de deportes para el periódico británico The Guardian, estaba en México cuando ocurrió la masacre. Con base en lo que presenció y las entrevistas que realizó, Rodda originalmente reportó que 325 personas habían muerto en la Plaza de las Tres Culturas.

Muchos de los que estuvieron presentes esa noche en la plaza llegaron a la misma conclusión. Estudiantes, transeúntes y residentes del complejo habitacional de Tlatelolco relataron haber visto cientos de cadáveres; tirados en lagunas de sangre, apilados contra las paredes de la iglesia, o aventados dentro de camiones de carga que llegaron después de que terminó la balacera a levantar el tiradero.

En los días, semanas y años que siguieron a la matanza, el rango de estimación del número de víctimas fluctuó sin control. El vocero del presidente Díaz Ordaz, Fernando Garza, calculó poco después de que parara el tiroteo que unas siete personas habrían muerto; horas después, elevó el número a veinte. El Día contó 30 cuerpos. Siempre! Contó 40. El 5 de octubre, el Consejo Nacional de Huelga, que había organizado la concentración en Tlatelolco, dijo que 150 civiles y 40 soldados habían resultado muertos. “Ninguno”, dijo el general José Hernández Toledo a Proceso, cuando fue entrevistado en 1978. En 1993, Félix Fuentes -quien, como reportero de La Prensa en 1968, había escrito un estrujante recuento de primera mano de la masacre- sólo pudo especular. “El cálculo de víctimas fatales ha oscilado entre 200 y 1,500″.

De alguna manera, la estimación se estableció en 300. El número aparece repetidamente: en libros, editoriales, artículos, memorias. Yo he utilizado este número en mi propio trabajo escrito sobre el tema. Pero, sin documentación, este número carece de sentido. “Es terrible haber llegado a una cifra de muertos por consenso”, observó Aguayo (Los Archivos de la Violencia, 249). Y, al suponer números sin vincularlos con los nombres, confiscamos la verdadera identidad de las víctimas de Tlatelolco: sus rostros, sus familias, sus vidas antes de que éstas se perdieran.

Archivos Abiertos decidió investigar los nombres de las víctimas de Tlatelolco. Pasamos alrededor de ocho meses revisando de forma exhaustiva los registros encontrados en las colecciones de la IPS, la DFS y la Sedena dentro del Archivo General de la Nación. A pesar de que consultamos muchos de los extraordinarios libros escritos sobre la matanza, estábamos decididos a basarnos únicamente en fuentes primarias para unir las piezas del rompecabezas.

Por supuesto, los documentos pueden llevar a equívocos. Los registros oficiales pueden contener errores y distorsiones, al igual que la memoria. Pero leídos colectiva y críticamente -y cotejados con fuentes secundarias y testigos presenciales- también pueden proveer la evidencia sólida que se necesita para la construcción de una historia precisa acorde con la verdad. Los documentos oficiales son las mejores armas que tenemos para desafiar décadas de silencio oficial acerca del pasado. También resuelven el problema de tratar de escribir la historia “por consenso” – lo que González de Alba criticó como un ejercicio de “supuestos de celda ociosa… sin datos, sin investigación, sin entrevistas a los contrarios, sin el trabajo detectivesco e histórico que los hechos merecían” (citado en Los Archivos de la Violencia, 13).

Nuestras Fuentes

La decisión del gobierno de Fox de liberar millones de documentos militares, policiales y de inteligencia en 2002, constituyó un parteaguas para la apertura en México – y una ruptura radical con el pasado. Sin embargo, la realidad al intentar obtener esos documentos y utilizarlos en una investigación, resultó una tarea tremendamente difícil. Las colecciones no incluyen índices. Los archivistas se basan en reglas internas que no hacen de conocimiento público- y que parecen cambiar con frecuencia y sin previo aviso- para decidir qué puede ser desclasificado y qué no. El proceso puede frustrar aún al más persistente de los investigadores, hasta el punto de la derrota.

Hay tres distintos grupos de documentos en el AGN.

La colección de la Dirección Federal de Seguridad (DFS) en la Galería 1 del AGN, incluye cientos de documentos que contienen información reunida por el departamento de inteligencia después de la masacre, y numerosas referencias a los muertos. Nos basamos preponderantemente en los regsitros de la DFS para integrar nuestra lista. La liberación de los registros, empero, es desquiciantemente arbitraria. Un día, se nos decía que el documento que queríamos leer estaba reservado y no podía ser liberado. Semanas después, obtendríamos el mismo documento, sin dificultad, de parte de un archivista diferente. A través de estos meses, reunimos varias versiones de los mismos documentos: algunos con páginas faltantes, otros con secciones borradas y, otros más, liberados en su totalidad. Las inconsistencias reflejan la falta de normas de archivo que regulen la apertura de información en la Galería 1. El director de los archivos nacionales debería insistir en la creación de un conjunto de reglas claras y justificables, y en su publicación, de tal manera que tanto el equipo interno de archivistas como los investigadores externos entiendan cómo proceder.

En la Galería 2, los documentos de la Dirección General de Investigaciones Políticas y Sociales (IPS) de Gobernación también proporcionaron evidencia de quienes murieron en Tlatelolco. Un importante informe elaborado por el entonces Procurador General, Julio Sánchez Vargas, titulado “Tlatelolco: 2 de octubre”, contiene detalles de la autopsia de 15 personas identificadas como muertas en Tlatelolco, y otras diez adicionales que no fueron identificadas. Sin un verdadero índice, empero, la labor que se requiere para intentar revisar los registros de la IPS, es inmensa. Los investigadores no pueden solicitar documentos individuales, sino que tienen que revisar cajas enteras de papeles sin organizar, en busca de información relevante.

Los registros de la Secretaría de la Defensa, en la Galería 7, no contienen nada pertinente a la matanza de Tlatelolco. A partir de una revisión a la documentación que se encuentran en esa galería, queda claro que la Sedena reservó una gran cantidad de documentos de la colección que turnó al AGN. Por ejemplo, “partes militares” que anuncian la muerte de dos soldados del ejército el 2 de octubre, no las encontramos en los archivos, sino en un libro publicado por Proceso en 1980. El presidente Fox -quien ordenó al Ejército, lo mismo que a la Secretaría de Gobernación y a los servicios de inteligencia, turnar al AGN sus registros sobre la guerra sucia- debería exigir a las fuerzas armadas el cumplimiento de su propia orden ejecutiva, y requerir a la Sedena que estos documentos sean desclasificados.

También consultamos el Informe borrador del Fiscal Especial, Que no vuelva a suceder, elaborado en 2005 con uso irrestricto de los archivos sobre la guerra sucia en el AGN. No resultó un documento útil. Aunque la sección que concierne a Tlatelolco es elocuente y detallada en lo que se refiere a la descripción del movimiento estudiantil de 1968, está plagada de errores, y no llega a ninguna conclusión definitiva sobre quién fue muerto el 2 de octubre. En el apartado de la lista de víctimas de Tlatelolco, por ejemplo, hay personas que murieron en protestas que ocurrieron antes del 2 de octubre (como Román Nájera Valverde, quien murió en agosto de 1968; ver p. 72, entre otros).

Algunos documentos están mal identificados, como el borrador del informe del Procurador General acerca de Tlatelolco, que se describe como un documento “aparentemente elaborado por el CNH [Consejo Nacional de Huelga]” (ver p. 60, nota al pie 216). Y, en varios casos, fue imposible verificar la información utilizada por los investigadores del Fiscal, porque los documentos habían sido resguardados por Agentes del Ministerio Público adscritos a la Fiscalía, y ya no estaban disponibles al público.

Hasta que la versión final del informe del Fiscal Especial se haga pública, resulta imposible utilizar el borrador para una investigación sobre los acontecimientos en Tlatelolco. Esperamos la decisión del presidente Fox de que sea publicado, como se comprometió a hacerlo.

Registro de los caídos en Tlatelolco

Ocho meses después de que Archivos Abiertos emprendió su búsqueda de documentos oficiales, puede ahora publicar una lista inicial y definitiva de los nombres de aquellos que fueron muertos en Tlatelolco. El resultado es sorprendentemente bajo, pero no por ello menos poderoso en sus implicaciones. A la fecha, en los archivos de la “guerra sucia” hemos encontrado registros que confirman la muerte de 44 hombres y mujeres. Treinta y cuatro están identificados por su nombre. Diez más se encuentran listados como “desconocidos”.

Puede haber otros, sin embargo no los encontramos ni en los archivos ni en ningún otro registro oficial. Continuaremos buscando nueva evidencia. Lo que sabemos, es que la muerte de cada uno de los 44 individuos encontrados en los documentos de la “guerra sucia”, se encuentra documentada en más de un documento gubernamental desclasificado. Cada una de ellas fue cotejada con las fuentes secundarias que consultamos. Cada una, representa una vida perdida en el insensato ataque de las fuerzas gubernamentales al movimiento estudiantil – un ataque que mató no sólo a estudiantes, sino a soldados, trabajadores, un maestro, un ama de casa, una empleada doméstica de 15 años, un padre desempleado.

Todos los documentos gubernamentales acerca de las 44 víctimas pueden encontrarse en la página Web del National Security Archive.

Con la esperanza de identificar a las diez víctimas de Tlatelolco que permanecen sin nombre, y a otras víctimas todavía no identificadas en los registros de la “guerra sucia”, Archivos Abiertos está lanzando ahora un nuevo blog, en el que familiares y amigos pueden registrar información, documentación, fotografías y recuerdos de los seres queridos a quienes perdieron el 2 de octubre. Esperamos ser capaces, mediante esta “convocatoria ciudadana” electrónica, de lograr una lista más definitiva sobre las víctimas de Tlatelolco, y a la vez honrar su memoria.

Para participar en el Registro de los caídos en Tlatelolco, visite la página Web del Proyecto México del National Security Archive y accese el vínculo a nuestro blog sobre Tlatelolco.

Juntos podemos construir una historia más precisa de los acontecimientos en Tlatelolco – una historia basada en hechos, al igual que en los dolorosos recuerdos que aún permanecen. (Traducción de Lucía Luna)


Los Muertos de Tlatelolco

1. Miguel Baranda Salas
2. Carlos Beltrán Maciel
3. Cornelio Benigno Caballero Garduño
4. José Ignacio Caballero González
5. Bertha Corona Tafoya
6. Constantino Corrales Rojas
7. Alejandro Felipe Carbajal Galán
8. Carlos Cristóbal Fortanel Hernández
9. Cuitlahuac Gallegos Bañuelos
10. Luis Gómez Ortega
11. Fernando Hernández Chantre
12. Ramón Horta Ruiz
13. Cecilio de León Torres
14. Manuel Telésforo López Carballo
15. [Pedro] Gustavo López Hernández
16. Rosalino Marín Villanueva
17. Petra Martínez García
18. Agustina Matus de Campos
19. [Ana] Rosa María Maximiana Mendoza Robles
20. Reynaldo Monzalvo Soto
21. Manuel Nájera Oviedo
22. Leonardo Pérez González
23. Melitón Pérez Vitel
24. Jaime Pintado Medina o Gil
25. Pablo Pinzón Martínez
26. Jorge Ramírez Gómez
27. Guillermo Rivera Torres
28. Octavio Rodríguez Cid
29. Armando Reyes Haro
30. Gilberto Reynoso Ortiz
31. Juan Rojas Luna
32. Antonio Solórzano Gaona
33. Ana María Regina Teuscher Kruger
34. Gloria Valencia Lara de González

…y diez personas desconocidas más.


Documentos
Note: The documents cited in this Electronic Briefing Book are in PDF format.
You will need to download and install the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.

Documento 1
2 octubre 1968
Relación de Muertos.- Plaza “Tres Culturas”
Dirección de Investigaciones Políticas y Sociales
8 páginas

Este documento enlista los hospitales que recibieron a los muertos y heridos del 2 de octubre. Se identifica a las víctimas cuando es posible, declarando a las demás como no identificadas. El reporte menciona en particular a la delegación No. 3, en la cual se encontraban 14 cadáveres: 11 hombres y 3 mujeres, una de las cuales “se notaba embarazada”.

Incluido entre los heridos se encuentra el soldado Manuel Telésforo López quien se encontraba en la Cruz Roja. El reporte contiene una anotación indicando su estado de gravedad: “probablemente muera”. También incluida en la lista se encuentra la recientemente fallecida periodista italiana Oriana Fallaci quien fue trasladada al Hospital Rubén Leñero. Según el documento ella se negó a prestar su declaración hasta que no tuviera conocimiento su Embajada.

Fuente:
Archivo General de la Nación, Galería 2
IPS Caja 1459-A, F. 26-34

Documento 2
3 octubre 1968 [incorrectamente fechado como 2 octubre]
Problema Estudiantil
Dirección Federal de Seguridad
5 páginas

Este reporte de inteligencia describe la violenta confrontación entre soldados y francotiradores del gobierno en un mitin organizado por estudiantes en Tlatelolco además de lo sucedido como resultado de la balacera. El reporte fue escrito a primeras horas del 3 de octubre y señala que tanto delegaciones, como hospitales en el Distrito Federal estaban reportando 26 personas muertas, incluyendo cuatro mujeres y un soldado: “la mayoría no han sido identificados….”. El documento también reporta que 100 personas resultaron heridas y más de mil fueron detenidas.

Fuente:
Archivo General de la Nación, Galería 1
DFS Exp. 11-4, L. 44, F. 250-254

Documento 3
4 octubre 1968
[Dos días después del incidente de Tlatelolco]
Dirección Federal de Seguridad, Informe de Inteligencia
4 páginas [Faltan las páginas 281-284]

Este documento es un resumen de los acontecimientos violentos en Tlatelolco y aborda la decisión de médicos en el Distrito Federal de declararse en huelga en respuesta a la represión; el funeral de Gilberto Reynoso Ortiz, uno de los jóvenes estudiantes muertos el 2 de octubre; y una lista de otras 18 personas que murieron también. El reporte también menciona las muertes de 3 personas que fallecieron dos días después a causa de las heridas recibidas y de dos soldados cuyos nombres fueron omitidos. Además, se mencionan 8 víctimas fatales no identificadas. Las primeras cuatro páginas fueron reservadas por un archivista en la Galería 1.

Fuente:
Archivo General de la Nación, Galería 1
DFS Exp. 11-4, L. 44, F. [281] 285-288

Documento 4
4 de octubre 1968
Estado de Sinaloa
Dirección Federal de Seguridad
1 página [transcripción]

Este documento relata el arribo del cuerpo del estudiante de ingeniería Carlos Beltrán a su natal Sinaloa. De acuerdo al documento, el padre de Beltrán, Jesús Beltrán Valenzuela, trasladó el cadáver de su hijo a la casa de la familia en vez de llevarlo a la Universidad de Sinaloa o ponerlo en manos de estudiantes.

Fuente:
Archivo General de la Nación, Galería 2
IPS Caja 1459-B, Exp. 22, F. 32
[Nota: Aunque un archivista del AGN nos negó la posibilidad de fotocopiar el documento, se nos permitió transcribirlo.]

Documento 5
5 octubre 1968
Problema Estudiantil
Dirección Federal de Seguridad
6 páginas

Este documento describe la declaración ante el Ministerio Público de Sócrates Campos Lemus. También reporta acerca de otras reacciones ante los violentos incidentes del 2 de octubre. El documento además hace referencia al fallecimiento de la Srita. Bertha Corona Tafoya, de 18 años, a causa de las lesiones recibidas en la Plaza de las Tres Culturas.

Fuente:
Archivo General de la Nación, Galería 2
IPS Caja 1459-A, F. 13-18

Documento 6
16 octubre 1968 [fechado erróneamente]
Personas que resultaron muertas durante el problema estudiantil a partir del 26 de julio del año en curso
Dirección Federal de Seguridad
5 páginas

Este informe de la DFS consta de un listado de 42 personas que resultaron muertas a raíz del problema estudiantil durante el verano de 1968. Aunque el documento está fechado con el 16 de octubre, la última persona mencionada aparece como herida el 2 de octubre y acaecida el 27 del mismo mes.

Cada nombre contiene información acerca de la víctima. En la mayoría de los casos se encuentra su profesión, así como la causa, lugar y fecha de muerte. En algunos otros se incluyen los datos de quienes identificaron el cadáver y la dirección del fallecido.

Fuente:
Archivo General de la Nación, Galería 1
DFS Exp. 11-4-86, L. 53, F. 102-106

Documento 7
17 octubre 1968
[Reporte Forense de los Hechos del 2 de Octubre]
Servicio Medico Forense del Distrito Federal
1 página

Esta carta firmada por el Director del Servicio Médico Forense del Distrito Federal, el Dr. Miguel Gilbon Maitret, responde a una petición hecha por el Procurador Julio Sánchez Vargas acerca de la causa de muerte de 26 personas en Tlatelolco. El reporte describe las trayectorias de los proyectiles en el cuerpo de las víctimas, señalando que la mayoría había sido herida horizontalmente [aparentemente como resultado de disparos entre soldados en la plaza, y no por disparos hechos por los francotiradores que se encontraban en los departamentos].

Fuente:
Archivo General de la Nación, Galería 1
DFS Exp. 11-4, L 58, F. 277

Documento 8
29 octubre 1968
[Reacción de Médicos ante los hechos del 2 de octubre]
Dirección Federal de Seguridad
1 página [extracto]

El Director Federal de Seguridad, Gutiérrez Barrios, informa sobre las reacciones de la comunidad médica ante los hechos del 2 de octubre y reporta que se distribuyó propaganda anti gubernamental en hospitales en la Ciudad de México. El documento incluye un comentario final acerca de la muerte de Melitón Pérez Vitel como resultado de las heridas que recibió en la Plaza de las Tres Culturas.

Fuente:
Archivo General de la Nación, Galería 1
DFS Exp. 11-4, L. 61, F. 202

Documento 9
10 diciembre 1968
[Asambleas en Preparatorias]
Dirección Federal de Seguridad
1 página [extracto]

Este informe reporta sobre las asambleas en las escuelas vocacionales 1, 2, 3, y 4 en las que se consultó si debía o no seguir la huelga. En la Vocacional 1 los estudiantes pidieron se pusiera el nombre de Guillermo Rivera Torres, quien fue muerto el 2 de octubre, al auditorio de dicha institución.

Fuente:
Archivo General de la Nación, Galería 1
DFS Exp. 11-4, Leg. 61, F. 138

Documento 10
31 enero 1969
Relación de personas que resultaron muertas o heridas, el día 2 de octubre de 1968, durante los hechos acaecidos en la Plaza de las Tres Culturas de Santiago Tlatelolco.
Dirección Federal de Seguridad
4 páginas

Este informe contiene un listado de 28 personas muertas y 51 heridas el 2 de octubre de 1968. En la mayoría de los casos se presenta tanto la ocupación de la persona como la edad de la misma.

Fuente:
Archivo General de la Nación, Galería 1
DFS Exp. 11-4, L. 68, F. 14-17.

Documento 11
3 octubre 1970
[Acto Luctuoso Escuela Nacional de Maestros]
Dirección Federal de Seguridad
1 página [extracto]

Este informe detalla el acto luctuoso convocado por la Sociedad de Alumnos de la Escuela Nacional de Maestros. Durante la ceremonia, los estudiantes llamaron al ejército y a la policía “asesinos del pueblo”. Asimismo, se observó un minuto de silencio en memoria de Juan Rojas Luna, muerto el 2 de octubre. El evento fue interrumpido por estudiantes del Instituto Politécnico Nacional y la Preparatoria Popular quienes estaban inconformes ante la tibia protesta de los estudiantes en reacción a lo sucedido.

Fuente:
Archivo General de la Nación, Galería 1
DFS Exp. 63 3-1-70, Leg. 5, F. 334

Documento 12
20 noviembre 1971
[Denuncia Presentada por el CNH]
Procuraduría General de la República
37 páginas

Esta denuncia fue presentada por algunos miembros del Consejo Nacional de Huelga (CNH) al Procurador General el 20 de noviembre de 1971. Contiene una lista de “algunas de las personas víctimas en la Plaza de las Tres Culturas, en Tlatelolco, el 2 de octubre de 1968.” La lista consta de 27 individuos que murieron durante el incidente. Además contiene el testimonio de 63 personas quienes estuvieron presentes durante los acontecimientos.

Fuente:
Archivo General de la Nación, Galería 1
DFS, Exp. 11-4, L. 157, F. 140-177

Documento 13
[Sin Fecha]
Tlatelolco
Procuraduría General de la República
130 páginas

Este es el informe final conocido como “Libro Azul”: un reporte escrito por el Procurador General, Julio Sánchez Vargas, acerca de los eventos de Tlatelolco. Este informe contiene información de las autopsias practicadas a 25 personas quienes murieron por lesiones causadas por proyectil de arma de fuego el 2 de octubre de 1968. Diez de los individuos en el documento están listados como “personas desconocidas”. La información aquí recabada es de suma importancia ya que según el reporte, la relación entre la entrada y salida de los proyectiles permite establecer: “en forma indubitable, la procedencia y la dirección del disparo… que si bien no identifica el responsable, si precisa la ubicación del tirador respecto de la víctima.” Además, en el informe se incluyen imágenes de la Plaza de las Tres Culturas, con esquemas que muestran los proyectiles de arma de fuego, creados con información incluida en los reportajes de autopsias.

Fuente:
Archivo General de la Nación, Galería 2
IPS Caja 2688-A

Documento 14
[26 febrero 2006]
Borrador de Que no vuelva a suceder…
Fiscalía Especial para Movimientos Sociales y Políticos del Pasado (FEMOSPP)
16 páginas [extracto]

Este documento contiene información relacionada a los eventos en Tlatelolco y es parte del informe borrador publicado en la página de Internet del National Security Archive en febrero de 2006. El reporte describe los eventos del 2 de octubre de 1968, y las circunstancias detrás la violencia que estalló en el mitin estudiantil. Contiene una lista provisional de estudiantes que murieron durante el rally, pero cabe mencionar que hay numerosos errores en los nombres de las víctimas y en las fuentes citadas.

Fuente:
Página de Internet del National Security Archive

Documento 15
17 de noviembre 2006
Informe Histórico a la Sociedad Mexicana 2006
Fiscalía Especial para Movimientos Sociales y Políticos del Pasado (FEMOSPP)
29 páginas [Extracto]

Este documento forma parte del informe final de la Fiscalía Especial relacionado a los eventos de 2 de octubre y es muy parecido al informe publicado en febrero 2006. Concluye la misma cifra de personas muertas mencionadas en los documentos de la policía, fuerzas armadas y servicios de inteligencia (32), y establece que no hay evidencia suficiente como para establecer una lista definitiva. . El informe final también contiene los mismos errores que contiene el borrador, como una errónea identificación del informe borrador de Julio Sánchez Vargas (Documento 13) que aparece como elaborado por el Consejo Nacional de la Huelga (CNH), y la inclusión de nombres de estudiantes quienes murieron antes del 2 de octubre. Sin embargo, hay unas diferencias notables, como la omisión de referencias a los documentos resguardados por la Fiscalía Especial que fueron usados durante las investigaciones. La omisión de dichas referencias deja varias interrogantes a investigadores interesados en el tema tales como si los documentos van a ser entregados al Archivo General de la Nación en la Ciudad de México, o si permanecerán donde se encuentran ahora, resguardados en la Procuraduría General de la Republica.

Fuente:
Página de Internet del National Security Archive


Los muertos de Tlatelolco

Las autopsias de las diez victimas desconocidas


LISTA DE TARJETAS CONSULTADAS PARA SACAR LA ESTADÍSTICA DE MUERTOS DURANTES LOS ACONTECIMIENTOS DEL 2 DE OCTUBRE DE 1968.

1) MOTINES ESTUDIANTILES
2) MUERTOS DURANTE LOS MOTINES ESTUDIANTILES
3) CONSEJO NACIONAL DE HUELGA
4) CONSEJO NACIONAL DE LUCHA DEL IPN
5) HOSPITAL DE TRAUMATOLOGÍA “RUBÉN LEÑERO”
6) CRUZ ROJA MEXICANA
7) CRUZ VERDE
8) CENTRO MÉDICO NACIONAL DEL IMSS
9) HOSPITAL CENTRAL MILITAR
10) HOSPITAL DE TRAUMATOLOGÍA DE LA VILLA
11) HOSPITAL DE BALBUENA
12) HOSPITAL DE TRAUMATOLOGÍA DE XOCO
13) HOSPITAL DE LA RAZA DEL IMSS
14) DIRECCIÓN GENERAL DE INVESTIGACIONES PARA PREVENCIÓN DE LA DELINCUENCIA.
a) Tercera Delegación de Policía.
b) Novena Delegación de Policía .
15) DEPARTAMENTO DEL DISTRITO FEDERAL
16) UNIVERSIDAD NACIONAL AUTÓNOMA DE MÉXICO
17) INSTITUTO POLÍTÉCNICO NACIONAL (las siguientes escuelas vienen en esta tarjeta)
a) Escuela Superior de Medicina
b) Escuela Superior de Comercio y Administración
c) Escuela Superior de Ingeniería
d) Escuela Superior de Economía
e) Escuela Superior de Física y Matemáticas
18) TELEVICENTRO
19) SECRETARÍA DE RELACIONES EXTERIORES
20) SECRETARIA DE GOBERNACIÓN
21) SECRETARÍA DE LA DEFENSA NACIONAL
22) PROCURADURÍA GENERAL DE LA REPÚBLICA
23) PARROQUÍA DE SANTIAGO TLATELOLCO
24) SERVICIO MÉDICO FORENSE
25) ESCUELA DEL VALLE DE MÉXICO
26) COLEGIO FRANCO ESPAÑOL
27) CAMPO MILITAR No. 1
28) PANTEÓN FRANCÉS DE SAN JOAQUÍN
29) MOVIMIENTO UNIVERSITARIO DE RENOVADORA ORIENTACIÓN (MURO)
30) COMITÉ OLIMPICO MEXICANO
31) COMITÉ OLIMPICO INTERNACIONAL
32) CÁMARA DE SENADORES
33) CÁMARA DE DIPUTADOS
34) COALICIÓN DE MAESTROS DE ENSEÑANZA MEDIA Y SUPERIOR
35) ESCUELA NACIONAL PREPARATORIA (las preparatorias mencionadas en los incisos de abajo vienen en esta tarjeta)
a) Preparatoria No. 9
b) Preparatoria No. 3
c) Preparatoria No. 7

NOTA: Y LA BÚSQUEDA AÚN CONTINÚA…


Bibliografía

1.- Aguayo, Quezada, Sergio, 1968. Los Archivos de la Violencia, México, Grijalbo: Reforma, 1998.

2.- García Medrano, Renward, El 2 de Octubre de 1968, México, Rayuela Editores, 1998.

3.- Campus Lemus, Sócrates A., 68.Tiempo de Hablar, México, Sansores y Aljure Editores,1998.

4.- Poniatowska, Elena, La Noche de Tlatelolco, México, Editorial Era, 1971.

5.- Farías, Luis M, Así lo Recuerdo, Testimonio Político, México, Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1992.

6.-De Mora, Juan Miguel, T-68. Tlatelolco, México, Editores Asociados, 1973.

7.- Varios Autores, 1968. El Principio del Poder, México, proceso, 1980.

8.- González de Alba, Luis, Los Días y los Años, México, Editorial Era, 1971.

9.-Zermeño, Sergio, México: Una Democracia Utópica. El Movimiento Estudiantil del 68, México, Siglo XXI, 1978.

10.- Varios Aurotes, Momentos Clave de Nuestro Siglo, México, Grupo Editorial Planeta, 1998.

11.- Revueltas, Andrea y Cheron, Philippe, José Revueltas y el 68, México, UNAM, 1998.

12.- Poniatowska, Elena, Fuerte es el Silencio, México, Editorial Era, 1980.

13.- García Cantú, Gastón, Javier Barrios Sierra. 1968, México, UNAM, 1998.

14.- Sevilla, Retana, Tlatelolco. Ocho Años Después, México, Editorial Posada, 1976.

15.- Cazés, Daniel, Crónica 1968, México, Plaza y Valdés Editores, 1993.

16.- García Pineda, Cuauhtémoc, Testimonio de la Verdad (Tlatelolco 68), México, Editorial Claz, 2002.

17.- Jardón, Raúl, El Espionaje Contra el Movimiento Estudiantil, México, Editorial Itaca, 2003.

LITEMPO:
Los ojos de la CIA en Tlatelolco

Por Jefferson Morley

(Columnista de washingtonpost.com y autor de una biografía sobre el ex jefe de estación de la CIA en la Ciudad de México, Win Scott, que será publicada el año próximo. Su correo electronico es jeff.morley@wpni.com.)

Posted – 18 octubre 2006

For more information contact:
Kate Doyle 202/994-7000
Jefferson Morley 202/413-7841

Research Assistance: Jesse Franzblau

English/inglés

Documentos

Para leer las notas de pie, favor de consultar la versión en Inglés.

Documentos del gobierno de Estados Unidos recientemente desclasificados, y entrevistas, han arrojado una nueva luz sobre lo que la Agencia Central de Inteligencia (CIA) sabía -y no sabía- sobre los terribles acontecimientos de 1968 en la Ciudad de México.

Winston Scott, el principal hombre de la CIA en esa época en México, era un encantador norteamericano de 59 años, que operaba desde la Embajada de Estados Unidos en Reforma. Los documentos de la CIA, ahora públicamente disponibles en los Archivos Nacionales en Washington, muestran que Scott se basó en su amistad con el presidente Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, el entonces secretario de Gobernación, Luis Echeverría, y otros altos funcionarios para informar a Washington sobre el movimiento estudiantil, cuyas demandas desafiaban el monopolio gubernamental del poder.

Los documentos, dados a conocer aquí por primera vez, muestran que, entre 1956 y 1969, Scott reclutó en los niveles más altos del gobierno mexicano a un total de 12 agentes. Sus informantes incluyeron a dos presidentes de México, y a dos hombres que posteriormente fueron enjuiciados por crímenes de guerra.

El nombre codificado de la CIA para la red de espías de Scott era LITEMPO. Las letras LI representaban el código de la Agencia para las operaciones en México; TEMPO era el término dado por Scott a un programa que, en palabras de una historia secreta de la Agencia, era “una productiva y efectiva relación entre la CIA y un selecto grupo de altos funcionarios en México”. Iniciada en 1960, LITEMPO sirvió como “un canal extraoficial para el intercambio de información política selecta y sensible que cada gobierno deseaba obtener, el uno del otro, pero no a través de intercambios de protocolo público”.

En los archivos de la CIA, los agentes de Scott eran identificados con números específicos. LITEMPO-1, por ejemplo, era un hombre llamado Emilio Bolaños, sobrino de Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, secretario de Gobernación y presidente en los 60s. Diaz Ordaz era LITEMPO-2. Como su predecessor en los Pinos Adolfo López Mateos, era amigos personales de Scott. Asistieron a la boda con su tercera esposa, en diciembre de 1962, con López Mateos fungiendo como padrino, o testigo principal, en la ceremonia.

En los registros no se revela cuánto pagaba Scott a sus informantes de LITEMPO, pero por lo menos un alto oficial de la CIA pensaba que era excesivo. En una revisión del programa de LITEMPO de 1964, el jefe de Scott en Washington criticaba que “se les paga demasiado a los agentes y sus actividades no son debidamente reportadas”. Uno de collegas de Scott dijo que los agentes de LITEMPO eran “poco productivos y caros.”

Scott ignoraba estos reclamos. Frecuentemente se encontraba con sus agentes, a los que llamaba LITEMPOs, y reportaba a Washington sobre sus contactos. En octubre de 1963, le dio a LITEMPO-1, es decir a Bolaños, un “regalo personal” de 1,000 piezas de munición automática de Colt .223 para ser entregados a Diz Ordaz. En su reporte mensual al cuartel general de la CIA, comentó a sus superiores que en 1964, “cuando LITEMPO-2 [es decir Díaz Ordaz] se convierta en candidato presidencial, se podrían requerir cambios al programa de LITEMPO”.

Scott también cultivó una relación con Fernando Gutiérrez Barrios, quien era conocido como LITEMPO-4, en la Dirección Federal de Seguridad (DFS). Scott conocía a El Pollo por lo menos desde 1960. Gutiérrez Barrios asistió a Scott en los días de pánico posteriores al asesinato del presidente John F. Kennedy, en noviembre de 1963, al interrogar a mexicanos que habían tenido contacto con el acusado como asesino, Lee Harvey Oswald.

Otro de los agentes de Scott, según los registros de la CIA, era Luis Echeverría, subsecretario de Gobernación a principios de los años sesenta, y quien es identificado como LITEMPO-8. Echeverría empezó a manejar solicitudes especiales del gobierno norteamericano para dar visas a viajeros cubanos que buscaban escapar de la revolución socialista de Fidel Castro. Cuando Echeverría ascendió en la jerarquía mexicana, también lo hizo en la importancia que le daba su amigo norteamericano. Se convirtió en un invitado ocasional a las cenas que Scott daba en su casa de las Lomas de Chapultepec.

En 1966, un subordinado no identificado de Gutiérrez Barrios, conocido como LITEMPO-12, comenzó a tener reuniones diarias con George Munro, uno de los oficiales de confianza de Scott, para traspasar copias de reportes provenientes de sus agentes de DFS sobre subversivos. De acuerdo con un documento de la CIA, LITEMPO-12 se convierto en la fuente mas productiva de inteligencia sobre “el PC [Partido Comunista], Cubanos en exilio, Trotskistas, y grupos culturales de bloque Soviético.”

Cuando en el verano y otoño de 1968 un movimiento estudiantil espontáneo convulsionó las calles de la capital, LITEMPO cobró todavía mayor importancia en la Ciudad de México y en Washington. Scott se apoyó en sus aliados en la cúspide del gobierno mexicano para monitorear y comprender los eventos que se desarrollaban, y que culminaron en la noche de la balacera que, el 2 de octubre de 1968, cobró innumerables vidas en la Plaza de Tlatelolco.

La historia de LITEMPO es una dimensión previamente desconocida a este trágico crimen.

Una noche de verano de 1968, uno de los hijastros de Scott salió a cenar al centro de la Ciudad de México con su madre y su padre, a quien llamaba “Scottie”.

“Después que terminamos”, recordó el hijo en una entrevista años después, “íbamos caminando de regreso hacia el coche cuando Scottie dijo, ‘miren, ahí hay música’. Pasábamos frente a lo que llamaban una peña, una especie de cafetería. Entonces dijo, ‘vamos a escuchar’.”

Aunque políticamente era conservador, socialmente era muy abierto, adepto a hacer amigos y a conversar.

“Así que ahí estábamos, bebiendo nuestras cervezas, mientras alguien cantaba una canción sobre Castro que era muy popular en esa época. El coro decía, “¿Fidel, Fidel, qué tiene Fidel/Que los Americanos no pueden con él?“.

“Scottie gozaba del momento así que también empezó a cantar, levantando su cerveza: “¿Fidel, Fidel, qué tiene Fidel/Que los Americanos no pueden con él?“.

De acuerdo con su hijo, la esposa de Scott dijo: “¿Scottie, sabes lo que están diciendo?

“Oh, algo sobre Fidel”, respondió.

Ella dijo, “sí, están diciendo que ustedes no pueden manejarlo”.

Scottie dijo algo así como que sólo era una canción, a lo que ella replicó, “sabes, si alguien no te conociera tan bien y te viera aquí cantando, pensaría que eres una especie de comunista”.

Scott tan sólo se rió, recuerda el hijo.

En su trabajo, Scott se encontraba obsesionado sobre una posible influencia del comunismo y de Cuba en México, pero renuentemente concedía que el movimiento estudiantil no estaba controlado por los comunistas. Aquel verano, la embajada de Estados Unidos compiló una lista de 40 incidentes aislados de agitación estudiantil desde 1963. Veintitres de los incidentes fueron motivados por carencias escolares; ocho protestas concernían a problemas locales. Seis fueron inspiradas por Cuba y Vietnam. Cuatro de las manifestaciones plantearon demandas relacionadas con el autoritarismo del sistema mexicano.

En junio de 1968, el embajador norteamericano Fulton “Tony” Freeman convocó a una reunión con Scott y otros miembros del equipo de la embajada. Francia acababa de ser desbordada por manifestaciones estudiantiles tan masivas, que hicieron caer al gobierno. Freeman quería discutir si lo mismo podía ocurrir en México. Debido a sus contactos en Los Pinos, las opiniones de Scott tenían un gran peso.

Scott y sus colegas llegaron a la conclusión de que Día Ordaz podía mantener la situación bajo control.

“El gobierno cuenta con diversas formas de medir e influir la opinión de los estudiantes y, cuando cree que los desórdenes exceden los límites que considera aceptables, se ha mostrado capaz y dispuesto a intervenir de manera decidida, hasta ahora con efectos positivos”, reportó Freeman en un cable al Departamento de Estado después de la reunión. “Más aún, los desórdenes estudiantiles, pese a la amplia difusión que reciben, simplemente carecen del músculo para crear una crisis nacional”.

Scott frecuentemente hablaba con Díaz Ordaz. Ferguson Dempster, un alto oficial de la inteligencia británica destacado en México, y amigo de mucho tiempo de Scott, contó a uno de los hijos de éste, que Scott entregaba un reporte diario al presidente mexicano sobre los “enemigos de la nación”.

Phillip Agee, entonces un joven oficial del operativo de Scott, contó más o menos la misma historia cuando rompió con la Agencia algunos años después, y publicó un libro en el que expuso sus operaciones. Agee describió el servicio de Scott a Los Pinos como “un resumen diario de inteligencia”, con una sección sobre actividades de las organizaciones revolucionarias mexicanas y las misiones diplomáticas comunistas, y una sección sobre acontecimientos internacionales, basada en información proveniente del cuartel general de la CIA.

A cambio, Scott transmitía al embajador Freeman y a la central de la CIA las opiniones de Díaz Ordaz y otros altos funcionarios. La postura pública de las autoridades mexicanas “frente a los disturbios, es que fueron instigados por agitadores de izquierda con el propósito [de] crear [una] atmósfera [de] inquietud”, decía Freeman en un cable a Washington. “La Embajada coincide con esta estimación general”.

Pero la inclinación de Scott a ver el movimiento estudiantil como una rebelión controlada por los comunistas, no surgió de los reportes que hacían sus numerosos informantes a la estación. Registros desclasificados de la CIA muestran que Scott tenía una red de fuentes de información en la UNAM y otras escuelas, llamada LIMOTOR, que lo mantenía bien informado sobre las políticas en el campus universitario. Anotó, que los estudiantes de la UNAM disputaban el control de las actividades estudiantiles al sector de las juventudes comunistas, al crear un nuevo Consejo Nacional de Huelga. “Aquellos que propugnan la acción violenta son todavía minoría”, reportó.

En conversaciones con sus agentes de LITEMPO, Scott se dio cuenta de que el afán de los altos funcionarios mexicanos de culpar a los comunistas de las crecientes protestas en las calles, coexistía con una especie de incertidumbre pasiva sobre lo que realmente estaba ocurriendo.

A fines de agosto, Díaz Ordaz designó a Echeverría para encabezar un nuevo “comité de estrategia”, creado para diseñar la respuesta gubernamental a los disturbios estudiantiles. Pero el jefe de la DFS, Fernando Gutiérrez Barrios, confesó que el gobierno no contaba con ningún plan para enfrentar los desórdenes estudiantiles, de acuerdo con un cable confidencial de la CIA.

El propio Scott se mostraba inseguro. Sus frecuentes “reportes de situación”, conocidos informalmente como Sitreps, hacían énfasis en la filiación comunista de los profesores que dirigían el movimiento estudiantil. En un reporte de agosto de 1968, titulado Los estudiantes escenifican desórdenes mayores en México, argumentó que los disturbios en el Zócalo representaban “un clásico ejemplo de la habilidad comunista para transformar una manifestación pacífica en un disturbio mayor”.

¿Pero qué comunistas? Díaz Ordaz estaba seguro de que el Partido Comunista Mexicano y la Unión Soviética estaban involucrados. Scott quería creerlo, pero no podía encontrar evidencias.

“Pese a que el gobierno pretende tener sólidas evidencias de que el Partido Comunista maquinó el alboroto del 26 de julio, y aparentes indicios de complicidad de la Embajada soviética”, reportó al cuartel general de la CIA, “es improbable que los soviéticos socavaran así sus cuidadosamente cultivadas relaciones con los mexicanos”.

Dentro de las fuentes de información de LITEMPO, observó Scott, la incertidumbre sobre el movimiento estudiantil estaba cediendo el paso al enojo.

“La oficina de la Presidencia se encuentra en un estado de agitación considerable, por la anticipación de nuevos disturbios”, escribió Scott a principios de agosto. “La presión para que Díaz Ordaz restaure la calma es particularmente intensa, debido al deseo de México de proyectar una buena imagen internacional”.

A partir de sus conversaciones con Díaz Ordaz, Scott empezó a tener un cuadro de cómo el Presidente iba a responder. Los intereses turísticos y comerciales llamaban a una “acción rápida”, le reportó a Washington. Scott sospechaba que el Presidente podía estar planeando utilizar al regente de la Ciudad de México, Alfonso Corona del Rosal, como un chivo expiatorio. Corona del Rosal era un ex general con reputación de duro. Para disgusto de Díaz Ordaz, ahora defendía una postura conciliatoria hacia los estudiantes. A partir de su larga experiencia, Winston sabía cómo operaba Díaz Ordaz.

“La incapacidad de un político para mantener la paz en el área a su cargo, ha proporcionado más de una vez al Presidente una excusa para abortar una carrera política”, escribió Scott. “Corona del Rosal ha sido mencionado como posible sucesor de Díaz Ordaz, y es posible que el Presidente haya decidido ‘quemarlo’.”

La siguiente manifestación fue la más grande hasta ese momento – pero también pacífica. Reforma fue tomada por una jubilosa multitud que se dirigía hacia el Zócalo. La gente gritaba, aplaudía, reía y lloraba al mismo tiempo. Las campanas de catedral repicaron y, aun dentro de la prisión de Lecumberri, los presos pudieron escuchar a los manifestantes. Los mexicanos se estaban liberando del miedo hacia su gobierno.

“No queremos las Olimpíadas”, cantaban los marchistas, “queremos la Revolución”. Scott informó al embajador Freeman que Díaz Ordaz estaba profundamente ofendido de que los estudiantes hubieran izado la bandera rojinegra de huelga en el Zócalo. Había ordenado a la policía antimotines y a la policía regular que utilizaran la fuerza, si era necesario, para disolver todas “las actividades y reuniones ilegales”.

Winston Scott no era un hombre que careciera de confianza en su habilidad para enfrentar situaciones difíciles. Había sido jefe de la oficina de la CIA en la Ciudad de México desde 1956, hablaba un español aceptable y sabía cómo manejarse dentro del mundo oficial mexicano. Uno de sus hijos adolescentes tuvo un destello de la autoridad de su padre cuando se vio involucrado en un accidente de tránsito en Reforma, y acabó en la estación de policía del Bosque de Chapultepec. Los agentes le sugirieron al joven que hiciera una llamada telefónica para conseguir un poco de dinero para la mordida que le aseguraría su liberación. El hijo llamó a Scott, quien dijo que llegaría en un momento.

“De repente, Scottie llega en su gran Mercury negro”, recuerda su hijo… “Tenía esas grandes placas diplomáticas rojas que habían dado para las Olimpíadas, lo que significaba que era el coche de alguien importante; y de él desciende un norteamericano alto con una chica adolescente. Scottie, por alguna razón, había traído consigo a mi hermana. Los policías mexicanos empezaron a repensar su postura. “Ah Chihuahua, ¿quién es ese?”

“Scottie le pone al primer policía que ve un billete de cien pesos en la mano. Luego, al segundo que ve, le pone otros cien pesos. Me pregunta si yo estoy bien y si el coche está bien. Yo le digo que estoy perfectamente y que lo único que tiene que hacer es pagarle al jefe. Pero él no hizo caso. Fue de un lado al otro de la habitación, estrechó la mano de todos y a todos les dio un billete de cien pesos. Al jefe le dio alrededor de cuatrocientos. Luego miró alrededor y dijo, “¿Todos contentos?

“Todo mundo estaba muy contento. Ese era Scottie por antonomasia, el norteamericano que podía resolverlo todo”.

Conforme las manifestaciones estudiantiles se hicieron más grandes, la información de Scott proveniente de los agentes de LITEMPO daba cuenta de que los cables del embajador Freeman a Washington eran cada vez más alarmantes, informando que Díaz Ordaz y la gente alrededor de él se expresaban con creciente dureza. El gobierno “implícitamente acepta que, como consecuencia, esto va a acarrear víctimas”, escribió el Embajador. “Los dirigentes de la agitación estudiantil han sido y están siendo llevados a la cárcel… En otras palabras, la ofensiva [gubernamental] contra los desórdenes estudiantiles se ha abierto hacia frentes físicos y psicológicos”.

Scott sabía que Díaz Ordaz pensaba que la aplicación de la fuerza era la única solución. “La política gubernamental que está actualmente en curso para desactivar los levantamientos estudiantiles, hace un llamado a la inmediata ocupación por el ejército y/o la policía de cualquier escuela que esté siendo ilegalmente utilizada como centro de actividad subversiva. Esta política continuará siendo aplicada hasta que prevalezca la calma total”, participó a sus superiores en Washington.

A fines de septiembre, Scott reportó que el gobierno “no está buscando una solución de compromiso con los estudiantes, sino más bien poner fin a todas las acciones estudiantiles organizadas antes de que empiecen los Juegos Olímpicos… Se cree que el objetivo del go[bierno] es cercar a los elementos extremistas, y detenerlos hasta que pasen las Olimpíadas”, programadas para su inauguración a mediados de octubre.

Los dirigentes del movimiento de los estudiantes convocaron a una reunión pública. Mermados por los arrestos, confrontados con un gobierno de línea dura, y teniendo frente a sí la inauguración de los Juegos Olímpicos en menos de dos semanas, en la tarde del 2 de octubre, en la Plaza de las Tres Culturas en el complejo habitacional de Tlatelolco, deseaban una convocatoria amplia para anunciar su siguiente paso. Esa mañana, Scott reportó que la determinación del gobierno mexicano de llevar a cabo unas Olimpíadas exitosas, probablemente evitaría incidentes mayores. Sin embargo, advirtió que hechos repentinos e insospechados no podían ser descartados.

“Cualquier estimación como ésta, de la probabilidad de actos intencionales diseñados para alterar el curso normal de los acontecimientos, debe tomar en cuenta la presencia de radicales y extremistas, cuya conducta es imposible de predecir. Y personas y grupos como estos existen en México”, escribió el 2 de octubre.

Ésta puede haber sido la voz de la considerable experiencia de Scott en México. Pero también puede ser producto de una información que le fue proporcionada por amistosos LITEMPOs, que tenían sus razones para creer que “radicales y extremistas”, cuya conducta “es imposible predecir”, estaban a punto de actuar.

La manifestación en Tlatelolco se inició alrededor de las cinco de la tarde. Tanques rodeaban la plaza y, sentados en ellos, los soldados limpiaban sus bayonetas, pero no había una situación particularmente tensa. Al atardecer, se habían reunido ahí entre cinco y diez mil personas.

Los jefes militares sobre el terreno acababan de recibir la orden de impedir que el acto se llevara a cabo. Las órdenes indicaban el aislamiento y la detención de los dirigentes, y su entrega a la DFS. Un grupo de oficiales vestidos de civil, conocido como el Batallón Olimpia, llevaba sus propias instrucciones. Debían llevar ropa civil con un guante blanco en la mano inzquierda, y apostarse en los pasillos del edificio Chihuahua que miraban hacia la plaza. Cuando recibieran la señal, en forma de una bengala, debían impedir que cualquiera entrara o saliera de la plaza, mientras los dirigentes estudiantiles eran detenidos. Finalmente, un grupo de oficiales de policía recibió la orden de arrestar a los líderes del Consejo Nacional de Huelga.

Lo que prácticamente nadie supo sino hasta treinta años después, fue que Luis Gutiérrez Oropeza, el jefe de Estado Mayor del ejército mexicano, había apostado en el piso superior del edificio Chihuahua a diez hombres armados, y les había dado órdenes de tirar sobre la multitud. Actuaba por órdenes de Díaz Ordaz, según una reveladora historia publicada en Proceso, en 1999.

De acuerdo con el libro de Jorge G. Castañeda sobre la presidencia mexicana, Oropeza era el enlace entre Díaz Ordaz y Echeverría. Oropeza también era amigo de Scott y cenó por lo menos una vez en su casa, de acuerdo con un libro de invitados conservado por su familia. No existe evidencia de que Oropeza haya sido un agente de LITEMPO o que haya actuado bajo indicaciones de la CIA el 2 de octubre.

Justo en el momento en que un orador de los estudiantes anunciaba que la programada marcha hacia el Casco de Santo Tomás, en el campus del Politécnico, no se llevaría a cabo por la amenaza de violencia armada, aparecieron repentinamente bengalas en el cielo y todo mundo miró automáticamente hacia arriba. Fue cuando se inició la balacera.

Una ola de gente corrió hacia el otro extremo de la plaza, sólo para toparse con una fila de soldados que venía en sentido opuesto. Corrieron entonces hacia el otro lado, a la zona de fuego. En palabras del historiador Enrique Krauze, fue “un círculo infernal cerrado”, una “operación de terror”.

Win Scott envió su primer reporte alrededor de la medianoche. Fue procesado en el cuartel general [de la CIA] y transferido a la Casa Blanca, donde fue leído a la mañana siguiente. Algo gordo había pasado en Tlatelolco.

“Un adulto [fuente clasificada] contó ocho estudiantes y seis soldados muertos, pero un puesto cercano de la Cruz Roja recibió 127 estudiantes y treinta soldados heridos”.

“Una fuente clasificada dijo que los primeros tiros fueron disparados por estudiantes, desde departamentos del edificio Chihuahua”.

Una fuente clasificada norteamericana “expresó la opinión de que fue un enfrentamiento premeditado provocado por estudiantes”.

Otra fuente clasificada dijo que “la mayoría de los estudiantes que se encontraba sobre la plataforma del orador estaba armada, alguno con una ametralladora … las tropas sólo habían respondido al fuego de los estudiantes”.

Ninguno de los reportes de Scott resulto cierto. Su única observación atinada fue que “éste es el incidente más serio de la racha de disturbios estudiantiles que se inició a fines de julio”.

Su siguiente reporte de situación citó a “observadores entrenados” que creían que los estudiantes instigaron el incidente. Dijo que el incidente de Tlatelolco levantaba cuestionamientos sobre la capacidad de México para proporcionar seguridad durante las Olimpíadas.

Agentes del FBI norteamericano en la Ciudad de México, que trabajaban de cerca con Scott, reportaron que estudiantes trotskistas habían formado un grupo llamado Brigada Olimpia, para provocar el ataque. Estos estudiantes presuntamente estaban vinculados con comunistas de Guatemala y, supuestamente, habían disparado los primeros tiros.

El FBI reportó que Díaz Ordaz había dicho a un “visitante norteamericano”, que podría haber sido el propio Scott, que creía que los disturbios habían sido “cuidadosamente planeados”.

“Muchísima gente ha entrado al país”, habría comentado el Presidente. “Las armas usadas eran nuevas y tenían borrado el número de registro. Los grupos de Castro y del comunismo chino estaban involucrados en el esfuerzo. Los comunistas soviéticos tendrían que ponerse a la altura para evitar que se les llamara gallinas”.

En Washington, Walt Rostow, asesor de seguridad nacional del presidente Lyndon B. Johnson, intentó clarificar los contradictorios reportes. Le mandó una serie de preguntas a Scott, quien fue a ver a Díaz Ordaz. Regresó de ahí con respuestas que evidenciaban lo poco que sabía.

¿Los estudiantes mexicanos estaban utilizando rifles nuevos, con números sacados de registros chinos?

No hay verificación hasta el momento, dijo Scott.

¿Individuos provenientes de fuera de México participaron en el movimiento estudiantil?

Tres estudiantes, un chileno, un francés y un norteamericano fueron arrestados el 26 de julio y deportados. Dos otros estudiantes franceses no fueron aprehendidos, subrayó.

En otras palabras, no había un solo reporte de involucramiento extranjero en las ocho semanas previas. Mientras la prensa mexicana jugaba constantemente la carta de la injerencia extranjera, Scott decía que “ninguna evidencia concluyente a este respecto ha sido presentada”.

¿Podía verificar la historia del FBI sobre una izquierdista Brigada Olimpia que había provocado la balacera?

Un pequeño grupo de estudiantes universitarios trotskistas había formado una agrupación llamada “Brigada Olimpia”, dijo. Una fuente dijo que planeaban volar transformadores para interferir con los eventos olímpicos, y secuestrar autobuses que transportaran atletas participantes en los Juegos.

La Casa Blanca y el cuartel general de la CIA no dejaron de advertir que Scott parecía saber muy poco sobre lo que había pasado en Tlatelolco, que los reportes sobre el involucramiento cubano y soviético estaban inflados y que el alegato gubernamental de una provocación izquierdista no podía ser probado.

Wallace Stuart, un consejero de la embajada de Estados Unidos en la Ciudad de México, dijo más tarde que la estación de la CIA había presentado 15 diferentes, y en ocasiones flagrantemente contradictorias, versiones de lo que había ocurrido en Tlatelolco, “¡todas provenientes de ‘fuentes en general confiables’ o de ‘observadores entrenados’ en el terreno!”

Scott había caído en una clásica trampa de espías. Se había vuelto demasiado dependiente de sus fuentes bien colocadas. No tenía forma independiente de allegarse información sobre un acontecimiento político sumamente importante.

La masacre de Tlatelolco, dice el historiador Sergio Aguayo, divide “las aguas de la historia mexicana. Acentuó la turbulencia de aquellos años, y sirvió para concentrar el poder en los servicios de inteligencia, dominados por un pequeño grupo de hombres, duros e incontrolables”.

Con la asistencia de Win Scott, a lo largo de un decenio esos hombres se incrustaron en el poder, actuando con impunidad contra una oposición que, en palabras de Aguayo, era “débil pero cada vez más belicosa y ansiosa de rebelarse contra la apatía de una indiferente, si no complaciente, comunidad internacional”.

Una semana después de la matanza, Win se tomo el tiempo para escribir una carta de agradecimiento a Luis Echeverría. El secretario de Gobernación acababa de darle un regalo: un gran mapamundi electrónico enmarcado, que proporcionaba la hora correcta en cada huso horario del mundo.

“Todos los que lo ven, se admiran ante el maravilloso reloj que me envió recientemente”, escribió Win en una nota que Aguayo encontró en el Archivo General de la Nación.

En estos importantes momentos, después de la matanza de Tlatelolco, sus más confiables agentes habían entregado historias de ficción y, luego, hecho una jugada. El amo de LITEMPO se había vuelto su prisionero. El titiritero se había convertido en títere.

Ocho meses después, Scott fue obligado a retirarse de su trabajo como jefe de estación de la CIA. Su salida nada tuvo que ver con los acontecimientos de octubre de 1968, de acuerdo con William Broe, el jefe de la división de la CIA para América Latina en ese entonces.

“Él era uno de nuestros oficiales más destacados. Era una estación fuerte. Él hacía una buena labor”, dijo Broe en una reciente entrevista telefónica. El motivo de su remoción, explicó, “fue su estancia de tanto tiempo. Fue lo que decidimos hacer, empezar a cambiar a la gente. No es que haya hecho algo mal. Simplemente creímos que no era adecuado tener a una persona en un lugar tanto tiempo. Trece años son muchos”.

En junio de 1969, Scott fue al cuartel general de la CIA, en Washington, para recibir uno de los honores más altos de la Agencia, la Medalla a la Inteligencia Distinguida. El texto que acompañaba a la medalla se refería al programa de LITEMPO como uno de sus más grandes logros. Según se dijo, Win Scott “inició e hizo fructificar una alianza internacional en este hemisferio, que constituye un hito para logros de gran significado”.

Scott murió de un ataque al corazón en su casa de las Lomas de Chapultepec, el 26 de abril de 1971. Tenía 62 años.

NPR Features Archive Analyst in Tlatelolco Massacre Program

Links to Declassified Documents from Archive FOIA Requests and Mexican Archival Research

Washington D.C., December 2, 2008 – National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” yesterday featured Archive senior analyst Kate Doyle in an extensive segment on the infamous 1968 Tlatelolco massacre in Mexico City.

The new documentary draws on years of research by the Archive’s Mexico project and four previous publications of declassified documents obtained by the Archive from Freedom of Information Act requests in the U.S. and archival research in Mexico, with analysis and commentary by Kate Doyle.

New – December 2, 2008
NPR Features Archive Analyst in Tlatelolco Massacre Program
Links to Declassified Documents from Archive FOIA Requests and Mexican Archival Research

October 2, 2008
2 DE OCTUBRE DE 1968 – Verdad Bajo Resguardo
On the 40th Anniversary of the Tlatelolco Massacre, Archivos Abiertos offers the most complete account to date of what files exist and what remains hidden bajo resguardo

September 30, 2008
Resources on Mexican Constitutional Reform on Access to Information

To commemorate International Right to Know Day and the beginning of the México Abierto Week, the National Security Archive’s Mexico Project publishes today on its Transparency Web Site new English-text resources on Mexico’s latest developments in the area of access to information, especially related to the new constitutional reform of Article 6.


About the Project

Since 1994, and intensively since 2000, the National Security Archive’s Mexico Project has sought to identify and obtain the release of documents from secret government archives on United States and Mexico since 1960, and to disseminate those records through publications, conferences and the Archive’s Web site. In order to obtain the declassified documents, we use the Freedom of Information Act to compel U.S. agencies such as the State Department, CIA, Pentagon, Treasury Department and Justice Department to review and release records relevant to the project.

Since 1994, the Mexico project, under the direction of Kate Doyle, has filed more than 1,600 U.S. Freedom of Information requests We carry out ongoing research in U.S. government holdings–including the National Archives, the presidential libraries, agency oral history collections, military holdings, and more–as well as search in Mexican archives such as the Acervo Histórico Diplomático of the Foreign Relations Secretariate. Since 2002, we have been able to consult a newly-released collection of Mexican documents on la guerra sucia (the “dirty war”) open to the public in the Archivo General de la Nación in Mexico City.

The Archive directly sparked a national debate about freedom of information in 1998. On the 30th anniversary of the infamous Tlatelolco massacre of 1968, the Archive drew press coverage across Mexico by publishing on the Web and in several major Mexican magazines a revelatory set of declassified U.S. documents including U.S. embassy reporting on the massacre and the CIA’s analysis of the Mexican security forces’ responsibility. Those newsmaking Tlatelolco documents came from the Archive’s partnership – beginning in July 1994- with the Mexican newsmagazine Proceso, to open U.S. files on the past three decades of U.S.-Mexican relations. Kate Doyle’s column in Proceso called Archivos Abiertos (or, Open Archives) was launched in 2003. The series draws from U.S. and Mexican declassified records on a range of issues that have included, for example: drug trafficking and counternarcotics policy, Mexican presidential elections, human rights cases and state repression during Mexico’s “dirty war.” Archivos Abiertos was published in a monthly basis up until April 2004. The column resumed with a posting on Tlatelolco’s Dead (October 1, 2006).

The Mexico Project is actively involved in the movement for freedom of information rights in Mexico–a struggle which achieved its first success with the enactment of a landmark freedom of information statute in June 2002. The new access to information law passed in 2002 represents a vital element of Mexico’s democratic transition. The project also seeks to join the debate currently underway in Mexico about the country’s transition to democracy–in particular, to support the work of citizens’ groups promoting greater transparency, openness and accountability in government. To this end, the Archive works closely with scholars, lawyers, freedom of information activists, NGOs, human rights groups and the press to design strategies for advancing the people’s right to know in Mexico. Emilene Martínez Morales coordinates our transparency programs.

The Tlatelolco Massacre
U.S. Documents on Mexico and the Events of 1968

by Kate Doyle

Research Assistance: Isaac Campos Costero
Additional Research: Tamara Feinstein and Eli Forsythe

Posted – October 10, 2003

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TLATELOLCO MASSACRE:
DECLASSIFIED U.S. DOCUMENTS ON MEXICO AND THE EVENTS OF 1968

By Kate Doyle
Director, Mexico Documentation Project


Mexico’s tragedy unfolded on the night of October 2, 1968, when a student demonstration ended in a storm of bullets in La Plaza de las Tres Culturas at Tlatelolco, Mexico City. The extent of the violence stunned the country. When the shooting stopped, hundreds of people lay dead or wounded, as Army and police forces seized surviving protesters and dragged them away. Although months of nation-wide student strikes had prompted an increasingly hard-line response from the Diaz Ordaz regime, no one was prepared for the bloodbath that Tlatelolco became. More shocking still was the cover-up that kicked in as soon as the smoke cleared. Eye-witnesses to the killings pointed to the President’s “security” forces, who entered the plaza bristling with weapons, backed by armored vehicles. But the government pointed back, claiming that extremists and Communist agitators had initiated the violence. Who was responsible for Tlatelolco? The Mexican people have been demanding an answer ever since.

Thirty years later, the Tlatelolco massacre has grown large in Mexican memory, and lingers still. It is Mexico’s Tiananmen Square, Mexico’s Kent State: when the pact between the government and the people began to come apart and Mexico’s extended political crisis began.

To commemorate this thirtieth anniversary, the National Security Archive has assembled a collection of some of our most interesting and richly-detailed documents about Tlatelolco, many recently released in response to the Archive’s Freedom of Information Act requests, all obtained from the secret archives of the CIA, FBI, Defense Department, the embassy in Mexico City and the White House. The records provide a vivid glimpse inside U.S. perceptions of Mexico at the time, and discuss in frank terms many of the most sensitive aspects of the Tlatelolco massacre which continue to be debated today: the political goals of the protesting students, the extent of Communist influence, Diaz Ordaz’s response, and the role of the Mexican military in helping to crush the demonstrations.

But while the declassified U.S. documents reveal new details about Tlatelolco, perhaps most important is the challenge their release poses to Mexico today. Thirty years after the massacre, the Mexican government continues to deny its people basic facts about what happened — refusing to open Army and police records to public scrutiny on the grounds of “national security,” denying Congress the right to hear testimony by agents of the state who were present at Tlatelolco. The valiant investigative efforts by reporters, scholars, historians, and an official congressional committee have helped clarify the events of 1968 enormously. But Mexico’s secret archives are also critical for a full understanding of Tlatelolco — and until they are opened, doubts about the truth of the Tlatelolco massacre will linger on.

Go to the documents


Kate Doyle, Analyst, directs the Guatemala and Mexico Documentation Projects for the National Security Archive. For the past seven years, Doyle has served as a foreign policy analyst in charge of Archive projects on Central America, the “drug war” in the Americas, “low-intensity conflict” and other aspects of U.S. policy in Latin America. She supervises the Archive’s ongoing collaborative effort with the Historical Clarification Commission of Guatemala, and assists on the Freedom of Information Act lawsuits against the U.S. government brought by the Archive and others on behalf of Jennifer Harbury and Carol DeVine. She was project editor for the Archive’s document publication, El Salvador: War, Peace and Human Rights, 1980-1994, and co-authored the 1994 report of the Washington Task Force on Salvadoran Death Squads. Doyle received her BA from Brown University in 1984 and her MA from Columbia’s School of International and Public Policy, where she was an Alice Stetton Fellow. Her articles have appeared in The Boston Globe, World Policy Journal, Current History and The Nation among other publications.

E-mail: kadoyle@gwu.edu

This new Electronic Briefing Book on the Tlatelolco massacre is based on a collaboration between Proceso magazine and the National Security Archive and launched on March 2, 2003.

The collaboration grew out of a shared desire to publish and disseminate to a wide audience newly-declassified documents about the United States and Mexico. Each month, Proceso magazine will publish an article by the Archive’s Mexico Project director, Kate Doyle, examining new documentary evidence on a chosen topic. The series – called Archivos Abiertos (or, Open Archive), will draw from U.S. and Mexican declassified records on a range of issues that could include, for example: drug trafficking and counternarcotics policy, Mexican presidential elections, human rights cases, immigration, U.S. training of the Mexican military, NAFTA negotiations, the role of the press, peso devaluations, and state repression during Mexico’s “dirty war.” On the same day that Proceso‘s article appears in Mexico, the National Security Archive will post an Electronic Briefing Book on its web site, containing an English-language version of the article, a link to Proceso‘s web site, and all of the declassified documents used for the piece, reproduced in their entirety.

The National Security Archive has investigated the Tlatelolco massacre since 1994 through records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and archival research in both Mexico and the United States. In 1998, the Archive posted its first thirty declassified U.S. documents on 1968, a collection which prompted then-Congressman (now Mexico’s ambassador to the United Nations) Adolfo Aguilar Zinser to call for a new freedom of information act in Mexico. At the time, Mexico was still ruled by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and absolute secrecy continued to surround the tragedy at Tlatelolco.

A mere five years later, Mexican citizens have kicked the long-ruling PRI out of office and voiced their strong support for a new era of accountability. In November 2001, President Vicente Fox announced the opening of hundreds of thousands of government documents on the Tlatelolco massacre and the years of state repression that followed. And in June 2002, the President signed a new federal freedom of information initiative into law.

As researchers, human rights investigators and journalists explore the newly-released “dirty war” files in Mexico’s national archives, details about 1968 massacre continue to emerge through newly declassified U.S. documents. In commemoration of Tlatelolco’s thirty-fifth anniversary, the National Security Archive is posting a complete set of the most important documents released to date from the secret archives of the CIA, Pentagon, State Department, FBI and the White House — many of them recently declasified in response to Freedom of Information Act requests filed by the Archive.

Finally, once a special prosecutor appointed by Fox announces criminal charges in the Tlatelolco case, Mexican documents will take center stage in the search for answers to the events of 1968. When that happens, the Archive will publish a collection of the key documents relating to Tlatelolco from the Mexican defense archives and the Secretariat of the Interior, which controlled the regime’s domestic intelligence operations.

The Tlatelolco Massacre
U.S. Documents on Mexico and the Events of 1968

by Kate Doyle

Introduction

Mexico’s tragedy unfolded on the night of October 2, 1968, when a student demonstration ended in a storm of bullets in La Plaza de las Tres Culturas at Tlatelolco, Mexico City. The extent of the violence stunned the country. Although months of nation-wide student strikes that preceded October 2nd had prompted an increasingly repressive response from the Díaz Ordaz regime, no one was prepared for the bloodbath that Tlatelolco became. When the shooting stopped, hundreds of people lay dead or wounded, as Army and police forces seized thousands of surviving protesters and dragged them away.

More shocking still was the cover-up that kicked in as soon as the smoke cleared. Eye-witnesses to the killings pointed to the President’s “security” forces, who had entered the plaza bristling with weapons, backed by armored vehicles. But the government pointed back, claiming that extremists and Communist agitators had initiated the violence. Who was responsible for Tlatelolco? The Mexican people have been demanding an answer ever since.

Thirty-five years later, the Tlatelolco tragedy has grown large in Mexican memory, and lingers still. It is Mexico’s Tiananmen Square, Mexico’s Kent State: when the pact between the government and the people began to come apart and Mexico’s extended political crisis began.

To commemorate the anniversary of Tlatelolco, the National Security Archive has expanded on a set of 30 documents we made public in 1998 by assembling a larger collection of our most interesting and richly-detailed records about Mexico in 1968. Many of the documents were many recently released in response to the Archive’s Freedom of Information Act requests; all of them come from the secret archives of the CIA, FBI, Defense Department, the embassy in Mexico City and the White House. The records provide a vivid glimpse inside U.S. perceptions of Mexico at the time, and discuss in frank terms many of the most sensitive aspects of the Tlatelolco massacre that continue to be debated today: the political goals of the protesting students, the extent of Communist influence, Diaz Ordaz’s response, and the role of the Mexican military and civilian security agents in helping to crush the demonstrations.

Times have changed since 1998. Mexico’s political transition encouraged the government to take important steps toward clarifying the past. In November 2001, President Vicente Fox announced the creation of a special prosecutor’s office, charged with unearthing new information about the events of October 2, 1968 and to bring judicial charges against those responsible for the deaths of the students. Fox also ordered the release of an extraordinary collection of government records produced by Mexico’s intelligence and military services during decades of state-sponsored violence, from the 1960s to the 1980s, including records on the killing at Tlatelolco.

Mexican researchers are just beginning to plumb the depths of the recently opened files of the regime’s domestic spy apparatus and military archives. In the meantime, details about the Tlatelolco massacre continue to trickle out through newly declassified U.S. documents. None provide a definitive answer to the questions that linger, but they do contain a revealing glimpse into what happened that night, thirty-five years ago.

An Embassy Confused

Like many Mexicans, officials of the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City were unprepared for the strength of the student protests and the violence unleashed by the Díaz Ordaz regime in response. Reporting out of the Embassy was often confused during the crisis, probably because Embassy officials were closer than those of other U.S. agencies to the Mexican political class and tended to believe its propaganda. On the one hand, the Embassy had an underlying faith in the hegemony of the regime; on the other, U.S. officials discounted the possibility that the students might be capable of mounting a serious challenge to the government.

Prompted by a request from Washington after the riots in France that May, the Embassy wrote several assessments of the Mexican student body that failed to predict the coming storm. On June 14, less than six weeks before the first clash between students and security forces, the Embassy confidently predicted that nothing comparable to the upheaval in Paris could happen in Mexico:

The government and the official party (PRI) maintain persuasive contact throughout the country with the people, which serves not only to give the party and the government a continuing assessment of popular feeling but also to “sell” to the people governmental decisions and policies. [. . .] The government has diverse means of gauging and influencing student opinion, and it has shown itself able and willing, when unrest exceeds what it considers acceptable limits, to crack down decisively, to date with salutary effects. Furthermore, student disorders, notwithstanding the wide publicity they receive, simply lack the muscle to create a national crisis. . .

The United States knew long before the violence began that the Mexican government feared attempts to disrupt the Olympic Games, which were scheduled to begin on October 12 in Mexico City. In April, and again in May, the Pentagon received urgent requests from the Mexican military for military radios, several tons of gunpowder and mortar fuses, which it sent. (Later, in mid-August, the Defense Intelligence Agency would pass a request to Washington from the Mexican Army for riot control training material.)

Once the disturbances broke out, the Embassy was quick to adopt the regime’s line that the student protests were inspired by hard-line communists. Citing evidence that the Communist Party, with the complicity of the Soviet Embassy, had engineered the clash of July 26, U.S. officials wrote in a secret cable for the White House that “Embassy considers that strong possibility exists Moscow has ordered PCM (Partido Comunista de México) to adopt more militant tactics.” It was a position they would change within days, as a more realistic analysis replaced the fictions spun for public consumption by the Díaz Ordaz government about foreign influence on the movement.

U.S. confusion also arose because the regime was itself divided over what tactic to take with the students. Although the first riots in late July were met with violent police and military force, much of August passed with little coercive intervention on the part of the government, though plenty of behind-the-scenes manipulation.

Central to the regime’s decision-making was a key figure in the government – and one of the Embassy’s main sources of information – Interior Secretary Luis Echeverría Alvarez. Echeverría has, over the years, repeatedly denied having been a protagonist during the student disturbances of 68. As recently as 1998 he told a reporter from El Universal that he played only a minor role at the behest of President Díaz Ordaz, who would later name him candidate for the PRI in the 1970 national elections. The journalist, Irma Rosa Martínez, asked Echeverría whether his involvement in the events of 68 affected his chances to be nominated for president.

- Pues me favoreció a mí porque yo no intervine en nada. Eso fue, lo manejó todo el presidente, todo, lo político y lo militar, con el secretario de la Defensa. Yo hize una vez declaraciones para el diálogo público y hasta ahí. No me perjudicó en nada.
– Pero a usted como secretario de Gobernación ¿no le habían encargado encarar esta parte del problema, la negociación?
– No, no, no. Todo lo manejó el presidente. Todo, todo. No hubo negociación. Cuando había borlote los dejaba y luego mandaba al Ejército.

But according to CIA and State Department documents, Echeverría created and headed a key working group of senior government officials designed to fashion a response to the student protests immediately after they broke out on July 26. The CIA station observed on July 31, that “A ‘Strategy Committee,” under the direction of Minister of Government Luis Echeverría, is of the opinion that the current wave of student disturbances has been brought under control.” In Washington, the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) identified the committee as being at the heart of the government’s efforts to head off the students – whether by force or by coercion. Following the first confrontation between police and students, the INR wrote on August 6,

The committee decided to allow the students to effervesce for a time hoping that the situation would not become violent. However, troops were alerted and moved into position. The government apparently considered the period around the 29th crucial and when it acted, it used massive force in an effort to convince the rampaging students that it would not tolerate a breakdown in public order. [. . .]

At the same time that force was being applied, the government worked quietly with the rector of the National Autonomous University and some student leaders. The strategic committee, acting on instructions from the president, advised the rector to encourage demonstrations on the university campus and even to criticize the government.

At that early stage, the regime was still unsure which hand to play: the mano dura or the mano conciliatoria. The CIA reported on July 31 that both DFS chief Fernando Gutiérrez Barrios and Fernando Solana, Secretary General of UNAM, had confirmed privately that “neither the Mexican government nor the university management has any plans for dealing with the current problem of student protests and agitation.”

CIA on the Ground

While the Embassy struggled to make sense of the regime’s strategy, the CIA was busy gathering raw intelligence on events as they unfolded. Curiously, most of the CIA records declassified on 1968 come from its covert directorate, and represent field reporting from the agency’s station in Mexico City. The documents have the advantage of being vivid snapshots taken from the ground; they have the disadvantage of containing little analysis or “finished intelligence” that would help put the events into context.

It is clear from the declassified record that the CIA station in Mexico reported almost daily on the disturbances of July 26 – October 2, using sources that included Fernando Gutierrez Barrios and other officials within the DFS, Luis Echeverría, officials within the President’s Office, an official in the Education Secretariat, university contacts (including administrators and students), and intelligence gathered by “trained observers” – which could be American officers from the station or Mexican “liaison” intelligence officers.

Information was gathered on every aspect of the crisis, but the CIA’s resources were most intensively focused on leftist students and “known agitators” (such as UNAM students Luis González de Alba, Gilberto Guevara Niebla, Romero González Medrano, Jesus Rodríguez, Roberta Avendano and Ignacio Rodríguez), radical professors (such as the IPN’s Fausto Trejo Fuentes and Eli de Gortari), political tendencies within the various schools at UNAM, and the activities and whereabouts of known Communist Party members.

In particular, the CIA tracked attempts by the regime to penetrate and influence the university community from within. CIA officers tended to perceive such efforts through the lens provided by their sources inside the regime. Following UNAM Rector Javier Barros Sierra’s decision to support the student cause and lead protest rallies inside the University City – a step taken in an effort to avoid violence and convince whatever moderate tendencies existed within the government that the students could demonstrate responsibly – the station wrote, on August 9, that

The government’s strategy over the past week – temporizing concessions mixed with arm-twisting and encouraging university rectors to make common cause with the students in order to exert a moderating influence – was effective. Two mass student marches took place without disorder, and there has been no significant violence this week.

Like the Embassy, the station suffered from being too close to its sources. The CIA was still convinced in mid-August that Díaz Ordaz and his men could divide and conquer the 1968 student movement in the capital as they had other protests in the states during the 1960s: (August 10) “Government is aware that there are divisions among the various student factions, and it is actively involved in creating further division so that no really unified leadership group emerges.” But as the crisis dragged on and became more violent, the CIA began to recognize the change that was taking place. As the station observed on September 9,

This experience has shown that the government and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) do not possess the power and near total control over public behavior which existed previously. While there is little doubt that Mexican students have been influenced by student uprisings in the U.S. and Europe, the recent student disturbances have been a new experience for Mexico and may provide an indication of things to come. The old order is passing, and [. . .] students have found they can be a significant element in the nation’s decision making process, and they are no longer contented with the patronizing attitude of the government.

Shortly before the confrontation on October 2, the agency’s dispatches to Washington began to reflect the sense that the Díaz Ordaz regime was closing in on the movement. On September 26, just six days before Tlatelolco, the station sent a cable describing clashes between security forces and students of Vocational Schools Two and Five. A policeman shot and killed a student outside of one of the schools; the next day, students gathered at the home of the victim to join the family in a funeral march to the cemetery. “The occasion was being watched by members of the security service,” reported the CIA.

The government policy currently being followed to quell the student uprisings calls for immediate occupation by the army and/or police of any school which is being used illegally as a center of subversive activity. [. . .] Both the Minister of Government (Gobernación) and the head of the Office of Federal Security (DFS) state that, in their opinion, no danger exists that the Olympic games will be affected, and, further, that the situation will be under complete control very shortly, meaning a cessation of all acts of violence. [Emphasis added.]

Massacre at Tlatelolco

There are no eyewitness reports from “trained observers” present at the Plaza de las Tres Culturas among the U.S. declassified documents. What exist are summaries of what was believed to have happened, as collected from press accounts, intelligence officers and Mexican government officials. In the hours and days immediately after the bloodshed, all the U.S. agencies operating inside Mexico – the Embassy, the CIA station, the Defense Department and the FBI – initially accepted the regime’s line that pre-positioned student snipers had provoked the massacre.

By mid-October, however, American officials had backed away from that theory and were expressing uncertainty as to whether students or government security agents had started the confrontation. “Versions differ,” wrote the Embassy to Washington on October 20, “as to whether the first shots came from the Plaza or from the nearby Chihuahua Apartment Building and as to whether they came from the students or the agents of law enforcement.”

Defense Intelligence Agency reporting contradicted official accounts of beleaguered Mexican troops trying to keep order as radical students attacked. On October 18, the military attaché described the scene: “There was considerable disorganization among Army elements present [. . .] and there was some indiscriminate firing by soldiers who fired wildly at the apartment buildings, rather than trying to locate the exact source of the sniper fire. No indiscriminate firing by soldiers into the crowd in the plaza was reported, however. These same sources did say that soldiers were observed looting shops in the ground floors of some of the apartment buildings, a situation which indicates they were not very well controlled by their officers.”

As the dust cleared in the days following the bloodshed, American officials took note of Mexican government attempts to divert the blame for the confrontation away from the regime. In one report written by the Bureau of Intelligence and Research on October 10, the State Department revealed that the government had “arranged” to have student leader Socrates Campos Lemus accuse dissident PRI politicians such as Carlos Madrazo of funding and orchestrating the student movement. “The government’s motives in doing this are as yet unclear, but it may have been trying to shift the blame for its inept handling of the affair to persons that it feels can be destroyed politically fairly easily.”

U.S. officials stood resolutely by Díaz Ordaz after Tlatelolco, despite Washington’s dim view of his government’s actions. One day after Tlatelolco, the Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America, Covey Oliver, wrote the Secretary that, “We believe it important to avoid any indication that we lack confidence in the [Government of Mexico's] ability to control the situation.” And in a review of “contingency scenarios” drafted by the U.S. Embassy in November, the ambassador urged Washington to be prepared to grant financial assistance and economic support packages to Mexico in the event of continued or increased student violence, as a way of showing U.S. support for the regime.

But the United States recognized the deeper significance of the Tlatelolco massacre, and the enormous chasm that had been opened between an intransigent regime and students demanding change. On October 10, the State Department wrote an insightful and pessimistic coda to the affair.

It seems unlikely that the PRI can bring about a fundamental solution to the problem without changing the widespread conviction that it is entrenched, stagnant, and primarily self-serving. The students have to be convinced that, despite the enormous graft and dishonesty which have become hallmarks of the PRI, the party is still, or will become again, a vital force for political and social change, as well as economic growth. The present leadership does not appear to be disposed to comprehend the magnitude of the problem of student alienation and to accept it as a serious warning that the party is not responding to the legitimate needs of an increasingly vocal segment of Mexican society.


Still Secret

Although the United States government has declassified dozens of documents on the massacre of Tlatelolco from the secret archives of the CIA, State Department, Pentagon, FBI and White House, certain key records remain classified and inaccessible to the public.

– Declassified White House documents indicate that the CIA produced an analysis based on intelligence reports two days after the Tlatelolco massacre took place. Dated October 4, the document is called “Mexico’s Student Crisis.” It has not yet been made public.

– The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) also produced a report on October 4 which, according to a formerly-secret telegram from the State Department dated October 7, “attributed outbreak [of violence in Tlatelolco] to confusion between army and security agents.” This would contradict the Mexican government’s official story that armed student snipers were responsible for the shooting on October 2. The report has not been made public.

– No document written by the U.S. Embassy’s Legal Attaché – who served as the FBI’s representative in Mexico – has been declassified and made public.

– In a November 1 letter written by the State Department’s Mexican Affairs Director, Maxwell Chaplin, to U.S. Embassy Chargé Henry Dearborn, Chaplin points out the “intense interest of the Washington intelligence community” in Mexico and mentions a CIA document that has never been made public: a “pessimistic and controversial” memorandum “on the implications for Mexican political stability of the student disorders.”

– The CIA published a secret special report on Mexico on January 17, 1969, titled “Challenges to Mexico’s Single-Party Rule.” A large portion of the document is dedicated to the student protests and the government’s reaction, including the clash at Tlatelolco. The agency released a heavily-excised version of the report on March 2002; most of the document remains secret.

– Finally, not one document declassified by the U.S. government discusses at any length evidence that government agents operating as snipers from the windows of the Tlatelolco apartment complex may have initiated the massacre of October 2. The Defense Intelligence Agency in particular – which had defense attachés gathering intelligence on the Mexican military at the time – should have produced internal cables, memoranda and analyses discussing the presence of government snipers.


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Documents

U.S. Embassy in Mexico City:

Document 1
June 14, 1968
[Embassy Review of Mexican Student Movement]
U.S. Embassy in Mexico, confidential telegram

On the heels of the previous month’s student unrest in France, the U.S. Embassy sends Washington an analysis of the evolving student situation in Mexico. Citing solid Revolutionary Institutional Party (PRI) control over the key peasant and labor sectors, the Embassy argues that while growing discontent may indeed come to a head in a few years time, at present major unrest will most likely be avoided. “There are not now present in Mexico conditions such as appear to have caused the French crisis, and it is most unlikely that such conditions will rapidly develop here to critical proportions, at least until after 1970 when President Díaz Ordaz’ term ends.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 13-2 Mex, Box 2341

Document 2
July 6, 1968
[Mexico's Youth]
U.S. Embassy in Mexico, confidential telegram

In another review of the student situation in Mexico, the Embassy cautions that “growing unemployment, expanding urban poverty, limits on arable land,” and “slowing rates of industrial expansion” may feed future unrest. But the short-term conclusions remain essentially sanguine: “Situation with respect to youth in Mexico is unlikely to reach critical proportions at least in [next] few years.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 13-2 Mex, Box 2340

Document 3
July 27, 1968
Riot in Central Mexico City
U.S. Embassy in Mexico, limited official use telegram

Following the outbreak of rioting and clashes between students and police on July 26 near Mexico City’s central plaza (Zócalo), the Embassy reports that the events were instigated by the Mexican Communist Youth (JCM). According to the Embassy, during a peaceful demonstration held by the National Federation of Technical Students (FNET), members of the JCM inspired some demonstrators to riot. The Mexican police used the disturbances as an excuse to break into Communist Party (PCM) headquarters, arrest several PCM leaders and ransack the party’s files.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 23-8 Mex, Box 2343

Document 4
July 28, 1968
Student Disturbances – Mexico
U.S. Embassy in Mexico, limited official use telegram

Two days after the downtown riots, the Embassy reports that dozens of students have been jailed including the First Secretary of the Mexican Communist Party, Gerardo Unzueta, and Arturo Ortiz Marban, President of the JCM. “Police public position regarding disturbances is they were instigated by leftist agitators for purpose creating atmosphere unrest. Embassy concurs in this general estimate and will be analyzing situation in further depth as information becomes available.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 23-8 Mex, Box 2343

Document 5
July 30, 1968
[Communist Role in Student Protest]
U.S. Embassy in Mexico, secret telegram

After several reports citing communist responsibility for the July 26 riots, the Embassy endorses the Mexican government’s claim that the orders came directly from Moscow via the Soviet Embassy. While admitting that “Mexicans often blame foreign elements for such incidents and PCM lately has stressed its desire to pursue legal means,” the Embassy nevertheless supports the regime’s claim to “solid evidence corroborating public charges of Mexico City police chief that Communist Party engineered July 26 student fracas. Govt evidence also includes indications of Soviet Embassy complicity (including taunt by a PCM official that security police would find no important documents since they were all in Soviet Embassy).”

Source: Lyndon B. Johnson Library, National Security Files
CO-Mexico, Vol. IV, Box 60, “Mexico, memos & misc., 1/68-10/68″

Document 6
July 31, 1968
Student Disturbances
U.S. Embassy in Mexico, confidential telegram

“Relative calm restored” after Mexico City Mayor Alfonso Corona del Rosal meets with National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) student leaders and agrees to withdraw troops from school property and release many of those jailed. In a departure from its more sanguine analysis of the previous month, the Embassy argues that police brutality and university autonomy are now key issues that may draw more National University (UNAM) students into the fray. “Local press seeking to give impression that worst is over but Embassy believes danger remains strong of renewed demonstrations with ever present possibility of violence.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 13-2 Mex, Box 2340

Document 7
August 2, 1968
Analysis of Student Disturbances
U.S. Embassy in Mexico, confidential telegram

As more information on the July student violence comes in, the Embassy projects less certainty on the source of the disturbances, admitting that the “for psychological reasons” the Mexican government continues “stressing communist and foreign culpability but degree to which this is case not entirely certain.” At the same time the Embassy’s focus has turned more to the political dynamics involved in the unrest. “One disturbing consequence of riots, whoever the instigators, has been evident predisposition of large number of young Mexicans including many of high school age, to resort to violence. Window breaking, looting, use of Molotov cocktails, attempted seizure of arms, represent new dimensions in Mexican student agitation.” According to a confidential police source, four students died in the clashes and 200 were wounded, but the regime has decided to hide these casualty figures.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 23-8 Mex, Box 2343

Document 8
August 22, 1968
Student Situation
U.S. Embassy in Mexico, confidential telegram

With the student movement appearing to grow in strength, the Embassy reports on an August 20 rally at University City that draws an attendance of 15,000. “Rally oratory dominated by hard line: reiterated refusal participate in Corona del Rosal’s tripartite commission, no change in demands.” The telegram also cites mounting evidence of communist involvement in the student movement as well as indications that divisions within student leadership circles are wide.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 13-2 Mex, Box 2340

Document 9
August 23, 1968
Review of Student Disturbances in Mexico in Recent Years
U.S. Embassy in Mexico, limited official use airgram

In this long report to the State Department on the recent history of student unrest in Mexico, the Embassy lists over forty separate incidents since 1963. Nevertheless the Embassy insists that the present crisis involves unprecedented levels of violence and student involvement. “As in the past, the degree of Communist culpability is ambiguous. However, the July-August disturbances have thus far involved higher levels of violence by the students, unprecedented numbers of those involved, and greater degree of animus against the central government than has ever been the case in the past.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 13-2 Mex, Box 2340

Document 10
August 27, 1968
Student Disorders
U.S. Embassy in Mexico, confidential telegram

On the eve of a massive student demonstration planned for August 27, the Embassy reports that the Díaz Ordaz government has recently been taking a hands off approach to the protests. The students have been permitted to direct an unprecedented level of public criticism at the government and the President, with the expectation that, barring a major show of force by the regime, students will simply lose interest in demonstrating. At the same time, “government agents active behind the scenes [are] attempting to divide and weaken support of extremist strike leaders.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 13-2 Mex, Box 2340

Document 11
August 29, 1968
August 27 Student Demonstration
U.S. Embassy in Mexico, confidential telegram

The Embassy reports that around 100,000 people participated in the “largest student demonstration yet” while engaging in the “most vigorous verbal assaults yet on government and president with usual excoriation police brutality, repression.” Despite the enormous turnout, the Embassy concludes that “neither students nor government won victory. Students still fail [to] involve workers or other sectors in demonstration. Government efforts and passage of time not weakening student resolve. Still no agreed time, place for student-government ‘dialogue’.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 13-2 Mex, Box 2340

Document 12
August 30, 1968
Civil Disorder – Student Activities
U.S. Embassy in Mexico, confidential telegram

The Embassy reports that the Mexican government has gone on the offensive to destroy the student movement. While the press has been instructed to take a harder editorial line against the protestors, the security apparatus has begun employing more force. “GOM [Government of Mexico] implicitly accepts consequence that this will produce casualties. Leaders of student agitation have been and are being taken into custody….In other words, GOM offensive against student disorder has opened on physical and psychological fronts.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 13-2 Mex, Box 2340

Document 13
September 6, 1968
[After the Presidential Informe]
U.S. Embassy in Mexico, secret telegram

In a secret cable discussing the annual presidential address to the nation of September 1, the Embassy argues that Díaz Ordaz has “put national honor and prestige of the presidency on the line” with forceful statements pledging “continued agitation will be suppressed.” The Embassy notes that the government appears to be united over this new hardline stance, and that the permissive period allowed by the regime has clearly come to an end: “Mexicans expect president above all to be strong decisive personality and, if permissive period extended too long, general public might conclude President lacks means or courage to deal with students. Ensuing loss of respect for President would, within Mexican political system, create grave dangers.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 13-2 Mex, Box 2340

Document 14
September 23, 1968
George Denney’s Conversation with Víctor Urquídi
U.S. Embassy in Mexico, confidential memoranda of conversation

Just a few days after a machine gun attack on the elite Colegio de México, the school’s rector, Dr. Victor Urquídi, lunches with Embassy officials. Urquídi provides a surprisingly candid commentary attributing student unrest to poor social conditions nationwide while offering harsh criticism of the government. “The most striking aspect of Dr. Urquídi’s remarks was his willingness to air his bitterness especially against the President before a visitor whom he was meeting only for the first time. […] It was obvious that the university situation was uppermost on his mind, and his own attitude clearly reflects a mood which currently is gripping the entire academic community.”

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, February 1998

Document 15
September 26, 1968
Sitrep 1800 September 25
U.S. Embassy, confidential telegram

The Embassy reports sporadic violence between students and security forces as the government cracks down on the movement. Five out of the ten leaders of the student-run National Strike Council (CNH) have been arrested, the rest are in hiding. According to the situation report, army troops from the 43rd Infantry Battalion of Toluca (Estado de México) took part in fighting on September 21, marking the first time that soldiers from outside the capital have been used in the disturbances.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 13-2 Mex, Box 2340

Document 16
September 27, 1968
[Mexican Government Continues Crack Down]
U.S. Embassy in Mexico, secret telegram

As the start of the Olympic Games draws near, the Embassy considers how that deadline may be affecting the Mexican government’s approach to the student disturbances. “Govt at moment not seeking compromise solution with students but rather seeking to put end to all organized student actions before Olympics….Aim of Govt believed to be to round up extremist elements and detain them until after Olympics.” Both Interior Ministry Luis Echeverría Alvarez and the head of the Federal Security Directorate (DFS), Fernando Gutiérrez Barrios, discuss the government’s tactics toward the National Strike Council (CNH) with Embassy officials.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 13-2 Mex, Box 2340

Document 17
September 27, 1968
Sitrep September 27, 1968
U.S. Embassy in Mexico, confidential telegram

In its latest update the Embassy reports on the regime’s continued assault on the National Strike Council (CNH). The start of the Olympics is beginning to loom large, with Mexican Foreign Secretary Antonio Carrillo Flores declaring that “Mexico will tell [the UN General Assembly] it will honor promise to carry out Olympic Games.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 13-2 Mex, Box 2340

Document 18
October 1, 1968
Sitrep September 30, 1968
U.S. Embassy in Mexico, limited official use telegram

The Embassy reports that the student coordinating committee “has meeting planned for October 2, in Plaza of Three Cultures. GOM has not indicated if it will permit the meeting.” All military commanders have now been granted the authority to move against student protesters in the provinces without checking with the central government.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 13-2 Mex, Box 2340

Document 19
October 3, 1968
[October 2 Riots]
U.S. Embassy in Mexico, confidential telegram

On the morning after the Tlatelolco massacre, the U.S. Embassy reports to Washington that “situation clearly more serious than anything previous in current student unrest.” At this early stage following the bloodshed, the Embassy accepts the Mexican government’s explanation of what happened. “Interesting question upon which Emb lacks info is whether occupants apartment houses voluntarily cooperated with students in positioning snipers or whether they did so under duress. [. . .] Fact that snipers had prepared positions (and apparently ambushed soldiers) should be obvious even to opponents of government and should dilute standard counterargument that government provoked matters.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 13-2 Mex, Box 2340

Document 20
October 18, 1968
[Embassy Reporting During Student Riots]
U.S. Embassy in Mexico, confidential letter

[Note: Response to a letter sent by the State Department. See Document 40.]

In a letter to the State Department’s Maxwell Chaplin, Counselor of Political Affairs Wallace Stuart defends Embassy reporting during the student crisis. He agrees the Embassy was unable to clarify exactly how the shooting on October 2 began, pointing out that “[CIA reports] that they had some 15 differing and sometimes flatly contradictory versions of what happened, all from either ‘generally reliable sources’ or ‘trained observers’ on the spot!”

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, February 1998

Document 21
October 20, 1968
Review of Mexico City Student Disturbances
U.S. Embassy in Mexico, limited official use airgram

The Embassy provides a long, detailed review of the student crisis from its initial flare up in July to the inauguration of the Olympics on October 12.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 13-2 Mex, Box 2340

Document 22
October 22, 1968
Student Disorders
U.S. Embassy in Mexico, confidential memorandum of conversation

Embassy Political Officer Robert Service lunches with university professor and PRI politician, Victor Torres Arriaga, who ascribes the government’s use of repressive tactics with the student movement to fear: “fear of letting the students have a truly independent political existence.” No student newspaper, for example “is permitted to publish openly and without controls.” Torres observes that he has “never seen the students so determined or unified,” despite the events of October 2. Nevertheless he predicts that most students will ultimately join “the ‘system’ within two years after leaving student ranks.”

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, February 1998

Document 23
October 29, 1968
Analysis and Implications of Student Disorders
U.S. Embassy in Mexico, confidential telegram

Nearly a month after the October 2 massacre, the U.S Embassy offers an analysis of possible long-term implications of Tlatelolco. Past student upheaval in Mexico has often been limited to local or university-related issues. This time, however, “Anti-government, anti-Díaz Ordaz thrust of several demonstrations and emphasis on ‘democracy’ suggest general political dissatisfaction among active and perhaps broad sector of Mexican university population.” The Embassy suggests that the result of the regime’s decision to choose repression over negotiation could indicate “increasing influence of Army and right within establishment.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 13-2 Mex, Box 2340

Document 24
November 3, 1968
Student Unrest: Comments on Enclosure CA-10592
U.S. Embassy in Mexico, confidential airgram

Responding to papers written by an ad hoc “Student Unrest Group” in Washington, the Embassy points out that student protests and demonstrations are not unusual in Mexico and that it is unlikely to create major instability in the country due to a lack of support among other political sectors. The Embassy also emphasizes that student political leaders are generally held in check by the nature of the one-party system. “Mexican student leaders are aware that their political futures, at least for the next 5-10 years, will most probably depend on their relationships with the official party. That realization may not noticeably dampen their ardor for change as long as they are functioning as student leaders in a protest situation, but it does make them more susceptible to official blandishments once they leave the student ranks.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 13-2 Mex, Box 2340

Document 25
November 5, 1968
Contingency – Scenarios
U.S. Embassy in Mexico, confidential telegram

This telegram examines likely political, social and economic contingencies in the event of three alternative scenarios regarding the Mexican student crisis: 1. differences between the students and government are settled amicably; 2. the tense stalemate continues; and 3. the violence escalates. The Embassy points out that in the event of more violence, the United States should be prepared to show its backing for the Díaz Ordaz government by offering increased financial and economic support.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 13-2 Mex, Box 2340

Document 26
December 4, 1968
Provincial School Support of Capital Students
U.S. Embassy in Mexico, airgram

In this cable, the U.S. Embassy gives highlights of the limited student activism that took place outside Mexico City during the months of conflict in the capital. Government controls over the university communities in the provinces are one reason the protests did not spread extensively outside the Federal District; another were the regime’s successful efforts to prevent contacts between capital and provincial students during the crisis.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 13-2 Mex, Box 2340


Department of State:

Document 27
July 31, 1968
Student Disturbances in Mexico
Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America, confidential memorandum

On the heels of the late July riots in Mexico City the Secretary of State is given a summary of the information coming from the U.S. Embassy. While popular support for the students is believed to be relatively weak, it is thought that the Mexican government might use the disturbances as a pretext to remove communist leaders suspected of planning to create disturbances during the Olympics in October.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 23-8 Mex, Box 2343

Document 28
August 2, 1968
Mexican Student Demonstrations
Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America, limited official use memorandum

The Secretary of State is informed of the latest activities in Mexico including a “massive” march led by the Rector of the National University. “Student grievances remain, the pressure on the government continues strong, and further disorders are still a possibility, especially when the suppressed news of several student deaths becomes public.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 23-8 Mex, Box 2340

Document 29
August 6, 1968
Mexican Student Riots Highly Embarrassing But Not a Threat to Stability
Bureau of Intelligence and Research, secret intelligence note

Reporting on the late July violence in Mexico City, this State Department intelligence note reveals the intimate involvement of then Secretary of the Interior Luis Echeverría Alvarez in the government’s response to the student movement. “The government, as it has in the past, moved quickly with all the force it deemed necessary as soon as it was convinced that the situation was getting out of control. A strategic committee of the Secretariat of Interior, the head of which has presidential ambitions, and other high government officials was established immediately after violence erupted July 26.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 23-8 Mex, Box 2343

Document 30
August 16, 1968
Mexican Student Demonstrations Continue Despite Government Efforts
Bureau of Intelligence and Research, secret intelligence note

As the government works behind the scenes to coopt or influence student and university leaders, the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) argues that more violence could be in the offing. While students appear dissatisfied with the small olive branches being offered them, the government does not want to appear weak through concessions to their demands. “As the time factor grows more important, President Díaz Ordaz may decide to appeal to student patriotism while offering to accede to some student demands. But he will retain the capability and willingness to deal harshly and effectively with new disorders.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 23-8 Mex, Box 2343

Document 31
August 28, 1968
Mexico – Student Protests Continue
Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America, confidential information memorandum

This latest update for the Secretary of State on the student crisis calls the upcoming presidential informe crucial for Díaz Ordaz in light of what appears to be a failing strategy to diffuse the student movement. “The size and intensity of the [August 27] protest is remarkable, particularly in view of the GOM’s offer, last week, to negotiate with the students on their grievances….[T]he GOM’s tactic of letting the discontent run its course does not appear to be working and has left the initiative with the students.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 23-8 Mex, Box 2343

Document 32
August 29, 1968
Mexican President’s Decision to Use Force Against Students May Exacerbate Differences
Bureau of Intelligence and Research, confidential intelligence note

The INR reports that “President Díaz Ordaz has had enough of student demonstrations and insults and has decided to use force to put down future disorders.” The President’s patience was apparently snapped by the massive demonstration in the Zócalo on August 27, during which students insulted him with obscene placards and slogans. The INR questions the regime’s decision to rely on repression in place of negotiating. “At least some of the student demands do not appear excessive. [. . .] But the administration has been unwilling to accede to any demands probably because it is completely out of character for the government to allow any sector of Mexican society to challenge its authority.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 23-8 Mex, Box 2343

Document 33
September 20, 1968
Mexico – Prospects Following Occupation of the National University

Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America, confidential information memorandum

Following the unprecedented occupation by army troops of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) on September 18, Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America Covey Oliver tells the Secretary of State that the Mexican government “has now committed itself to coercion.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 23-8 Mex, Box 2340

Document 34
September 25, 1968
[Request for Daily Situation Reports]
State Department, secret telegram

As the Olympic Games approach, the State Department requests its embassy in Mexico to produce daily situation reports on developments related to the clash between students and the Díaz Ordaz government. Specifically, the Department seeks information on student leadership and estimates of the implications of the disorders on the Olympics.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 13-2 Mex, Box 2340

Document 35
September 26, 1968
Mexican Government’s Use of Force Probably Forecloses the Possibility of a Compromise Solution to the Student Conflict
Bureau of Intelligence and Research, confidential intelligence note

In a prescient intelligence note, INR analysts predict both the inevitability of violence in the coming days and the possibility these events will beget more dissidence in the future. “The PRI, the official party which has ruled Mexico for almost 40 years, is unaccustomed to having any sector of society challenge its authority. Students, however, have shown that the government and thus the party, while powerful, is not invincible. Perhaps the lesson will not be entirely lost on other groups not completely satisfied with the status quo.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 13-2 Mex, Box 2340

Document 36
October 1, 1968
Mexican Situation
Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America, confidential information memorandum

On the eve of the Tlatelolco massacre, this memorandum notes that tensions appear to be easing but could easily boil over once again. “The student demands are unmet, tempers continue high, and any violent incident, even if accidental, could easily provoke a new round of disturbances. A mass meeting scheduled for tomorrow, October 2, should provide an opportunity to gauge the amount of support remaining for the students’ cause.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 23-8 Mex, Box 2343

Document 37
October 3, 1968
Mexican Situation
Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America, confidential information memorandum

The day after the Tlatelolco massacre this State Department information memorandum calls the violence of the night before “the result of provocation by student extremists and gross over-reaction by the security forces.” The events are seen as a major blow to the Díaz Ordaz regime and a potential death blow to the Olympic games. Covey Oliver warns, however, that U.S. officials should avoid giving the impression that Washington lacks confidence in the regime.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 23-8 Mex, Box 2343

Document 38
October 7, 1968
[Request for Embassy Assessment of Student Disorders]
State Department, secret telegram

In the wake of the October 2 events, the State Department seeks more reporting from the U.S. Embassy on the origins of the violence, the amount of foreign influence involved, and estimates on the number killed. “Request comment on reports disseminated by FBI October 4 and 5 on origin of firing. [. . .] One report attributed outbreak to confusion between army and security agents, other implicated Trotskyist terrorist group, Olympia Brigade, which not previously identified.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 13-2 Mex, Box 2340

Document 39
October 10, 1968
Mexico: Current Unrest Springs from Widespread Student Disaffection and Alienation
Bureau of Intelligence and Research, confidential intelligence note

As the extent of the October 2 violence becomes clearer, the latest analysis from INR argues that despite the Mexican government’s efforts to pass off the student unrest as the result of isolated grievances, the dissatisfaction is widespread and profound. “The government has sought to place blame on the communists and has periodically announced that foreign elements are involved. [. . .] The administration seems not to realize that extremists, even with the aid of foreign elements, could hardly have sustained the unrest over such a long period if student dissatisfaction were not deep and widespread.” The report also puzzles over the government’s motives in having “arranged” for Sócrates Campos Lemus, a captured student leader, to charge publicly that dissident PRI politicians had funded and organized the student movement.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 23-8 Mex, Box 2343

Document 40
October 11, 1968
[State Department Critique of Embassy Reporting]
State Department, confidential letter

[Note: For the U.S. Embassy response, see Document 20]

Maxwell Chaplin of the State Department’s Office of Mexican Affairs criticizes the U.S. Embassy’s reporting on events in Mexico City for failing to compete adequately with press and intelligence reports.

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, February 1998

Document 41
October 14, 1968
[Request for Deep Analysis of Recent Events]
State Department, secret telegram

In a secret telegram directed to its U.S. Embassy in Mexico, the State Department requests an in-depth analysis of the situation in Mexico at present and in the future relating to the causes of student and other disturbances. “[R]igorous intellectual exercise of this kind is badly needed and urgently sought.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 13-2 Mex, Box 2340

Document 42
November 1, 1968
[Priorities for U.S.-Mexico Policy]
State Department, confidential letter

With U.S. presidential elections approaching, the head of the State Department’s Mexico Desk, Maxwell Chapin, writes to U.S. chargé Henry Dearborn about the future of U.S. policy in Mexico. In his letter, he refers to the recent “intense interest of the Washington community in Mexican developments” in light of the student disorders.

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, February 1998

Document 43
Circa November 15, 1968
Student Violence and Attitudes in Latin America
Bureau of Intelligence and Research, confidential working draft

According to this draft analysis of student unrest in Latin America, the disorders in Mexico are the worst in the hemisphere. The continued violence demonstrates a deep and widespread dissatisfaction with the government of Mexico, and has severely damaged Mexico’s reputation as being the “most stable and progressive country in Latin America.”

Source: Lyndon B. Johnson Library, National Security Files
Intelligence File, Box 3, “Student Unrest”


Central Intelligence Agency (CIA):

Document 44
March 28, 1968
Security Conditions in Mexico City
CIA, secret intelligence estimate

In preparation for a visit to Mexico City by Vice President Hubert Humphrey, the CIA issues a special assessment of security conditions in Mexico. Written several months before the first serious wave of student demonstrations began, the document describes the country as a model of stability, with President Díaz Ordaz firmly in control and a ruling party which “virtually monopolizes Mexican politics.”

Source: Lyndon B. Johnson Library, National Security Files
National Intelligence Estimates, Box 8, “80/90 Latin America”

Document 45
July 19, 1968
Student Unrest Troubles Mexico
CIA, secret intelligence summary

When students launch a series of country-wide protests in July, initial U.S. reporting out of Mexico alerts Washington to several issues that come up again in subsequent reports: the potential danger posed by the strikes to the Olympic Games, their political significance, and the role of the “international” left. This CIA analysis discusses Cuban influence on a student strike at the University of Veracruz. Demonstrators seek to disrupt the Olympic Games, although the PRI electoral fraud in local and gubernatorial elections also may serve as cause for further unrest.

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, March 2002

Document 46
July 30, 1968
Mexico City Sitrep
CIA Station in Mexico, confidential intelligence information cable

CIA reports on the formation of the National Strike Council (CNH) on July 29. “The formation of the strike committee wrested control of student activities at UNAM from the communist youth of Mexico (JCM) which had dominated the situation up to that time.”
While students remain agitated, “those who are advocating violent action are still in the minority.”

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, January 2000

Document 47
July 31, 1968
Mexico City Sitrep
CIA Station in Mexico, confidential intelligence information cable

Following the violation of university autonomy by Mexican security forces on July 30, the CIA notes that this has become the major issue of contention for students. Agency sources within the government, however – specifically, Fernando Gutiérrez Barrios, head of the Federal Security Directorate (DFS), and Fernando Solana Morales, Secretary General of the National University – confide that neither the government nor the university administration has any plans in place to deal with student unrest.

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, January 2000

Document 48
July 31, 1968
Mexico City Sitrep
CIA Station in Mexico, confidential intelligence information cable

This CIA report identifies Interior Secretary Luis Echeverría Alvarez as head of a new “Strategy Committee,” created to design the government’s response to the student disturbances.

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, March 2002

Document 49
August 1, 1968
Mexico City Sitrep
CIA Station in Mexico, confidential intelligence information cable

A decision is anticipated from Mexico City Mayor Alfonso Corona del Rosal as to whether a student demonstration planned for the afternoon of August 1 will be allowed. The cable indicates that the CIA station is monitoring the political tendencies in the different schools at UNAM.

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, March 2002

Document 50
August 1, 1968
Mexico City Sitrep
CIA Station in Mexico, confidential intelligence information cable

As students prepare for an unauthorized demonstration in south central Mexico City, the local police are put under the command of the army. The CIA relays reports that “students are circulating knives and small arms with which to protect themselves in the event they are ‘attacked’ by police or military forces during the demonstration.”

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, March 2002

Document 51
August 2, 1968
Mexico City Sitrep
CIA Station in Mexico, confidential intelligence information cable

According to CIA sources, the Mexican Communist Party has declared a state of emergency and has ordered its major leaders to scatter around the country. “It was agreed also that all party activity in the Federal District would be suspended until further notice.”

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, March 2002

Document 52
August 2, 1968
Mexico City Sitrep
CIA Station in Mexico, confidential intelligence information cable

The CIA reports that no further student demonstrations are formally planned. However, students have presented a list of six major demands mostly pertaining to grievances with the police. This cable also reports on a student whose brother was killed by military troops but whose body subsequently disappeared. “Troops pushed [the student] out of the building and took his brother’s body away in an ambulance. As of 2 August the family was unable to determine what happened to the body.”

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, March 2002

Document 53
August 2, 1968
Students Stage Major Disorders in Mexico
CIA, secret intelligence summary

The CIA argues that the July 26 riots in Mexico city represent “a classic example of the Communists’ ability to divert a peaceful demonstration into a major riot.” However, the agency remains skeptical of Mexican government assertions of Soviet involvement. “Although the government claims to have solid evidence that the Communist Party engineered the fracas on 26 July and reportedly has indications of Soviet Embassy complicity, it is unlikely that the Soviets would so undermine their carefully nurtured good relations with the Mexicans.”

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, March 2002

Document 54
August 7, 1968
Mexico City Sitrep
CIA Station in Mexico, confidential intelligence information cable

Student groups give the government 72 hours to accept their demands or they will call a nationwide strike. The CIA reports on two “communist” professors providing leadership to students: Fausto Trejo Fuentes, a man who was reportedly rejected for membership by the Communist Party for being “too radical,” and Eli de Gortari, a former rector of the University of Morelia with “an extensive communist background.”

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, January 2000

Document 55
August 8, 1968
Mexico City Sitrep
CIA Station in Mexico, confidential intelligence information cable

Agency sources call the student strike actions at the UNAM “completely Communist inspired and led.” According to the report, however, Communist students have decided not to take prominent public positions within the university community, but instead to discredit elected student leaders. “There is no loyalty among the students to their elected leaders so, for the present, the Communists have a free hand.”

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, March 2002

Document 56
August 8, 1968
Mexico City Sitrep
CIA Station in Mexico, confidential intelligence information cable

A massive demonstration planned for August 9 is being labeled by Mexican government officials as “the most critical day thus far experienced in the current wave of student unrest.” According to this report, “the Office of the Presidency is in a state of considerable agitation because of anticipated further disturbances.”

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, January 2000

Document 57
August 9, 1968
Mexican Students Threaten to Prolong Crisis
CIA Station in Mexico, confidential intelligence summary

Despite the apparent success of the Mexican government’s strategy to moderate the student crisis – “temporizing concessions mixed with arm-twisting and encouraging university rectors to make common cause with the students in order to exert a moderate influence” – the situation remains unsettled. CIA reports that the pressure on Díaz Ordaz to restore calm is “particularly intense because of Mexico’s desire to project a good image internationally.”

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, March 2002

Document 58
August 10, 1968
Mexico City Sitrep
CIA Station in Mexico, confidential intelligence information cable

Rumors are rampant about student corpses that disappeared after the riots of July 26-29, although a CIA source claims that “charges that the bodies of students have been cremated at the military hospital are not true; there is no crematorium at the military hospital.” Meanwhile, the government is working to create division within the various student groups “so that no really unified leadership group emerges.”

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, March 2002

Document 59
August 16, 1968
Mexico City Sitrep
CIA Station in Mexico, secret intelligence information cable

In the aftermath of a massive demonstration on August 13, CIA notes that information on the student movement is often contradictory, emerging as it does from the many different factions involved. This cable highlights two interesting intelligence reports regarding the students. First, former President Lázaro Cárdenas is supposedly supporting the movement in order to weaken the present government and open the way for a military man to take the Presidency in 1970. CIA also reports that “fugitive political leader” Genaro Vázquez López promised law students that a guerrilla movement would soon be under his leadership in Guerrero. Vázquez’s subsequent guerrilla activities later helped to inspire the Mexican government’s “Dirty War” of the 1970s.

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, March 2002

Document 60
August 16, 1968
Mexican Student Crisis Still Unresolved
CIA, secret intelligence summary

The march of August 13 was peaceful but the event also featured unusually sharp criticism of the President, “who traditionally is immune from personal attack.” Also noted are urgings from “tourist and commercial interests” for “early action” by the Mexican President to put an end to the unrest. Information in this document originally withheld under the Freedom of Information Act but later released following an appeal by the National Security Archive indicates that Díaz Ordaz may have planned to use Mexico City mayor Alfonso Corona del Rosal as a scapegoat for government mishandling of events. “A politician’s inability to preserve the peace in the area of his charge has more than once provided the President with an excuse to abort a political career. Corona del Rosal has been mentioned as Díaz Ordaz’ possible successor, and it is possible that the President has decided to ‘burn’ him.”

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, March 2002

Document 61
August 23, 1968
Mexican Government in Quandary over Student Crisis
CIA, top secret intelligence review

CIA says the Mexican government may be underestimating students’ ability to continue large-scale, disciplined demonstrations. The present impasse is due to the government’s belief that a) giving in to students would invite further demands and b) ignoring situation most likely will lead to further disruption. Document claims that Communist youths are involved in the crisis. CIA says that further violent outbreaks can be expected.

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, March 2002

Document 62
August 28, 1968
Mexico City Sitrep
CIA Station in Mexico, confidential intelligence information cable

Over 200,000 people participate in the August 27 rally in Mexico City’s Zócalo. The rally remained orderly despite some incendiary graffiti drawn on the walls of the National Palace calling for the execution of the President. Students plan a sit-in at the Zócalo until the President’s September 1 informe.

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, March 2002

Document 63
August 30, 1968
Mexico City Sitrep
CIA Station in Mexico, confidential intelligence information cable

The Professors’ Coordinating Committee meets at the UNAM to discuss the current situation and expresses consternation that “the government desires to end the problem once and for all before 1 September and that the situation could degenerate into very violent clashes, given the highly angered state of the students.” Thugs are said to have taken control of a National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) preparatory school shouting, “viva Díaz Ordaz!”

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, March 2002

Document 64
August 30, 1968
Mexican Military Alert for Possible Cuban Infiltration of Arms Destined for Student Use
CIA Station in Mexico, [classification excised] intelligence information cable

CIA source claims that Cuba is prepared to smuggle arms to students for September demonstrations in Mexico. In response, Mexican Navy and army troops along the coast are put on high alert.

Source: Lyndon B. Johnson Library, National Security Files
CO-Mexico, Vol. IV, Box 60, “Mexico, memos & misc., 1/68-10/68″

Document 65
August 31, 1968
Mexico City Sitrep
CIA Station in Mexico, confidential intelligence information cable

As August draws to a close, press reports state that the student National Strike Council has ordered its followers to allow the September 1 Presidential informe to go ahead without disturbance. CIA cautions, however, that the Council has only marginal leadership clout at the moment and lacks “any base of supporters. Most of the action in the student movement centers around the IPN.”

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, March 2002

Document 66
September 6, 1968
Mexican Government Stalls Student Movement
CIA, secret intelligence summary

While the Mexican government has made minor concessions to protesting students, the approach of the Olympics will most likely lead the Díaz Ordaz administration to meet further demonstrations with very tough measures.

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, May 1998

Document 67
September 9, 1968
Situation Appraisal: Status of the Mexico City Student Movement
CIA Station in Mexico, secret intelligence information cable

In a document synthesizing previously reported information, the CIA Station reports that students are increasingly organized, and able to exercise some influence on national affairs. The Mexican government has not been unified in action against the protesters, and President Díaz Ordaz continues to avoid becoming personally involved. While no hard evidence exists that Cubans or Soviets masterminded the student demonstrations, the Mexican government continues to inspire such rumors. The cable concludes that “the old order is passing” and the PRI has lost control over public behavior.

Source: Lyndon B. Johnson Library, National Security Files
CO-Mexico, Vol. IV, Box 60, “Mexico, memos & misc., 1/68-10/68″

Document 68
September 13, 1968
Mexico City Sitrep
CIA Station in Mexico, confidential intelligence information cable

Just a few hours prior to a planned student demonstration, the CIA Station once again emphasizes the difficulty it encounters in attempting to decipher developing events. “The status of the student movement is clouded by many conflicting reports.” While student leaders have called for a peaceful, silent protest, some leaflets circulating call for violence against the U.S. Embassy.

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, March 2002

Document 69
September 13, 1968
Mexican Students Still Spar with Government
CIA, secret intelligence summary

CIA refers to the Mexican government’s “behind the scenes maneuvering to divide the students,” including efforts by the officially-inspired “committee of the authentic student body” to quash future student strikes.

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, March 2002

Document 70
September 26, 1968
Mexico City Sitrep
CIA Station in Mexico, confidential intelligence information cable

Events indicate that the Mexican government is now making a concerted effort to stamp out the student protests. A peaceful demonstration planned for September 25 was stifled by security forces at its starting point. In another incident, a student was shot and killed by police during a standoff at a preparatory school. “The government policy currently being followed to quell the student uprisings calls for immediate occupation by the army and/or police of any school which is being used illegally as a center of subversive activity. This policy will continue to be followed until complete calm prevails.”

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, March 2002

Document 71
September 27, 1968
Violence Grows in Mexico Student Crisis
CIA, top secret intelligence review

CIA reports “stresses” on and within the Mexican political establishment stemming from student unrest and the increasingly violent confrontations between protesters and the Mexican security forces.

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, May 1998

Document 72
September 27, 1968
Mexico City Sitrep
CIA Station in Mexico, confidential intelligence information cable

Following a relatively small rally by several thousand students in the Tlatelolco plaza, CIA continues to stress the uncertainty surrounding events. It is no longer clear how much sway the National Strike Council has in the wake of recent arrests.

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, March 2002

Document 73
October 2, 1968
Situation Appraisal: Student Capability to Cause Disruption to the Olympics
CIA Station in Mexico, confidential intelligence information cable

CIA reports that the Mexican government’s determination to hold a successful Olympic Games should preclude any major incidents. However random, unsuspected acts cannot be ruled out. “Any estimate, such as this one, of the likelihood of intentional acts designed to disrupt the normal course of events must take into account the presence of radicals and extremists whose behavior is impossible to predict. Such persons and groups do exist in Mexico.”

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, March 2002

Document 74
October 3, 1968
Mexico City
CIA Station in Mexico, confidential cable

An early report on the events at Tlatelolco back the Mexican government’s official explanation of events. “The first shots were fired by the students who had taken up positions in the Edificio Chihuahua, an apartment building in the plaza. Some of the students were in possession of automatic weapons. Army troops who later entered this building discovered many weapons and considerable quantities of ammunition.”

Source: Lyndon B. Johnson Library, National Security Files
CO-Mexico, Vol. IV, Box 60, “Mexico, memos & misc., 1/68-10/68 (cont.)”

Document 75
October 3, 1968
Mexico City
CIA Station in Mexico, confidential cable

Another early report on the violence of October 2 underestimates the numbers killed while confirming the sniper fire from surrounding buildings. “Casualties suffered during the evening and early morning hours included twenty four civilians dead, many of whom were students, and one hundred thirty seven civilians wounded….There were more fatalities among the army troops because they were exposed to sniper fire from the upper floors of nearby buildings.” According to this account, the first shots in the confrontation were fired by students.

Source: Lyndon B. Johnson Library, National Security Files
CO-Mexico, Vol. IV, Box 60, “Mexico, memos & misc., 1/68-10/68 (cont.)”

Document 76
October 4, 1968
Mexico City Sitrep
CIA Station in Mexico, confidential intelligence information cable

In the aftermath of Tlatelolco CIA analysts attempt to gauge whether or not the students will now respond with more violence. “An ugly mood has prevailed among students following their encounter with government forces on the evening of 2 October, and many are talking of taking reprisal measures against the government.”

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, March 2002

Document 77
October 4, 1968
A Renewed Violence in Mexico
CIA, secret intelligence summary

CIA reports that the Tlatelolco incident has raised questions about Mexico’s ability to provide security for the Olympics. This cable cites “trained observers” who believed the students instigated the incident and notes that the Mexican government is determined to avoid a disruption of the Olympics both in the City and outside. “All military zone commanders now have authority to move against disorderly students in the provinces without checking with the capital.”

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, March 2002

Document 78
October 8, 1968
Mexico City Sitrep
CIA Station in Mexico, confidential intelligence information cable

In the wake of “revelations” by student leader Sócrates Campos Lemus about secret political backing for the student movement, the CIA Station reports that many students have long suspected Campos Lemus of being a government agent.

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, March 2002

Document 79
October 11, 1968
Mexico City Sitrep
CIA Station in Mexico, confidential intelligence information cable

While some students continue activities on the eve of the Olympics, the Mexican government is doing all it can to present a perfectly calm atmosphere for the games. “The government has distributed thousands of free tickets to the inaugural ceremony to persons known to be loyal to the regime to insure that the President’s speech will be applauded, and to reduce the number of tickets available to students.” CIA also reports that many intellectuals fear a crack down on their number following the Olympics and have begun seeking work abroad.

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, March 2002

Document 80
November 1, 1968
Mexican Government Readies for More Student Trouble
CIA, secret intelligence summary

Although it is unclear whether students will continue the strike, this document suggests that the “new left” (extremists) within the student movement seek to prolong the unrest and continue their provocations against the Mexican government. Mexican officials are preparing for future violence. “Two 1,500-man army unites are in training for use in the event of further violence, and the government is likely to move to a harsh policy of repression if its moderate conciliatory tactics fail.”

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, March 2002

Document 81
November 30, 1968
The Situation in Mexico
CIA, secret intelligence memorandum

The situation has calmed somewhat in Mexico City with many UNAM students are now espousing a more moderate line. “During the past two weeks the government has threatened that it would close the universities if the situation did not soon return to normal. There would be widespread criticism for such a move now since the situation appears to be improving.”

Source: Lyndon B. Johnson Library, National Security Files
CO-Mexico, Vol. IV, Box 60, “Mexico, memos & misc., 1/68-10/68″

Document 82
December 6, 1968
Mexican Student Strike Apparently Waning
CIA, secret intelligence summary

Document states that despite intermittent attacks by extremist groups, the student strike in Mexico is nearly over. In the wake of a student vote to end the strike, class attendance is rising.

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, May 1998

Document 83
January 17, 1969
Challenges to Mexico’s Single Party Rule
CIA, secret intelligence summary

As students return to classes, the “authentic context” to student strikes is becoming clear: the demonstrations of 1968 represent a strong warning to the government of Mexico. Although Mexican officials claimed “outside agitation” was the basis of the unrest, this still heavily-excised “Special Report” states that most reports linking the student movement to subversion remain unsubstantiated. Finally, this document states that the events at Tlatelolco caused severe political damage to the Mexican government and suggests that the official handling of the disturbances was “inept. [. . .] The Díaz Ordaz administration lost considerable face during the prolonged and sometimes violent strike.”

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, March 2002


Department of Defense:

Document 84
May 24, 1968
[Mexican Request for Military Radios]
State Department, letter

In the late spring the State Department writes to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs requesting that Mexican orders of military radios be expedited through the transfer of some units already earmarked for the Department of Defense. “In view of the importance which the Mexican Government gives to the smooth functioning of the Olympic games, and our own Government’s desire to see that this even be as successful as possible, I recommend prompt and favorable consideration of this request.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Def 19-8 Mex, Box 1699

Document 85
July 18, 1968
Out-of-Channels Request from Mexico
State Department, memorandum

In preparation for the fall Olympic Games the Mexican Secretariat of Defense places an order for weapons and supplies from the United States.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Def 12-5 Mex, Box 1578

Document 86
August 15, 1968
Troops Used to Help Quell Mexico City Student Riots
Defense Intelligence Agency, confidential intelligence information report

A chronological account of Mexican military involvement in disbanding student protests in Mexico City during the week of July 29. While this DIA report states that the military performed “creditably,” it also notes some charges of “over-reaction” – such as the alleged “hazing” of students inside one school – and calls the regime’s denials that students were killed by security forces “the official government line.” According to the document, Gen. Cristoforo Mazón Pineda has been appointed to head a special military “Task Force” to deal with the unrest in Mexico City, with Gen. Mario Ballesteros Prieto second in command. After an appeal by the National Security Archive for further declassification of this document, some additional passages were released on alleged communist involvement in the student movement, as well as information that the Army requested riot control training material from the United States.

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, May 2001

Document 87
September 24, 1968
Army Intervenes on Additional Occasions in Mexico City Student Situation
Defense Intelligence Agency, confidential intelligence information report

Report states that Mexican Army troops were again employed to disperse protesting students, from August 28 into the month of September. The period marked the first known involvement of troops from outside Mexico City, indicating the increasing seriousness of the matter. The September 18 occupation of UNAM also indicates that the position of the Mexican government is hardening.

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, April 1997

Document 88
October 18, 1968
Army Participation in Student Situation, Mexico City
Defense Intelligence Agency, confidential intelligence information report

This DIA report provides a summary of military involvement in the student crisis from the end of September until the start of the Olympic games. The report emphasizes that there had been “an intense concern among almost all Mexicans that the student situation would either prevent or hamper the Olympics. It is believed that this feeling has had an effect on government and Army actions, which on several occasions could possibly be called ‘over-reactions,’ caused primarily by the desire to settle or at least arrest the problem, by force if necessary, to avoid effect on the Olympics.” The report also summarizes the theories surrounding the events at Tlatelolco on October 2 where students are still considered to have been the most likely instigators of the violence.

Source: Released to Carlos Puig under the Freedom of Information Act, June 1994

Document 89
October 22, 1968
Mexican Army Preparations to Cope with Future Student Disturbances in Mexico City
Defense Intelligence Agency, confidential intelligence information report

Following the close of the Olympic games and the expected return of students to classes, the Mexican military expects a resurgence in student protest activity. To counter possible future violence, the military is training two special 1,500-man units, one of which this DIA document says carries the name “Brigada Olympia.”

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, May 2001

Document 90
October 23, 1968
Status of Brig Gen José Hernández Toledo
Defense Intelligence Agency, confidential intelligence information report

Gen. José Hernández Toledo, wounded at Tlatelolco, is recovering at a Mexican military hospital. A source tells the DIA that the Mexican Army “had taken good care” of the 18 foreigners (including some Cubans) involved in the events at Tlatelolco. When asked to clarify, the source said “good care” meant detention at Military Camp No. One.

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, April 1997

Document 91
March 14, 1969
General Officers in Disfavor with Secretary of Defense
Defense Intelligence Agency, confidential intelligence information report

Generals Ballesteros Prieto and Luis Gutiérrez Oropeza are both out of favor with the Minister of Defense because they ignored his orders to keep troops out of Tlatelolco. According to source, soldiers were merely supposed to surround students and observe with the intention of confining the demonstrators to that part of the city.

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, May 2001

Document 92
May 16, 1969
Presidential Succession and Probability of Student/Government Violent Confrontation
Defense Intelligence Agency, secret intelligence information report

Luis Echeverría Alvarez has been chosen to be the next presidential candidate for the PRI and therefore the next president of Mexico. The report states that future student disorders are unlikely because the students feel public opinion has turned against them.

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, May 2001


Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI):

Document 93
August 23, 1968
Criminal Activities at 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, Foreign Police Cooperation
FBI, confidential memorandum

FBI headquarters conveys a request from the Legal Attaché in Mexico City – the FBI’s representative working inside the U.S. Embassy in Mexico. The “Legat” has asked that an alert be broadcast to FBI field offices for information regarding “known United States criminals” with plans to travel to Mexico for the Olympic Games in October. Not only would providing such information to Mexican security agents contribute to the security of the Olympics, but it would also “be most beneficial to [the Legal Attaché's] liaison program” – that is, relations between U.S. and Mexican intelligence services.

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, June 1997

Document 94
September 6, 1968
Criminal Activities at 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, Foreign Police Cooperation
FBI, [classification excised] report

A report from the Special Agent in Charge in Dallas, Texas, to the Director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, provides information regarding two men en route to Mexico City to attend the Olympics. The men carry “bull whips, machettes [sic] and literature concerning black power.” Any additional information found, says the report, will be furnished “to assist Mexican authorities.”

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, June 1997

Document 95
September 26, 1968
Olympic Games, Mexico City, Mexico: October 12-27, 1968
FBI, confidential memorandum

As the student disturbances continue, the FBI goes on alert for the movement of “U.S. subversive elements” into Mexico, which the agency believes may try to disrupt the Olympic Games, participate in student uprisings, or use the international games to spy against the United States.

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, June 1997

Document 96
October 1, 1968
Olympic Games, Mexico City, Mexico-October 12-27, 1968

FBI, confidential letter

Document discusses potential threats to the Olympic Games. These include individual U.S. citizens with histories of subversive activity and anti-Castro Cubans, who are expected to try and harass Cuban athletes during the games. The FBI urges that information about potential subversives be provided to the U.S. and Mexican governments.

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, June 1997

Document 97
October 1, 1968
Olympic Games, Mexico City, Mexico, October Twelve – Twenty Seven, Nineteen Sixty Eight
FBI, confidential cable

To protect U.S. athletes during the Olympics, the FBI must establish a liaison in the U.S. Embassy for channeling information to U.S. Olympic team officials regarding safety concerns. Cable emphasizes the necessity of concealing the FBI’s role to avoid jeopardizing ongoing FBI operations in Mexico.

Source: Released to National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, June 1997


White House

Document 98
July 31, 1968
Student Disturbances in Mexico City
White House, secret memorandum

William Bowdler, White House special assistant for Latin America, alerts President Lyndon B. Johnson to recent clashes between student demonstrators and the government in Mexico. Mexican authorities claim to have “solid evidence” that the Communist Party, with Soviet complicity, engineered the July 26 riot, writes Bowdler, although the United States does not have corroborating evidence. The riots are not cause for concern. “There is no reason to think that Mexican security forces cannot control the situation.”

Source: Lyndon B. Johnson Library, National Security Files
CO-Mexico, Vol. IV, Box 60, “Mexico, memos & misc., 1/68-10/68″

Document 99
August 29, 1968
Student Situation in Mexico
White House, confidential cable

National Security Adviser Walter Rostow reports to President Johnson that the Mexican government’s conciliatory strategy has not quelled student disturbances, and a return to a “get-tough, no-nonsense posture” is inevitable. Rostow suggests that while the violence is not likely to damage Díaz Ordaz’s administration, it will no doubt affect the Olympics in a negative manner.

Source: Lyndon B. Johnson Library, National Security Files
CO-Mexico, Vol. IV, Box 60, “Mexico, memos & misc., 1/68-10/68″

Document 100
September 19, 1968
[Mexican Troops Invade UNAM Campus]
White House, confidential cable

Rostow alerts President Johnson to the military’s decision to occupy schools run by the National Autonomous University in response to the student strike and take-over of university buildings.

Source: Lyndon B. Johnson Library, National Security Files
CO-Mexico, Vol. IV, Box 60, “Mexico, memos & misc., 1/68-10/68″

Document 101
September 27, 1968
Security Considerations in Mr. Nixon’s Planned Visit to Mexico
White House, secret memorandum

Rostow forwards to the President a memorandum and an estimate from the CIA. The CIA is concerned about security conditions in Mexico and suggests that presidential candidate Richard Nixon cancel his plans to visit Mexico during the Olympic Games. If he does go, the CIA document warns, Mexican security forces would have hard time protecting him, and “anti-U.S. extremists” could cause “some nasty incidents.”

Source: Lyndon B. Johnson Library, National Security Files
CO-Mexico, Vol. IV, Box 60, “Mexico, memos & misc., 1/68-10/68″

Document 102
October 5, 1968
Mexican Riots – Extent of Communist Involvement
White House, secret memorandum
[Partial transcript]

Three days after the violent clash at Tlatelolco, President Johnson is informed of conflicting reports from the U.S. Embassy about foreign communist influence on the student movement. In a heavily-excised memorandum (attached), the CIA concludes that the unrest was sparked by domestic politics; the FBI has sent a confused report accusing a “joint shock group” of radical leftists called the “Olympia Brigade” for starting the shooting. The FBI source estimates that to 200 people may have been killed or mortally wounded at Tlatelolco.

Source: Lyndon B. Johnson Library, National Security Files
CO-Mexico, Vol. IV, Box 60, “Mexico, memos & misc., 1/68-10/68″

Document 103
October 9, 1968
Mexican Riots
White House, secret memorandum

In an attachment to this White House memorandum, the CIA addresses issues raised by FBI sources and concludes that a) no evidence exists of significant foreign influence in the riots, b) external influences included moral support and some financial support, but not the supply of weapons, and c) the Trotskyist “Brigada Olympia” referred to a leftist student group created to interfere with the Olympic Games.

Source: Lyndon B. Johnson Library, National Security Files
CO-Mexico, Vol. IV, Box 60, “Mexico, memos & misc., 1/68-10/68″

Document 104
October 14, 1968
Mexico Riots
White House, confidential cable

National Security Adviser Walter Rostow receives a copy of a U.S. Embassy cable analyzing the Mexican student riots. Addressing what is clearly a continuing White House concern, the cover memo states that the violence appears to have been sparked by student extremists, and that foreign influence was negligible.

Source: Lyndon B. Johnson Library, National Security Files
CO-Mexico, Vol. IV, Box 60, “Mexico, memos & misc., 1/68-10/68″

Document 105
December 11, 1968
Your Meeting with President Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, Friday, December 13, 1968
State Department, confidential memorandum

Dean Rusk, Secretary of State, briefs President Johnson on Mexico in anticipation of his upcoming meeting with President Díaz Ordaz. Referring to the student riots, Rusk tells LBJ that the disturbances were drawing to an end. “The prolonged nature of the conflict, and the fact that the Government of Mexico resorted to heavy repression on several occasions, have somewhat marred President Díaz Ordaz’ image. The President, however, remains in firm control of his Government and continues to enjoy broad support throughout Mexico.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, 1967-69
Pol 7 Mex, Box 2339

Documentos de la CIA:

Document 1
3/28/68
CIA Special National Intelligence Estimate
Security Conditions in Mexico
Secret

In preparation for a visit to Mexico City by Vice President Hubert Humphrey, the CIA issues a special assessment of security conditions in Mexico. Written several months before the first serious wave of student demonstrations began, the document describes the country as a model of stability, with President Diaz Ordaz firmly in control and a ruling party which “virtually monopolizes Mexican politics.”Document 2
7/19/68
CIA Weekly Summary
Student Unrest Troubles Mexico
Secret

When students launch a series of country-wide protests in July, initial U.S. reporting out of Mexico alerts Washington to several issues that come up again and again in subsequent documents: the potential danger posed by the strikes to the Olympic Games, their political significance, and the role of the “international” left. This CIA analysis discusses Cuban influence on a student strike at the University of Veracruz. Demonstrators seek to disrupt the Olympic games, although the PRI electoral fraud in local and gubernatorial elections also may serve as cause for further unrest.

Document 3
7/31/68
White House memorandum
Student Disturbances in Mexico City (7/30/68 U.S. Embassy cable attached, untitled)
Secret, Bowdler to LBJ

Mexican authorities claim to have “solid evidence” that the Mexican Communist Party, with Soviet complicity, engineered the July 26 riot. The U.S. Embassy does not have corroborating evidence, but suggests that Moscow may have ordered riot to counteract impact of events in the Czechoslovakia.

Document 4
8/2/68
CIA Weekly Summary
Students Stage Major Disorder in Mexico
Secret

The July 26 riot provides a classic example of Communist agitation techniques. Document questions Mexican claims of Soviet complicity, however, as USSR does not want to undermine its good relations with Mexico.

Document 5
c. 8/15/68
DIA Intelligence Information Report
Troops Used to Help Quell Mexico City Student Riots
Confidential

Report provides a chronological account of Mexican military involvement in disbanding student protests in Mexico City during the week of July 29. While the report states that the military performed “creditably,” it also notes some charges of “over-reaction,” such as the alleged “hazing” of students inside one school. The Mexican Government denies reports that 4 students were killed during the disturbances. Generals Mazon and Ballasteros head a special military “Task Force” to deal with the situation of unrest.

Document 6
8/23/68
CIA Weekly Review
Mexican Government in a Quandary Over Student Crisis
Top Secret

CIA says the Mexican Government may be underestimating students’ ability to continue large-scale, disciplined demonstrations. The present impasse is due to the Government’s belief that a) giving in to students would invite further demands and b) ignoring situation most likely will lead to further disruption. Document claims that Communist youths are involved in the crisis. CIA says that further violent outbreaks can be expected.

Document 7
8/29/68
White House message
Student Situation in Mexico (8/29/68 U.S. Embassy cable attached, Student Situation)
Confidential, Rostow to LBJ

Rostow reports to President Johnson that the Mexican Government’s conciliatory strategy has not quelled student disturbances, and a return to a “get-tough, no-nonsense posture” is inevitable. Rostow claims that while the violence is not likely to affect Diaz Ordaz’s administration, it will no doubt affect the Olympics in a negative manner.

Document 8
8/30/68
CIA Intelligence Information Cable
Mexican Military Alert for Possible Cuban Infiltration of Arms Destined for Student Use
[Classification excised]

CIA source claims that Cuba is prepared to smuggle arms to students for September demonstrations in Mexico. In response, Mexican Navy and army troops along the coast are put on high alert.

Document 9
9/6/68
CIA Weekly Summary
Mexican Government Stalls Student Movement
Secret

While the Mexican Government has made minor concessions to protesting students, the approach of the Olympics will most likely lead the Diaz Ordaz administration to meet further demonstrations with very tough measures.

Document 10
9/9/68
CIA Intelligence Information Cable
Situation Appraisal: Status of the Mexico City Student Movement
[Classification excised]

Cable states that students are increasingly organized, and able to exercise some influence on national affairs. The Mexican Government has not been unified in action against the protesters, and President Diaz Ordaz continues to avoid becoming personally involved. While no hard evidence exists that Cubans or Soviets masterminded the student demonstrations, the Mexican Government continues to inspire such rumors. Cable concludes that “the old order is passing” and the PRI has lost control over public behavior.

Document 11
9/13/68
CIA Weekly Summary
Mexican Students Still Spar with Government
Secret

CIA refers to the Mexican Government’s “behind the scenes maneuvering to divide the students,” including efforts by the officially-inspired “committee of the authentic student body” to quash future student strikes.

Document 12
9/19/68
White House message
Untitled
Confidential, Rostow to LBJ

Rostow alerts President Johnson to the military’s decision to occupy UNAM in response to the student strike and take-over of university buildings.

Document 13
9/24/68
DIA Intelligence Information Report
Army Intervenes on Additional Occasions in Mexico City Student Situation
Confidential

Report states that Mexican Army troops were again employed to disperse protesting students, from 8/28 into the month of September. The period marked the first known involvement of troops from outside Mexico City, indicating the increasing seriousness of the matter. The September 18 occupation of UNAM also indicates that the position of the Mexican Government is hardening.

Document 14
9/26/68
FBI memorandum
Olympic Games, Mexico City, Mexico: October 12-27, 1968
Confidential, Sullivan to Wannall

FBI goes on alert for movement of “U.S. subversive elements” into Mexico, which the agency believes may try to disrupt Olympics and participate in student uprisings.

Document 15
9/27/68
CIA Weekly Review
Violence Grows in Mexican Student Crisis
Top Secret

CIA reports “stresses” on and within the Mexican political establishment stemming from student unrest and the increasingly violent confrontations between protesters and the Mexican security forces.

Document 16
9/27/68
White House memorandum
Security Considerations in Mr. Nixon’s Planned Visit to Mexico (9/26/68 CIA intelligence estimate attached, with cover memo)
Secret, Rostow to LBJ

CIA expresses concerns about security conditions in Mexico and suggests that Nixon cancel his plans to visit Mexico during the Olympics. If he does go, the CIA document warns, Mexican security forces would have hard time protecting him, and “anti-U.S. extremists” would cause “some nasty incidents.”

Document 17
c. 10/1/68
FBI letter
Olympic Games, Mexico City, Mexico – October 12-27, 1968
Confidential

Document discusses potential threats to the Olympic games. These include individual US citizens with histories of subversive activity and anti-Castro Cubans, who are expected to try and harass Cuban athletes during the games. The FBI urges that information about potential subversives be provided to the U.S. and Mexican Governments.

Document 18
10/4/68
CIA Weekly Summary
A Renewed Violence in Mexico
Secret

New violence (Tlatelolco) puts Government of Mexico’s ability to safeguard Olympics in jeopardy. All military zone commanders have been granted the authority to “move against disorderly students.”

Document 19
10/5/68
White House memorandum
Mexican Riots – Extent of Communist Involvement (10/5/68 CIA memorandum and 10/5/68 FBI cable attached)
Secret, Rostow to LBJ

CIA concludes that recent student unrest was sparked by domestic conditions. Cuban and Soviet involvement was limited to moral and some financial support. The FBI reports Communist/Trotskyist groups formed the Olympia Brigade, a “shock group” which allegedly initiated the shooting at Tlatelolco on 10/2.

Document 20
10/8/68
FBI cable
Olympic Games, Mexico City, Mexico, October Twelve – Twenty Seven, Nineteen Sixty Eight
Confidential, Director FBI to LEGAT Mexico City

To protect U.S. athletes during the Olympics, the FBI must establish a liaison in the U.S. Embassy for channeling information to U.S. Olympic team officials regarding safety concerns. Cable emphasizes the necessity of concealing the FBI’s role to avoid jeopardizing ongoing FBI operations in Mexico.

Document 21
c. 10/8/68
CIA report
Answers to Questions Raised by White House Concerning Student Disturbances in Mexico (10/9/68 White House cover memorandum attached)
Secret, Lewis to Rostow

CIA addresses issues raised by FBI sources and concludes a) no evidence exists of significant foreign influence in riots, b) external influences included moral support and some financial support, but not the supply of weapons, and c) the Trotskyist “Brigada Olympia” was developed with the intentions of interfering with the Olympic games.

Document 22
10/12/68
Department of State telegram
Untitled [Mexico Riots] (10/14/68 White House cover memorandum attached)
Confidential

The U.S. Embassy states that, contrary to official Mexican reports, direct foreign involvement in the student uprisings has been “essentially negligible.” Rather, newer and more extreme student elements are responsible for the continued unrest and riots such as that which occurred at Tlatelolco on 10/2. The Mexican Government has increased military pressure with the intention of seizing the leaders of the extremist student groups. Document states that the foreign influence argument has been used by the Mexican Government to divert attention away from deep local problems.

Document 23
10/18/68
DIA Intelligence Information Report
Army Participation in Student Situation, Mexico City
Confidential

Report provides a chronological account of the Army’s role in controlling student uprisings from 9/24 through 10/18. With regards to Tlatelolco, report states that on 9/30, troops withdrew from the UNAM campus, which they had occupied since 9/18. Also on 9/30, the Mexican Defense Minister instructed military zone commanders throughout the country to move against student disturbances “without waiting for instructions.” Report provides a key overview of the events of 10/2 at Tlatelolco and the days immediately following.

Document 24
10/22/68
DIA Intelligence Information Report
Mexican Army Preparations to Cope with Future Student Disturbances in Mexico City
Confidential

Following the close of the Olympic games and the expected return of students to classes, the Mexican military expects a resurgence in student protest activity. To counter possible future violence, the military is training two special 1,500-man units, one of which carries the name “Brigada Olympia.”

Document 25
10/23/68 DIA Intelligence Information Report
Status of Brig. Gen. Jose Hernandez Toledo
Confidential

Gen. José Hernández Toledo, wounded at Tlatelolco, is recovering at a Mexican military hospital. A source tells the DIA that the Mexican Army “had taken good care” of the 18 foreigners (including some Cubans) involved in the events at Tlatelolco. When asked to clarify, the source said “good care” meant detention.

Document 26
11/1/68 CIA Weekly Summary
Mexican Government Readies for More Student Trouble
Secret

Although it is unclear whether students will continue the strike, this document suggests that the “new left” (extremists) within the student movement seek to prolong the unrest and continue their provocations against the Mexican Government. Mexican officials are preparing for future violence.

Document 27
c. 11/15/68
INR Working Draft (extract)
Student Violence and Attitudes in Latin America
Confidential

According to this draft analysis of student unrest in Latin America, the disorders in Mexico are the worst in the hemisphere. The continued violence demonstrates a deep and widespread dissatisfaction with the Government of Mexico, and has severely damaged Mexico’s reputation as being the “most stable and progressive country in Latin America.”

Document 28
12/6/68
CIA Weekly Summary
Mexican Student Strike Apparently Waning Secret

Document states that despite intermittent attacks by extremist groups, the student strike in Mexico is nearly over. In the wake of a student vote to end the strike, class attendance is rising.

Document 29
1/17/69
CIA Weekly Summary Special Report
Challenges to Mexico’s Single-Party Rule
Secret

As students return to classes, the “authentic context” to student strikes is becoming clear: the demonstrations of 1968 represent a strong warning to the Government of Mexico. Although Mexican officials claimed “outside agitation” was the basis of the unrest, document states that most reports linking the student movement to subversion remain unsubstantiated. Finally, document states that the events at Tlatelolco caused severe political damage to the Mexican Government.

Document 30
c. 3/24/69
DIA Intelligence Information Report
General Officers in Disfavor with Secretary of Defense
Confidential

Generals Ballesteros Prieto and Luis Gutierrez Oropeza are both out of favor with the Minister of Defense because they ignored his orders to keep troops out of Tlatelolco. According to source, soldiers were merely supposed to surround students and observe with the intention of confining the demonstrators to that part of the city.

Otros textos:


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Mexico’s 1968 Massacre: What Really Happened?

Listen Now [22 min 48 sec]

Photo Gallery: See Images From The Tlatelolco Massacre

Read The Documents

In 1998, the FBI, State Department and CIA released a document about the potential threats to the Olympic Games in Mexico in 1968.

It was one of the first government documents that helped uncover the mystery behind the Tlatelolco massacre.

An official Mexican document says delegations and hospitals reported 26 dead. Four deaths were originally reported. It also says 100 people were wounded and more than 1,000 detained.

Hector Garcia

On Aug. 27, 1968, students in Mexico City staged a protest in the Zocalo plaza. It was one of the largest protests against the government in Mexico’s history. Acervo Comite 68

Watch A Video

Video footage of the massacre was secretly recorded by the government. It was released nearly 20 years later.

Government Footage Of The Tlatelolco Massacre

All Things Considered, December 1, 2008 · In the summer of 1968, Mexico was experiencing the birth of a new student movement.

But that movement was short-lived. On Oct. 2, 1968, 10 days before the opening of the Summer Olympics in Mexico City, police officers and military troops shot into a crowd of unarmed students. Thousands of demonstrators fled in panic as tanks bulldozed over Tlatelolco Plaza.

Government sources originally reported that four people had been killed and 20 wounded, while eyewitnesses described the bodies of hundreds of young people being trucked away. Thousands of students were beaten and jailed, and many disappeared. Forty years later, the final death toll remains a mystery, but documents recently released by the U.S. and Mexican governments give a better picture of what may have triggered the massacre. Those documents suggest that snipers posted by the military fired on fellow troops, provoking them to open fire on the students.

The Beginning Of A Movement

In 1968, student movements were breaking out all over the world — including in France, Germany, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Argentina, Japan and the United States.

Mexico, like many countries in the prosperous 1960s, had spawned a vibrant middle class that enjoyed a quality of life unimaginable in previous decades. These children of the Mexican Revolution that now lived in comfort were, for the first time, able to send their own children to university in unprecedented numbers.

The student movement got its start from a street fight between high school students after a football game. The students confronted the Mexico City riot police sent there to end the skirmish. After hours of student resistance, the army was called in to quench the violence. The siege ended when the soldiers blasted the main door of the National Preparatory School in San Ildefonso with a bazooka, killing some of the students in the building.

The National University oversaw the Preparatory School, so the involvement of university officials and students was inevitable. In the following hours, the students decided to organize and protest against the violence exerted by the riot police. Over the following months, Mexico City witnessed a series of student protests and rallies against repression and violence.

The Massacre

Students expected the government to give in to their demands, but they were greeted with a clear message from the president: “No more unrest will be tolerated.” The army proceeded in the following days to seize the National University, with virtually no resistance from the students, and later the National Polytechnic Institute, with active and violent student resistance.

After these events, the students rapidly called for a new gathering on Oct. 2 at the Three Cultures Square in the Tlatelolco housing complex. Thousands of students showed up to get firsthand knowledge of the movement’s next steps. As the gathering was ending, soldiers arrived to capture the movement’s leaders. They were greeted by gunshots from the buildings surrounding the square. The troops then opened fire, turning the evening into a shooting that lasted nearly two hours.

Over the following days, the official account of the events would be that the students — infiltrated by communist forces — had fired on the army, and the soldiers had to fire back to defend themselves.

The 40-Year Search For The Truth

Under an authoritarian regime, no formal investigation into the killings was ever initiated. But a renewed hope to find the truth arrived in 2000 with the election of President Vicente Fox, who broke nearly 70 years of one-party rule. In November 2001, Fox ordered the creation of a “special prosecutor for crimes of the past” to investigate the Tlatelolco massacre. But little was uncovered about the killings or those killed.

The number of civilian casualties reported has ranged between four — in the official count directly after the event — and 3,000. Eyewitnesses recount seeing dozens of bodies and prisoners being trucked away to military bases. But despite efforts by both the student leaders and the special prosecutor to compile the names of the dead, only about 40 have been documented. No siblings, parents or friends of the remaining casualties — if they exist — have come forward to add names to the list.

But new information has come to light through the release of official documents. They reveal that the Presidential Guard — a branch of the military — had posted snipers in the buildings surrounding Tlatelolco Plaza on the day of the massacre. The idea was that the snipers would shoot at the troops posted around the square, and the troops would think student snipers were shooting at them — and then they would open fire.

Using the documents, first-person accounts and archival news reports, along with historic recordings — many of which have never been broadcast before — Radio Diaries has woven together a clearer picture of what happened on Oct. 2.

This story was produced by Joe Richman and Anayansi Diaz-Cortes of Radio Diaries. Thanks to George Lewis and NBC News for some of the audio used in this story.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=97546687

9 pensamientos en “Documentos de la CIA sobre el 68

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  2. Desde mi punto de vista, el hablar del movimiento estudiantil que se llevo acabo en el 68, es una razón por la cual me he llenado de dudas, coraje y ansias o ganas de saber el porque de tantas cosas de las que no nos dan una segura explicación. Aun y cuando muchas personas han testificado, en cuanto a este tema, no se ha llegado a conclusiones exactas. Ademas, el ex-presidente Fox prometió que investigaría y llegaría al fondo de todo esto, pero hasta la fecha no se tiene nada todavía.
    Da coraje el saber, que en esas fecha, el gobierno hacia lo posible por tapar dicho acontecimiento, primero dijeron que sólo eran 10 muertos, después 20, le siguieron los 40, y así se fueron hasta llegar a la cifra de 200 y mas; hasta tuvieron el descaro de decir: “ninguno” aun y cuando los testigos dicen que había camiones del ejercito llenos de cuerpos & la plaza Tres Culturas, también lo estaba.
    Supongo que por mas que investiguen, entrevisten y quieran llegar a la verdad, sera difícil hacerlo, ya que el mismo gobierno se las ha arreglado para tapar la verdad sobre esa “guerra sucia”. Lo que realmente paso, tal ves nunca se llegue a saber, pero lo poco que se sabe y lo que los labios, de aquellas personas que tuvieron esta experiencia, han dicho solo es un poco para ver lo que el mismo gobierno es capaz de hacer con tal de callar al pueblo.
    Imaginar ver, no sólo a estudiantes, sino también amas de casa, trabajadores y obreros muertos, callados, sin ninguna esperanza hace que haya en ti un sentimiento fuerte, una mezcla de todo (tristeza, injusticia, enojo, dolor, etc.),mil sentimientos encontrados en uno sólo.
    Ha llegado a mis oídos el rumor que aun se tienen presos a personas que participaron en aquel movimiento. Sería una gran oportunidad el poder entablar una pequeña conversación sobre aquellos hechos, qué sucedió, cómo fue; y que al escucharlo lo pueda imaginar, aunque estoy segura, de que nunca se podrá imaginar, de una manera tan exacta, lo que realmente paso en aquel 2 de octubre del 68.
    Tan importante ha sido este movimiento que se han hecho películas en cuanto a este tema, un ejemplo sería: “Rojo Amanecer”, del director Jorge Fons. En dicha película se habla de una familia y lo que ésta paso ese 2 de octubre. Muestran como golpean a los manifestantes, y como éstos trataban de esconderse para poder sobrevivir. Empieza la manifestación, llegan soldados, policías, había francotiradores, empiezan las luces de bengala, le siguen los disparos y la gente huyendo de ellos; comienzan los gritos y las personas heridas, muertas, el desastre total.
    Solo queda leer, investigar, el indagar acerca de este triste acontecimiento que ha hecho historia y que aun no se ha logrado descubrir del todo. Aun hay victimas anónimas y espero que en el transcurso del tiempo se pueda llegar a tener datos mas exactos de esta terrible matanza en Tlatelolco.

    Flor Andres Camarillo :))!
    4° “E”

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