30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Mexico and Central America

Apr 12, 2005 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., April 12, 2005 - As the Senate Intelligence Committee convenes to consider the nomination of John Negroponte to be Director of National Intelligence, the National Security Archive today posted hundreds of his cables written from the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa between late 1981 and 1984. The majority of his "chron file"- cables and memos written during his tenure as Ambassador- was obtained by the Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act.
May 31, 2004 | Briefing Book
The Cuban revolution was a shock to the Mexican system. On the international stage, Mexico was forced to negotiate a position toward Cuba that allowed it to preserve some independence from the United States, which by 1960 had already declared itself the bitter enemy of Fidel Castro, while avoiding serious conflict with its powerful neighbor. [See Proceso No. 1374 and National Security Archive electronic briefing book No.
Apr 19, 2004 | Briefing Book
Trying to report intelligently on the Mexican military is like trying to see in the dark - it's all shadowy outlines and no details. The army is famously secretive, opaque, and hostile to public scrutiny. Just ask the people who write about it. "The army has never provided information to outsiders on its own initiative," explains Raul Benнtez Manuat, a scholar for the Center for Research on North America at UNAM and visiting professor at the National Defense University in Washington who has written extensively about the Mexican armed forces.
Mar 14, 2004 | Briefing Book
The death of former President Josй Lуpez Portillo on February 17 unleashed a torrent of public rage and bitter obituaries in the Mexican press. The most prominent opinion makers called him a Machiavelli, a megalomaniac, a gambler, a disaster; mere hours after he passed away, politicians were lining up before the television cameras to offer scathing critiques of his government, his personality. He did not receive a State funeral. The anger stemmed not only from the actions - or inactions - of Lуpez Portillo during his sexenio.
Feb 4, 2004 | Briefing Book
Dear President Fox, Something remarkable has happened in Guatemala. You owe it to your country to take notice. On January 20, the Guatemalan Supreme Court upheld the conviction of a senior military officer, Col. Juan Valencia Osorio, for plotting and ordering the political assassination of Guatemalan anthropologist Myrna Mack Chang in 1990. The colonel has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Jan 20, 2004 | Briefing Book
When the United States government considered the rebellion in Chiapas, it did so through the twin lenses of its primary national interests: money and power. The Zapatista uprising - which exploded on January 1, 1994, the eve of the inauguration of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) - challenged an image of Mexico that had been peddled for months in the halls of the U.S. Congress in an effort to gain approval for the historic trade pact.
Dec 5, 2003 | Briefing Book
Lucio Cabaсas Barrientos - a native son of Guerrero, school teacher-turned-revolutionary and chief of the small rebel force dubbed the Party of the Poor - was nothing more than an ordinary bandit, according to the government he so fiercely opposed during the 1970s. A thug, a criminal, a gang leader, said Defense Secretary Hermenegildo Cuenca Dнaz. Working "for very dark interests," hinted President Luis Echeverrнa ominously, "trying to provoke regressive or conservative tendencies. American military, intelligence and political officers viewed Cabaсas in a somewhat different light.
Nov 2, 2003 | Briefing Book
During Guatemala's protracted and savage internal conflict, which raged from 1963 to 1996, tens of thousands of Guatemalan citizens fled the violence in their country for the safety of Mexico. Whether they arrived as refugees, illegal immigrants, exiled political activists or members of one of the four guerrilla groups, most of them found safe haven on Mexican soil. Having survived the war, many of them today cherish a strong and enduring affection for Mexico.
Oct 10, 2003 | Briefing Book
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.
Aug 18, 2003 | Briefing Book
This new Electronic Briefing Book on the Nixon tapes 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.

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