30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Mexico and Central America

Feb 26, 2006 | Briefing Book
Update - June 19, 2006 Open Letter to the Fox administration from three authors of the draft report (Alberto Lуpez Limуn, Josй Luis Moreno Borbolla and Agustнn Evangelista Muсoz) (in Spanish). After the National Security Archive posted the draft report of the Special Prosecutor for Social and Political Movements of the Past (Fiscalнa Especial para Movimientos Sociales y Polнticos del Pasado - FEMOSPP) on its website, the authors of the draft asked the archive to post this open letter as well.
Nov 21, 2005 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., November 21, 2005 - On July 5, officials from the Guatemalan government's human rights office (PDH - Procuradurнa de Derechos Humanos) entered a deteriorating, rat-infested munitions depot in downtown Guatemala City to investigate complaints about improperly-stored explosives. During inspection of the site, investigators found a vast collection of documents, stored in five buildings and in an advanced state of decay.
Nov 18, 2005 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., November 18, 2005 - Investigative journalist Frank Smyth breaks new ground in documenting links between retired Guatemalan military officers and drug trafficking into the United States in "The Untouchable Narco-State: Guatemala's Military Defies the DEA." Smyth's story, featured in the independent weekly Texas Observer appearing on news stands today, uses declassified U.S. documents from the National Security Archive among other critical evidence.
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.

Pages