Mexico and Central America
May 11, 2003 | Briefing Book br>
Twenty-five years ago, during the worst years of Mexico's dirty war, a new consciousness began to dawn in the United States about human rights. The U.S. government was in turmoil. The scandals leading to impeachment proceedings and the resignation of Richard M. Nixon, the fall of Saigon, and revelations about CIA operations in countries such as Cuba, Chile and the Congo prompted the U.S. Congress to seek ways to incorporate human rights into the conduct of American foreign policy.
Apr 13, 2003 | Briefing Book br>
This new Electronic Briefing Book on Operation Intercept -- the Nixon government's unilateral attempt in 1969 to halt the flow of drugs from Mexico into the United States -- is the second to appear 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.
Mar 2, 2003 | Briefing Book br>
Washington, D.C., 2 March 2003 - The National Security Archive at George Washington University today published on the Web a presidential audio tapes and set of declassified U.S. White House and State Department documents revealing a secret "informal understanding" made between the Johnson Administration and the PRI government of Adolfo Lуpez Mateos in 1964 that allowed Mexico to balk U.S. efforts to diplomatically and economically isolate the Cuban government of Fidel Castro.
Aug 20, 2002 | Briefing Book br>
Washington, D.C., 21 August 2002 - State Department documents released yesterday on Argentina's dirty war (1976-83) show that the Argentine military believed it had U.S. approval for its all-out assault on the left in the name of fighting terrorism. The U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires complained to Washington that the Argentine officers were "euphoric" over signals from high-ranking U.S. officials including then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
Jun 10, 2002 | Briefing Book br>
Mexico City, 10 June 2002—Mexico’s first national freedom of information initiative became the law of the land today, when it was signed by President Vicente Fox Quesada in a ceremony held at the presidential residence in Mexico City. The signing follows unanimous votes in both chambers of the Mexican Congress during the last week of April, and ushers in a landmark piece of legislation aimed at guaranteeing the public’s right to request and receive information from the government. The law represents a compromise between two proposals presented to the Congress during 2001.
Feb 5, 2002 | Briefing Book br>
The PBS documentary Bill Moyers Reports: Trading Democracy, which premieres tonight, February 5, at 10 p.m. Eastern time (local times may vary) exposes an obscure provision of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that has given multinational corporations the power to demand compensation if a law of any one of the three NAFTA countries – the United States, Mexico or Canada – threatens their potential profits. Laws designed to protect the environment or public health, the decisions of states or local communities - even jury verdicts - can prompt a corporation to file a lawsuit.
Jun 1, 2000 | Briefing Book br>
Introduction In July 1994, the Guatemalan government and the URNG signed the Human Rights Accord establishing the Historical Clarification Commission. That same month, the National Security Archive began work on a Guatemala Documentation Project, an effort to obtain the release of secret U.S. files on Guatemala. The project's first objective was to support the human rights investigations of the Clarification Commission. We believed that the commission would benefit from access to declassified U.S.
Mar 14, 2000 | Briefing Book br>
Washington, D.C., March 14, 2000 – Today's Washington Post features an op-ed on page A17 titled "Hardly a Distinguished Career," written by National Security Archive director Tom Blanton and commenting on the CIA's decision to award the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal to the highest-ranking CIA official fired in a 1995 scandal for failing to inform Congress about the CIA's ties to human rights abuses in Guatemala. THE DOCUMENTS Document 1: The Biographic Register, U.S. Department of State, July 1973, p. 402
Colonel Byron Disrael Lima Estrada: Alleged Mastermind behind the Murder of Bishop Juan Jose Gerardi of GuatemalaFeb 14, 2000 | Briefing Book br>
On January 21, Guatemalan police detained retired Col. Byron Lima Estrada and his son, Capt. Byron Lima Oliva, in connection with the 1998 assassination of Bishop Juan José Gerardi. Although the two officers had been under suspicion since shortly after the prelate's murder, it was not until newly-elected president Alfonso Portillo took office that the government was willing to act.
May 20, 1999 | Briefing Book br>
Washington, D.C., May 20, 1999 – The Guatemalan military kept detailed records of its death squad operations, according to a document released by four human rights and public interest groups today. The army log reveals the fate of scores of Guatemalan citizens who were "disappeared" by security forces during the mid-1980s.