30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Political Crimes and Abuse of Power

Jun 10, 2004 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C. June 10: Despite denials by the office of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the argument advanced by Council on Foreign Relations Latin American specialist Kenneth Maxwell that the September 1976 car-bombing in Washington D.C. might have been prevented is bolstered by declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive. The declassified State Department records chart U.S.

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 26, 2004 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., 26 February 2004 - Diaries, e-mail, and memos of Iran-contra figure Oliver North, posted today on the Web by the National Security Archive, directly contradict his criticisms yesterday of Sen. John Kerry's 1988 Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee report on the ways that covert support for the Nicaraguan contras in the 1980s undermined the U.S. war on drugs. Mr. North claimed to talk show hosts Hannity & Colmes that the Kerry report was "wrong," that Sen.

Feb 18, 2004 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C. - Military officials of Uruguay, who were members of a secret Southern Cone intelligence alliance called Operation Condor, threatened to assassinate U.S. Congressman Edward Koch in mid-1976, according to a just published book, The Condor Years: How Pinochet and His Allies Brought Terrorism to Three Continents (The New Press 2004). Written by investigative journalist John Dinges, the book reveals that the CIA intercepted the threat but failed to take any actions in response to it or to warn Congressman Koch for more than two months.

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.

Dec 4, 2003 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., 4 December 2003 - Newly declassified State Department documents obtained by the National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act show that in October 1976, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and high ranking U.S. officials gave their full support to the Argentine military junta and urged them to hurry up and finish the "dirty war" before the U.S. Congress cut military aid.

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.

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