home | about | documents | news | publications | FOIA | research | internships | search | donate | mailing list
Mexican presidents Luis Echeverría and Gustavo Díaz Ordaz. (Picture courtesy of Archivo Proceso)

LITEMPO:
The CIA's Eyes on Tlatelolco

CIA Spy Operations in Mexico

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 204

Posted - October 18, 2006

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

Research Assistance: Jesse Franzblau

español/Spanish

Jefferson Morley, a columnist for washingtonpost.com, is author of a biography of former CIA Mexico City station chief Win Scott to be published next year. His email address is jeff.morley@wpni.com

Contents

Article

Documents


Links

Mexico Project Home

New Blog
Registro de los Muertos de Tlatelolco

The Dead of Tlatelolco
Using the archives to exhume the past

The Tlatelolco Massacre
New declassified U.S. documents on Mexico and the events of 1968

Mexico: The Tlatelolco Massacre
Declassified U.S. documents on the events of 1968

In the news

"Echeverría y Díaz Ordaz engañaron a CIA sobre el 68"
By José Carreño
El Universal (Mexico)
October 19, 2006

"Ex presidentes, informantes de la CIA, Revelaron documentos en EU"
Agencia EFE (via Univision.com)
October 18, 2006

Washington, DC, October 18, 2006 - The CIA's reliance on high-level informants including the President of Mexico for "intelligence" about the student protest movement in 1968 that culminated in the infamous Tlatelolco massacre misled Washington about responsibility for the repression, according to documents obtained by journalist Jefferson Morley and posted today on the Web by the National Security Archive at George Washington University.

The declassified U.S. documents reveal CIA recruitment of agents within the upper echelons of the Mexican government between 1956 and 1969. The informants used in this secret program included President Gustavo Díaz Ordaz and future President Luis Echeverría. The documents detail the relationships cultivated between senior CIA officers, such as chief of station Winston Scott, and Mexican government officials through a secret spy network code-named "LITEMPO." Operating out of the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, Scott used the LITEMPO project to provide "an unofficial channel for the exchange of selected sensitive political information which each government wanted the other to receive but not through public protocol exchanges."

This posting also includes the article "The CIA's Eyes on Tlatelolco," written by Morley and published in the October 1, 2006 edition of Proceso magazine. The article uses first-hand accounts from former associates, friends and family of Winston Scott, detailing how Scott relied on his friendships with Díaz Ordaz, Echeverría and other senior Mexican officials to inform Washington about the student movement whose demands challenged the government's monopoly on power.

The newly-declassified U.S. government documents and interviews shed new light on the CIA reporting on the terrible events of 1968. Winston Scott's reliance on powerful government officials for information led to one-sided reporting on the student movement of 1968, ending in the 2 October massacre in Tlatelolco. Scott relied on the government's version of the Tlatelolco killings, reporting as "intelligence information" its fictional accounts of the events.

"When the Tlatelolco crisis exploded, the CIA's Mexico station could not deliver the goods," said Kate Doyle, Director of the Archive's Mexico Project. "Jefferson Morley's important research reveals that instead of independently collecting information and analyzing what happened, the agency served as stenographer for its friends and allies in the Mexican government. As a result, the CIA helped protect Mexico's ruling party from bearing responsibility for the massacre, and delivered a muddled and misleading account of it to Washington."



LITEMPO: The CIA's Eyes on Tlatelolco
By Jefferson Morley
español/Spanish

Newly-declassified U.S. government documents and interviews shed new light on what the American Central Intelligence Agency knew--and did not know--about the terrible events of 1968 in Mexico City.

Winston Scott, the CIA's top man in Mexico at the time, was a brash and charming 59-year-old American who operated out of the U.S. Embassy on Reforma. The CIA documents, now publicly available in the U.S. National Archives in Washington, show Scott relied on his friendship with President Gustavo Díaz Ordaz; then-Secretary of Gobernación Luis Echeverría; and other senior officials to inform Washington about the student movement whose demands challenged the government's monopoly on power.

The documents, reported here for the first time, show that Scott recruited a total of 12 agents in the upper echelons of the Mexican government between 1956 and 1969. His informants included two presidents of Mexico, and two men who were later indicted for war crimes.

------------------------------

The CIA's code name for Scott's spy network was LITEMPO. The letters LI represented the Agency's code for Mexican operations; TEMPO was Scott's term for a program that was, in the words of one secret Agency history, "a productive and effective relationship between CIA and select top officials in Mexico." Begun in 1960, LITEMPO served as "an unofficial channel for the exchange of selected sensitive political information which each government wanted the other to receive but not through public protocol exchanges." (Note 1)

CIA Chief of Station Winston Scott in an undated family photo taken in Mexico

Scott's agents were identified in CIA files by specific numbers. LITEMPO-1 was Emilio Bolanos, a nephew of Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, Minister of Gobernación and then President in the 1960s. Díaz Ordaz was LITEMPO-2. Like his predecessor Adolfo Lopez Mateos, he was a personal friend of Scott's. Both men attended Scott's wedding to his third wife in December 1962, with Lopez Mateos standing in as padrino, or chief witness, to the ceremony.

How much Scott paid his LITEMPO informants is not disclosed in the records, but at least two CIA officials thought it was excessive. In a review of the LITEMPO program in 1963, the chief of the clandestine services Mexico desk griped that "the agents are paid too much and their activities are not adequately reported." (Note 2) One colleague of Scott's said the LITEMPO agents were "unproductive and expensive." (Note 3)

Scott ignored such complaints. He met frequently with his agents who he called LITEMPOs and reported to Washington about his contacts. In October 1963, he gave Bolanos, LITEMPO-1, a "personal gift" of 1,000 rounds of .223 Colt automatic ammunition to pass to Díaz Ordaz. In his monthly report to CIA headquarters, Scott told his superiors that "changes to the LITEMPO program may be necessary when LITEMPO-2 becomes the presidential candidate" in 1964. (Note 4)

Scott also cultivated Fernando Gutiérrez Barrios in the Dirección Federal de Seguridad who was known as LITEMPO-4. (Note 5) Scott had known El Pollo since at least 1960. Gutiérrez Barrios assisted Scott in the panicky days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, by interrogating Mexicans who had contact with accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.

Another one of Scott's agents, according to CIA records, was Luis Echeverría, a sub-secretary at Gobernación in the early 1960s, who is identified as LITEMPO-8. (Note 6) Echeverría started out handling special requests from the American government for visas to assist Cuban travelers seeking to escape Fidel Castro's socialist revolution. (Note 7) As Echeverría rose in the Mexican hierarchy, so did his importance to his American friend. He became an occasional dinner guest at Scott's home in Lomas Chapultepec.

In 1966, an unidentified subordinate of Gutiérrez Barrios, known as LITEMPO-12, began meeting daily with one of Scott's most trusted officers, George Munro, to pass copies of reports from his own agents. According to one CIA document, LITEMPO-12 became one of the U.S. Embassy's most productive sources of intelligence on "the CP [Communist Party], Cuban exiles, Trotskyites, and Soviet bloc cultural groups." (Note 8)

In the summer and fall of 1968, LITEMPO assumed even greater importance in Mexico City and Washington as a spontaneous student movement convulsed the streets of the capital. Scott relied on his allies at the top of the Mexican government to monitor and understand the unfolding events that culminated in the night of gunfire that claimed scores of lives in Tlatelolco Plaza on October 2, 1968.
The story of LITEMPO is a previously unknown dimension to that tragic crime.

One summer night in 1968, one of Scott's sons went out to dinner in downtown Mexico City with his mother and stepfather, whom he called "Scottie."

"After we finished," the son recalled in an interview years later, "we were walking back to the car when Scottie said, 'Look they have music down there.' We were passing by what they call a pena, a coffee shop type of place. He said, 'Let's go listen.'"

While politically conservative, Scott was socially outgoing, adept at making friends and conversation.

"So we're sitting there drinking our beers and someone was singing a song about Castro that was popular at that time. The chorus went, "¿Fidel, Fidel, que tiene Fidel/Que los Americanos no pueden con el?"
"And Scottie's feeling good, so he starts singing along. He's holding his beer up and going, "¿Fidel, Fidel, que tiene Fidel/Que los Americanos no pueden con el?"

According to the son, Scott's wife said, "Scottie do you know what they're saying?"

"Oh, something about Fidel," he replied.

"She says 'Yeh, they're saying, you can't handle him."

"Scottie said something like, it's only a song, and she said, 'You know, if somebody didn't know any better and saw you singing here, they'd think you were some kind of communist.'"

Scott just laughed, the son recalled.

On the job, Scott obsessed about the possible influence of communism and Cuba in Mexico but reluctantly conceded that the student movement was not communist controlled. That summer the U.S. Embassy compiled a list of 40 separate incidents of student unrest since 1963. Twenty three of the incidents were motivated by school grievances; eight protests concerned local problems. Six were inspired by Cuba and Vietnam. Four of the demonstrations put forth demands related to the authoritarianism of the Mexican system. (Note 9)

In June 1968, U.S. Ambassador Fulton "Tony" Freeman called a meeting with Scott and other members of the Embassy staff. France had just been engulfed by student demonstrations so massive that the government fell. Freeman wanted to discuss whether the same thing could happen in Mexico. Because of his contacts in Los Pinos (the Mexican White House), Scott's views carried a lot of weight.

Scott and his colleagues concluded Díaz Ordaz could maintain control.

"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," Freeman cabled the State Department after the meeting. "Furthermore, student disorders, notwithstanding the wide publicity they receive, simply lack the muscle to create a national crisis." (Note 10)

Scott spoke frequently to Díaz Ordaz. Ferguson Dempster, a top British intelligence operative in Mexico and a longtime friend of Scott's, told one of Scott's sons that Scott delivered a daily report on "enemies of the nation" to the Mexican president.

Philip Agee, then a young officer in Scott's operation, told much the same story when he broke with the agency a few years later and published a book exposing its operations. Agee described Scott's service to Los Pinos as "a daily intelligence summary" with a section on activities of Mexican revolutionary organizations and communist diplomatic missions, and a section on international developments based on information from CIA headquarters.

Scott, in turn, relayed the views of Díaz Ordaz and other top officials to Ambassador Freeman and to CIA headquarters. The Mexican authorities' public position "regarding disturbances is they were instigated by leftist agitators for purpose [of] creating [an] atmosphere [of] unrest," Freeman said in a cable to Washington. "Embassy concurs in this general estimate."

But Scott's inclination to see the student movement as a communist controlled rebellion was not borne out by the station's reports from its many informants. Declassified CIA records show that Scott had a network of sources at the UNAM (National University of Mexico) and other schools called LIMOTOR that kept him well-informed about campus politics. (Note 11) He noted that students at the UNAM wrested control of student activities from the communist youth faction by creating a new National Strike Council. "Those who are advocating violent action are still in the minority," (Note 12) he reported.

In conversation with his LITEMPO agents, Scott realized that the desire of top Mexican officials to blame the communists for the burgeoning protests in the streets coexisted with a kind of passive uncertainty about what was really going on.

In late August Díaz Ordaz named Luis Echeverría to head a new "Strategy Committee," created to design the government's response to the student disturbances. But DFS chief Fernando Gutiérrez Barrios confided that the government did not have any plans in place to deal with student unrest, according to a confidential CIA cable. (Note 13)

Scott himself was uncertain. His frequent "situation reports," known informally as Sitreps, emphasized the communist background of the professors leading the student movement. In an August 1968 report, entitled Students Stage Major Disorders in Mexico, he argued that the riot in the Zocalo represented "a classic example of the Communists' ability to divert a peaceful demonstration into a major riot." (Note 14)

But which communists? Díaz Ordaz was sure the Mexican Communist party and the Soviet Union were involved. Scott wanted to believe it but could find no evidence.

"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," he told CIA headquarters, "it is unlikely that the Soviets would so undermine their carefully nurtured good relations with the Mexicans." (Note 15)

Among the LITEMPO sources, Scott said, uncertainty about the student movement was giving way to anger.

"The Office of the Presidency is in a state of considerable agitation because of anticipated further disturbances," Scott wrote in early August. "The pressure on Díaz Ordaz to restore calm is particularly intense because of Mexico's desire to project a good image internationally." (Note 16)

From his conversations with Díaz Ordaz, Scott began to get a sense of how the president was going to respond. Tourist and commercial interests were calling for "early action," he told Washington. Scott suspected that the president might be planning to use Mexico City mayor Alfonso Corona del Rosal as a scapegoat. Corona del Rosal was a former general with a reputation for toughness. Much to Díaz Ordaz's annoyance, he was advocating a conciliatory stance toward the students. From long experience, Win knew how Díaz Ordaz operated.

"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," Scott wrote. "Corona del Rosal has been mentioned as Díaz Ordaz' possible successor, and it is possible that the President has decided to 'burn' him.'" (Note 17)

The next demonstration was the largest yet--but also peaceful. Reforma Avenue was jammed with a joyous throng headed for the Zocalo. People were shouting, applauding, laughing and crying too. The cathedral bells pealed and, even inside the Lecumberri prison, jailed men could heard the crowd. Mexicans were liberating themselves from fear of their government.

"We don't want the Olympics," the marchers chanted. "We want revolution."

Scott informed Ambassador Freeman that Díaz Ordaz was deeply offended that the students had flown the red and white strike flag in the Zocalo. He was ordering army riot police and police to use force if necessary to break up all "illegal activities and gatherings." (Note 18)

Win Scott was not a man who lacked confidence in his ability to correct a difficult situation. He had been the CIA's chief of station in Mexico City since 1956, spoke decent Spanish, and knew how to get his way with Mexican officialdom. One of his teenage sons got a glimpse of the father's authority when he got into a traffic accident on Reforma and wound up in the police station in Chapultepec Park. The cops suggested the young man make a phone call to get some money for the mordida that would secure his release. The son called Scott who said he would be right over.

"Next thing you know, Scottie pulls up in his big black Mercury," his son recalled. "It had these red diplomatic license plates for the Olympics which meant it was the car of someone important and this big American gets out with a teenage girl. Scottie had brought my sister along for some reason. The Mexican cops started rethinking their position. Ah chihuahua, quien es eso?

"Scottie hands the first cop he sees a hundred peso bill. He hands the second cop he sees a hundred peso bill. He asks me if I was OK. Was the car OK? I said I was fine and that he only had to pay the jefe. But he didn't care. He went around the room, shook everybody's hand and gave everybody a hundred peso bill. He gave the jefe about four hundred. Then he looked around and said, "Todos contentos?"
"Everybody was very happy. That was Scottie in his prime, this American who could do anything."

As the student protests grew larger, Scott's information from the LITEMPO agents informed Ambassador Freeman's increasingly dire cables to Washington, which noted that Díaz Ordaz and the people around him were talking tougher. The government "implicitly accepts consequence that this will produce casualties," the ambassador wrote. "Leaders of student agitation have been and are being taken into custody….In other words, the [government] offensive against student disorder has opened on physical and psychological fronts." (Note 19)

Scott knew that Díaz Ordaz thought the application of force was the only solution.

"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," (Note 20) he told his superiors in Washington.

In late September, Scott reported that the government was "not seeking compromise solution with students but rather seeking to put end to all organized student actions before Olympics….Aim of Gov[ernment] believed to be to round up extremist elements and detain them until after Olympics," (Note 21) scheduled to open in mid-October.

The leaders of the student movement called for a public meeting. Depleted by arrests, confronted by a hard-line government, and facing the opening of the Olympic Games in less than two weeks, they wanted to convene on the afternoon of October 2, at the Plaza de Las Tres Culturas in the Tlatelolco housing complex to announce their next move. Scott reported that morning that the Mexican government's determination to hold a successful Olympic Games would probably preclude any major incidents. However, random, unsuspected acts could not be ruled out, he warned.

"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," (Note 22) he wrote on October 2.

That might have been the voice of Scott's considerable experience in Mexico. But it might have been passed along to him by friendly LITEMPOs who had reason to believe that "radicals and extremists" whose behavior was "impossible to predict" were about to act.

The rally in Tlatelolco began around five p.m. Tanks surrounded the plaza and soldiers sat on the tanks cleaning their bayonets, but it was not a particularly tense situation. Between five and ten thousand people had gathered by late afternoon.

Military commanders on the scene had just received orders to prevent the meeting from taking place. They were ordered to isolate the leaders of the meeting, detain them and turn them over to DFS. A group of officers in civilian clothes, known as the Olympic Battalion, had their own instructions. They were to wear civilian clothes with a white glove on the left hand and post themselves in the doorways of the Chihuahua building overlooking the plaza. When they got the signal, in form of a flare, they were to prevent the entrance or exit of anyone to the plaza while the student leaders were being detained. Finally a group of police officers got orders to arrest the leaders of the National Strike Council.

What virtually no one knew until more than thirty years later was that Luis Gutiérrez Oropeza, the chief of staff of the Mexican military, had posted ten men with guns on the upper floor the Chihuahua building and given them orders to shoot into the crowd. He was acting on orders of Díaz Ordaz, according to a revelatory account published in Proceso in 1999.

Oropeza was the link between Díaz Ordaz and Echeverría, according to Jorge Castañeda's book about the Mexican presidency. Gutiérrez Oropeza was also a friend of Scott's who had dinner at his home at least once, according to a log of guests kept by the Scott family. There is no evidence that Gutiérrez Oropeza was a LITEMPO agent or that he acted at the CIA's behest on October 2.

Just as a student speaker announced that a scheduled march on the Santo Tomas campus of the Politecnico would not take place because of the threat of Army violence, flares suddenly appeared in the sky overhead and everyone automatically looked up. That's when the shooting began.

A wave of people ran to the far end of the plaza only to meet a line of oncoming soldiers. They ran the other way into the free fire zone. It was, in the words of historian Enrique Krauze, a "closed circle of hell," a "terror operation."

Win Scott filed his first report around midnight. It was massaged at headquarters and passed to the White House where it was read the next morning. Something big had happened at Tlatelolco.

"A senior [classified source] counted 8 dead students, six dead soldiers but a nearby Red Cross installation had 127 wounded students and 30 wounded soldiers.

"A classified source said the first shots were fired by the students from the Chihuahua apartments."
An American classified source "expressed the opinion this was a premeditated encounter provoked by the students."

Another classified source said "most of the students present on the speaker's platform were armed, one with a sub-machine gun…troops were only answering the fire from the students."

None of Scott's reports turned out to be true. His only accurate observation was that "this is the most serious incident thus far in the rash of student disturbances which began in late July." (Note 23)

His next situation report cited "trained observers" who believed the students instigated the incident. He said that the Tlatelolco incident raised questions about Mexico's ability to provide security for the Olympics. (Note 24)

Agents of the American FBI in Mexico City who worked closely with Scott reported that the Trotskyite students had formed an armed group called the Olympia Brigade to provoke an attack. These students were allegedly connected to Guatemalan communists and had supposedly fired the first shots.

The FBI reported that Díaz Ordaz had told an "American visitor," who may have been Scott, that he believed the disturbance had been "carefully planned."

"A good many people came into the country," the president reportedly said. "The guns used were new and had their numbers filed off. The Castro and Chinese Communist groups were at the center of the effort. The Soviet communists had to come along to avoid the charge of being chicken." (Note 25)

In Washington, Walt Rostow, national security adviser to President Lyndon Johnson, sought to clarify the contradictory reports. He sent a series of questions to Scott who went to see Díaz Ordaz. He returned with answers that revealed how little he knew.

Were Mexican students using new rifles with numbers filed off from Chinese sources?

No verification to date, Scott said.

Did individuals from outside Mexico participate in the student movement?

Three students, a Chilean, French and an American, were arrested on July 26 and deported. Two other French students were not apprehended, he noted.

In other words, there had not been single report of foreign involvement in the previous five weeks. While the Mexican press continually played on the theme of foreign involvement, Scott said "no conclusive evidence to this effect has been presented."

Could he verify the FBI's story of a leftist Olympic Brigade that provoked the gunfire?

A small group of Trotskyite university students had formed a group called a "Brigada Olympia," he said. One source said they planned to blow up transformers to interfere with Olympic events and to seize buses carrying Olympic athletes.

The White House and CIA headquarters did not fail to notice that Scott seemed to know very little about what had happened at Tlatelolco, save that reports of Cuban and Soviet involvement were overblown and the government's claim of a left-wing provocation could not be proved.

Wallace Stuart, a counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, later said the CIA station had submitted 15 differing and sometimes flatly contradictory versions of what happened at Tlatelolco, "all from either 'generally reliable sources' or 'trained observers' on the spot!" (Note 26)

Scott had fallen into a classic trap of spies. He had become too dependent on his well-placed sources. He had no independent means of getting information about a hugely important political event.

The massacre at Tlatelolco, says historian Sergio Aguayo, parted "the waters of Mexican history. It accented the turbulence of those years, served to concentrate power in the intelligence services dominated by a small group of men, hard and uncontrolled."

With Win Scott's assistance, those men had entrenched themselves in power over the course of a decade, acting with impunity against an opposition that was, in Aguayo's words, "weak but each time more bellicose and desperate to rebel against the apathy of an indifferent, if not complicitous, international community."

A week after the massacre, Win took time out from his duties to write a thank you note to Luis Echeverría. The interior minister had just given him a gift: a large framed electronic map of the world that displayed the correct time in every time zone in the world.

"The marvelous clock you sent to me recently is a wonder to all who see it," Win wrote in a note that Aguayo found in the Archivo General de la Nación.

In Win's hour of need after the Tlatelolco massacre, his most trusted agents had delivered fictional accounts and then a bauble. The master of LITEMPO had become its prisoner. The puppetmaster had become the puppet.

Eight months later, Scott was forced to retire from his job as CIA chief of station. His ouster didn't have anything to do with the events of October 1968, according to William Broe, the chief of the CIA's Latin America division at the time.

"He was one of our outstanding officers. It was a strong station. He ran a very good shop," Broe said in a recent telephone interview. The reason for his removal, he explained, "was his long tenure. That was what we decided to do, to start changing and moving people. It wasn't because he had done something wrong. We just felt that we shouldn't have individuals there as long as that. Thirteen years is a long time."

In June 1969, Scott went to CIA headquarters in Washington to receive one of the Agency's highest honors, the Distinguished Intelligence Medal. The citation accompanying the medal alluded to the LITEMPO program as one of his greatest accomplishments. Win Scott, it was said, "initiated and bought to fruition an international alliance in this hemisphere which constitutes a foundation stone for achievements of great significance."

Scott died of a heart attack in his home in Lomas Chapuletepec on April 26, 1971. He was 62 years old.

 


Documents
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.

Document 1
16 November 1978
[Mexico City Station History]
CIA secret report (excerpts)
Source: The declassified portions of the Mexico City station history are found in CIA records known as the Russ Holmes Work File in the JFK Collection at the National Archives.

This excerpt comes from a highly secret three-volume history of the Mexico City station written by Win Scott's assistant Anne Goodpasture. Less than half of the history's 494 pages have been declassified.

Document 2
4 March 1964
[Job Evaluation of Anne Goodpasture]
CIA secret fitness report
Source: National Archives, JFK Collection HSCA CIA Segregated Collection

This job performance evaluation of Win Scott's assistant, Anne Goodpasture, comments on the LITEMPO program in 1963. The reviewing official, John Whitten, describes the projects concerning Goodpasture as mostly being "cost conscious," with the exception of the LITEMPO project in which "the agents are paid too much and their activities are not adequately reported."

Document 3
7 November 1963
LITEMPO/Operational Report 1-31 October 1963
CIA secret report
Source: National Archives, JFK Collection, HSCA CIA Segregated Collection

Scott reports on his "personal gift" of weapon ammunition to LIEMPO-1 in this operational report. In his personnel description Scott states that there may be some changes in the LITEMPO project "when LITEMPO-2 becomes the presidential candidate." This description of the 1964 presidential candidate makes it clear that Interior Minister Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, who became the ruling party's presidential candidate in 1964, was in fact LITEMPO-2.

Document 4
19 September 1964
[Interrogation of Sylvia Duran]
CIA secret message (extract)

Source: National Archives, JFK Collection

The identification of LITEMPO-4 as Fernando Gutiérrez Barrios comes from the combination of this document with Document 5, below.

This is a secret cable sent by the Mexico City CIA station to headquarters in September 1964 stating that an intelligence source known as LITEMPO-4 personally participated in the interrogation of Silvia Duran, a Mexican woman who had contact with accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.

Document 5
Date unknown
Sylvia Duran's Previous Statements Re Lee Harvey Oswald's Visit to the Cuban Consulate in Mexico City
Warren Commission unclassified exhibit 2121 (extract)
Source: House Select Committee on Assassinations review summary of Warren Commission Report, Vol. XXIV, p. 587

This document comes from a summary of the 1964 Warren Commission documents, which states that Silvia Duran was interrogated by Captain Fernando Gutiérrez Barrios, Assistant Director of the Federal Security Police. Therefore, Barrios was LITEMPO-4.

Document 6
11 April 1964
[Mexico City Station Summary of Activities]
CIA secret chronology (extract)
Source: National Archives, JFK Collection HSCA CIA Segregated Collection

The identification of Luis Echeverría as LITEMPO-8 is found in two records. This long Mexico City Station Summary of Activities comes from a comprehensive review of the contents of Win Scott's files on the Kennedy assassination, carried out by Ray Rocca, a senior counterintelligence official. The extract included here states that three members of the Warren Commission visited with LITEMPO-8 at 11:30 a.m. on April 10, 1964, as part of their investigation. The summary notes various points of conversation such as the need to submit their questions in writing to the Foreign Minister.

Document 7
22 April 1964
Trip to Mexico City
Warren Commission top secret memorandum (extract)
Source: National Archives, JFK Assassination Collection, Records of the Assassination Records Review Board, 1996 release, "Memoranda for the Record, "Trip to Mexico City," by W. David Slawson, April 22, 1964, pp. 33-36

The second document comes from a report prepared by David Slawson, one of the Warren investigators who visited Mexico City. In the report, Slawson states that he and two colleagues visited with deputy interior minister Luis Echeverría between 11:15 and 11:45 am on April 10, 1964. He recorded the same points of conversation attributed to LITEMPO-8. Therefore Echeverría was LITEMPO-8

Document 8
24 October 1963
LITEMPO/Operational Report 1 August-30 September 1963
CIA secret report

Source: National Archives, JFK Collection

In the inception of the project, LITEMPO agents provided assistance to US officials in Mexico City by helping get transit visas to Cuban travelers seeking to escape the new Castro government. This report, prepared for the Mexico City station by agent Jeremy K. Benadum, shows the building of a relationship with LITEMPO-8 (Echeverría), who in turn requests information on "the names of terrorists and communists from Venezuela and other Latin American countries who might be likely to travel to or through Mexico."

Document 9
25 October 1963
LITEMPO/Procedure for Obtaining Mexican Transit Visas for Cubans
CIA secret report
Source: National Archives, JFK Collection

This report further details how Echeverría made the final decision as to who was granted visas through this process. Specific conditions were established for the solicitation of each visa through the LITEMPO program. These conditions were set in order to maintain the secrecy of the project and to avoid giving the political opposition fuel to criticize the Interior Minister for "working for the Yanquis [sic]."

Document 10
21 September 1963
Operational/LIMOTOR/Plans Further Life of the LIMOTOR Project
CIA secret report
Source: National Archives, JFK Collection

This is a report on the intelligence gathering procedures of the LIMOTOR project in Mexico City, arguing for its renewal. This report details how Scott maintained a network of sources at the National University (UNAM) and other schools in Mexico to gather information on communist influence in the student movement. During the period from August 1962 to July 1963 the LIMOTOR project produced 103 personality reports focusing on those "suspected to belong to or be identified with pro-communist political grouping or philosophies."



Notes

1. The quotes come from a highly secret three volume history of the Mexico City station written by Win Scott's assistant Anne Goodpasture. Less than half of the history's 494 pages have been declassified. [See Document 1]

2. John Whitten made the comment in a job evaluation of Anne Goodpasture who occasionally handled LITEMPO activities for Scott. [See Document 2]

3. Anne Goodpasture made this comment in the Mexico City station history.

4.See the LITEMPO operational report 1-31 October, 1963. [Document 3]

5. Gutiérrez Barrios's identity as LITEMPO-4 is confirmed by comparison of two documents: A secret cable sent by the Mexico City CIA station to headquarters in September 1964, notes that LITEMPO4 interrogated Silvia Duran, a Mexican woman who had contact with accused presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. The Warren Commission's documents on Duran state that her interrogator was Gutiérrez Barrios. Therefore, he was LITEMPO-4. [See Document 4 and Document 5]

6. The identification is found in two records. A comprehensive and reliable summary of Win Scott's files, written by a senior agency official named Ray Rocca, states that three members of the Warren Commission visited with LITEMPO-8 at 11:30 on the morning of 10 April 1964 as part of their investigation and notes various points of conversation such as the need to submit their questions in writing to the Foreign Minister. The next document, written by one of the Warren investigators David Slawson, reported of their visit to Mexico City. He stated they visited with deputy interior minister Luis Echeverría at 11:30 on the morning of 10 April and recorded the same points of conversation. Echeverría was LITEMPO-8. [See Document 6 and Document 7]

7. See Document 8 and Document 9.

8. The quote comes from declassified portions of the Mexico City station history.

9. See National Security Archive, Electronic Briefing Book 99, Document 9.

10. See National Security Archive, Electronic Briefing Book 99, Document 1.

11. See Document 10.

12. See National Security Archive, Electronic Briefing Book 99, Document 46.

13. See National Security Archive, Electronic Briefing Book 99, Document 47.

14. See National Security Archive, Electronic Briefing Book 99, Document 53.

15. Ibid.

16. See National Security Archive, Electronic Briefing Book 99, Document 56.

17. See National Security Archive, Electronic Briefing Book 99, Document 60.

18. See National Security Archive, Electronic Briefing Book 99, Document 99.

19. See National Security Archive, Electronic Briefing Book 99, Document 12.

20. See National Security Archive, Electronic Briefing Book 99, Document 70.

21. See National Security Archive, Electronic Briefing Book 99, Document 16.

22. See National Security Archive, Electronic Briefing Book 99, Document 7.

23. See National Security Archive, Electronic Briefing Book 99, Document 74.

24. See National Security Archive, Electronic Briefing Book 99, Document 77.

25. See National Security Archive, Electronic Briefing Book 99, Document 102.

26. See National Security Archive, Electronic Briefing Book 99, Document 20.


home | about | documents | news | publications | FOIA | research | internships | search | donate | mailing list

Contents of this website Copyright 1995-2006 National Security Archive. All rights reserved.
Terms and conditions for use of materials found on this website.