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Roberto Antonio Gallangos Cruz, following his detention on July 26, 1968, in the midst of the student protests. The photograph was part of the Mexican intelligence files compiled by DFS agents, and made available in the AGN years later. [Source: AGN, DFS files, 11-235, Legajo 30, Folio 17]

Archival Evidence of Mexico's Human Rights Crimes: The Case of Aleida Gallangos

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 307

By Kate Doyle and Jesse Franzblau

Research Assistance: Susana Zavala Orozco

Posted - March 9, 2010

For more information contact:
Kate Doyle - kadoyle@gwu.edu
Jesse Franzblau - jblau@gwu.edu

Spanish (Español)

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Mexico Documentation Project


Related posting

The Dawn of Mexico's Dirty War
Lucio Cabañas and the Party of the Poor

 

Washington, DC, March 9, 2010 - A Mexican human rights activist who was orphaned in infancy when her parents disappeared at the hands of government forces filed a petition before the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (IAHRC) yesterday, drawing on dozens of declassified U.S. and Mexican documents as evidence. Aleida Gallangos Vargas--whose case became widely known in 2004 when she tracked down her long-lost brother through intelligence records found in Mexico's national archives--joined with her paternal grandmother to charge the State with responsibility for the secret detention and disappearance in 1975 of her parents, Roberto Antonio Gallangos Cruz and Carmen Vargas Pérez, among other family members. Today the National Security Archive is posting a selection of the documents being used in the case, obtained by the Archive through the Freedom of Information Act and from the Mexican government.

Aleida was two years old when her parents were captured; she was rescued by a friend of her parents who himself was killed by security forces in 1976. Aleida was adopted by his family and renamed Luz Elba Gorostiola Herrera. Aleida's brother Lucio Antonio, who was three when Roberto Antonio and Carmen disappeared, was taken by members of the government death squad that raided their home in June 1975; shortly afterwards he was delivered to an orphanage and in February 1976 was adopted by a couple and christened Juan Carlos Hernández Valadez. The two children grew up in separate lives knowing nothing of their true identities or of their relationship.

The history of the Gallangos-Vargas family emerged in 2001 when a magazine published an interview with Roberto Antonio's mother, Quirina Cruz Calvo, along with photographs of the disappeared couple and their two small children. Aleida's adoptive family recognized Luz Elba's face in the pictures and Aleida was reunited with her grandmother. She spent the next several years piecing together the circumstances of the Mexican government's role in abducting and secretly detaining her parents. Using government records that had been located by the office of the Special Prosecutor assigned to investigate past political crimes, Aleida managed to track down her brother in the United States in 2004, 29 years after their separation.

The records Aleida used to find Lucio Antonio--along with dozens more obtained by the National Security Archive through requests to the Mexican and U.S. governments--now serve as critical evidence in the case brought by Aleida on March 8 before the Inter-American Human Rights Commission.

The Inter-American system has been an important venue for victims and activists seeking recourse from the Mexican government for state-sponsored human rights crimes committed during the 1960s-80s. On November 23, 2009, the Inter-American Human Rights Court issued a landmark decision, finding Mexico responsible for the illegal detention and disappearance of Rosendo Radilla, a schoolteacher and social activist stopped at a military checkpoint in Atoyac, Guerrero on August 25, 1974. Radilla--known for his songs of social protest and his admiration of Lucio Cabañas, the popular guerrilla leader from Guerrero--was disappeared at the height of the State's extralegal counterinsurgency campaign against rebels and their supporters in southern Mexico in the early 1970s [see NSA briefing book on Lucio Cabañas, and the Dawn of the Dirty War]. The 2009 ruling marked the first Inter-American decision against Mexico for abuses committed during the "dirty war." The court ordered the government to pay reparations to the family members for the years of suffering inflicted as a result of the crime.

The Radilla decision established an important precedent for future legal action targeting Mexico's unresolved human rights crimes of the past. To date, Mexico's political and judicial systems have proven incapable of dealing with even the most notorious atrocities of the "dirty war," such as the 1968 and 1971 student massacres and the hundreds of cases of illegal detentions, torture, and forced disappearances carried out around the country in the 1970s and early 1980s. In addition to the Army's rural counterinsurgency violence, Mexico's intelligence services carried out a carefully orchestrated program of kidnappings and disappearances in the country's urban centers in an effort to dismantle guerrilla networks and eliminate social and political opposition.

One of the victims of the government's urban counterinsurgency was Roberto Antonio Gallangos Cruz, an activist involved in the 1968 student movement and later a militant in the radical 23rd of September Communist League. In the summer of '68, Roberto Antonio joined the anti-war protests in Mexico City and marched for greater democratic openness from Mexico's closed political system. He became one of the hundreds of protestors monitored by government spies gathering information on student activists. Internal Mexican intelligence records report that Roberto Antonio participated in rallies, reciting anti-war poems such as "los tres pueblos," which he delivered during a demonstration on April 23, 1968 [see Doc 5; DFS report on Roberto Antonio].

Security forces detained Roberto Antonio on July 26 during government round-ups of student agitators that culminated in the October 2 Tlatelolco massacre. (Note 1) He was held in the infamous Lecumberri prison in Mexico City for over two months, where state intelligence agents kept close tabs on his visitors. While the charges against him were insufficient to keep him in prison, the Federal Security Directorate (Dirección Federal de Seguridad – DFS) continued to monitor his activities following his release. Over the next seven years, government security services assembled a thick intelligence file documenting Roberto Antonio's association with Mexico's guerrilla groups.

The violent efforts of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institutional—PRI) to crush the peaceful 1968 student movement was a pivotal moment that dramatically radicalized the social and political opposition, increasing popular support for Mexico's insurgent groups. The 23rd of September Communist League (Liga Comunista de 23 de Septiembre) was one of the urban guerrilla groups that grew in strength as a result, and in turn became a central target of the organized violence that characterized the government's counterinsurgency efforts during the period. Following the kidnapping by leftists of U.S. Consul General Terrance Leonhardy in May 1973 and U.S. Vice-Consul John L. Patterson in March 1974, Mexican security forces were given even greater freedom to attack insurgent groups and their supporters. The DFS in particular became the driving force behind State terror, serving as Mexico's internal political police force [see Doc 1: on the growth of the DFS].

U.S. agencies also expanded their coordination with their Mexican intelligence counterparts, increasing their information gathering on Mexico's leftists groups. The DFS agents regularly shared intelligence with the FBI attachés in the U.S. Embassy and consulates in Mexico's northern cities [see FBI memorandum: Doc 2 on the 23 of September group]. The long connection between the DFS and the CIA also provided a central source of information for Mexico's internal security apparatus to confront the armed groups. (Note 2) It was during this period of urban counterinsurgency that the web of Mexico's intelligence services grew, as information flowed to and from Mexico City to the Army and police installations throughout the country. The DFS institutionalized the State's ability to gather information, detain suspects, torture and disappear with ultimate deniability.

Seven years after the 1968 crackdown, Roberto Antonio Gallangos became a victim of the DFS campaign of disappearances. According to Mexican intelligence documents obtained by the National Security Archive, Roberto Antonio – by then living underground as a member of the 23rd of September Communist League – was spotted walking on a Mexico City street by a police sergeant. After a brief shootout, police captured Gallangos and turned him over to the DFS [Doc 4]. DFS agents interrogated and tortured him, extracting information about his family, social, and organizational affiliations.

The declassified Mexican documents describe Roberto Antonio Gallangos as a radical criminal, with links to a network of subversive organizations and a background in bank robberies, kidnapping and murder. It is difficult to evaluate the veracity of the many allegations made in the documents against him, his family, friends and associates. Federal security agents often exaggerated the threat from leftist groups in order to justify aggressive counterinsurgency measures. (Note 3) Torture and forced confessions were commonly used against suspected subversives, and photos taken of Gallangos during detention seem to show signs of torture [Doc 6]. But while the DFS files reported on his alleged crimes, the information was never meant for use as legal evidence in a court of law. Rather, intelligence gathered through surveillance, abduction and torture was used to locate associates of suspected guerrillas, dismantle social networks, and terrorize their base of support.

In the case of Gallangos, the DFS agents sought information about his wife and other militant friends and family members, but it is uncertain whether or not what Gallangos told his interrogators was true. Security forces did not capture his wife Carmen Vargas Pérez for more than a month after his kidnapping (detained July 26, 1975); his brother Avelino Francisco Gallangos Cruz was caught one month after that (August 22, 1975). Both remain among Mexico’s disappeared (Note 4). What is clear is that the government’s detention of Gallangos on June 19, 1975, had tragic and lasting repercussions for Roberto’s family, including the “disappearance” of his children until they discovered their identities years later. The case exemplifies how government terror functioned not only to combat the guerrillas, but also destroy the social fabric of groups who opposed the government’s authority.

The secret DFS documents obtained by the Archive expose the inner workings of Mexico's urban counterinsurgency campaign in the 1970s and reveal the involvement of the highest levels of government in political crimes of state. The abuses included illegal spying and infiltration of leftist groups, unwarranted police raids, secret detentions and transfers of prisoners, abduction, torture, and murder. The intelligence files were signed by then-Chief of the agency, Capitan Luis de la Barreda Moreno (head from 1970-75). Senior DFS agents such as Miguel Nazar Haro participated directly in the operations, interrogation and torture of prisoners. (Note 5) The information gathered flowed to the Interior Ministry (Secretaría de Gobernación), at the time led by Mario Moya Palencia. Number two in Gobernación was the career-spy chief Fernando Gutiérrez Barrios, who served in the DFS for over 20 years and directed the agency from 1964 until his long-time friend de la Barreda took over in 1970. Gutiérrez Barrios occupied Mexico's most senior intelligence position as Deputy Minister of the Interior, regularly receiving DFS traffic on suspected subversives, and playing a central role in the extermination campaign against Mexico's left. At the top of the chain of command was Luis Echeverría, Interior Minister from 1964-70, and head of state from 1970-76.

Despite evidence demonstrating direct government involvement in the urban disappearances, a special prosecutor assigned in 2002 by President Vicente Fox to investigate past human rights crimes failed to bring Luis Echeverría or any of his senior military, police or intelligence commanders to justice. In 2003, the prosecutor, Dr. Ignacio Carillo Prieto, asked the United State Embassy in Mexico City for declassified cables on de la Barreda and Nazar Haro [Doc 13] and brought charges against the officials for the forced disappearance of Jesús Piedra Ibarra, another member of the 23rd of September group detained in April 1975. But the special prosecutor was unable to win convictions and the charges were dropped.

The DFS officials who have gone to jail since the "dirty war" have done so for their involvement in drug trafficking rather than for human rights crimes. There is a deep connection between the former Mexican intelligence service and the country's drug mafias. As DFS agents took command of counterinsurgency raids in the 1970s, they often stumbled upon narcotics safe houses and quickly took on the job of protecting Mexico's drug cartels. The DFS was disbanded in 1985 following revelations that it was behind the murder of DEA agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena, and Mexican journalist Manuel Buendia. (Note 6) Some 1,500 agents suddenly unemployed with the abolishment of the DFS found their training in covert activities and brutal counterinsurgency operations easily adaptable to the needs of the criminal underworld. Many joined the ranks of the powerful drug cartels or served the traffickers while working on local and federal police forces [see Doc 11 & Doc 12 on DFS agents and drugs]. By failing to prosecute a single case against the former agents, the Special Prosecutor missed a crucial opportunity to bring some of Mexico's most corrupt officials to justice, allowing impunity to remain entrenched in Mexican society.

The Special Prosecutor also failed to fully clarify the crimes of the past or locate any of Mexico's disappeared. Carrillo Prieto claimed as his own success the discovery and identification of Lucio Antonio Gallangos Vargas, the missing son of Roberto Antonio Gallangos and Carmen Vargas. (Note 7) In fact it was due to the efforts Aleida Gallangos that her brother was located. Although she began her search as part of the "Citizen's Committee" created by the Special Prosecutor's office, she resigned from the committee in disgust with the prosecutor's fruitless investigations. After traveling to Washington, where she says she was threatened by the Mexican consulate, she finally located her brother in the winter of 2004. The Special Prosecutor then organized an ad-hoc press conference in an attempt to take credit for locating Lucio Antonio. In a cable to Washington, U.S. Embassy officials discounted Carrillo Prieto's claims and cited an independent evaluation of his work that called his office "unresponsive" to victims' needs. [see Doc 14].

With yesterday's filing of the case "Luz Elba Gorostiola Herrera and Quirina Cruz Calvo against the State of Mexico" before the Inter-American Human Rights Commission, Aleida and her biological and adoptive families have underscored the failure of the Mexican government to bring the perpetrators of past human rights atrocities to justice. Mexico's inability to resolve these cases has left survivors of the dirty war and families of the disappeared without legal recourse at the national level. With the groundbreaking Radilla decision of 2009, the Inter-American system offers new hope for victims of Mexico's dirty war to find a measure of justice at last. It is a critical juncture for Mexican citizens searching for truth about the country's dark period of state-sponsored violence that remains an impediment to justice in Mexico today.

 


U.S. and Mexican Documents on the Dirty War Disappearances, Drugs, and the Failure of the Special Prosecutor

Document 1
January 4, 1974
The Current Security Situation in Mexico: An Appraisal
U.S. Embassy in Mexico, Secret Airgram
13 pages

The U.S. Embassy in Mexico reports on a rising wave of crime beginning in mid-September 1973, creating a "climate of some anxiety" in Mexico. The report provides background on the rising tide of armed opposition to the Mexican government, tracing the growing rebellion to the government's brutal "counteraction" against 1968 student demonstrations. It also provides a list of "politically-motivated acts of violence" that characterized the first three years of the Echeverría administration, including the 1971 student killings by government forces, and the kidnapping by leftists of U.S. Consul General Terrance G. Leonhardy. To U.S. officials, these incidents demonstrated the "deficiencies" of the army and police forces, and highlighted the importance of covert operations under the direction of the Federal Security Directorate (Dirección Federal de Seguridad – DFS).

The Embassy believed that the DFS, "whose responsibilities also include protection of the president, intelligence collection and coordination, surveillance of some foreign embassies, etc.", was the only body to have "emerged from this period with reason for pride in its accomplishments." While Luis Echeverría had increased DFS staff and power, the Embassy predicts that sporadic acts of political violence will continue until "security agencies have improved their capabilities to the point where they can quickly apprehend the perpetrators in a high percentage of cases and infiltrate terrorist groups in order to dismantle them completely."

Source: Released to the National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act

Document 2
March 11, 1974
Characterization of Mexican Revolutionary, Terrorist and Guerrilla Groups
FBI, Legal Attaché in Mexico City, Secret Memorandum
12 pages

The FBI attachés in Mexico produced regular reports on the urban guerrilla groups during this period, relating back to Washington the information they received from Mexican intelligence agents. This memorandum provides profiles of ten Mexican revolutionary and guerrilla groups, including the 23rd of September Communist League (LCS). It refers to the 23rd of September group as one of the most highly organized guerrilla organizations, and says that its many of its members have been involved in other revolutionary groups in Mexico.

Source: Released to the National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act

Document 3
December 6, 1974
Mexican Terrorist Captured in Abortive Attempt to Negotiate Safe Passage out of Mexico
U.S. Embassy in Mexico, Unclassified Cable
1 page

DFS agents not only coordinated counterinsurgency strategies during the 1970s, but participated directly in operations, including detentions, extralegal raids, and forced disappearances. This cable reports on the arrest of Miguel Angel Torres Enríquez, an alleged member of the 23rd of September Communist League, on December 5, 1974, after he had taken two French embassy consular officers hostage in an attempt to secure safe passage to France. Working undercover, then-DFS agent Miguel Nazar Haro participated directly in the operation, posing as a Mexican Foreign Secretary official and, after exchanging himself for the hostages, bringing Torres to the airport where he was arrested. According to the Special Prosecutor's report released years later, the search for Torres Enríquez involved raids by DFS agents on his house and violent attacks against his family and friends. 

Source: Released to the National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act

Document 4
June 19, 1975
"23 of September" Communist League; "Red Brigade"
Dirección Federal de Seguridad (DFS)
1 page

This document, signed by DFS Director Luis de la Barreda Moreno, gives the agency's version of the events that led to the arrest of Roberto Antonio Gallangos Cruz, alias "Simón." According to the report, at 3:00 pm, July 19, 1975, police sergeant Lázaro Juárez Almaguer noticed an individual with a pistol hidden in his waist, who, when asked to identify himself, removed the weapon and fired, hitting one policeman in the arm. More police quickly arrived on the scene and detained the subject. DFS agents took custody of Roberto Antonio and interrogated him, identifying him as part of a clandestine cell of the urban guerrilla group the 23rd of September Communist League.

Source: Archivo General de la Nación (AGN), made available by the Special Prosecutor's Office [Fiscalía Especial para Movimientos Sociales y Políticos del Pasado (FEMOSPP)]

Document 5
June 19, 1975
Antecedents of Roberto Antonio Gallangos Cruz (a) "Simón"
Dirección Federal de Seguridad (DFS)
7 pages

This intelligence report reveals that prior to the 1975 arrest of Roberto Antonio Gallangos, government agents had him under surveillance for years. The type of information gathered since at least the late 1960s included personal details such as his birthplace, education, physical characteristics, organizational affiliation, and previous arrests. The report also contains extensive information about his political activities, beginning with his involvement in the 1968 student protests. At a demonstration on April 23, 1968, for example, RobertoAntonio recited the anti-war poem, Los Tres Pueblos, "referring to the horrors of war, and demands for peace." The report describes his detention on July 26, 1968 in the midst of the student round-ups, and the government's attempts to charge Roberto Antonio with crimes such as damage to public property, robbery, resisting arrest, and causing injury to state authorities. It also tracks his visitors during his time in prison.

The surveillance continued after his release. According to DFS intelligence, Roberto Antonio went on to participate in political meetings with Mexico's leftist organizations and became involved with a wide variety of insurgent groups.

Source: Archivo General de la Nación (AGN), made available by the Special Prosecutor's Office [Fiscalía Especial para Movimientos Sociales y Políticos del Pasado (FEMOSPP)]

Document 6
Photo Undated, taken after June 19, 1975 detention
Dirección Federal de Seguridad (DFS)
2 pages

This photograph of Roberto Antonio Gallangos Cruz was taken following his detention on June 19, 1975. The photo shows Roberto Antonio with a mark over his right eye, and a wet shirt; signs of the torture used by the DFS agents during his interrogation.

Source: Archivo General de la Nación (AGN), DFS Exp. 11-235, Legajo 30, Folio 123

Document 7
June 20, 1975
"23 of September" Communist League
Dirección Federal de Seguridad (DFS)
1 page

A report filed by DFS director Luis de la Barreda 24 hours after Gallangos Cruz's capture contains the first results of the agency's interrogation of their prisoner, when he reveals the address of a supposed guerrilla safe house. The police proceeded to conduct a raid on the house, finding communist propaganda from the Liga Comunista "23 de Septiembre" and other incriminating material.

Source: Archivo General de la Nación (AGN), made available by the Special Prosecutor's Office[Fiscalía Especial para Movimientos Sociales y Políticos del Pasado (FEMOSPP)]

Document 8
July 1, 1975
"23 of September" Communist League
Dirección Federal de Seguridad (DFS)
1 page

Under interrogation, Gallangos Cruz identified his wife and brother as fellow members of the Liga Comunista "23 de Septiembre." This DFS report gives biographical background for Carmen Vargas Perez ("Sofía") and Avelino Francisco Gallangos Cruz ("Federico,").

Source: Archivo General de la Nación (AGN), made available by the Special Prosecutor's Office [Fiscalía Especial para Movimientos Sociales y Políticos del Pasado (FEMOSPP)]

Document 9
August 22, 1975
"23 of September" Communist League
Dirección Federal de Seguridad (DFS)
3 pages

Roberto Antonio's brother, Avelino Francisco Gallangos Cruz, was arrested in Mexico City at 9:40 am by three police officers. He was reportedly carrying a gun that they determined belonged to a police agent who was assassinated on November 30, 1974. The document gives biographical details and intelligence information about "Federico," compiled through interrogations of his family and friends.

Source: Archivo General de la Nación (AGN), made available by the Special Prosecutor's Office [Fiscalía Especial para Movimientos Sociales y Políticos del Pasado (FEMOSPP)]

Document 10
August 23, 1975
Liga Comunista "23 de Septiembre"
Dirección Federal de Seguridad (DFS)
2 pages

This document summarizes the result of the interrogations of Avelino Francisco Gallangos Cruz "Federico" and another member of the Liga Comunista "23 de Septiembre." It describes how the Gallangos Cruz brothers joined the organization and contains details about the League's purported activities.  

Source: Archivo General de la Nación (AGN), made available by the Special Prosecutor's Office [Fiscalía Especial para Movimientos Sociales y Políticos del Pasado (FEMOSPP)]

Document 11
March 27, 1990
Senior Customs Representative Hermosillo - Intelligence Report
U.S. Consulate in Hermosillo, Mexico, redacted cable
7 pages

Five years after the DFS was disbanded due to abuses and pervasive corruption, a U.S. Customs agent stationed in the Hermosillo Consulate, issues this report conveying growing concern over connections between former DFS agents and drug traffickers. The heavily redacted cable reports on drug kingpins who had worked with the DFS, and states that "several members of the DFS became heavily involved in drug trafficking and then in the murder of United States Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Enrique Camarena-Salazar."

Source: Released to the National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act

Document 12
March 12, 1991
Javier García Paniagua to Head National Lottery, is Replaced by Santiago Tapia as Mexico City's Police Chief
U.S. Embassy in Mexico, Confidential Cable

On March 7, 1991, Javier García Paniagua, former Director of Mexico's Directorate of Federal Security (DFS), resigned as Mexico City's Police Chief to become Director General of the National Lottery. García Paniagua had been police chief since 1988, and his appointment caused controversy due to accusations that he approved and used torture during his years in the DFS.  In the cable, Embassy officials describe the DFS as "an agency with a reputation for corruption and ruthlessness." The cable notes that Miguel Nazar Haro, García Paniagua's police deputy and intelligence chief, was accused of carrying out political killings and human rights abuses when he headed the DFS in the 1980s. In 1989, he was forced to resign from the Mexico City police amidst allegations that he protected drug traffickers.

Source: Released to the National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act

Document 13
June 13, 2003
Mexican Supreme Court Hands Down Landmark Decision on Extradition of Ricardo Cavallo for Crimes Against Humanity
U.S. Embassy in Mexico, Unclassified Cable
3 pages

On September 12, 2000, the Mexican Supreme Court handed down a decision upholding the legal basis for the extradition of Argentine national Ricardo Miguel Cavallo to Spain. Cavallo was arrested by Mexican Interpol on August 24 and was extradited to Spain for crimes of genocide and terrorism committed between 1976 and 1983. In this cable the Embassy comments on the possibility of the decision affecting Mexican domestic human rights cases, such as the case against Miguel Nazar Haro and Luis de la Barreda, who were "both accused of torture and ‘disappearing' leftists during the so-called ‘Dirty War' in Mexico during the 60s, 70s, and 80s." The cable reports that Special Prosecutor Ignacio Carrillo Prieto, assigned to investigate human rights cases of the past, asked the Embassy to provide copies of declassified cables with information on the two former intelligence chiefs and their involvement in human rights abuses.

Source: Released to the National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act

Document 14
January 13, 2005
Special Prosecutor Makes Headlines but Limited Progress in Unraveling Past Human Rights Crimes
U.S. Embassy in Mexico, Confidential Cable
3 pages

The U.S. Embassy reports that the Special Prosecutor's Office is moving slowly to prosecute Mexico's political crimes of the past. Although the office had achieved some incremental progress, it was slow to locate victims and bring the perpetrators to trial. The cable cites the case of Aleida Gallangos and her efforts to locate her brother Lucio, almost 30 years after they were separated from their parents at the hands of government forces. Aleida had strongly criticized the Special Prosecutor's Office, which, according to the cable, offered her little support in her search for her brother, but nevertheless tried to take the credit in a "hastily-called press conference," after Aleida found Lucio living in the United States in December 2004.

Source: Released to the National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act

 


Notes

1. Chapter 6 of the Special Prosecutor's Report lists Roberto Antonio among those detained on July 26, 1968.

2. For more information on the historical collaboration between the CIA station in Mexico and DFS intelligence agents, see NSA briefing book "LITEMPO: The CIA's Eyes on Tlatelolco".

3. See for example Sergio Aguayo, La charola: una historia de los servicios de intelligencia en México, México, D.F, Grijalbo; Hoja Editorial; Hechos Confiables, 2001, pp. 133-34 for a reference to the "fantasies and exaggerations" employed in DFS documents about student protesters in 1968.

4. Chapter 8 of the Special Prosecutor's report lists Avelino Gallangos and Carmen Vargas among the 69 individuals disappeared in Mexico City during the dirty war.

5. Chapter 10 of the Special Prosecutor's report describes the counterinsurgency operations carried out by DFS agents in the early 1970s, and reports that Nazar Haro participated directly in extralegal detentions and interrogations of suspected guerrillas.

6. DFS chief Zorrilla was charged and sentence in 1989 to thirty-five years for the 1984 murder of Manuel Buendia, a journalist who exposed DFS official links to narco-trade. Another DFS chief, Nazar Haro, was linked to the murder of U.S. DEA agent Enrique Camarena. For more information on the DFS and drugs, see Julia Preston and Samuel Dillon, Opening Mexico: The Making of a Democracy, New York, Straus and Giroux, 2004.

7. See chapter 10 of the Special Prosecutor's report.

 

In front of Lecumberri, the "Black Palace" – formerly a detention center for political prisoners, now home to the historical National Archives (AGN) – activists hang pictures of Mexico's disappeared [Undated Photo. Source: AGN files].
Luis Echeverría (president from 1970-76) visiting Mexican officers and soldiers in Guerrero during the height of the military's "dirty war" counterinsurgency campaign against Lucio Cabañas and his Party of the Poor [Source: AGN files]
Roberto Antonio Gallangos Cruz, taken sometime in between 1968 and 1975. This picture was part of the DFS intelligence files, and was retrieved prior to his disappearance as part of the government's surveillance efforts to monitor his activities after the 1968 protests [Source: AGN, DFS files]
Roberto Antonio Gallangos Cruz, with his hands tied behind his back, after being detained on June 19, 1975. [Source: AGN, DFS files, 11-235, Legajo 30, Folio 124]
Carmen Vargas Pérez, prior to her detention and disappearance by DFS agents. This picture was part of the DFS intelligence files, and was retrieved by intelligence agents as part of the government's surveillance efforts [Source: AGN, DFS files, 11-235, Legajo 30, Folio 43]
Carmen Vargas Pérez, prior to her detention and disappearance by DFS agents [Source: family's personal files]
Weapons and leftist propaganda reportedly obtained through counterinsurgency raids in Mexico's urban centers [source: AGN files]
Suspected guerrillas detained by Mexican authorities [source: AGN files]

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