Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Mexico’s Secret Kennedy Assassination File

The Real New Document Release
Researcher at the Mexico City Archives (Photos: AFP) 
Long ago, I came to the conclusion that the most important unanswered questions in the JFK case revolve around Lee Harvey Oswald’s September 1963 excursion to Mexico City, seven weeks before he killed the President.
The most important of those questions concern the possible foreknowledge of Cuban intelligence operatives regarding Oswald’s murderous plans.
There have been many sources over the years that claimed to have witnessed Oswald’s liaisons with Havana’s G2 espionage service. I personally find many of them credible. I wrote about them in my 2008 book, Brothers in Arms: The Kennedys, The Castros, and the Politics of Murder, with co-author Stephen Molton.
In 2005, I co-wrote the international documentary, Rendezvous with Death, with the terrific German investigator Wilfried Huismann. For over a year, our team filmed intelligence sources in five countries, with a concentration in Mexico City.
There we found many new witnesses with first-hand information about Oswald’s interactions with Cubans in Mexico – again, all described in Brothers. Since its publication, authors Philip Shenon and Brian Latell have located even more key sources for this story.
A Mexican investigation
It has long been known that Mexico conducted its own investigation into the assassination, but has, until recently, kept its records from public view. Even the National Archives was unable to obtain them under the JFK Act.
The reason is simple: the person responsible for creating the Mexican JFK file was none other than Fernando Gutierrez Barrios (1927-2000), chief of the brutal Direccion Federal de Seguridad (DFS) – or Mexican secret police.
Here’s where things get interesting. In 1956, Barrios was the leader of a raid that captured Fidel Castro, his brother Raul, Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, and two dozen other revolutionaries in Mexico on extradition orders from Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. An unlikely friendship developed between Fidel and Barrios. Later, when Fidel Castro seized power in Havana, he and Barrios came to an understanding. Castro agreed not to export his revolution to Mexico and in return Barrios agreed to shield the Cubans from their adversaries and feed useful information to Castro’s new intelligence agency, the G2.
When Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested in Dallas and evidence of his travel to Mexico City seven weeks earlier was realized, Mexican police arrested Cuban consulate secretary Sylvia Duran, who interacted with Oswald at the embassy (and reportedly outside her workplace); and later, Nicaraguan Gilberto Alvarado Ugarte, who claimed to have witnessed Oswald being paid by a “red haired Negro” outside the Cuban Embassy.
Guess who CIA Mexico City Station Chief Winston “Win” Scott used as a confidential source (codenamed: LI-TEMPO-4) to interrogate Duran and Alvarado?
Fernando Gutierrez Barrios
Mexican DFS Chief Barrios was not only in-charge of the interrogations, but was in position to feed the American CIA information while keeping his good friend, Fidel Castro, informed of what was happening.
Eventually, Barrios’ massive classified Oswald file was entrusted to his protégé Vincent Capello and stored in Mexico City’s ‘Archivo General’.
Unlike the U.S. National Archives, where researchers can view holdings at their leisure, Capello’s sole, explicit permission is needed to gain access to the Barrios archive and he appears to dole out that permission on a whim.
In 2005, after almost a year of dialogue (and frankly, begging), our Rendezvous team was granted a few minutes with some of those secret files. Four boxes of material were brought out by Capello. Among the files, the Rendezvous team spotted arrest photos of Sylvia Duran (some showing her face bruised), and photographs of a slim Cuban, swarthy, with curly hair and “Negroid” features. The hair color was not apparent – the photo was in black and white – but written in the margins of the photo were the words: “Pelirrojo, agent of the G2”. Pelirrojo means red-haired.
“Who is he?” we asked.
“I don’t know,” Capello snapped, hastily locking the carton.
When our film crew returned the next day to film some of the files for the Rendezvous documentary, we were refused access to the Archive. Ever since, I’ve continued to pursue those records.
Mexican Oswald File download
In 2016, Mexico’s intelligence services declassified 110-pages from the Oswald file, though it remained inaccessible.
Three years later, in March, 2019, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador apologized for past abuses committed by the Mexican intelligence agencies and ordered the spy agencies to open their files – 12-million in all – including the 110-page declassified Oswald file.
With the help of associates in Mexico City who were dogged in their months-long petitioning of the Mexican archivist, I was able to obtain a copy of the 110-pages (a small percentage of what we saw in 2005) of their Spanish language file.
Pages from the Oswald file at the Mexico City Archives 
Those pages are available for the first time, HERE. (110-pages + cover/title; PDF format – 35 MB)
If someone manages to get them translated, I trust they will share them with all of us. Merry Christmas! [END]