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Official Report Released on Mexico’s “Dirty War”

Detainee profile included in Chaper 8 of the Special Prosecutor’s report, which details the role of the DFS in forced disappearances.

Official Report Released
on Mexico’s “Dirty War”

Government Acknowledges Responsibility for Massacres, Torture, Disappearances and Genocide

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 209

Posted – November 21, 2006

For more information contact
Kate Doyle – 646/670-8841
kadoyle@gwu.edu

Research Assistance: Jesse Franzblau

About the Above Image
During their investigations of forced disappearances, the Special Prosecutor’s office reviewed documents produced by the Federal Security Directorate (Dirección Federal de Seguridad-DFS), including their prisoner files. These detainee registries included many individuals who were detained extra judicially, and held in clandestine security facilities where they were subject to torture. The above image is from chapter 8 of the Special Prosecutor’s report, detailing the role of the DFS in forced disappearances. When an individual was detained by security officials, a DFS official filled out a biographical sketch. The document included socio-economic information such as the prisoner’s religion, languages, political affiliation, and ideological affinity. The back of the document contained general observations, as well as the date and motivation of detention. The record was then stamped, and signed by the official in charge of the security section in which the prisoner was registered. In most of the cases examined by the Special Prosecutor’s office, however, the signature of the security authority was omitted from the documents. The report observes that “the omission of the signature by those in charge of detention appears to indicate that they were conscious of the crimes they were committing and attempting to elude responsibility” (p. 504).


 


Communiqué from Authors of the Draft Report of the Special Prosecutor
(in Spanish)
Click here to read the press release (also in Spanish)
The authors of the draft report of the Special Prosecutor, “¡Que no vuelva a suceder…!” (parts of which were posted by the National Security Archive on February 26, 2006), have written a critique of the government’s official report, “Informe Histórico a la Sociedad Mexicana – 2006.” In their communiqué, the authors object to changes made to their original findings and ask the government to recognize the conclusions and recommendations of their version of the report. The Mexico Project is posting this document, which José Sotelo Marbán, coordinator of the Special Prosecutor’s investigations, sent to the National Security Archive in an e-mail last week.

NOTE: The National Security Archive would like to clarify a factual error made in footnote 2 of the Communiqué, which states that the Archive surreptitiously (“subrepticiamente“) obtained draft chapters of the “Informe” for the posting of February 26. In point of fact, Kate Doyle was offered an unsolicited copy of the document by one of the many people who had it in February 2006. When we learned that a national magazine also had a copy and was planning to publish a detailed article about its contents, we proposed that the Archive post the document in full on our Web site – thereby granting victims of Mexico’s dirty war and families of the disappeared the same access that a group of notable writers, academics and journalists in Mexico City already had.

NOTA: El National Security Archive quisiera esclarecer un error factual en la nota número dos que aparece al pie de página del comunicado, en la cual se establece que el Archive subrepticiamente obtuvo borradores de capítulos del informe publicado en nuestra página de Internet el 26 de febrero de 2006. A manera de aclaración, Kate Doyle no solicitó a nadie una copia del documento. Esta copia le fue ofrecida por una de las muchas personas que la tenía en su poder en febrero de 2006. Al enterarnos que una revista de circulación nacional también tenía una copia del documento y que además tenía planeado publicar un artículo sobre su contenido, propusimos que el National Security Archive publicara el documento en su totalidad- permitiendo a las víctimas de la guerra sucia y a los familiares de los desaparecidos el mismo acceso que un grupo de destacados escritores, académicos y periodistas en la Cuidad de México ya tenían.

Washington D.C., October 30, 2011 – Mexican authorities released a groundbreaking report over the weekend on the government’s use of violent repression to crush its opponents during the 1960s-80s. The full report has now been posted here on the Web site of the National Security Archive.

The report by the Office of Special Prosecutor Ignacio Carrillo Prieto, named by President Vicente Fox in 2002 to investigate past human rights crimes, accuses three Mexican presidents of a sustained policy of violence targeting armed guerrillas and student protesters alike, including the use of “massacres, forced disappearance, systematic torture, and genocide.” The report makes clear that the abuses were not the work of individual military units or renegade officers, but official practice under Presidents Díaz Ordaz (1964-1970), Echeverría (1970-1976) and López Portillo (1976-1982).

The document’s release marks the first time the Mexican government has accepted responsibility for waging a secret and illicit war against its perceived enemies. Unlike prior investigations into the Mexican “dirty war,” the Special Prosecutor’s report draws on thousands of secret records from the vaults of Mexican military, intelligence and police agencies. It traces for the first time the flow of orders from the President, the Defense Secretary and the Interior Ministry down to the soldiers and security agents in the field, and the returning flow of reports back to Mexico City. The official sources are complemented by testimonies and eyewitness accounts gathered by the investigators.

Last February, the National Security Archive posted an earlier draft of the report, when it became clear that the Fox government was hesitating to publish the official document. Today’s version was released late on Friday night, November 17, at the start of a long weekend in Mexico, and posted on the Web site of the Mexican Attorney General’s office. It is over 800 pages long, and contains photographs, declassified government records, and lengthy indexes to organizations and names.

The report includes chapters on the 1968 and 1971 student massacres in Mexico City, the counterinsurgency waged against armed guerrillas in Guerrero during the 1970s, and the broader attack on dissidence throughout the country over the almost two decades covered by the investigation. The report describes and names the victims in 645 disappearances, 99 extrajudicial executions, and more than two thousand cases of torture, among other human rights violations documented.

“The release of the Special Prosecutor’s report is a direct result of the demand of Mexican citizens to know what happened during the dirty war,” Kate Doyle, Director of the Archive’s Mexico Project, said today, “and is unique in the annals of Latin American truth commissions for the access investigators had to government records. In the past, not only did the authoritarian regime violently attack its opponents, it sought to cover up its role through lies, terror and intimidation for years afterwards. But while the report takes an important step toward reversing Mexico’s legacy of impunity, the Fox administration failed in its attempts to prosecute those responsible for the crimes described in it. That job is left to the new government of Felipe Calderón, who takes office on December 1.”


Informe Histórico a la Sociedad Mexicana – 2006
Historical Report to the Mexican Society – 2006
Note: The following documents are in PDF format.
You will need to download and install the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.
Introducción – Informe Histórico a la Sociedad Mexicana
Introduction – Historical Report to the Mexican Society

Tema 1 – Mandato y procedimiento de trabajo
Chapter 1 – Mandate and work procedure

Tema 2 – La Segunda Guerra Mundial prefigura el escenario que nos ocupa
Chapter 2- World War II and how it prefigures the modern day situation

Tema 3 – Movimiento Estudiantil de 1968
Chapter 3 – The student movement of 1968

Tema 4 – El 10 de Junio de 1971 y la disidencia Estudiantil
Chapter 4 – 10 June 1971 and student dissidence

Tema 5 – Orígenes de la Guerrilla Moderna en México
Chapter 5 – Origins of Mexico’s modern day guerrilla movement

Tema 6 – Lo que explica el surgimiento de la guerra sucia
Chapter 6 – The explanation of the origins of the dirty war

Tema 7 – Grupos Armados: La guerrilla se extiende por todo el país
Chapter 7 – Armed Groups: The guerrilla extends throughout the entire country

Tema 8 – Genocidio
Chapter 8 – Genocide

Tema 9 – Se acreditan las condiciones de un Conflicto Armado Interno en que aplica el Derecho Humanitario Internacional
Chapter 9 – Applying the conditions of Internal Armed Conflict to the applications of International Human Rights

Tema 10 – Desviaciones del poder por el régimen autoritario y corrupción de las instituciones de estado
Chapter 10 – Deviations of power by the authoritarian regime and corruption of the state institutions

Tema 11 – Derecho a la verdad, al duelo y al reconocimiento del honor de los caídos en la lucha por la justicia
Chapter 11 – The right to truth, recognition and the honor of those fallen in the fight for justice.

Tema 12 – Luchadores sociales y organismos que demandan verdad y justicia
Chapter 12 – Civil society organizations that demand truth and justice