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Draft Report Documents 18 Years of 'Dirty War' in Mexico

Special Prosecutor: State Responsible for
Hundreds of Killings, Disappearances

For more information contact
Kate Doyle - 646/670-8841

Research Assistance: Emilene Martínez Morales

Posted - February 26, 2006

Disponible en Español / Press Release also available in Spanish

In the news

"Una verdad en construcción"
By Kate Doyle
Proceso (Mexico)
June 12, 2006

"Impunity's Triumph: The Failure of Mexico's Special Prosecutor"
By Kate Doyle
June 8, 2006

"Informe Sobre 'La Guerra Sucia'"
By Kate Doyle
Reforma (Mexico)
March 12, 2006

"La masacre desconocida en Guerrero"
By Jacinto Rodríguez Munguía
Eme Equis (Mexico)
February 27, 2006

"Report on Mexican 'Dirty War' Details Abuse by Military"
By Ginger Thompson
New York Times
February 27, 2006

"Report links Mexican presidency to 'dirty war'"
By Julie Watson
Associated Press
February 27, 2006

"Draft faults presidents in 'dirty war'"
By Hugh Dellios
Chicago Tribune
February 28, 2006

"New Details of Mexico's 'Dirty War'"
By Héctor Tobar
Los Angeles Times
February 27, 2006

"Responsabilizan a Estado y Ejército de la 'guerra sucia'"
By Jorge Alejandro Medellín
El Universal
February 28, 2006

"Revelan en EU asesinatos de la guerra sucia en México"
Agence France-Presse via La Jornada
February 28, 2006

Related links

The National Security Archive's Mexico Project Page

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

The Tlatelolco Massacre
New Declassified U.S. Documents on Mexico and the Events of 1968

"Forgetting Is Not Justice"
Mexico Bares Its Secret Past

The Corpus Christi Massacre
Mexico's attack on its student movement, June 10, 1971

Reporting on Terror
Human Rights and the Dirty War in

Update - June 19, 2006
Open Letter to the Fox administration from three authors of the draft report (Alberto López Limón, José Luis Moreno Borbolla and Agustín Evangelista Muñoz) (in Spanish).

After the National Security Archive posted the draft report of the Special Prosecutor for Social and Political Movements of the Past (Fiscalía Especial para Movimientos Sociales y Políticos del Pasado - FEMOSPP) on its website, the authors of the draft asked the archive to post this open letter as well. The letter calls on the government to take several steps in order to complete the Fiscalía's investigations. The letter has been signed by 268 citizens expressing their support for their demands.

Washington, D.C., February 26, 2006 - The National Security Archive posts on its Web site today a work of history in progress -- a draft of an unprecedented report by Mexico's government on the nation's "dirty war" of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

The Report

[Note: The draft version of the report of the Special Prosecutor's office appears here exactly as we received it. The original document is missing Chapter 2, and there are numerous corrections and word changes. As soon as a final report is published, the Archive will make it available as well.]

Chapter 1 - Informe General

Chapter 3 - El movimiento estudiantil de 1968

Chapter 4 - El diez de junio de 1971 y la disidencia estudiantil

Chapter 5 - Inicios de la guerrilla moderna en México

Chapter 6 - La Guerra Sucia en Guerro

Chapter 7 - La guerrilla se extiende por todo el país

Chapter 8 - Crímenes de lesa humanidad

Chapter 9 - Crímenes de guerra

Chapter 10 - Persecución política y perversión de la justicia por parte del Estado mexicano

Chapter 11 - Mecanismos que el Estado utilizó para corromper el poder

Chapter 12 - Derecho a la verdad, al duelo y al reconocimiento del honor de los caídos en la lucha por la justicia

Concentrado General Desaparecidos (Excel worksheet)

Concentrado General Desaparecidos por fecha (Excel worksheet)


This document is the result of four years of work by the office of Mexico's Special Prosecutor for Social and Political Movements of the Past (Fiscalía Especial para Movimientos Sociales y Políticos del Pasado - FEMOSPP), Dr. Ignacio Carrillo Prieto. The office was created in 2002 by President Vicente Fox to investigate human rights crimes.

The crimes detailed in the draft report were committed during the administrations of Presidents Diaz Ordaz (1964-1970), Echeverría (1970-1976) and López Portillo (1976-1982). In those years, hundreds of Mexican citizens -- uncounted innocent civilians as well as armed militants -- were murdered or "disappeared" by military and security forces. Thousands more were tortured, or illegally detained, or subjected to government harassment and surveillance.

The report has not yet been made public, although its authors -- a group of 27 researchers, historians and activists contracted by the Special Prosecutor in 2004 to write it -- gave it to Dr. Prieto on December 15. But this draft of the report is currently circulating in Mexico. A reporter for a national magazine, Eme Equis, has a copy, and today is publishing an in-depth analysis of the section concerning state-sponsored counterinsurgency operations in Guerrero during the 1970s. Others have the report too, including the prominent writers and historians Elena Poniatowska, Carlos Montemayor and Carlos Monsivais.

Since 2000, when Fox's election ushered in a political transition after more than 70 years of one-party rule by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institutional - PRI), the Mexican government has acted forcefully in favor of greater openness, transparency and accountability.

Although the Special Prosecutor's final report has not yet been made public, the National Security Archive is posting this draft version in the spirit of the public's right to information. As soon as we obtain a copy of the final version we will post it on this Web site.

Kate Doyle, Director of the Mexico Project of the National Security Archive, made the following statement: "We are posting the draft report because the families of the victims of the "dirty war," and the Mexican public, have a right to know. These same citizens may read in Eme Equis today about the violence visited upon their own relatives by the Mexican government 30 years ago. But in Mexico they could not until now obtain the text that contains the evidence of the state's responsibility.

"The fact that a version of the Special Prosecutor's final report is circulating among a handful of prominent people -- yet remains closed and inaccessible to those most affected by the violence -- is a state of affairs reminiscent of Mexico's past, when citizens were routinely shut out of civic participation by a government determined to keep them in the dark. Information was power, and the right to information did not exist for ordinary Mexican men and women. The National Security Archive's commitment to openness has prompted us to make this draft report available to the public in Mexico and across the world."

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