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.
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."