365. Information Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson1


  • Mexican Riots—Extent of Communist Involvement

You asked about the extent to which the Cuban Communists or other foreign groups were involved in the Mexican riots this week.

The CIA analysis attached (Tab A)2 concludes that the student demonstrations were sparked by domestic politics, not masterminded by Cubans or Soviets. Their primary role was restricted to supplying some money to student groups.

CIA believes the weapons employed by the students could have been obtained locally. Although they did not start the trouble, Mexican Communists, Trotskyists, and Castroites all capitalized on the disorders once they began and took active parts.

An FBI report (Tab B)3 asserts that a Trotskyist group initiated the sniper fire at the police and army from prepared positions in various apartment buildings, and they were responsible for touching off the bloodshed. This so-called “Olympia Brigade” reportedly obtained automatic weapons from Cuban and Guatemalan extremist organizations and plans acts of sabotage during the Olympic games.


P.S. Bruno Pagliai called when he was in Washington for the Bank and Fund meetings. He had talked with President Diaz Ordaz. Diaz Ordaz vows that he will establish law and order and see the Olympics through. Diaz Ordaz says that the riots were carefully planned. A good many people came into the country. The guns used were new and had their numbers filed off. The Castro and Chinese Communist groups were at the center of the effort. The Soviet Communists had to come along to avoid the charge of being chicken.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Mexico, Vol. IV, 1/68–10/68. Secret. A notation on the memorandum indicates that the President saw it.
  2. Tab A is a memorandum prepared by CIA, October 5; attached but not printed.
  3. Tab B is a cable from FBI Director Hoover to the President, et al., October 5; attached but not printed.