Mexico


432. Telegram 1460 From the Embassy in Mexico to the Department of State, March 21, 1969, 1805Z.

The Chargé reported a discussion with Foreign Secretary Antonio Carrillo Flores raising the possibility of a resolution to the bilateral dispute over the Ojinaga borderlands, which had been under U.S. control since 1895.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 32–1 MEX–US. Confidential.


433. Telegram 53095 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Mexico, April 8, 1969, 1330Z.

The Department of State instructed the Embassy to explore the possibility of a “mutually acceptable compromise in terms of division of Ojinaga area and relocation of river channel on boundary.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 32–1 MEX–US. Confidential. Drafted on April 7 by T. R. Martin (ARA/MEX), cleared in ARA/MEX, L/ARA, and by US–IBWC Commissioner Friedkin; and approved by Vaky. An April 1 memorandum of conversation details the meeting between Meyer and Carrillo Flores. (Ibid.) In Telegram 1844 from Mexico City, April 10, the Embassy reported that President Díaz Ordaz had agreed to pursue a package solution with certain conditions. (Ibid.)


434. Memorandum From Viron P. Vaky of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, July 1, 1969.

National Security Council staff member Vaky informed President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger that Assistant Secretary Meyer had been designated Chairman of the U.S. Section of the United States-Mexican Commission for Border Development and Friendship (CODAF). According to Vaky, although the Commission’s activities were not dramatic, they were important in promoting good relations with Mexico.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 787, Country Files, Latin America, Mexico, Vol. I, January 1969–December 31, 1969. No classification marking. Sent for action. Attached but not published are Tabs A and B. Tab A is a July 12 memorandum to Meyer from Kissinger and Tab B is a memorandum from Meyer to Kissinger.


435. Telegram 140240 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Mexico, August 20, 1969, 1858Z.

The Department of State provided information on the President’s Marihuana and Dangerous Drug Task Force, which included documentation on “Operation Intercept,” a U.S. effort to interdict narcotics at the border with Mexico. The Department requested the Embassy’s views on Mexican sensitivities.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 787, Country Files, Latin America, Mexico, Vol. I, January 1969–December 31, 1969. Secret; Exdis; Eyes Only Ambassador. Drafted by Michael Yohn (ARA/MEX); cleared by U; and approved by Meyer. In telegram 4658 from Mexico City, August 25, McBride recommended that the U.S. inform Mexico’s President, Foreign Secretary, and Secretary of the Interior about “Operation Intercept.” (Ibid.) In telegram 147028 to Mexico City, August 29, the Department of State authorized McBride to inform Carrillo Flores of the task force, emphasizing that it was U.S. policy to give full advance information. (Ibid.)


436. Memoranda of Meetings, El Mirador, Mexico (Amistad Dam), September 8, 1969.

During the dedication of the Amistad Dam, Presidents Nixon and Díaz Ordaz discussed bilateral relations and regional affairs. Topics included narcotics, trade issues, and Mexico’s assistance in securing the release of Ambassador Elbrick, who had been kidnapped by Brazilian terrorists.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 33–1 MEX–US. Secret; Exdis. The memoranda of meetings consist of six parts.


437. Telegram 4958 From the Embassy in Mexico to the Department of State, September 9, 1969, 1905Z.

Ambassador McBride reported a meeting with President Díaz Ordaz in which the two discussed at length Díaz’s desire to assist in controlling drug traffic and the problem of Bracero workers.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL MEX–US. Confidential; Priority; Limdis.


438. Telegram 153621 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Mexico, September 11, 1969, 0044Z.

The Department of State indicated its concern that press leaks about Operation Intercept had damaged the U.S. ability to insure continued Mexican cooperation in our narcotics enforcement activities along the border.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 787, Country Files, Latin America, Mexico, Vol. I, January–December 31, 1969. Secret; Priority; Nodis. Drafted on September 10 by Petrow (ARA); cleared by Justice, Treasury, and the Bureau of Customs; and approved by Hurwitch. In telegram 5007 from Mexico City, September 12, McBride suggested that repeated leaks had minimized the possibilities of success for Operation Intercept and increased the damage it would cause to U.S. relations with Mexico. McBride questioned whether Operation Intercept was really worth the risk. (Ibid.)


439. Letter From the Ambassador in Mexico (McBride) to Secretary of State Rogers, Mexico City, September 17, 1969.

Ambassador McBride wrote to Secretary of State Rogers to advise him of unfavorable developments in United States-Mexico relations.

Source: Department of State, INR/IL Historical Files, Guatemala City 1963–79, Roger File. Secret; Roger Channel; Special Handling. A copy was sent to Meyer and Petrow. In telegram 4881 from Mexico City, September 5, McBride advised the Department local press carried stories from Havana that Humberto Carillo, Press Counselor of Mexican Embassy in Cuba, was a CIA agent. The telegram is not published. (Ibid.)


440. Telegram 5076 From the Embassy in Mexico to the Department of State, September 18, 1969, 0030Z.

Ambassador McBride briefed Secretary of the Interior Luis Echeverría on Operation Intercept.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 787, Country Files, Latin America, Mexico, Vol. I., January–December 31, 1969. Secret; Priority; Nodis. The telegram’s classification was raised from Exdis to Nodis by S/SO.


441. Telegram 5122 From the Embassy in Mexico to the Department of State, September 19, 1969, 1836Z.

Ambassador McBride recommended against attempting any further briefings of Mexican officials regarding Operation Intercept and concluded it could have catastrophic consequences for U.S. relations with Mexico.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 787, Country Files, Latin America, Mexico, Vol. I, January–December 31, 1969. Secret; Nodis. In telegram 160292 to Mexico City, September 20, the Department advised McBride that Operation Intercept would begin at 3 p.m. Los Angeles time on Sunday, September 21, and left to his discretion whether to inform appropriate Mexican officials in advance. (Ibid.)


442. Memorandum From Viron P. Vaky of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, September 30, 1969.

National Security Council staff member Vaky reported on the effects of Operation Intercept on U.S.-Mexican relations.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 787, Country Files, Latin America, Mexico, Vol. I, January–December 31, 1969. Confidential. Sent for information. A stamped notation on the first page indicates that Kissinger saw the memorandum on October 2.


443. Telegram 5388 From the Embassy in Mexico to the Department of State, October 2, 1969, 2201Z.

Ambassador McBride reported that he met with Foreign Secretary Carrillo Flores to discuss Operation Intercept and informed him of the Department’s desire to hold bilateral talks in Washington to decrease tensions.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL MEX–US. Confidential; Immediate. In telegram 166422 to Mexico City, October 1, the Department instructed McBride to approach Mexico about bilateral talks. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 787, Country Files, Latin America, Mexico, Vol. I, January–December 31, 1969) Less economically severe Operation Cooperation replaced Operation Intercept on October 10. ( Public Papers: Nixon, 1969, pp. 830–857)


444. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon, Washington, November 12, 1969.

President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger summarized information regarding a proposed treaty between the United States and Mexico to settle all outstanding boundary problems.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 787, Country Files, Latin America, Mexico, Vol. I, January–December 31, 1969. No classification marking. Sent for information. A handwritten November 17 notation on the cover page reads, “Back fm Pres.” Attached but not published at Tab A is a November 3 memorandum from Rogers to Nixon.


445. Letter From President Nixon to President Díaz Ordaz of Mexico, Washington, November 18, 1969.

In a letter thanking President Díaz Ordaz for a November 6 letter, President Nixon referred to efforts to deal with issues bilateral concern and expressed his “personal regret for the friction which Operation Intercept has caused in the relations of our two countries.”

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 787, Country Files, Latin America, Mexico, Vol. I, January–December 31, 1969. No classification marking. In a November 17 memorandum to the President recommending that Nixon sign this letter, Kissinger observed that “Díaz Ordaz was very deeply disturbed by the narcotics drive, Operation Intercept.” Attached but not published to the November 17 was a translation of Díaz Ordaz’s November 6 letter to Nixon.


446. Memorandum of Conversation, Washington, December 5, 1969.

Mexican Ambassador Hugo B. Margain discussed U.S.-Mexican relations with the Department Mexican Country Director, ARA/MEX, Chris G. Petrow. Margain stated that Díaz Ordaz was pleased with President Nixon’s November 18 letter, and he believed that the cordiality which had existed before Operation Intercept had been “virtually restored.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL MEX–US. Limited Official Use. Drafted by Petrow. Copies sent to the Secretary, Hastings, U, J, C, D, Vaky, Meyer, Hurwitch, E/OT, INR, Ambassador McBride, and DCM Kubisch.


447. Letter From the Ambassador in Mexico (McBride) to Secretary of State Rogers, Mexico City, December 31, 1969.

Ambassador McBride offered an assessment of United States-Mexican relations during 1969 and speculated on potential for anti-American sentiment brought on by U.S. import restrictions on Mexican tomatoes and differences over border industries.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL MEX–US. Confidential. McBride signed Bob above his typeset signature. In a January 20, 1970 letter, Rogers assured McBride that the Department of State would strike a proper balance between the conflicting claims of important domestic interests and friends abroad.” (Ibid.)


448. Telegram 182 From the Embassy in Mexico to the Department of State, January 13, 1970, 2130Z.

Ambassador McBride recommended that President Nixon host a tripartite meeting with President Díaz Ordaz and Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau to discuss common problems, particularly regarding economic issues.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL MEX–US. Confidential. It was repeated to Ottawa.


449. Memorandum From Helmut Sonnenfeldt of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, January 16, 1970.

Responding to Ambassador McBride’s recommendation for a tripartite meeting (Canada, Mexico, and the United States), Sonnenfeldt listed several factors running against that suggestion.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 787, Country Files, Latin America, Mexico, Vol. II, January 1, 1970–December 31, 1971. Confidential. Sent for information. A copy was sent to Vaky. A stamped notation on the memorandum indicates that Kissinger saw it on January 21. Vaky’s January 14 memorandum to Kissinger summarized this cable and asked if Kissinger wanted to draft a recommendation to the President or ask for State’s recommendation. Kissinger chose the latter option on January 21. (Ibid.)


450. Telegram 1077 From the Embassy in Mexico to the Department of State, March 7, 1970, 0015Z.

Ambassador McBride reported on a meeting with presidential candidate Luis Echeverría, who told the Ambassador he “could inform Washington that his foreign policy would not change from Díaz Ordaz policy.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 15–1 MEX. Confidential; Priority; Limdis.


451. Telegram 1588 From the Embassy in Mexico to the Department of State, April 3, 1970, 2340Z.

In a one-hour meeting with Ambassador McBride, after discussing the damage done to United States-Mexican relations by Operation Intercept and indicating that he could not afford another such episode, President Díaz Ordaz expressed the hope that old problems between the U.S. and Mexico could be resolved.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 787, Country Files, Latin America, Mexico, Vol. II, January 1, 1970–December 31, 1971. Confidential; Priority; Exdis. A stamped notation on the telegram indicates that it was received at the White House Situation Room at 9:59 a.m. on April 4.


452. Telegram 2213 From the Embassy in Mexico to the Department of State, May 6, 1970, 1933Z.

Presidential candidate Luis Echeverría discussed border problems with Ambassador McBride, including salinity, border industries, immigration, and the Ojinaga issue.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 787, Country Files, Latin America, Mexico, Vol. II, January 1, 1970–December 31, 1971. Confidential; Exdis.


453. Telegram 3332 From the Embassy in Mexico to the Department of State, June 21, 1970, 0228Z.

The Embassy reported on a meeting between the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Henry Kissinger and President Díaz Ordaz, in which the Mexican president talked about the negative effects of Operation Intercept on U.S.-Mexican relations. Kissinger assured Díaz Ordaz that there would not be a repetition of the incident.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 787, Country Files, Latin America, Mexico, Vol. II, January 1, 1970–December 31, 1971. Confidential; Limdis.


454. Telegram 4025 From the Embassy in Mexico to the Department of State, July 24, 1970, 1711Z.

Herbert Klein met with Foreign Secretary Carrillo Flores to discuss President Nixon’s upcoming visit to Puerto Vallarta and highlighted the two major issues that remained outstanding in United States-Mexican relations: salinity in the Colorado River and the Ojinaga border tracts.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 787, Country Files, Latin America, Mexico, Vol. II, January 1, 1970–December 31, 1971. Confidential; Immediate; Exdis. Forwarded to the Western White House at San Clemente on July 24.


455. Message WH01239 From Viron P. Vaky of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, July 30, 1970, 1932Z.

National Security Council staff member Vaky forwarded a status report on negotiations for a settlement to the Ojinaga border dispute. He recommended that the President contact Secretary of State Rogers to assure that the boundary settlement was resolved in time for the Puerto Vallarta meeting, and that Rogers was prepared to accept the 75/25 position.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 787, Country Files, Latin America, Mexico, Vol. II, January 1, 1970–December 31, 1971. Confidential; Eyes Only. A handwritten note initialed by Kissinger reads “I’ll call.” An August 20 memorandum of conversation, details a U.S.-Mexico joint statement on the boundary settlement, which was issued in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on August 21 after the meeting between Nixon and Díaz Ordaz. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL MEX–US) For the text of their joint statement, see Public Papers: Nixon, 1970, pp. 687–688.


456. Telegram 5988 From the Embassy in Mexico to the Department of State, November 3, 1970, 2245Z.

Ambassador McBride reported on a discussion with President-elect Luis Echeverría, which dealt with the Colorado River salinity issue and finalization of the boundary treaty.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 7 MEX. Confidential; Limdis. In a November 14 memorandum to Irwin, Meyer recommended a 1-year extension of the 5-year agreement with Mexico on the Colorado River salinity problem to allow President-elect Echeverría sufficient time to consider the U.S. proposal for a new 5-year agreement. Irwin approved the recommendation. (Ibid., POL 33–1 MEX–US) In telegram 6342 from Mexico City, November 23, the Embassy reported that McBride and Carrillo Flores had signed the boundary treaty. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 32–1 MEX–US)


457. Memorandum of Conversation, Washington, February 2, 1971, 4:15 p.m.

In a meeting with Secretary of State Rogers, Foreign Secretary Emilio Rabasa outlined a Mexican counter-proposal to deal with the Colorado River salinity issue.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 33–1 MEX–US. Limited Official Use. Drafted by T.R. Martin (ARA/MEX/IBWC) and approved on February 10 in S. Copies sent to C, S/S, INR/OD, S/PC, ARA, and the American Embassy in Mexico. In a February 9 memorandum to Assistant Legal Adviser Mark Feldman, David A. Gantz (L/ARA) analyzed Rabasa’s counter-proposal, which concluded that “international rivers are subject to reasonable use, with equitable distribution of benefits.” Rabasa maintained that U.S. pollution must be compensated for and proposed bilateral diplomatic negotiation, or lacking that, ICJ arbitration. (Ibid.)


458. Memorandum From the Director of Central Intelligence (Helms) to President Nixon, Washington, March 17, 1971.

[2 pages not declassified]

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 787, Country Files, Latin America, Mexico, Vol. II, January 1, 1970–December 31, 1971. Secret.


459. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon, Washington, April 8, 1971.

President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger reported that the only high profile difficulty in United States-Mexican relations was in regard to trade.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 787, Country Files, Latin America, Mexico, Vol. II. January 1, 1970–December 31, 1971. Confidential. The memorandum is not initialed by Kissinger.


460. Memorandum From Arnold Nachmanoff of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, April 14, 1971.

National Security Council staff member Nachmanoff provided background on the Colorado River salinity problem with Mexico. He recommended that President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger meet with the Mexican Ambassador to discuss the issue.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 787, Country Files, Latin America, Mexico, Vol. II, January 1, 1970–December 31, 1971. Confidential. Sent for action. The memorandum was sent through Alexander Haig. Kissinger approved the recommendation on April 16. Attached but not published at Tab A is an April 12 memorandum from Eliot to Kissinger, detailing the Colorado River salinity problem. (Ibid.) Kissinger met with Ambassador Olloqui on April 21. During the meeting, Kissinger noted that it would probably be impossible to cede to Mexico’s demands on the salinity issue, and hoped that Mexico would reconsider the U.S. July 1970 proposal. (Ibid.)


461. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the Secretary of State Rogers and Secretary of the Interior Morton, Washington, April 28, 1971.

President Nixon directed that vigorous efforts be made to negotiate as expeditiously as possible a practical settlement of the Colorado River salinity problem.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 787, Country Files, Latin America, Mexico, Vol. II, January 1, 1970–December 31, 1971. Confidential; Limdis.