335. Telegram 1275 From the Embassy in Guatemala to the Department of State1 2

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  • Internal Security—Border Control Between Mexico and Guatemala

1. In conversations Apr 7 and again yesterday Presidential Private Secretary Oscar Lopez Padilla told me with considerable feeling one aspect of guerrilla-subversive problem which has pre-occupied for some time is ease with which guerrillas are able to pass back and forth across Mexican border. He said GOG has made several efforts to elicit GOM cooperation on a consistent long-range basis, but without any real success. He wondered out loud whether in aftermath of Von Spreti kidnapping GOM might be more disposed to cooperate, and ended by asking if USG might take this up informally with GOM. I made no promises, but agreed lack of effective border control makes GOG problem of dealing with subversive operations considerably more difficult.

2. We are aware of informal sounding by DATT Mexico to his military contacts on the subject. Depending on judgement of Embassy re probable GOM reaction, and subject concurrence of Dept, I suggest time may be ripe for approach at higher level.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 23 GUAT. Confidential. Repeated to Mexico. In telegram 53101 to Guatemala City, April 10, the Department of State replied that it would then be willing to follow up an approach by Guatemala with an expression of United States concern to Mexico based on threats to U.S. personnel in Guatemala. (Ibid.)
  2. The Government of Guatemala requested U.S. assistance in working with Mexico in addressing the guerrillas’ ability to easily pass back and forth across the Mexican border.