441. Telegram 5122 From the Embassy in Mexico to the Department of State, September 19, 1969, 1836Z.1 2

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TELEGRAM
Department of State
MEXICO 5122

P 191836Z SEP 69

FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1413
RECD: September 19, 1969 5:15 P.M.
MEXICO 5122

1. AFTER CAREFUL CONSIDERATION, I BELIEVE IT WOULD BE UNWISE TO ATTEMPT ANY FURTHER BRIEFINGS OF MEXICAN OFFICIALS HERE REGARDING “OPERATION INTERCEPT”. WHEN DATE IS FINALLY ANNOUNCED I WOULD RECOMMEND WE SIMPLY INFORM ACTING FOREIGN MINISTER APPROPRIATELY. OUR CONCERN OVER THIS ISSUE HAS BEEN MADE KNOWN AT EVERY CONCEIVABLE OCCASION AND AT EVERY LEVEL INCLUDING PRESIDENT DIAZ ORDAZ SINCE THE DAY OF MY ARRIVAL, AND BELIEVE THERE IS NOTHING TO ADD. I HAVE APPOINTMENT WITH ATTORNEY GENERAL ON SEPTEMBER 25 WHICH I WILL KEEP AND BRIEF HIM GENERALLY IN LIGHT OF THEN EXISTING SITUATION. FOREIGN SECRETARY WILL BE IN NEW YORK AND CAN BE INFORMED ONCE MORE BY U.S. OFFICIALS THERE. I BELIEVE IT WOULD BE SERIOUS ERROR TO SEEK OUT INTERIOR MINISTER AGAIN ON THIS SUBJECT AS HE IS FULLY AWARE OF OUR VIEWS.

2. WHEN THIS OPERATION IS PUT FULLY INTO EFFECT, IT MAY WELL HAVE CATASTROPHIC CONSEQUENCES IN TERMS OF OUR RELATIONS WITH MEXICO BUT I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE IT ABSOLUTELY CLEAR THAT THERE IS NOTHING FURTHER WE CAN DO HERE TO CUSHION THE IMPACT. WE WILL SIMPLY HAVE TO HOPE THAT OTHER CONSIDERATIONS IN OUR RELATIONS WILL HELP US TO RIDE OUT THE STORM.
MCBRIDE

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.