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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March, 1971

MEMORANDUM FROM THE DIRECTOR FOR FEDERAL SECURITY, CAP. LUIS DE LA BARREDA MORENO

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    Director for Federal Security Luis de la Barreda Moreno reports on North Korean training of Mexican guerrillas. He describes how Mexican citizens headed for North Korea were given fraudulent documentation and other assistance from socialist countries and lists the names and pseudonyms of Mexican guerrillas given to him by a member of the Revolutionary Action Movement.
    "Memorandum from the Director for Federal Security, Cap. Luis de la Barreda Moreno," March, 1971, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AGN, Instituciones Gubernamentales Siglo XX, Secretaría de Gobernación, Dirección Federal de Seguridad, Movimiento de Acción Revolucionaria version pública, expediente 1/14, fojas 111-114. Obtained by Manuel Guerra de Luna. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/134838
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School of Guerrillas in Xalapa, Veracruz

The following should be added to the prior statement by Angel Bravo Cisneros:

During the development of the trip destined for the city of Pyongyang, capital of North Korea, when [the travelers] were in East Berlin and made known the final destination of their travels, all were given a passport that identified them as citizens of that People’s Republic. Apparently, officials at the USSR department of immigration, as well as those in some other socialist countries like Czechoslovakia and Poland, were notified of the fraudulent nationalities [of these individuals], because when their passports were demanded in order to travel by train, Felipe Peñaloza, aka “Efraín,” was found to be carrying his Mexican military service record. The official who saw it indicated to him, by way of gestures, that he should hide it. It was also made known that upon arriving in Moscow, his immigration documents were not reviewed, and even mentioned that during a train stop on the Polish border, they were taken to a dining room and nobody troubled them about their identification.

Consider that the majority of the members of the organization called the “Revolutionary Action Movement” who traveled to North Korea to receive training are natives of Michoacán. This is due to the fact that the students in the state university there, unlike those from the rest of the state, have a long tradition of revolutionary struggle, and as a consequence, there is a high level of politicization within the student body.

The name of their organization has been known since they were in Moscow. Fabricio Gomez Souza was the one who made known its name, in a talk held in the hotel where they were staying, as well as the fundamental orientation of the group toward armed struggle and the division that fight might undergo at a given moment, that is, using both an urban force that would be called “The Second of October” and a rural army, to be dubbed the “People’s Army of the MAR.”

Upon returning to our country after their trip, in September, the recruitment of new members of the organization began so as to follow orders from their North Korean teachers about dissemination of their newly acquired knowledge. A first school was set up in Patzcuaro, Michoacán, another in Salamanca, Guanajuato, still another in Irapuato, Guanajuato, and one more in Querétaro, Querétaro. The courses in each of these were one and a half months to two months in duration. Bravo Cisneros said that he did not know how many students were at each school, and mentioned of course the other school in Xalapa, Veracruz.

When asked specifically, Bravo Cisneros responded that the pseudonyms of his comrades are as follows: Ramon Cardona Medel, aka “Antolín,” Armando González Carrillo, aka “Cruz,” Fernando Pineda Ochoa, aka “René,” (Mario Fernandez),[1] Guillermo Moreno, aka “Cornelio,” Pedro Estrada, aka “Ariel,” Marisol Vega, aka “Carolina,” Martha Elba Cisneros, aka “Cristina,” Estanislao Hernández, aka “Gerardo,” Manuel Arreola Tellez, aka “Héctor,” José Luís Chagoya, aka “Arturo,” Felipe Peñaloza Garcia, aka “Efraín,” one with the last name Ariza, aka “Ricardo Salgado,” Salvador Castañeda, aka “Jaime,” Andres Mancilla, aka “Artemio Cuesi,” Horacio Arroyo Sousa, aka “Rubén Palafox,” Fabricio Gómez Souza, aka “Roberto,” and the witness himself, aka “Eliezer.” All adopted their pseudonyms according to their own whims when they met in Paris.

Under interrogation, Fabricio Gómez Souza, aka “Roberto,” “Cristóbal,” or “Luís,” said:

In the first group that traveled to North Korea, there were ten individuals, who were Paulino Peña Peña, aka “Esteban,” or “Jesús,” Salvador Castañeda Alvarez, aka “Jaime,” Octavio Marquez, aka “Antonio,” Candelario Pacheco, aka “Victor,” Martha Maldonado, aka “Esther,” Camilo Estrada, aka “Cuauhtémoc,” Dimas Castañeda Marquez, aka “Simón,” Alejandro López Murillo, aka “Ramón,” and two others whom he only knew by the names of Juan and Alfredo.

About the trip with these ten individuals, Gómez Souza stated the following:

When he studied at “Patrice Lumumba” University in Moscow in 1966, his comrades Alejandro López Murillo, Salvador Castañeda Alvarez, Camilo Estrada, Martha Maldonado, Octavio Marquez, Candelario Pacheco, Leonardo Mendoza, and Juan Raulchin also lived in that capital city. In talks and meetings, they agreed to form a political party to work toward revolutionary struggle in Mexico, and with this agreement, began to visit the embassies of various countries in Moscow, Cuba among them. When the embassy officials learned of their ambitions, since they asked for economic aid and training, they were told that the embassies would not help them as they were from Mexico. At that point, they visited the embassy of Vietnam also, where their request was not considered because, as the embassy told them, they had enough of their own problems. Similarly, they interviewed diplomats from the People’s Republic of China, where the excessive worship of Mao Zedong was given as a condition for any aid, as well as that in our country, they would act as agents of said People’s Republic. Lastly, after many visits to the embassy of North Korea and continual talks with its representatives, Fabricio Gómez Souza was invited to visit the city of Pyongyang after the completion of his studies in Moscow in 1968. He took advantage of this to formalize his request for help, and the North Koreans accepted a recruitment plan, developed by the requestors, to bring those who would receive training to that country, but that the North Koreans limited to ten people. These would be the members of the first group, named above, who would specialize in urban struggle, then another fifty students would be received and trained in rural fighting, in two groups of twenty-five, though the prior participants in the training school from two different occasions only numbered sixteen in one and seventeen in the other.

In order to send the first ten people, Gómez Souza received the corresponding amount of money from an official in the North Korean government whose name he said he did not remember, and the first group brought, on their return journey, the money necessary for the travel expenses of the second.

When Fabricio Gómez Souza returned from his first trip, he made contact in Morelia with Alejandro López Murillo, aka “Ramón,” who had already recruited the members of the second group in cooperation with other contacts.

Regarding the setup of the guerrilla schools in Mexico, he declared that from September of two years prior through January 26 of last year, four schools were begun. The first was in Patzcuaro, the second in Irapuato, Guanajuato, the third in La Piedad, Michoacán,[2] and the last in Xalapa, Veracruz. In these facilities, they provided instruction to three new recruits in each of them, with Armando González Carrillo serving as an instructor on demolition, Fernando Pineda Ochoa on radiotelegraphy and communication in general, and Gómez Souza on Politics and Clandestine Work, and during the intervals of operation of these schools, they rented other houses in the cities of La Barca, Jalisco; Salamanca, Guanajuato; and Querétaro, Querétaro, where the instructors themselves were living.

This individual confirms what Angel Bravo Cisneros said about the supply of North Korean passports, with the appropriate photographs, to each and every person in the group in East Berlin.

Very respectfully,

Federal Director of Security

[1] Fernandez’s name is given in parentheses, as I have kept it here, but capitalized like the real given names of the individuals in the rest of the paragraph. It is preceded by a letter “o” with an accent over it – a considerable amount of effort on a typewriter when the word “or” in Spanish is simply an unaccented ‘o’. In short, the use of Mr. Fernandez’s name in this paragraph is somewhat mysterious.

[2] This particular location is not listed by Angel Bravo Cisneros, and is distant enough from Salamanca, Guanajuato (the location mentioned by Bravo Cisneros that does not overlap with Gómez Souza’s list of training facilities) that it could be a separate school that Gómez Souza forgot to name, a more recently inaugurated school, or perhaps Bravo Cisneros had a reason not to mention it in his testimony.