Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Friday that he will open up national archives showing how intelligence agencies targeted activists and opposition groups during the country’s “dirty war.”
“They will be opened up so that citizens can have access to them, above all investigators. It is a part of our program to strengthen our national historic memory,” said the president, commonly known as AMLO.
Why This Matters
The documents belong to the National Center for Investigation and Security (CISEN) and are housed in the Lecumberri national archive, a former prison in the capital where numerous opposition figures, including members of the 1968 student movement, were once incarcerated.
The 65-year-old leftist leader said that Mexico, which for decades was governed by the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, had a “dark period” which saw the persecution of social activists and opposition figures, mostly from the 1960s to the 1980s, an era historians refer to as the “dirty war.”
“We lived for decades under an authoritarian regime which limited freedoms and persecuted those who struggled for social change,” he said.
“In the name of the state, I apologize,” Lopez Obrador added.
Unclassified documents have also shed light on the role U.S. intelligence agencies played during the dirty war era.
One of the first things the Mexican leader said after he took office on December 1 was to announce that CISEN would be disbanded, while keeping intact the National Intelligence Center.
The documents will be open to the public starting from Monday, Lopez Obrador said.
He said that those who believed they had suffered from the activities of government spy agencies would be able to claim compensation under the law.
More on the Subject
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador declared the country’s war on drugs over in January, saying his government would no longer prioritize using the army to capture cartel kingpins.
“There’s no war. There is officially no more war. We want peace, and we are going to achieve peace,” he said.