Page 13


Pho to by Ru ss e ll Gra n t ham .-twRq,Mk concerned itself with the travels into Mexico, Cuba, Lebanon, Quebec, Panama, and other points by Chicanos. Chicano student groups and Chicano faculty members have been of special interest to the CIA. Student groups studying at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico in Mexico City in 1970 were under CIA watch. Chicano professors, such as Jesds Chavarria, Juan Gomez Quirionez, and Rodolfo Acuria, have all been subjects of surveillance by the FBI, CIA, U.S. Secret Service, and local police intelligence units. The CIA program CHAOS has monitored the activities of Chicano academicians, students, and leaders. Since 1976, meetings of Chicano leaders with Mexican presidents have been of concern to the CIA, the Department of State, the National Security Agency, and the FBI. The Department of State recruited Chicano leaders who had created the Comision Mixta de Enlace \(Hispanic council on U.S.-Mexico affairs. Those Chicanos who assented to such a role were dismissed in Mexico as operatives of the U.S. government and not representative of the Chicano community organizations they purported to represent. The Hispanic Commission, thus co-opted, ended as quickly as it formed because of this clever State Department ploy. THE UFW and its leader, Cesar Chavez, have also been the focus of Secret Service surveil lance. This, apparently, because of demonstrations and pickets that the UFW has carried out near the White House or at sites where the President was in attendance. The surveillance, however, has not been limited to those occasions. The Secret Service has faithfully followed the UFW throughout California’s Coachella Valley into Phoenix, Arizona, and points in Texas. In 1973 the International Brotherhood of Teamsters attempted to destroy Chavez’s union by entering into “sweetheart” contracts with growers previously under agreement with the UFW. The teamsters were accused by Chavez and his membership of violent assaults on farm workers. Secret Service reports, submitted regularly during an eight-month period in 1973, inadvertently provided evidence supporting the UFW’s claim. The reports were not concerned with the activities of the teamsters, but rather focused on the farm workers’ union even as its members were being beaten, shot, and killed. The Secret Service receives referrals for intelligence information from the FBI and other intelligence agencies. On August 7, 1974, for example, the FBI reported to the Secret Service that the UFW had protested the issuance of “green cards” to Mexicans by the Immigration and Naturalization Service and had demonstrated against U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater in Phoenix. In the course of following up referrals from other agencies, the Service has had occasion to initiate and maintain intelligence-gathering activities on the Na Cesar Chavez, 1982. tional Council of La Raza, El Partido de la Raza Unida, the Political Association of Spanish Speaking Organizations, the Encuentro Pastoral, and the Brown Berets. The Secret Service provided information to the FBI on weapons stolen from the U.S. Army at a California national guard armory. One of these automatic weapons surfaced in a routine arrest of a Chicano in East Los Angeles. The suspect identified the person who had sold him the weapon as a member of the Brown Berets. While this allegation never was proven, the FBI and the Secret Service began surveillance of the Brown Beret organization and membership on March 5, 1968. The surveillance continued until at least October 5, 1973, with the monitoring of Young Chicanos for Community Action in McMinnville, Oregon. The FBI recruited informants from among the Brown Berets. In 1971 and 1972, when Brown Berets prime minister David Sanchez led a group of 26 members across the Southwest in an odyssey billed as “La Marcha de la Reconquista,” the FBI was there. This march to reconquer the Southwest ended at Catalina Island, California. The Brown Berets “invaded” this island of 78 square miles. They occupied the island for nearly a month before surrendering to authorities. The saga of these would-be liberators of the Southwest is chronicled in FBI files. The FBI accompanied the Brown Berets on their journey across the Southwest and on to Catalina Island. According to FBI documents, at every available opportunity, the FBI harassed, sabotaged, thwarted, and disrupted the Brown Beret caravan. CHICANOS IN THE streets and on the picket lines were not the only Chicano activists whose civil liberties were violated. The tentacles of government surveillance also reached into the classroom. Rodolfo Acuria, author of Occupied America and founder of the Department of Chicano Studies at California State University at Northridge, was the subject of several police intelligence operations. Widely respected for his prodigious intellectual work and for his consistent, sustained civic involvement on behalf of Chicanos, Acuria is a solid citizen. Because of his scholarship and activism, police intelligence units apparently considered him to be a potential subversive and a possible terrorist. In March 1985, in a meeting of the Police, Fire, and Safety Committee of the Los Angeles City Council, a final hearing was held investigating the operations of Los Angeles Police Department. While the ATD was officially disbanded at that time, the police officers responsible for the abuse of authority while in the division continued in their police careers without disciplinary action. Attorneys for several plaintiffs and the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California had uncoverd scores of abuses by the ATD. The case against the L.A. Police Department by the Coalition Against Police Abuse Services Unlimited, Inc., was settled out of court for nearly one million dollars. Heading the list of plaintiffs was Rodolfo Acuria. Among the abuses documented were: the planting of informants in Chicano studies classes at California State University at Northridge; placing police agents in the classes of Professor Acutia and his colleague, Raul Ruiz; infiltrating the Raza Unida Party and fomenting dissension among Chicano organizations; forwarding copies of informant police reports to Western Goals, Inc., 12 JANUARY 9,