The Mexican route exhausts the latest conspiracy theories about the Kennedy assassination

Most of the conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination of former US President John F. Kennedand they have been refuted. Kennedy was not assassinated a gas device activated by aliens or by the father of actor Woody Harrelson.

But the speculation about Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas, continues, fueled by documents classified as confidential, strange ballistics and the claim by assassin Lee Harvey Oswald – who was later murdered on live television while in police custody – that he was “just a scapegoat” .

Several experts on the JFK assassination, such as former New York Times investigative reporter Phillip Shenoncome to Mexico as the best place to find answers about a possible conspiracy and who was behind her.

Oswald’s 1963 visa, with entry and exit stamps.Mexican Secretary of the Interior

Just over a month before Kennedy’s assassination, Oswald took a bus from Texas to Mexico City. He arrived on Friday morning, September 27, 1963, and left very early on Wednesday, October 2, according to American and Mexican intelligence.

Was Oswald some kind of Rebel James Bond who went south of the border to partner with communists, Cuban revolutionaries and spies– or just a deranged killer?

I researched that question while reviewing my book on conspiracy theories in Mexicoand I think I found something everyone else overlooked: a hole in the history of the same man which started a tenacious conspiracy theory about Oswald’s trip to Mexico.

Communist Mexico City

Mexico was a Cold War hot spot in the mid-20th centurya refuge for Soviet exiles, American leftists fleeing the anti-communist persecution of McCarthyism and supporters of the Castro regime in Cuba. All communist and democratic countries They had an embassy in Mexico City – the the only place in the Western Hemisphere where these enemies coexisted more or less openly.

According to witnesses of the Cuban and Soviet diplomatic missions, Oswald repeatedly visited their embassies on Friday and Saturday. He was desperately seeking visas for those countries, which the Americans They were restricted from visiting.

When told that such documents would take months to process, Oswald had a heated argument with the Cuban consul, Emilio Azcué. Oswald also forced the cancellation of a KGB volleyball game on Saturday morning when brandished a gun at the Soviet consulate, before bursting into tears and leaving.

Those events are well documented by the CIA, which in the 1960s had intensified its operations in Mexico to monitor communist activityeven hiring 200 Mexican agents to help. The Mexican Secret Service, whose archives from the 1960s Mexico has recently begun to declassifyalso He traced Oswald’s steps after the assassination.

However, Oswald’s whereabouts were unknown for three and a half days of his journey.

A conspiracy theory is born

A conspiracy about Oswald’s undocumented time in Mexico City It brings him into contact with dangerous characters from the left side of the Cold War.

This story originated in March 1967, when the American consul in the Mexican coastal city of Tampico, Benjamin Ruyle, was buying drinks for local journalists.

One of them – Óscar Contreras Lartigue, a 28-year-old reporter from The Sun of Tampico – told Ruyle that he had met Oswald in 1963 when he was a law student at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

Contreras said he had been in a pro-Castro university group and that Oswald had begged this group to help him obtain a Cuban visa. According to Contreras, Oswald spent two days with these UNAM students, then met up with them again a few days later at the Cuban Embassy.

Evidently fearing for his life, Contreras wouldn’t say much more to Ruyle. He said that he himself had traveled to Cuba, knew people from the Castro regime and had blown up the statue of a former Mexican president on the Mexico City campus. Contreras feared persecution for his political activities.

However, Contreras said this was not the first time he shared his story.. After JFK was shot, Contreras told Ruyle that he had told his editor that he had recently met Oswald.

The Contreras question

Contreras’s story hinted Suspicious and previously unknown connections between Oswald and communist Cuba which were made shortly before JFK’s assassination.

His story was, according to a memo later sent from CIA headquarters, “the first solid investigative lead we have on Oswald’s activities in Mexico”. US Government officials They needed to find out if Contreras was a reliable source.

Three months after Ruyle’s happy hour, a CIA official from Mexico City He went to Tampico to interrogate Contreras. During the six-hour interrogation, Contreras still refused to go into details, but said that although Oswald never mentioned the assassination – he repeatedly said that “he had to get to Cuba.”

In 1978, a U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations investigator named Dan Hardway He went to Mexico to investigate the assassination of JFK. He was unable to interview Contreras despite several attempts, but in an influential report He warned that his story should not be discarded.

New York Times reporter Shenon, who interviewed Oscar Contreras for a 2013 book about the JFK assassinationalso found Contreras’ story credible. Shenon wrote that Contreras – whom he calls a “prominent journalist” – “went much further” in his interview than with the CIA, alleging “much more extensive contacts between Oswald and Cuban agents in Mexico.”

Dan Hardway, now a lawyer in West Virginia, still believes in Contreras. After reading Shenon’s book, he reiterated in 2015 that Lee Harvey Oswald could have been part of a broader Cuban intelligence network.

The hole in history

Óscar Contreras died in 2016so I couldn’t interview him.

But in my research, a small detail of his biography caught my attention – a seemingly overlooked contradiction that could undermine his entire story.

Contreras’ column in ‘El Sol de Tampico’.

According to Contreras’ story, fled the UNAM campus and moved to Tampico around 1964. However, Contreras also told his editor about her meeting with Oswald after Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.

Student newspapers are not common in Mexico and Contreras was enrolled right. How could it have had a publisher in 1963?

His hometown newspaper, El Sol de Tampico, might have the answer. Searching through its archives, I discovered that the newspaper published a Sunday gossip column in the early 1960s called “Crisol.”

Óscar Contreras began signing the column on June 6, 1963 and did so every week in September and October of that year.

While Lee Harvey Oswald was in Mexico City, Contreras was 500 kilometers away in Tampico. In the faded copies of that year you can read the prose full of meringue With a prose full of meringue with which he recounted sumptuous wedding receptions, XV birthday parties and yacht rides of the high society of Tampico. All this while he bragged about being a revolutionary student in the country’s capital.

Three dark days

I believe that the archives of El Sol de Tampico They discredit Contereras’ story.

Contreras wrote for El Sol de Tampico on October 6, 1963.Tampico Sun

A political correspondent may live far from where his newspaper is published. But for a gossip columnist, that would be a dereliction of duty.

This revelation plunges Oswald’s trip to Mexico in the fall of 1963 into darkness.

There are other conspiracy theories, including that Oswald had a mexican lover which took him to a party of communists and spies.

But it is more likely that Mexico has no more hidden clues to the JFK assassination.

Conspiracy theories offer promises of depth and closure, to solve the greatest enigma of the 20th century. But from what we know about what he did and didn’t do Oswald in Mexico City, he was a volatile and disorganized loner who couldn’t even handle his visa applications.

The JFK assassination is an increasingly cold case. And in Mexico, there are only sold out tracks left.

This article was translated by The financial.

Gonzalo SingleProfessor of Narrative Analysis, School of Higher Studies, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)

This article was originally published in The Conversation. read the original.

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