Mexican authorities foiled a plot by an insurgent group to kidnap the U.S. consul in Juárez, according to a U.S. diplomatic cable.
The cable dated April 9, 1974, addressed to higher-ups, was sent by Goodwin Shapiro, the U.S. consul at the time.
He communicated details from a story published by El Mexicano, an afternoon daily in Juárez, and information provided by Mexican officials.
The “April 8 issue of El Mexicano, afternoon daily of this city, carried a story of an attempt by members of the 23rd of September group to kidnap me. According to the story, members of that group from different parts of Mexico had planned the kidnapping fore more than two weeks but were frustrated in their attempt to carry it out due to the fact that the head of the group here, Hector Ramirez, was seriously wounded in a shoot-out with police officers.”
The cable states that Chihuahua state Attorney General Antonio Quezada Fornelli interrogated Ramirez on April 9, 1974 at the Juárez Hospital General, and that “after being informed that his death was imminent, Ramirez broke his silence and confessed to being a member of the 23rd of September group and related the following”
“Two weeks ago, he together with another individual named Rogelio Martinez, and in accordance with a plan of action, decided upon by the 23rd of September group, moved from Leon, Guanajuato to Ciuadad Juárez, on the same date, other members of the group were to travel from Guadalajara and Mexico City to Ciudad Juárez.”
Ramirez and Martinez rented an apartment near the U.S. consulate, at its previous location, (10252 Calle Gregorio M. Solis), owned by Jorge Valdivia, for two months. They were to carry out the kidnapping during that period. But, before that, they planned to commit several robberies to obtain the needed funds for the kidnapping.
“I read this story at about 3:30 p.m. at approximately 4:15 p.m., Sr. Jose Refugio Ruvalcaba Muñoz, assistant chief of state judicial police here, called me to report that Lic. Quezada Fornelli, the state attorney general, had made a formal statement to the press this afternoon and was not actively working on this case with the police authorities here,” according to the cable.
“In response to my questions, he confirmed that the newspaper account as given above (in the cable) is essentially correct,” the cable states. He added that Ramirez stated that the group was planning to buys guns and prepared for the kidnapping of the consul in Ciudad Juarez. (A) police search of the apartment last night revealed various types of clothing and wig which presumably were to be used in the kidnapping attempt and or robberies and assaults.”
The cable added what it refers to as an “interesting sidelight:”
The “shootout between Ramirez and local police occurred when police answered a call to investigate disturbances by youths on the street. As police approached, Ramirez, who happened to be on the scene, started to run. (A) chase ensured, during which Ramirez fired at police. Police returned fire, seriously wounding him.”
Ramirez was in possession of a Browning semiautomatic weapon, the cable states.
WikiLeaks, online whistleblower, recently released the U.S. diplomatic cable.