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COINTELPRO -- Groups Seeking Independence for Puerto Rico (1960-1969)
FBI-authored cartoon, 1967
Mass Media Program
UN Plebiscite Split
Efforts to Discredit Juan Mari Bras
The Bureau is considering the feasability of instituting a program of disruption to be directed against organizations which seek independence for Puerto Rico through other than lawful, peaceful means. Because of the increasing boldness apparent in the activities of such organizations, their utter disregard of the will of the majority, the inevitable communist and/or Soviet effort to embarrass the United States, and the courage given to their cause by Castro's Cuba, we must make a more positive effort, not only to curtail, but to disrupt their activities. Director to SAC, San Juan, Aug. 4, 1960
It is believed that upon instituting a counterintelligence program in this field, efforts should be directed with the following aims in mind:Director to SAC, New York, Nov. 15, 1960 (p. 1 only)
I. Disruption and discord.
II. Creating doubts as to the wisdom of remaining in the independence movement.
III. Causing defections from the independence movement.
Your files will contain descriptive information appropriate to our investigative reporting. We should, however, for the purposes of this program, delve deeply into that part of their lives which do not show on the surface; for example, we must determine their capabilities of influencing others, capabilities of real leadership, why the intense desire for Puerto Rico's independence, what they expect to gain from independence, and the support they have from other leaders and rank-and-file members. We must have information concerning their weaknesses, morals, criminal records, spouses, children, family life, educational qualifications and personal activities other than independence activities. Director to SAC, San Juan, June 12, 1961
It is desired that ways and means be explored at this time in an effort to curtail and disrupt the activities
of APU both in New York and San Juan. Some of the items which might be used are:
(1) Show the Marxist background and leanings of
(2) Expose [ ] desire
to push the older more conservative element out of APU in favor of younger men who may be more
easily influenced by Marxism and who might be more susceptable to committing acts of violence.
(3) Exploit the obvious dissension existing in the APU over
insistence in supporting the Cuban revolution.
(4) The split in the Lares Board between APU and the more conservative independence groups might
(5) Widen the rift between [ ]
(1) Show the Marxist background and leanings of [ ]
(2) Expose [ ] desire to push the older more conservative element out of APU in favor of younger men who may be more easily influenced by Marxism and who might be more susceptable to committing acts of violence.
(3) Exploit the obvious dissension existing in the APU over [ ] insistence in supporting the Cuban revolution.
(4) The split in the Lares Board between APU and the more conservative independence groups might be used.
(5) Widen the rift between [ ] of APU.
After careful review of the proposed article, it is believed that it would not achieve the results desired; namely, to cause animosity between Juan Mari Bras and Juan Antonio Corretjer, nor would it convey to the readers of the article the dangerousness of the Puerto Rican independence groups. As an alternative, it is suggested San Juan prepare a brief article which would be in the nature of alerting Puerto Ricans to the dangerousness of the various segments of the independence movement in Puerto Rico. Such an article would, of course, have to be interesting enough to interest a newspaper contact to utilize the same and sufficiently informative to develop hostility in the minds of the readers towards the elements engaged in the independence movement. Director to SAC, San Juan, Nov. 14, 1960 (p. 1 only)
It is noted this editorial is essentially the same as the editorial previously furnished to
of "El Mundo", with appropriate changes to cover current developments in the FUPI.
For the information of the Bureau and New York the following series of events transpired just prior to
the publishing of this editorial and are believed to have created the proper atmosphere for which
[ ] was waiting prior
to issuance of this editorial.
April 13, 1961: FUPI picketed the San Juan Office of the FBI and alleged FBI "persecution of
April 19, 1961: FUPI conducted spontaneous "victory demonstration" in streets of Rio Piedras
(section of Metropolitan San Juan) when news received that FIDEL CASTRO had wiped out
invading forces. Demonstration ended in violence as a result of clash when anti-CASTRO
students and 12 FUPI members were arrested.
April 13, 1961: FUPI picketed the San Juan Office of the FBI and alleged FBI "persecution of independentist students."
April 19, 1961: FUPI conducted spontaneous "victory demonstration" in streets of Rio Piedras (section of Metropolitan San Juan) when news received that FIDEL CASTRO had wiped out invading forces. Demonstration ended in violence as a result of clash when anti-CASTRO students and 12 FUPI members were arrested.SAC, San Juan to Director, May 5, 1961
Suppose [ ] could see his wife, [ ] and so-called friend, [ ] together clinging to Fidel Castro's Soviet-type communism like leeches. Anonymous leaflet circulated by FBI, circa 1962
The anonymous leaflet proposed in reSJlet and authorized by reBulet was mailed April 13, 1964. The leaflet, printed on cheap stock and enclosed in inexpensive envelopes, was mailed to 300 persons, most of them taken from our portion of the MPIPR mailing list, and to a few selected independentistas. Reaction to its distribution was immediate and most gratifying. SAC, San Juan to Director, June 8, 1964 (fragment)
It is believed that copies of the flyer which will be prepared showing FEPI's connection with international communism can be effectively used along with an attached flyer in the Spanish language showing FUPI's connection with FEPI. These documents should be distributed anonymously to some of the school officials and parents and might tend to reduce the influence of this budding youth organization. Director to SAC, San Juan, Oct 25, 1964
Authority granted to prepare proposed letter in Spanish language and mail it as set forth on page three
of referenced airtel.
Preparation and mailing should be handled under the most secure conditions to protect the Bureau as the
Director to SAC, San Juan, May 11, 1967
[ ] of the MPIPR Youth, has a personal following,
and the San Juan Office feels that if [ ] can be
split from the MPIPR at this time, enough of the MPIPR Youth members would be sufficiently
confused and disgruntled to effectively neutralize the MPIPR during the critical period just prior
to the [United Nations] plebiscite [to determine the political status of Puerto Rico] scheduled for
July 23, 1967.
SAC, San Juan to Director, June 8, 1967
[ ] stated that MARI BRAS' heart attack on April 21, 1964, was obviously brought on by strain and overwork and opinioned that the anonymous letter certainly did nothing to ease his tensions for he felt the effects of the letter deeply. [ ] It is clear from the above that our anonymous letter has seriously disrupted the MPIPR ranks and created a climate of distrust and dissension from which it will take them some time to recover. Fragment of FBI Memorandum, circa 1964
Sources of the San Juan Office have for a period of time advised of romantic interests existing between
JUAN MARI BRAS , head of the Movimiento Pro-Independencia de Puerto Rico (Puerto Rican Independence
Movement) (MPIPR), and [ ],
a one time Federacion Universitaria Pro-Independencia (Federation of University Students for Independence)
(FUPI) member and estranged wife of [ ]
a member of the MPIPR recently arrested for complicity in an attempt to bomb a Texaco Oil facility in Guaynabo,
San Juan proposes that a letter, prepared in the Spanish language on plain unwatermarked paper, be sent
to [ ] and
[ ] head of [illegible] Mission
in San Juan, Puerto Rico, pointing out the above and indicating that the situation should be remedied
before the press is advised and it becomes known how the MPIPR, through the actions of its leader,
rewards faithful advocators of independence.
SAC, San Juan to Director, May 28, 1969