Gilberto Alvarado Allegation
MEXI 7267, one of the many CIA cables reporting on the allegations of Gilberto Alvarado Ugarte.
On 25 November 1963, three days after Kennedy's assassination, a man named Gilberto Alvarado Ugarte contacted the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. The story he told was that he had been in the Cuban Consulate earlier, in September, and witnessed Oswald take money from a red-haired Negro to kill JFK. He provided additional details, including a description of Oswald which included glasses. Alvarado added that he had tried to tell U.S. officials of his observations earlier, but had been rebuffed.
After initial reports from CIA questioners that Alvarado was a "young, quiet, very serious person, who speaks with conviction," his story began to unravel. Rather than being a Nicaraguan Communist, it turned out that he was a penetration agent working on behalf of the Nicaraguan secret service. Handed over to the Mexican authorities for questioning, Alvarado retracted his story, saying that he had invented it in order to ingratiate himself with the Americans.
After being released, Alvarado retracted his retraction, saying the Mexican authorities had threatened him if he stuck to his story. The CIA then sent a polygraph operator to Mexico to give a lie-detector test to Alvarado, which he subsequently failed. Faced with evidence he was lying, Alvarado again retracted his story.
An additional reason for disbelieving Alvarado was the date he gave for this event - September 18. The evidence is strong that the actual Lee Oswald was in New Orleans on this day. Interestingly, however, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover told President Johnson on November 29 that the September 18 date had been changed: "Now then they've changed the dates..the story came in changing the dates to the 28th of September, and he was in Mexico City on the 28th." Strangely, none of the documents we have of the Alvarado affair mention Alvarado having changed his mind about the date.
The Alvarado story resurfaced in 2006 in the German documentary Rendevous with Death, by Wilfried Huismann and Gus Russo. The added twist here is the claim of the filmmakers having seen a photograph of a red-haired negro among documents in the Mexican Archives. The red-haired negro is also part of the story told by Elena Garro de Paz, though it only appeared in later versions of that story.
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