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HSCA Interviews Relating to Mexico City

The House Select Committee on Assassinations conducted an investigation of Lee Harvey Oswald's alleged trip to Mexico City in the fall of 1963. These recordings are taken from a larger set of recordings available at the National Archives II in College Park, Maryland.


Boris and Anna Tarasoff, 30 Nov 1976

Tape 1, Side 1 (180-10147-10354) (44:42)
Tape 2, Side 2 (180-10147-10354) (41:02)
Tape 1, Side 1 (180-10147-10338) (44:42)
Tape 2, Side 2 (180-10147-10338) (41:02)
transcript

(in HSCA Security Classified Testimony)
In the early days of the HSCA, during the era when Richard Spraque led the HSCA, staffers flew to Mexico City to interview Boris and Anna Tarasoff. The Tarasoffs were the Russian-born couple who transcribed tape recordings of Lee Harvey Oswald in the fall of 1963. The Tarasoffs gave several answers which seem to vary significantly from the CIA's general accounting of events. They referred to a third conversation not in the extant record, "the long one" according to Boris Tarasoff, and "in English," remembered specifically because his wife Anna was brought in to translate that one. The call also concerned Oswald requesting financial help for traveling, something that appears nowhere in the current record. They also described the great importance expressed by their handlers in identifying the person making the call. The Tarasoffs in 1978 were re-interviewed by the Committee; at that time Boris Tarasoff had a memory lapse, while his wife Anna re-iterated the account of events told in this 1976 interview. This tape was released on Dec 15, 2017.

Note that the 180-10147-10338 and 180-10147-10354 tape side pairs appear to be identical. Within each, there are two sides, labeled as "Tape 1, Side 1" and "Tape 2, Side 2.", but there are only two unique tape sides in total and they cover the full interview.

Note that the transcript features a number of redactions, particularly of CIA staff names, but the tape is not redacted. Also note that where the recording switches from side 1 to side 2, one sentence on page 44 is missing from the tapes.

For more on this story, see The Mexico City Tapes starting point.
William Coleman, 2 Aug 1978

Reel 1, Side 1 (46:44)
Reel 1, Side 2 (14:28)
Reel 2 (16:01)
No transcript available.
Willam Coleman was a staff member of the Warren Commission. Along with David Slawson, he was involved in the investigation of foreign conspiracy allegations, and they and Harold Willens took a trip to Mexico City in early April 1964. In this HSCA interview, Coleman was asked many details about Mexico City and the surveillance there. When asked whether the Warren Commission ever got an explanation as to why the CIA did not have an actual tape recording of Oswald, Coleman fudged. "I haven't the faintest idea whether they did or didn't," he said, though he has since admitted that he and Slawson actually listened to these tapes during their April trip to Mexico City.
Pedro Gutierrez Valencia, 5 Jun 1978

Side 1 (44:36)
Side 2 (2:28)
No transcript available.
Pedro Gutierrez Valencia wrote a letter to President Johnson on December 2, 1963. Gutierrez, a Mexican credit examiner, wrote LBJ that he had bumped into a Cuban man accompanying Lee Harvey Oswald around October 1, 1963, and that the Cuban had been counting out money for Oswald. Gutierrez' letter and subsequent FBI investigations (reported to the Warren Commission in CE 2121) was among the stories which helped form the "Cuban conspiracy" theory pushed by Ambassador Mann and CIA officials in Mexico. In this HSCA interview, Gutierrez retracted much of his story and claimed he had never said such things. This recording features one person reading both sides of the interview, presumably in order to translate a Spanish interview into English.
Juan Niles Ortero, 25 Aug 1978

Audio (17:43)
No transcript available.
Juan Niles Ortero Rodriguez was in 1963 the Cuban Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was interviewed by a delegation from the HSCA on August 25, 1978, during their visit to Cuba. In this brief discussion, Ortero answered questions regarding his interaction with Consul Eusebio Azcue after November 22, 1963. Ortero had few details to tell the HSCA.

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