"Red Tide: surveillance and containment of communist exile in Mexico, 1937-1956"
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Pablo Yankelevich (El Colegio de México)
This research project seeks to study three cases of communist exiles in Mexico [Trotsky-Serge, the antifascist movement Freies Deutschland, and CPUSA’s former members] in the period comprised between the last years of the presidency of Lázaro Cardenas and 1956, the end of the early Cold War’s first cycle. The focus of this research are the changes and continuities of Mexican State policy towards the communist in exile, especially the evolution of the civilian intelligence agencies for surveillance, control and containment.
The main objectives of the project are:
1. To explain the changes in Mexican State policy toward the communist exiles in response to domestic and international political conditions: such as, “an open or selective door policy”, changes in the relations with other States, fight against fascism, realignment after World War II, projects of economic and political modernization, alliance with the United States, the weight of political tradition, and increased anticommunist belligerency.
2. To determine the nature of the relationship between the Mexican State and the communist exiles: to explore the connection between support and cooperation mechanisms and surveillance and containment, and inquire how the State used the civilian intelligence to monitor and follow up activities of heterogeneous groups of exiles, who were at the same time uncomfortable guests, allies of convenience or an undesirable presence.