The Lopez Report
By: John Scianimanico
For this week’s readings, I perused the 2003 Lopez Report. The lopez
Report, written by Dan Hardway and Edwin Lopez,
provides a comprehensive description of events of the Mexico City Affair. Why did Lee Harvey Oswald go to Mexico City shortly before the assassination of President Kennedy? Did he rendezvous with another individual? If so, who was it, and did this person ever impersonate Oswald at the Cuban or Soviet embassies? My work focuses primarily on the differences found between the Warren Commission
Investigation and the House Committee on assassination’s Investigation of Oswald’s activities in Mexico City as well as the author’s final conclusions.
According to the report, the Warren Commission chose to explore whether or not Oswald had ever taken the trip to and from Mexico City. Their conclusions provided enough evidence and support from CIA officials to confirm that Oswald (or someone with the pseudonym “Oswald”) had been present in Mexico City in late
September of 1963. The House Investigation committee report looked at this part of the story more closely, trying to pinpoint contacts Oswald made and reasons
he solicited the Cuban and Soviet embassies so many times. The report reflects conclusions made from a number of interviews, hearings, and reviews of files
that shed light on Oswald’s primary goal in Mexico City- to acquire a visa that would allow him to travel back to Russia with his wife via Cuba. Although they were able to cover more ground than the Warren Commission, it appears from the report that they weren’t able to establish a motive.
In fact, I’m having trouble understanding why Oswald’s enigmatic trip to Mexico City matters so much to the assassination investigation. Sure, Oswald had
a sketchy history and wanted to return to the Soviet Union. But nowhere in the conclusions of the Lopez Report is there any mention of the presidential
assassination. So again, I have to ask- why does this entire story matter?
One area that the report was unable to confirm was Oswald’s whereabouts in Mexico City when he wasn’t at the embassies. Perhaps here is a clue as to why
this whole trip mattered. The report suggests that Oswald spent some time with a group of pro-Castro students from the University of Mexico. However,
we are not entirely positive who he hung around with nor what they did in their free time. Photos identify Oswald with a tall, blond-haired man, but that doesn’t really help us with much. In a previous documentary, we had learned that eyewitnesses claimed that Oswald
along with two other unidentified men had knocked on their doors in an effort to recruit Cubans to his pro-Castro movement.
If Oswald was merely seeking out old defectors and ex-patriots to join his coalition, I don’t see how that would relate to the assassination conspiracy. I suppose that
hidden in this trip could have been a meeting of some
sorts (thereby pointing to a clear conspiracy) that discussed the plan for the attack that would happen
only two months later. Maybe Oswald met with Cuban intelligence officials and hashed out the final
details. Maybe not. Either way, because we don’t know of his informal activities in Mexico, it is hard to establish a correlation between his trip and the assassination plot he later carried out.