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The KUT Longhorn Radio Network Presents: Mexican American Experience Collection

Audio recordings including interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns in the series "The Mexican American Experience" and "A esta hora conversamos" from the Longhorn Radio Network, 1976-1982.

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Surveillance Of The Chicano Movement
Program #

Social Issues
Alejandro Saenz
Robert Maggiani
May 19, 1977

Surveillance of the Chicano Movement

Bobby Maggiani discusses his efforts with the Chicano Legal Defense Fund in Austin, Texas to determine and publicize the extent of government spying on the Chicano Movement. Maggiani explains that he and Dr. Armando Gutierrez founded the legal defense fund in 1973 to determine if government agencies had interfered in Chicano political activities. They filed several requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for government documents relating to various Chicano organizations. They received so many documents that they decided to expand the project. With the financial support of several public and private foundations, they established an office and paid a staff of three to determine if the government spied on Chicano organizations. The legal defense fund also publicizes their findings and advocates for stricter control of domestic spying.

In this pursuit, they continue to file FOIA requests, and the ACLU is helping them to initiate a lawsuit against the FBI. Maggiani explains that although many of the documents are heavily redacted, they still reveal that informers infiltrated the Chicano movement and reported on their activities and meetings, especially those with Mexican officials.


Center for Mexican American Studies | Department of History | The Benson Latin American Collection

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