How a DEA Agent Unraveled the CIA’s Role in the Murder of a Federal Agent

Posted: July 2, 2015 in Politics
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Once in the safety of Berrellez’s office in L.A., Harrison told his story. He said he was a CIA agent who was trained in Virginia and assigned to pose as an English instructor at the Autonomous University of Guadalajara. He was to infiltrate the leftist student groups on campus and point out their leaders to the Mexican authorities. He said the students he identified invariably disappeared. Harrison found he didn’t have the stomach for the political espionage, so his control agent reassigned him to handle radio communication between DFS and the drug traffickers in Guadalajara they were assigned to protect.

Berrellez’s first interview with Harrison was 25 years ago, but one wouldn’t know from the wonder still audible in his voice as he tells the story. “It wasn’t like I just believed all this crap at first. I was as incredulous as anybody else.” Harrison talked about Nicaragua. He talked about drug money being used to support the contras. Death squads being trained at Caro Quintero’s ranch in Mexico. The murder of a Mexican journalist. He said things that offended Berrellez’s sense of patriotism, his sense of loyalty to the government he served. “Hector,” the witness told him, “the CIA killed Camarena.”

At DEA headquarters, the report Berrellez filed on Lawrence Harrison was stamped SECRET and NOT FOR FOREIGN DISSEMINATION. According to Berrellez, Harrison’s statement, filed March 9, 1990, has the distinction of being the only official mention of CIA involvement in the Camarena killing. The reason for the secrecy was a matter of protocol: Neither Berrellez nor DEA had the jurisdiction to investigate charges made against a separate federal agency.

In retirement, Berrellez remained silent — because the Machaín warrant remained enforceable and because he had enough problems in his personal life. Three decades of single-minded devotion to the DEA had left a gulf between he and his family. His personal life was a shambles. His first wife left him during the Machaín controversy. Then in 2006, his son, suffering through his own marital problems, committed suicide, leaving Berrellez to raise his two grandchildren.

Full Story @ [laweekly]


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