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  • Preface  vii
    Acknowledgments  ix
    Abbreviations  xi
    Introduction. FBI  1
    1. SIS  17
    2. Communism  53
    3. Labor  95
    4. La Gloriosa  125
    5. Constitution  157
    6. Coup  193
    7. Departures  223
    Conclusion. Cold War  249
    Notes   259
    Bibliography   299
    Index  311
  • “Written by a leading historian of Ecuador and social movements in Latin America, The FBI in Latin America draws on an impressive and far-reaching body of surveillance documents produced by the FBI and the US State Department. Reconstructing the history of Latin American left-wing organizations, Marc Becker provides a new perspective on events in twentieth-century Ecuador and the activities of communist, labor, women's, Indigenous, and broad-based social movements.” — Miguel Tinker Salas, author of, The Enduring Legacy: Oil, Culture, and Society in Venezuela

    "The FBI in Latin America is an absolutely fascinating and pathbreaking introduction to the work of US intelligence and of political intervention and surveillance in Ecuador and Latin America more generally. Only a scholar with Marc Becker's impressive knowledge of Ecuador could undertake a project that opens up the volume of data, factual information, and internal disputes and private conversations as found in the FBI's wartime files as a vital new source for historians of leftist and communist movements in Latin America." — Barry Carr, coeditor of, The Cuba Reader: History, Culture, Politics

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  • Description

    During the Second World War, the FDR administration placed the FBI in charge of political surveillance in Latin America. Through a program called the Special Intelligence Service (SIS), 700 agents were assigned to combat Nazi influence in Mexico, Brazil, Chile, and Argentina. The SIS’s mission, however, extended beyond countries with significant German populations or Nazi spy rings. As evidence of the SIS’s overreach, forty-five agents were dispatched to Ecuador, a country without any German espionage networks. Furthermore, by 1943, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover shifted the SIS’s focus from Nazism to communism. Marc Becker interrogates a trove of FBI documents from its Ecuador mission to uncover the history and purpose of the SIS’s intervention in Latin America and for the light they shed on leftist organizing efforts in Latin America. Ultimately, the FBI’s activities reveal the sustained nature of US imperial ambitions in the Americas.

    About The Author(s)

    Marc Becker is Professor of History at Truman State University and the author of Indians and Leftists in the Making of Ecuador’s Modern Indigenous Movements, also published by Duke University Press, Twentieth-Century Latin American Revolutions, and Pachakutik: Indigenous Movements and Electoral Politics in Ecuador.
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