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FBI in Latin 
The FBI in Latin America

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Becker’s fine study fills a void in the historical record of US-Latin American relations. Many studies have examined the role of the CIA in post–WW II Latin America, but few have considered the involvement of the FBI during the war. The threat of Axis infiltration into Latin America gave FBI director J. Edgar Hoover opportunity to extend the Bureau’s operations beyond the US domestic arena. Hoover shared FBI field agent reports with the State Department, which welcomed this source of information, although not all of it was accurate. Hoover, however, was more concerned about communists than Nazis, and even as it became clear by 1943 that the Allies would win the war, the FBI increased its activity in Ecuador and Latin America in general. Becker (Truman State Univ.) uses FBI files and memoirs to examine FBI operations and to explore communist and leftist behavior. Ironically, communists in Ecuador did not pose much of a threat. They were few in number, divided among themselves, and willing to operate within the structure of Ecuador’s political system. FBI operations in Ecuador ended shortly after the war, and in 1947, the CIA assumed foreign espionage responsibilities.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. Most levels/libraries.


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