¡Sí Se Puede! Hispanic Heritage Month Spotlight on César Chávez & the UFW
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FBI Surveillance of César Chávez: File #157-27530

Title: FBI Surveillance of César Chávez: File #157-27530
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The primary source document described below, which can be viewed by clicking the thumbnail at right, is part of a 1,434-page file on César Chávez and the farmworker movement compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) between 1965 and 1973. The FBI's surveillance of Chávez, which paralleled larger efforts to prove that protest groups of the civil rights era had been infiltrated by subversive influences, was unable to uncover any evidence of communism or corruption in the activities of Chávez and his followers.

The FBI's dossier on Chávez was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which contains provisions that allowed the FBI to withhold portions of the documents from public view. Indeed, many parts—and in some cases, entire pages—have been excised from the files. Nevertheless, the collection provides a compelling window into the efforts of the farmworker movement, as well as the values and methods of the FBI itself.

This brief file contains two pages regarding what is described as a conflict—with the potential for violence—between members of the United Farm Workers (UFW) and farm owners in Homestead, Florida. The teletype, sent to Washington from the FBI's field office in Miami on December 18, 1972, reported that the confrontation was rumored to occur the following day in the town of Princeton, just a few miles northwest of Homestead.

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