Antonio Joseph Mendez was an American technical operations officer for the Central Intelligence Agency, who specialized in support of clandestine and covert CIA operations. He wrote four memoirs about his CIA experiences.
Mendez was decorated, and is now widely known, for his on-the-scene management of the “Canadian Caper” during the Iran hostage crisis. He exfiltrated six American diplomats from Iran in January 1980 by arranging to have them pose as a Canadian film crew. As part of their cover, the diplomats carried passports issued by the Canadian government to document them as Canadian citizens.
After declassification of records, the full details of the operation were reported in a 2007 article by Joshuah Bearman in Wired magazine. This was loosely adapted for the screenplay and development of the 2012 Academy Award-winning film Argo, directed by Ben Affleck, who also starred as Mendez. Mendez attended the 70th Golden Globe Awards to give a speech about the film, where it was nominated for (and later won) Best Motion Picture – Drama.
Jonna Mendez is an American former technical operations officer, photo operations officer, and chief of disguise in the Central Intelligence Agency’s Office of Technical Service.
After retiring from the CIA in 1993, Mendez and her husband served on the board of directors for the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. They were both involved in the museum planning and design.