Telegram From the CIA Station in [place not declassified] to the Central Intelligence Agency on plans for a coup in Guatemala, June 25, 1952 /1/


[place not declassified], June 25, 1952.

/1/Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Job 79-01025A, Box 10, Folder 1. Secret; Priority.

600. Re: [telegram indicator not declassified] 596./2/

/2/Not printed. (Ibid.)

Following is detailed summary information furnished by [name not declassified] 24 June and language used which indicates opinions are his.

1. Group has opportunity buy for $50,000 enough arms and ammunition to arm 650 men with sufficient strength to start armed revolt with good results. Arms consist of 500 hand grenades, 180 machine guns, 500 automatic rifles and about 600,000 rounds ammunition. Arms and ammo are already within the city limits and can get them in 24 hours after group has the money. Person with whom dealing is of utmost confidence and giving property valued at more than $50,000 as security. As further security group could keep under control for 48 hours the men who receive the money until merchandise received and determined to be satisfactory. Important have tear gas bombs and request we secure some.

2. As to flying boats would have an airport in control of group and location could be told at right moment. (Indicates) Flying boats should carry flame throwers, automatic arms and machine guns. Use would be to support movement after fighting starts. (Claims) Air force presently has only four old planes which can operate.

3. Revolt to take place in Guatemala City in daring coup involving several important military and government points. Detailed manner (of operation) already prepared. Could have govt disorganized in about six hours of fighting. Once [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] high officials eliminated and no govt to obey knows can get some army officers give help. Have enough men not presently in army who know arms well and previously in armed forces. Preparations already made for use about 400 men who are ready to act within short notice. They only know they are about to enter action.

4. Already has prepared group of professional gunmen to eliminate communists and control the unions which are well armed. Action by them to be timed with overall movement.

5. Can produce some revolts in interior if desire attract attention of govt. No pledges received from military (active) officers but think possible get pledges last minute. Cannot trust any inactive service now.

6. Would be best to have junta including civilians and military men but this not definitely discussed yet (within group).

7. Have no assistance of men or material in neighboring countries but know of group working on that subject and could get their support if could interest that group at precise moment.

8. Funds to be used are 50,000 for mentioned arms and ammo, 20,000 representing 2,000 for each gunman in the elimination of the important communist, the latter to be paid in U.S. dollars after job done. Remainder for other expenses including salaries, foodstuffs and other emergencies such as bribing army officers at last moment.

9. Cannot be sure of success but if operate within short period have chance "maybe as good as 50-50". Intend operate if possible within two weeks. Comments: Am most doubtful plan will succeed in view absence any pledged army support. Statements do not indicate [name not declassified] actually has adequate confidence. Attempt should definitely be timed with Castillo Armas efforts of which presume you informed and can judge whether [name not declassified] not willing take such revelation.


Source: US, Department of State, Office of the Historian, Foreign Relations, Guatemala, 1952-1954. Accessed on 19 March 2008 at: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/frus/ike/guat/20195.htm


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