104. Contact Report1

No. 33

PLACE: Safe House “A”

PERSONS PRESENT: B. Ford and [name not declassified]

COVER USED: Pseudonyms

Discussion: Discussion Topic: Don Pedro

In accordance with instructions which I had received, I went over in detail the memorandum2 regarding the possible use, or exploitation, of Don Pedro. [name not declassified] attitude was completely negative. Even before I had finished the complete discussion of the points contained in the memorandum, he had attempted to interrupt me with strong objections. The complete list of objections is to be found in attached memorandum typewritten.3
The most outstanding thing which I gathered from this discussion was [name not declassified] intense dislike of Don Pedro, and any possible collaboration with him on the part of the Junta or the Group to him appeared as a grave error. He summarized this attitude in stating that even if we discover that it is necessary to place Don Pedro in a position of use—that is to secure his help in having San Salvador as a base of operations, or in some manner to assist us in that country—whatever [Page 201]small part he plays will not be worth the trouble which will be created later on by incorporating him into the movement. He pointed out that, in weighing this, it would be his opinion, and he was certain that RUFUS would share this opinion, that no use could be made of Don Pedro.
I then explained several points which had been made in the initial discussion, of the written memorandum which had been given to me. However, [name not declassified] did not give in an inch and appeared to be adamant regarding the matter of doing any business at all with Don Pedro.
I advised him that, of course, they would be kept in constant knowledge of what was taking place with Don Pedro, and furthermore, the results of the conversations which might ensue.
At this time I returned to the Base and, after conveying the initial reaction of [name not declassified] to Jerry,4 I was advised that possibly this attitude should be changed slightly to the one that it would be possible to utilize him after his true assets had been obtained and reviewed by RUFUS and [name not declassified], an isolation process would have to take place; that I should advise [name not declassified] definitely that this consideration certainly would be thought of, if his assets did not appear actually to be real. I advised Jerry that I had not brought this matter up because it had not been in the memorandum, although Jerry advised me such information had been contained in the FT Task. I, in brief, outlined the information and reaction and objections of [name not declassified] to him and then advised him that I would return with this additional information for [name not declassified] benefit. Also, I advised that I wished to clarify the matter regarding Mr. Smith’s obtaining an approval of approach to Pedro, and as to what reaction there had been at the time.
Checking again with [name not declassified] a short bit later, I advised him that I had been thinking about this matter while I had been gone and that I was extremely interested in finding out further his reaction on this thing. [name not declassified] said that he principally had absolutely no confidence in Don Pedro and that RUFUS shared this view also. I then advised [name not declassified] that, actually, if we discovered that no real assets or real use could be made of Don Pedro, certainly we wished to get him out of the way, either by neutralization, isolation, or, at last risk or cost, elimination. I said we could not allow this man to continue in his present state, in as much as he was actually [Page 202]doing harm to the Junta, and that we must find some way to fit him in or take him out of the picture.
[name not declassified] again stated his views as to the risks of taking him in and gave to me at this time a list of objections which he had verbally told me earlier in the afternoon. He again counselled extreme caution on any dealings with Don Pedro, stating that, at any time and at any place, Don Pedro would be willing to betray anyone for his own personal interests. I advised him that the utmost discretion would be used and that immediately after we had obtained from Pedro a list of his assets, we would make these facts known to RUFUS and [name not declassified], for their private investigation or survey of them.
I asked [name not declassified] if this whole subject of Pedro had not been approached previously by Mr. Smith, and [name not declassified] had advised that it had been and that RUFUS said that if the Group dictated that Pedro should be the leader of this, if it meant success for the movement, he, RUFUS, would become a soldier in the ranks to comply. [name not declassified] said if this eventuation should come to pass, he, although he would continue along with the movement, would be the first one to oppose him once he was established as the new leader of Guatemala.
[initials not declassified]
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Job 79-01025A, Box 125, Folder 4. No classification marking.
  2. Not further identified.
  3. Not printed. In part, [name not declassified] objected to Yd’goras because he represented “conservative elements and if a part of the new govt., would give Commies chance for come-back, since he would have little real desire in a positive program.”
  4. Not further identified.