284. Telegram From the CIA Station in Guatemala to the Central Intelligence Agency1

185. 1. Since returning to Station, have held conversations with ESQUIRE, Calligeris, ESCOBILLA, [name not declassified], ZPSEMANTIC, [Page 441][name not declassified], ZPSECANT and other contacts this Station. Following conclusions have been reached which believe represents true picture although some details lacking.

Political situation tends worsen because Calligeris shows little political sense.
Calligeris apparently putting to one side tried collaborators of previous days and now surrounded by highly suspicious opportunistic elements including Jorge Garcia Granados, former secretary of Vicente Lombardo Toledano, former Ambassador to Washington, well known for Communist tendencies. Calligeris denies he has anything do with Garcia Granados, blamed latter’s presence in palace and closeness to govt on [name not declassified]. However known that Calligeris has dined with him and consulted him on important matters.
Though Calligeris told Bannister that [name not declassified] was responsible for 2 August uprising, ZPSECANT stated [name not declassified] was loyal and acted correctly.
[name not declassified] told ESQUIRE that he leaving on long tour including Zrmetal trip around 20 September. Stated he realized this effort Calligeris to dispose him but professed willingness leave quietly. Professed hope be able get govt on sound footing prior his departure. Stated, believe correctly, that he alone of junta has done real work in setting up govt administration. It true that [name not declassified] is hard worker and knows way around govt departments.
Meanwhile [name not declassified], ZPSEMANTIC, others consider [name not declassified] as menace who trying cut ground out from under anti Communists and weaken Calligeris. [name not declassified] has no popularity but does have some army support. Cannot see how tranquillity achievable with [name not declassified] remaining in junta. Problem is how get him out without trouble if he refuses to leave as [name not declassified], ZPSEMANTIC, Calligeris and others desire.
All anti Communist groups with sole exception Putzeys and a few others have eagerly awaited return [name not declassified] with view he only one capable solving situation and giving needed political guidance.
Meanwhile Calligeris has made some military moves with political ends which merit consideration. On 16 August, 500 CEUA picked soldiers from Canales region were incorporated into Base Militar while 500 soldiers who could not be trusted were released. This move gives Colonel Neiderheitman, Calligeris picked but [less than 1 line of source text not declassified], strong control potentially over this key military installation. At same time 350 picked men under Eduardo Taracena, CEUA leader, have been posted as palace guard. A further group of 300 picked men will be placed in the Guardia de Honor on 23 August.
Calligeris told Bannister evening 20 August that he needs aid in immediately obtaining two armored scout cars for palace guard. Bannister referred him to JMBLUG.
ZPSEMANTIC told Clower noon 20 August that he has 900 armed men concentrating in city which will act in whatever way necessary to ensure that anti Communist cause is not defrauded by palace or by incompetence. Obvious that ZPSEMANTIC is [name not declassified] man. Have checked and ZPSEMANTIC story is true. More being armed daily.
[name not declassified] told Bannister 18 August morning that he hopes reach working agreement with Calligeris but when asked what reaction would be if this proved impossible and it became necessary overthrow Calligeris Bannister replied that it most desirable he and Calligeris reach working agreement. Believed essential that Hqs consider possibility that [name not declassified] followers may rise against Calligeris as last resort if they find it impossible continue collaborate with him.
ZPSEMANTIC, Coronado Lira, Mario Sandoval, ESSENCE, and other key anti Communists and govt figures facing dilemma concerning their future actions. One hand do not wish jettison Calligeris who still popular hero. They consider supporting him desirable but only up to point where they can continue doing so without sacrificing anti Communist cause and their reputations. On other hand, break with Calligeris would play into army and possibly Communist hands unless this accompanied by successful movement which would control country.
Available info indicates that [name not declassified] has strong support in western part of country while ZPSEMANTIC, [name not declassified] and CEUA believe they control eastern part including bases of Zacapa, Jutiapa, Puerto Barrios, and Jalapa.
Meanwhile Calligeris promised Bannister that he intends divide air force between Puerto San Jose and Puerto Barrios, strengthen Quetzaltenango, Quiche, Zacapa garrisons to point where these will have two companies 80 mm mortars, two companies 60 mm mortars, and two companies heavy weapons each plus one observation plane. Each will make daily flights over surrounding countryside. At same time these key bases will become centers of intensive training of anti Communist army reserve for future eventualities.
Have delayed advising this data while checking and attempting fit into overall picture.
Crucial meeting between Calligeris and [name not declassified] to be held 23 August and consider future peace WSBURNT depends outcome this meeting.
As suggestion believe following should be done: [name not declassified] should be removed from junta and sent abroad on diplomatic mission. Calligeris and ZPSECANT should invite [name not declassified] [Page 443]to join them on junta while agreeing to follow [name not declassified] political plan which has support key anti Communist figures now occupying important positions in government.
[name not declassified] addition to junta would offer tremendous advantages including built in check and balances plus propaganda value of having [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] as member of government. Idea of having [name not declassified] (portion garbled; being svcd) eminence but without any real power would probably be unworkable since Calligeris could always refuse follow advice or drag feet in carrying out plans. If [name not declassified] member of junta he could see that program carried out. Moreover wise that [name not declassified] have responsibility as well as authority.
These matters have been discussed with JMBLUG who is in general agreement.
Recognize this policy matter but [name not declassified] and Calligeris have asked Bannister for advice. Calligeris urgently asked for instructions.
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Job 79–01025A, Box 11, Folder 7. Secret; Priority; RYBAT; PBSUCCESS.