38. Report Summary Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency1

Former Guatemalan Officer Reported Planning Revolution

The United States Army Attaché in Honduras reports as of 8 June that Colonel Carlos Castillo Armas, former Guatemalan Army Officer who has been implicated in anti-Government activities and is now a resident in Honduras, is planning to oust President Arbenz of Guatemala. The source of the Army Attaché’s information, whose nationality is not known, claims to be one of Castillo’s “Lieutenants”. The report is summarized as follows: The attempt is to be made within 90 days. The organization has purchased half a million dollars worth of military equipment [Page 85]including arms and ammunition sufficient to equip 3,000 men. The plan is to land 1,000 men at Puerto Barrios to establish a beachhead and then move by rail to Guatemala City. In the meantime Guatemala City will be “softened up” by air. Sympathizers will join the force en route to Guatemala City and a motor column will cross the Guatemala border from El Salvador. All forces will converge on Guatemala City. Army units except those in Guatemala City are expected to back the move.

G–2 Comment: An attempted revolt by Castillo Armas is quite possible but its success is unlikely. There is no information available to corroborate the various details given by the Attaché’s source, and it is quite probable that there is considerable exaggeration and wishful thinking in the report. Castillo is not believed to have much, if any, support within the Guatemalan Army, and support from Army units is unlikely, at least until the movement shows a good chance of success. Movement by rail from Barrios to Guatemala City could be easily blocked. Furthermore, a movement on the scale indicated would require considerably more logistic support than it is believed Colonel Castillo possesses.

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Job 79–01025A, Box 77, Folder 15. Secret. An attached cover memorandum from the Department of the Army, dated June 25, describes this paper as a summary of a report received from the U.S. Army Attaché in Honduras together with Department of the Army comments.