114. Telegram From the Embassy in Guatemala to the Department of State1

Guatemala Critic. The following has been passed USIB agencies.


Following details re death Ambassador Mein obtained from Embassy chauffeur and Dr. Salvador Ortega, who was on scene:

1500 Ambassador returning toward Embassy in official limousine, along with driver. Proceeding north along Avenida Reforma, between 12th and 13th streets, Zone 10.

1502 Green car, possibly 64 Buick, overtook limousine on left, forcing it to curb, grazed left front fender. Small red truck stopped immediately behind limousine, blocking it. Young man, dressed olive-green fatigues, armed submachine gun, emerged from green car, ordered chauffeur and Ambassador step out. Driver stepped out of car, but [Page 269] Ambassador opened right rear door and began run back in direction south, protected by car.

Armed youth ran to left rear fender of car, shouted halt, while driver green car said “Shoot him, kill him.” Youth fired burst 5–8 shots, Ambassador fell about 12–15 yards behind limousine. Green and red cars fled.

Embassy driver ran to Ambassador, was immediately joined by Dr. Ortega who happened have been driving some twenty yards behind limousine, had witnessed whole incident. Dr. Ortega says Ambassador was killed instantly, probably by bullet through back which cut aorta.

GOG authorities investigating, more follows.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, PER Mein, John Gordon. Confidential; Flash; Limited Office Use. This telegram repeats a telegram originally sent from the Embassy to the Director of the National Security Agency.