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Cryptonym: AMCOAX-1

Definition:
Jose Pujals Mederos. His patronymic is also seen as Pujol and Pujols. Aliases included Chacho and Ernesto.
Status:
Probable
Sources:

1994.04.26.09:46:28:100005 Reel 52, Folder J - REINOL GONZALES

Reinol Gonzales/AMCALL-1 states in a CIA debriefing that "Pujals" was also known as "Ernesto". Previous page describes this as the Debriefing of Reinol Gonzales by Carl Jenkins, May 28, 1979. At page 16, it states: "Jose Pujol Mederos, (possibly Pujals)" is described by Reinol Gonzales/AMCALL-1 at the CIA debriefing described above as "an agent trained by the Agency in the U.S., who worked with the MRP and the small UR group".

104-10103-10151: CABLE:11. YOUR MESSAGE 15. BRAND, CHACHO AND LUIS/ATTEMPT TO ASSASSINATE CASTRO AND SABOTAGE ELECTRIC COMPANY

Brand (AMPANIC-7), Chacho (AMCOAX-1) and Luis (AMPUG-1) only have arms for 50 men. Blowing up of central electric plant and possibly attempt on Fidel will be decidedly carried out 9 April. Once this is achieved impossible to maintain clandestine organization in Cuba.

180-10090-10232: No Title

"Castro's Black Book", given to Senator George McGovern in 1975, states that at a 1961 meeting Jose Pujals Mederos took the place of Alfredo Izaguirre (AMPUG-1) as head of the CIA agents in Cuba after Izaguirre's arrest. Pujals met with Jim Bender aka Jim Boulding; Harold Bischop; and Carl Hitch. This meeting was held at Guantanamo Naval Base. Former base chief - "Captain Carl E. Schenweias" - was one of the most aggressive organizers at this meeting. (The actual spelling is "Carl W. Schoenweiss" In 1961, he was transferred to the Office of Naval Material, where he served until his retirement. https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/114250037/

104-10193-10173: CABLE: FOLL INFO OBTAINED CARLOS BANDIN AKA LAZARO DURING DEBRIEFING

AMCOAX-1 was known as Chacho and Ernesto.

104-10103-10360: COMMENTS ON BOOK V, SSC FINAL REPORT, THE INVESTIGATION OF THE ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT KENNEDY: PERFORMANCE OF THE INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES

AMBRONC-5 was told to contact AMCOAX-1 for his general plan for April 1961. AMCOAX-1 obtained his POA on 1/5/61 to organize paramilitary activities in Cuba. He infiltrated in Feb. 1961, and exfiltrated in July 1961. Reinfiltrated on July 29, 1961, with the same organizing mission, and was arrested on August 17,1961. As seen in this redacted document with a POA date identical to AMCOAX-1, the CIA claims that there is "nothing in the files" showing that he was involved in assassination efforts against Castro. Received a 30 year prison term. His name appears in Castro's Black Book, given to Senator McGovern. Pages 76-79 describe how AMCOAX-1 was identified as one of the four agents who planned to sabotage the Havana electric company during April 1961, along with AMBRONC-5, AMPUG-1 and AMPANIC-7.

104-10193-10180: DISPATCH: JMZIP/PM - CONTACT REPORT OF MEETINGS

AMBRONC-5 is described in this memo as AMCOAX-1's deputy.

HSCA Report, Volume X Current Section: III. Antonio Veciana Blanch

Veciana/AMSHALE-1 was the chief of MRP's sabotage division during the time that AMCOAX-1 was engaged in sabotage efforts in Cuba with MRP in 1961. Veciana was also closely working with David Phillips throughout this period.

104-10243-10080: CABLE: ACCORDING INFO RECD HERE FROM AMCOAX-ONE, MEETING WAS HELD IN HAVA 7 JUL BY MRR,MRP, 30 NOV1 RESCATE, DR, MDC AND UP FOR PURPOSE UNIFYING UNDERGROUND AT WHICH IT WAS DECIDED MENDOZA WOULD BE SE

7/20/61 memo from Martha Tharpe, WH/4/PA-PROP: AMCOAX-1 reported that a number of the anti-Castro organizations met to unify the underground, decided that "Mendoza" would be the external coordinator and be sent to Miami. "It is conceivable Mendoza considered AMCOAX-1 or AMPUG-1 as representing (CIA)."

1993.07.24.08:58:48:530470: MATERIAL REVIEWED AT CIA HQS BY HSCA STAFF MEMBERS RE PIERRE OWEN DIEZ

This CIA memo quotes the magazine Prensa Latina as adopting the findings from the "Castro's Black Book" item in some respects, as it states that Pujals was involved in attempts on Castro's life, and cites some of the same CIA officers as his "handlers".

Transcript of Fonzi-Escalante Interview, Part 1

Cuban intelligence chief Fabian Escalante interviewed by Gaeton Fonzi, 1996: "I don't know what Antonio Veciana has told you, but I'm going to tell you what I know. The case "From the North Terrace of the Palace". To us it was a puzzle. First of all, we arrest on August 8, 1961 a CIA agent named Jose Pujals Madero (?)...a very old informant of the CIA in Havana. And after the Bay of Pigs, he was enrolled by another CIA agent (Alfredo Izaguirre/AMPUG-1) on a plot to kill Fidel and Raul Castro. But they had some differences, and about June, Pujals leaves for the United States. The actions against Izaguirre, if I don't recall wrong, was on July 22. We arrested the main people in the plot...the CIA radio man Jorge Garcia Rubio...and the main thing is the plot was organized...also linked with a provocation at the Navy base in Guantanamo. But that's another story...(Pujols) said that he gets to Miami and he has a meeting with Howard Hunt and he travels to Washington and he has an interview with someone called Harold Bishop...and he was the person who told him to contact Veciana and Reynoldo Gonzalez...the interesting thing is Bishop and that it's not Maurice, it's Harold. And then he (Pujols) comes back to Cuba at the end of July and contacts Veciana and Gonzalez and we captured him on August 8...from August 8 we already know that it is a new plot to kill Fidel, but we didn't know when it was going to be or how big was it. (By end of Sept), first we captured a printing house where they were editing a false law of the government...it was an edict that children were going to be taken away from their parents and taken to Russia...this false law was being printed and the CIA was going to introduce this through the Catholic Church...We knew that MRP was behind that...and on the 29th we arrested...Dalia Jorge Diaz, who was placing some of these explosives in a big warehouse." (See Fabian Escalante's The Secret War, pp. 98-99).

104-10307-10503: CUBAN PRESS REPORT OF MRP ATTEMPT TO ASSASSINATE FIDEL CASTRO

11/2/61, "US Conspiracy Against Cuba", TASS: "After failure of the intervention against Cuba in April, (Manuel) Ray was dismissed and replaced by one Ignacio Gonzales de Mendoza, now in the United States, and by the 'national coordinator' of the movement, R. Gonzalez, who was also the leader of the counterrevolutionary 'Catholic youth' organization...even before the April invasion MRP saboteurs set fire to Havana's largest 'Encanto' store and other shopping centers, sabotaged electric transmission lines, exploded bombs, and carried out terrorist acts. Their aim was to create chaos and confusion in Cuba before the April intervention. In July, after the rout of the interventionists and the arrest of many members of the counterrevolutionary underground, the CIA sent one of its agents to Cuba, one P. Mederes (note: probably Pujol Mederos), to organize the MRP and other counterrevolutionary groups and supply them with arms, explosives and money. This agent, arrested by state security organs, had been briefed in the United States by CIA officials Generals Bowling and Taylor."

Contributors:
Bill Simpich

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