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Cryptonym: AVOIDANCE

Definition:
Unknown identity. Courier for the CIA Montevideo Station telephone-tapping operation.
Status:
Probable
Discussion:
A dispatch in March of 1961 stated that AVOIDANCE had produced a tape of the speeches of Conte Aguero, Arturo Dubra, Ariel Collazo, and other speakers, during a public debate in that month. In addition, Philip Agee, in his book, Inside the Company, CIA Diary, stated that AVOIDANCE was a courier for the Montevideo Station's telephone-tapping operation.
Sources:

104-10165-10061: DEBATE BETWEEN LUIS CONTE AGUERO AND OPPONENTS.

03/23/61: Dispatch from COS, Montevideo to Chief, WH Division (Info: Chief of Base, JMWAVE): "Attached for Headquarters only as of possible interest, is a tape made by AVOIDANCE of the speeches of Conte Aguero, Arturo Dubra, Ariel Collazo and other speakers during a public debate on 16 March 1961. The tape was made from a Radio Nacional broadcast which was preceded by the playing of the 'International' and a studio speech by Enrique Rodriguez Aviere, Communist deputy. This speech was not taped. The speeches are engraved on both sides of the tape. Walter H. Gebaide."

Inside the Company, CIA Diary (1975) by Philip Agee, Page 295: https://archive.org/stream/pdfy-DAzR701tP2dL_DNu/inside-the-company-cia-diary-philip-agee_djvu.txt

..."AVENGEFUL. The station telephone-tapping operation is effected through the AVALANCHE liaison service (the Montevideo Police Department) with a history dating back to World War II when the FBI was in charge of counter-intelligence in South America. This is currently the most important joint operation underway between the station and an Uruguayan service. Connections are made in telephone company exchanges by company engineers at the request of the police department. A thirty-pair cable runs from the main downtown exchange to police headquarters where, on the top floor, the listening post is located. The chief technician, Jacobo de Anda, and the assistant technician and courier, Juan Torres, man the LP, which has tables with actuators and tape-recorders for each of the thirty pairs. Torres arranges for lines to be connected by the telephone company engineers and he delivers the tapes each day to another courier, AVOIDANCE, who takes them around to the transcribers who work either at home or in safe site offices. This courier also picks up the transcriptions and old tapes from the transcribers and passes them to Torres who sends them to the station each day with yet another courier who works for the Intelligence Department of the police. The police department thus arranges for connections and operates the LP. The courier AVOIDANCE is a station agent known only to Torres among the police department personnel involved. Each of the transcribers is unknown to the police department but copies of all the transcriptions, except in special cases, are provided by the station to the police intelligence department..."

Inside the Company, CIA Diary (1975) by Philip Agee, Page 291, : https://archive.org/stream/pdfy-DAzR701tP2dL_DNu/inside-the-company-cia-diary-philip-agee_djvu.txt

..."AVPEARL. For many months Paul Burns,; the case officer in charge of operations against the PCU, has been studying ways to bug the conference room at PCU headquarters where meetings of the Secretariat and other sensitive conversations are held. Through AVOIDANCE-9, one of the low-level penetration agents who is occasionally posted to guard duty at PCU headquarters, the station has obtained clay impressions of the keys to the conference room from which duplicate keys have been made. However, the twenty-four-hour guard service at PCU headquarters renders an audio installation in the conference room almost impossible by surreptitious entry. AVOIDANCE-9 has also photographed the electrical installations in the conference room, which the guards check on their rounds of the building, and the station pouched to Washington identical electrical sockets of the bulbous, protruding type used in Uruguay. The Technical Services Division in headquarters is casting bugs (microphone, carrier-current transmitter and switches all subminiaturized) into identical porcelain wall sockets of their own manufacture. The Minox photographs of the conference-room sockets were also needed so that the slightest details of painted edges and drops can be duplicated on the bugs being cast at headquarters. Installation will consist simply in removing the current sockets and replacing them with those cast by TSD. If successfully installed the stereo audio signal will be transmitted down the electric power line as far as the first of the large transformers usually located on utility poles."

Inside the Company, CIA Diary (1975) by Philip Agee, Pages 328-329, : https://archive.org/stream/pdfy-DAzR701tP2dL_DNu/inside-the-company-cia-diary-philip-agee_djvu.txt

..."Montevideo 20 July 1964...We've had serious trouble in the AVENGEFUL/AVALANCHE telephone-tapping operation. AVOIDANCE, the courier who takes the tapes around to the transcribers, reported to Paul Burns, his case officer, that a briefcase full of tapes was taken from the trunk of his car while he was on his rounds making pick-ups and deliveries. AVOIDANCE has no idea whether the tapes were taken by a common thief or by the enemy. Although he claims he has been very careful to watch for surveillance (negative), the chances are that the tapes will be listened to, even if only stolen by a thief, in order to determine saleability. After a discussion with Holman and Burns, I advised Commissioner Otero and Colonel Ramirez, Chief of the Metropolitan Guard, that we had lost some tapes and believe all the lines except the Cuban Embassy should be disconnected. Ramirez agreed that the Cuban line should be retained because of our coming OAS meeting and the possibility of a break in relations with Cuba...For the time being AVOIDANCE will be eliminated from the operation although he will go through the motions of a daily routine very similar to normal while continuing to watch for surveillance. The tapes of the Cuban line will be sent over to the station with the daily police intelligence couriers and we will give them to Tomas Zafiriadis, who is an Uruguayan employee of the Embassy Commercial Section. He will serve as courier between the station and his wife (AVENGEFUL-3) who transcribes the Cuban Embassy line. His wife's sister (AVENGEFUL-5), the transcriber of the PCU Headquarters line, will also help on the Cuban Embassy line since her line is being disconnected. Using an Embassy employee like this is-against the rules but Holman is willing to risk the Ambassador's wrath to keep the Cuban Embassy line going..."

Inside the Company, CIA Diary (1975) by Philip Agee, Page 343, : https://archive.org/stream/pdfy-DAzR701tP2dL_DNu/inside-the-company-cia-diary-philip-agee_djvu.txt

"Montevideo 17 October 1964...Still no sign of who was behind the theft of the tapes from AVOIDANCE'S car. He'll now take over the courier duties again so that we can stop using the Embassy employee. Colonel Ramirez, Chief of the Metropolitan Guard, is really happy about AVENGEFUL. A few days ago his men, acting on data from telephone taps, intercepted a truck containing 600 transistor radios that had been off-loaded from a light aircraft running contraband from Argentina. The 300,000 pesos that the haul is worth will be divided among Ramirez and his men..."

See Also:
Contributors:
Philip Agee • Gavin McDonald

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