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Cryptonym: ERRATIC

Definition:
ERRATIC was General Jose Miguel Ydigoras Fuentes, and future President of Guatemala (2 March 1958 – 31 March 1963).
Status:
Documented
Discussion:
A memo in October of 1953 mentioned that General Miguel Ydigoras Fuentes met Carlos Castillo Armas on September 13, 1953, at the Salvador-Honduran border. A dispatch in April, 1954, stated that on 13 September, 1953, ERRATIC arranged an interview with Castillo Armas in Goascoran, on the Salvador-Honduras frontier. In addition, a dispatch on 9 March, 1954, mentioned that debriefings of ERRATIC allegedly implied that a Putsch, after the 1950 elections, robbed him of election victory, and gave Arbenz an excuse to void the elections and establish a military government. The major candidates in the 1950 presidential election in Guatemala were Jacobo Arbenz, Ydigoras and Jorge Garcia Granados, who came first, second and third respectively. Taking these things together it is clear that ERRATIC was General Ydigoras. The documentary record showed that Ydigoras and Castillo Armas had a tense, difficult relationship, as they both vied for power. Richard H. Immerman also believed this to be the case in his book on Guatemala in 1982.
Sources:

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954: Guatemala Current Section: 57. 10/8/53-Memorandum of Conversation

10/08/53: Memorandum of Conversation: Subject: Alleged Support of Colonel Carlos Castillo Armas, Guatemalan Oppositionist, by United Fruit Company: "PARTICIPANTS: Colonel Roberto Barrios Peña, Lic. Victor Ramiro Flores, MID—Mr. Fisher: Colonel Barrios Peña said that on August 31 a military and political committee met in San Salvador to unify the opposition forces against the Arbenz Government. All leading Guatemalan oppositionists attended except Colonel Carlos Castillo Armas, who sent a letter declining to affiliate on the ground of having other commitments. In a later meeting between Castillo Armas and General Miguel Ydigoras Fuentes, a member of the military and political committee, Castillo Armas renewed his refusal to join the group...Comment: The documents left by Colonel Barrios Peña include the following:...3. Copies of a unification pact of the 'Guatemalan forces of liberation' signed at San Salvador, August 31, by the following: Military Committee, Colonel Jorge Barrios Solares, Colonel Julio Pablo Garcia, General Miguel Ydigoras Fuentes, Colonel Roberto Barrios Peña; Political Committee, Carlos A. Luna, Manuel José Ares y Valladares, Guillermo Putzeys, Raul Enriquez G., and Carlos Samayoa Chinchilla. 4. A purported memorandum of conversation between General Miguel Ydigoras Fuentes and Colonel Castillo Armas at the Salvador-Honduran border on September 13. The memorandum supposedly records Castillo Armas’ refusal to join the other oppositionist leaders despite energetic representations by Ydigoras Fuentes..."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000923852.pdf

03/09/54: Air dispatch from Charles F. Rennell, Withheld location to Chief, LINCOLN: Subject: General - Political Action, ERRATIC/CALLIGERIS: Specific - Debriefing JUVIA-2 in re: FT/11: "1. The ERRATIC/JUVIA-2 meetings have been reduced in frequency...2. ERRATIC is thoroughly convinced the only chance for ultimate success lies in cooperation with Calligeris (Carlos Castillo Armas) so the mission of HUL-A-62 Para 1-E has been accomplished...A. Bannell told JUSTICE Calligeris was the miraculous, sole survivor of the suppression of the airport abortive Putsch after 1950 elections. ..B. ERRATIC debriefings imply said Putsch robbed ERRATIC of election victory and gave Arbenz an excuse to void elections and establish military government..." - - - Pages 3-8: Debriefing of JUVIA: Mention that Dr. Enrique Lopez Herrarte, secretary to Norman Black of the World Bank, was an old friend and collaborator of ERRATIC. Also, ERRATIC mentioned a number of people as his choices for the provisional cabinet personnel previously submitted.

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954: Guatemala: Current Section: 118. 3/26/54-Memorandum From [name not declassified] to the Chief of the Western Hemisphere Division, Central Intelligence Agency (King)

03/23/54: Telegram from Operation PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida to Withheld Station: "SLINC 1229. 1. Although recognize difficulty your taking effective counteraction nevertheless ERRATIC must demonstrate soon real qualities of being able work in harness or else. 2. SYNCARP (Note: The "Junta", Castillo Armas' political organization headed by Cordova Cerna) sources inside WSBURNT (Guatemala) reporting ERRATIC spreading word he and Calligeris (Carlos Castillo Armas) now in close accord inferring latter is his junior and takes orders from him. 3. This could be very injurious all around and cannot be tolerated. Obviously PBSUCCESS is and will build up Calligeris thus para 1 above becomes mandatory. 4. Appears ERRATIC has swung form mudslinging to subordinating Calligeris. Use theme of all anti-Commies working together and cut out the personal buildup as above as many would-be followers would rebel against ERRATIC."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000916166.pdf

04/26/54: Air dispatch from Charles F. Rennell, Withheld location to LINCOLN: Subject: General - Political Action, ERRATIC/JUVIA II Conversations. Specific - Dictated Report of JUVIA II..."1. Attached hereto is the dictated report of JUVIA II in re: the 18th meeting with ERRATIC. 2. Also attached to the debriefing are copies of two documents provided by ERRATIC. One is a manifesto by the COMITE GUATEMALTECO ANTICOMUNISTA (CGAC) calling on all Guatemalan resistant entities to deny Calligeris (Carlos Castillo Armas) aid or assistance while the second are copies of two reports made to ERRATIC by prominent businessmen in relation to subscription demands made upon them by purported followers of Calligeris..." - - - Pages 2-3: Information about the Guatemalan Anti-Communist Committee based in San Salvador. ERRATIC signed a Pact of Collaboration with Calligeris on 30 January, 1952. This pact was ratified on 13 August, 1953. "On 13 September 1953 ERRATIC arranged an interview with Calligeris in Goascoran, on the Salvador-Honduras frontier, an interview in which he demanded of the latter compliance with the Pact and the ratification." ERRATIC was described as "the Chief of the Liberating Movement within and without Guatemala." - - - Pages 10-11: Mention of a personal enemy of ERRATIC's who worked at the American Embassy in Guatemala. ERRATIC seemingly calculated he would need no more than $45,000.00 to achieve complete readiness for his revolt from within the military garrisons and political organizations in Guatemala. ERRATIC allegedly had a good friend and political follower who worked for the World Bank. It was reported that over the previous two years ERRATIC had to change many of the personnel in his departmental organization. ERRATIC had apparently supplied General Bonilla of Honduras with a list of many of his people, which was then revealed to the Arbenz government, and their usefulness to ERRATIC's organization was subsequently nullified.

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000923769.pdf

05/02/54: Dispatch from LINCOLN to ACOS, Guatemala City (For Lugton): Subject: General - Guatemalan Matters: Specific - ERRATIC Assets: "1. ERRATIC has supplied the following list of additional military and other personnel, which he states comprises persons on whom he can count for cooperation and loyalty. According to ERRATIC these men pretend to support the Arbenz regime only to keep their positions. Col. Jorge Hernandez: Graduate of the Escuela Superior de Guerra de Mexico. He was Chief of the Zacapa Military Zone; however, he received new orders during Holy Week. Col. Victor Quilo: Graduate of the Escuela Superior de Guerra de Mexico. Sent to the school by ERRATIC. Now assigned to the General Staff. Col. Enrique Ruata: Graduate of the Escuela Superior de Guerra de Mexico. Sent to the school by ERRATIC. Now assigned to the General Staff. Teniente Isaias Cedillo: Chief of the Tank Battalion of the Guardia de Honor. Mayor Maximino Zepeda: In the Escuela de Armas de Guatemala. Mayor Miguel Giron: In the Escuela de Armas de Guatemala. Teniento Victor Melchor: Inspector and Instructor of machine guns of the Cuartel No. 2 of the Guardia Civil in Guatemala City. Capitan Jose Maria Paiz: Chief of the Escuela de Capacitacion de la Guardia Civil where there are 20 Czechoslovakian machine guns with sufficient ammunition in Guatemala. Cap. Rodolfo Blanco Rodas: Connected with the Military Intelligence and a free-lance buyer in Guatemala. Col. Bernardo Ordonez: Military Chief of the Military Zone of Zacapa. Previously, he held the same post at Quezaltenango. Joaquin Carranza: An official of the Guardia Civil in Guatemala City. Subteniente Alberto Salazar Bonilla: Guard of Cuartel No. 2 of the Guardia Civil of Guatemala. Sargento Oscar Morales: At Cuartel No. 2 of the Guardia Civil of Guatemala. Tte. Aviador Rodolfo Fuentes: Air Force of Guatemala. He is patroling the frontier of El Salvador. Teniente Julio Sales: Air Force of Guatemala..."

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954: Guatemala: Current Section: 231. 6/24/54-Telegram From Operation PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida to the Central Intelligence Agency

06/24/54: Telegram from Withheld Station to Operation PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida: "1100. Re: DIR 02987. (2) Osorio told Ambassador following 23 June: A. Does not trust ERRATIC and has never seen him although ERRATIC has claimed Osorio support. B. ERRATIC attempted on several occasions to arrange interview with him. C. Osorio not supporting Calligeris (Carlos Castillo Armas). D. Calligeris and ERRATIC individually too ambitious and ERRATIC should throw in his support with Calligeris."

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954: Guatemala: Current Section: 235. 6/25/54-Telegram From Operation PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida to the CIA Station in [place not declassified]

06/25/54: Telegram from Operation PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida to Withheld Station: "4309. Ref: [telegram indicator not declassified] 1102. (2) 1. Through whatever source you consider most appropriate request you get word to ERRATIC if he has any sincere desire to rid WSBURNT (Guatemala) of communism the best thing he can do is to encourage his people to infiltrate into Esquipulas and report to Calligeris (Carlos Castillo Armas) for combat duty. ERRATIC himself should be encouraged publicly to offer his services to Calligeris putting aside all past grievances, chips are down. Now is the moment for all anti-Communists to fight shoulder to shoulder. If he willing fine. If only half hearted or still personally ambitious tell him to keep to his hamburger stand."

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954: Guatemala: Current Section: 242. 6/27/54-Telegram From PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida to the CIA Station in [place not declassified]

06/27/54: Telegram from Operation PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida to Withheld Station: "4421. For Ontrich (Nestor Sanchez). Following received from [place not declassified]: 'ERRATIC refuses join Calligeris (Carlos Castillo Armas) as he states invasion plan being followed contrary his recommendations and convictions. Further, does not see how he could help at Esquipulas at present. Is recommending to followers in DTFROGS (El Salvador) they proceed via WSHOOFS (Honduras) to aid Calligeris. Is sending (REDACTION) to WSHOOFS soon to contact Calligeris organization. (REDACTION) just arrived from WSBURNT (Guatemala) with intel info. [1 line of source text not declassified].'"

Richard H. Immerman, The CIA in Guatemala: The Foreign Policy of Intervention (1982)

Pages 135-136: ..."Several other indicators suggest the middle months of 1953 as the period when Washington strategists began to plot the intervention. In August Ydigoras and Castillo Armas met in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, to unify the anti-Arbenz forces. The two men had never been on close terms-each was jealous of the other's claim to being the leader of the Guatemalan exiles. They nevertheless signed a gentleman's pact, promising to cooperate in the future. In fact, relations remained strained, the rivalry being fueled by Ydigoras' complaint that Castillo Armas reneged on a pledge not to seek the presidency. What is significant for the chronology is that, at Tegucigalpa, Castillo Armas told Ydigoras that the United States government had already assured him of its support. This boast might be dismissed as a mere ploy to win the respect of his rival were it not for some correspondence that fell into the hands of the Guatemalan government in January 1954..." - - - Pages 141-142: ..."Many of the opposition favored Ydigoras, the conservative candidate in the 1950 election, regarding him as the rightful heir to the presidency. But CIA political experts like Howard Hunt rejected Ubico's former henchman as being too reactionary and apt to incur the hostility of both the international community and the Guatemalan people. Ydigoras also resembled a Spanish noble, which agency pundits considered a definite liability. Hunt explained: 'These were the little things we had to take into consideration. You don't rally a country made up of mestizos with a Spanish don'"...

Contributors:
Gavin McDonald

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