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Cryptonym: ESCONSON-2

Definition:
Unknown identity. A document in December, 1953, stated that ESCONSON-2 was the principal agent of the ESCONSON project, was Guatemalan and served for several years as a member of the secret police.
Status:
Unknown
Discussion:
The document also mentioned that ESCONSON-2 was known to have engaged in intelligence activities for the Guardia Judicial or plainclothes police of the Guatemalan government, and for the military intelligence service. In addition, ESCONSON-2 was formerly ESCALATOR, and was known to have had at least four sub-agents. ESCONSON-2 developed ESCONSON-3, who was described as "a Guatemalan, salesman-peddler, who previously worked for the secret police." ESCONSON-2 and -3 were apparently close friends. ESCONSON-2 also developed ESCONSON-4, who allegedly had worked previously in the information section of the Guatemalan Guardia Judicial. A KUFIRE (Intelligence) dispatch on 10 March, 1954, mentioned that George L. Tranger (John Doherty) was the case officer of the ESCONSON project. The dispatch added "that ESCONSON-2 and his sub-agents do not have access to high level target personalities. Project agents are considered low and middle level operators and by reason of educational and social background are unlikely to develop high level contacts." Furthermore, a report on 11 June, 1954, was based on ESCONSON-2 from ESCONSON-7 from Oscar Humberto Toledo of the CGTG. The sources were described as a Guatemalan businessman, from a person having contacts in labor circles, from a Guatemalan Communist, respectively. Therefore, it appears as if ESCONSON-2 was also a businessman.
Sources:

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000915074.pdf

10/31/50: Report Made by: Merle G. Ruffner: "Source, Operational Data, and Comments: Comments: Col. Castillo Armas was anxious that the information in this report not be divulged to anyone. This report is not being shown to the Embassy, and it is requested that Headquarters not disseminate it at this time. The Embassy will be given this information if and when it should become necessary. ESCALATOR informed the writer about 1 October 1950 that the G-2 was interested in employing (REDACTION). He obtained this information from (REDACTION) the second man in G-2."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000914966.pdf

02/09/53: Cable from Sr. Rep. Guatemala City to Director: Slugline PBFORTUNE: "1. Following from Oliver G. Galbond (J. C. King) from ESQUIRE via ESCONSON 9 Feb: 'Crisis here now at hand gravest events maybe touched off 6 p.m. today with public symbolic burning of constitution. Arbenz has stated those participants will leave their corpses in central plaza. His paranoid Hitler type speech to marching CTG groups Saturday evening with leaders of official parties including Communist and announced real revolution now begun will not be stopped by scraps of paper such as constitution. Further stated would use opportunity to liquidate reactionaries entirely, stated he intends to survive in order to write their death certificates in their own blood. His figure of individuals thus to be dispatched 800. Your embassy here apparently still passive and unresponsive to elements actively and subversively in opposition, does not reflect attitude of your government now formulated and announced by Eisenhower and Dulles...3. ESCONSON-2 states he doubts demonstration will be held since it is common gossip in national palace martial law will be declared..."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000923959.pdf

12/15/53: CIA document: Stage One Report: Annex B: Friendly Assets and Potential: Page 12: "A. GUATEMALA. 1. (REDACTION). a. The KUFIRE (Intelligence) agent coverage, Guatemala, is currently being handled through two projects, these being the ESCONSON and ESCROW projects. 1). ESCONSON Project. Principal Agent, ESCONSON-2, is a Guatemalan national (REDACTION) he served for several years as a member of the Guatemalan secret police. He is also known to have engaged in intelligence activities for the Guardia Judicial or plainclothes police of the Guatemalan government and also for the Guatemalan military intelligence service. ESCONSON-2 (formerly ESCALATOR) is believed to have identification documents of these various intelligence organizations and it is assumed that he uses them when necessary to obtain information. He is known to have at least four sub-agents. a. ESCONSON-3 is a Guatemalan, salesman-peddler, who previously worked for the secret police and was developed by ESCONSON-2 (REDACTION) for use by our organization. ESCONSON-2 and ESCONSON-3 are close friends...b. ESCONSON-4. Was developed by ESCONSON-2 (REDACTION) and had worked previously in the information section of the Guatemalan Guardia Judicial. He is a (REDACTION) by profession..."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000913356.pdf

02/17/54: Dispatch from Acting COS, Guatemala, Withheld to Chief of Project, PBSUCCESS: Subject: General - PBSUCCESS: Specific - Subject of HGG-A-724: "The identities set forth in the memorandum attached to HGG-A-724 are as follows: 1. ESPOUSER. 2. (REDACTION). 3. Elliot P. Razmara. 4. ESCONSON-2. 5. (REDACTION). 6. ESOTROPE. 7. ESPOUSER. 8. ESCROW. 9. (REDACTION). 10. (REDACTION). (REDACTION). Clara M. Heagey."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000916413.pdf

03/10/54: Dispatch from COS, Guatemala to LINCOLN: Subject: General - Operational: Specific: Policia de Emigracion y Politica: "1. ESCONSON-2, who has numerous contacts in police circles by reason of (REDACTION) and with army G-2, was questioned with a view to the development of information relating to the inquiry contained in reference...Considering the fact that ESCONSON-2 has excellent contacts in police circles, including a sub-agent in the Guardia Judicial...4. The Policia de Emigracion y Politica is not a legal entity in the strictest sense; it was formed by personal order of Cruz Wer and not by formal legislative act or Presidential order. It functions solely in the capital city, and in the opinion of ESCONSON-2 is not an efficient unit. 8. Army G-2 has two investigative-intelligence sections. One is designed to cover the activities of personnel within the army itself; the other is a civilian section that covers the activities of political parties, both pro- and anti-government. ESCONSON-2 believes that G-2 provides the penetration agents that are sent abroad to join and report on exiled groups...Very often, according to ESCONSON-2, contending ministers employ their confidential agents against each other. As a consequence of such intrigues, ESCONSON-2 observed that the National Palace is frequently referred to as 'la cueva de los cuarenta ladrones.' 10. As might be expected the President has his personal information service which ESCONSON-2 declares is headed by Jaime Diaz Rozzotto...As an aside, ESCONSON-2 pointed out that his activities and those of his sub-agents are constantly endangered by such government informants. An indiscreet question while working on an assigned task could easily make the investigator the investigated. (REDACTION) George L. Tranger."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000923850.pdf

03/10/54: Air dispatch from COS, Guatemala to LINCOLN: Subject: Operational KUFIRE Tasks, PBSUCCESS: "1. In compliance with the instructions set forth in reference dispatch, there is being transmitted herewith in duplicate the first in a series of the 'Weekly KUFIRE (Intelligence) Operational Reports.' In order to meet pouch deadlines and to keep the last-minute rush on the pouches to a minimum, it has been decided locally to prepare this weekly operational report each Friday. Data set forth in each FT report will accordingly cover the period Friday morning through Thursday afternoon. 2. As will be noted, the name of the officer responsible for each FT has been noted on each FT. As additional FT's come to our attention, advice from your headquarters will be requested. Cyrus E. Burnette." - - - Page 2: "FT/1: ESCONSON Project: Responsible Officer - George L. Tranger: The principal agent (ESCONSON-2) has been briefed regarding targets of interest and it is believed that he and his sub-agents can develop the desired coverage. It is noted, however, that ESCONSON-2 and his sub-agents do not have access to high level target personalities. Project agents are considered low and middle level operators and by reason of educational and social background are unlikely to develop high level contacts. Nonetheless, their contacts in other than top level echelons are believed to be valuable and will probably produce desired information. Principal contributors to coverage of targets will be ESCONSON-2, 3, and 7. ESCONSON-4 and 5 will continue to provide operational background information relating to travel, biographic data, etc. Their contribution to the FT/1 targets cited in reference will probably be nominal since they do not have the mobility and required accessibility. There have been no operational changes due to the reorientation of the operation for PBSUCCESS purposes. Security remains good; no contact/communications problems presently exist..."

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954: Guatemala: Current Section: 174. 6/8/54-Telegram From the CIA Station in Guatemala to Operation PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida

06/08/54: Telegram from Guatemala Station to Operation PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida: "780. 1. Govt declared suspension constitutional guarantees at 4 a.m. 8 June. 2. This most drastic step taken in recent times by WSBURNT (Guatemala) govt. 3. Morning edition Impacto seized. 4. Declaration curfew possible. 5. Plane reported dropped leaflets over Quetzaltenango night 7 June. 6. Fear panic spreading in government circles and offices. Constant meetings govt high command with Fortuny ranking Commies attending. Fortuny allegedly successfully recommending policy appeasement toward ODYOKE (U.S. Government). Bannister comment: Believe govt becoming desperate attempting shore up position. Suspension guarantees and subsequent activities repression may rebound govt detriment rather than benefit. Consider army key situation and believe army situation again becoming fluid. Flight ESODICS caused sensation showed army not whole heartedly supporting govt. Individual army officers griping at constant state alert and believed dissatisfaction could mount to point action if govt makes foolish moves in attempting keep afloat. Sources: ESPARTO, ESCHEL, ESPERANCE, ESCONSON–2."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000922673.pdf

06/11/54: Report from Withheld and Earle N. Bannister (probably John Doherty): "Source: ESCONSON-2 from ESCONSON-7 from Oscar Humberto Toledo of the CGTG." - - - Pages 2-3: Subject: Instructions received by Guatemalan Communist Labor Leaders who traveled to Mexico in April 1954: "Guatemalan businessman (B) from a person having contacts in labor circles (C) from a Guatemalan Communist (F)..."

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954: Guatemala: Current Section: 222. 6/22/54-Telegram From the CIA Station in Guatemala to Operation PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida

06/22/54: Telegram from Guatemala Station to Operation PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida: "929. Ref LINC 4165. (2) 1. No indication ref true at this moment. 2. Reports from ESCONSON 2 and 7 indicated Commies and Commie dominated workers claim they intend attack embassies of unfriendly govts and especially PBPRIME (U.S.) embassy where expect seize documentation proving ODYOKE (U.S. Government)–Calligeris (Carlos Castillo Armas) collaboration. 3. Strafing attack morning 22 June described by competent PBPRIME observer as pathetic. One small oil tank on outskirts of city hit but fire out in 20 minutes. Flak not suppressed. Plane apparently did not come lower than thousand feet at anytime. ESAGE, ESPERANCE. 4. Public impression is that attacks show incredible weakness, lack of decision, and fainthearted effort. Calligeris efforts widely described as farce. Anti Commie anti govt morale near vanishing point. ESPERANCE, ESQUIRE, ESTIMATOR, ESCONSON. 5. One lone plane attacking half heartedly at this stage of game gives impression weakness. If Adam (Guatemala City) targets to be attacked, suggest some show real strength. Display this morning far more damaging our cause than to govt and Commies. Govt widely accusing ODYOKE of being involved in this insurrection and the people believe this to be so. Weakness and lack of decision is attributed to ODYOKE and will be reflected in attitude of people and especially of Commies and pro govt irregulars toward lives and property of PBPRIME residents in WSBURNT (Guatemala). Only force and decision will be respected. Words are useless."

Contributors:
Gavin McDonald

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