Home/ Resources / Projects / CIA Cryptonyms / bigram: ES / cryptonym: ESODIC

Cryptonym: ESODIC

Return to Main Crypts Page

ESODIC was a retired Guatemalan Colonel, along with his older brother, ESODIC-1, who was possibly Colonel Antonio Estrada Sanabria.
A report on Operation PBSUCCESS in around November of 1954 stated that "ESODIC has a close acquaintance who is the line crew chief for the Guatemalan Air Force...It is proposed to use ESODIC for information concerning the activities of the Base Militar, including activities of the Air Force operating out of La Aurora Airport."

A dispatch on April 1, 1954, from Cyrus E. Burnette, mentioned that a report dated January 25, 1954, which stated that ESODIC had been arrested on the orders of the Guatemalan government was incorrect. The dispatch also noted that ESODIC was born in 1908 and not 1928 as had been previously reported, and that ESODIC had traveled extensively in Latin America and was well acquainted with the U.S., particularly Texas and Washington, D.C. The dispatch added that ESODIC furnished a list of names of individuals with whom he was personally acquainted and who were members of the Aero Club de Guatemala.

A dispatch by Graham L. Page (probably Henry Hecksher) on April 20, 1954, mentioned that both he and Earle Bannister (probably John Doherty) had apparently agreed that the ESODICs should be dropped for allegedly being unproductive. The dispatch added that SECANT (Major Enrique Trinidad Oliva) would probably stay in touch with them.

The ESODICs were terminated as agents by Burnette as of April 30, 1954, but appear to have been retained as assets (page 3): https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000923572.pdf

A cable on June 8, 1954, stated that Bannister believed the flight of the ESODICs had "caused sensation" which showed the army in Guatemala was not completely behind the Arbenz government.


12/15/53: CIA document: Titled: Stage One Report Annex B Friendly Assets and Potential: Page 13: "ANNEX B: Part II: A. GUATEMALA (Page 2): ..."4) ESODIC is a retired Guatemalan (REDACTION) who is engaged in activities which permit him to (unintelligible) without question to any part of Guatemala. It is questionable, however, as to whether he will undertake a commission which might compromise him and his decision on this matter would probably be based on the judgement of his brother with whom he consults daily. ESODIC is not believed to be a strong character. He is not known to have volunteered information to previous U.S. Army and Air Attaches. His contacts in the present Guatemalan government are limited to his friends among the military. He speaks, reads and understands English as well as Spanish and has traveled in the United States at various times. As previously stated, however, he is regarded as of less importance than his brother, concerning whom biographical information has not been submitted to Headquarters yet. 5) ESODIC's brother is (REDACTION) years older than ESODIC and is also (REDACTION), man of strong character and at one time a (REDACTION). The elder brother is regarded as being impetuous but probably amenable to reason if properly handled and certainly in a position to know or to learn valuable information concerning the feelings and activities of members of the Guatemalan armed forces. It is planned that Station Guatemala will submit biographical and other information concerning the elder as well as the younger brother with a view to possible utilization of their services..."


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." - - - Pages 2-5: "Weekly KUFIRE Operational Report For Week Ending 5 March 1954: ...FT/5: ESODIC: Responsible Officer - Cyrus E. Burnette: Since news of the recent plot against this government was made public, both ESODIC and his older brother, ESODIC-1, have exhibited an attitude of extreme caution...At this writing both brothers are jointly working on a project for Case Officer which calls for evaluating an extensive list of WSBURNT (Guatemala) army officers...At present no communications in written form are passed between either brother and Case Officer..."


04/01/54: Air dispatch from COS, Guatemala to LINCOLN: Subject: General - Operational. Specific - ESODIC and ESODIC-1, Further Development: "Reference: HULA-246: 1. The report dated 25 January 1954 originating with this office and referenced to in the above-referenced dispatch which stated subject (ESODIC) had been arrested on orders of the government was unfounded and LINCOLN's inference is correct. ESODIC and reporting officer met and conversed a few days subsequent to the date of the report and at the time ESODIC emphatically denied he had even been questioned by the authorities...2. We note in the 'Personality Assessment' on ESODIC prepared at LINCOLN by a now-departed officer of this station that ESODIC's date of birth is given as 1928...Actually, ESODIC's date of birth is 1908. We have no reason to believe he is of a weak character and nothing to that effect is reflected in available files. Further, it is reporting agent's impression, gained after several conversations with both ESODICs, that the younger is not dependent on (REDACTION) for guidance or advice...In the 'Area Background' of the Personality Assessment it is stated ESODIC is not known to have traveled extensively except in Guatemala. Actually, he has stated he has traveled extensively throughout Latin America and is well acquainted with the United States, especially Texas and Washington, D.C... reporting officer turned the questioning toward the ESODICs' knowledge and impressions of Calligeris (Carlos Castillo Armas)...Both ESODICs were high in their praise of Calligeris' professional competency and personal integrity...6. During the same conversation with them, ESODIC furnished a list of names of individuals with whom he is personally acquainted and who are members of the Aero Club de Guatemala...In the ESODICs we have two retired Colonels...Cyrus E. Burnette."


04/20/54: Air dispatch from COS, Guatemala to LINCOLN: Subject: General - Operational. Specific - K Program Prgress: "FROM PAGE...16. Bannister (probably John Doherty) and I are agreed that the ESODICs should be dropped forthwith. They are unproductive and their zeal in communicating with our representative leaves something to be desired. SECANT (Major Enrique Trinidad Oliva) will presumably stay in touch with them. We doubt whether they are capable of and willing to render a substantial contribution to PBSUCCESS, their rather exaggerated standards of personal security militating against any serious production...Graham L. Page (probably Henry Hecksher)."

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 dropping 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 (probably John Doherty) 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 supported 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."


06/18/54: Cable from LINCOLN to Director: Slugline RYBAT PBSUCCESS: DAILY OPSITREP NO. 4..."2. KUGOWN (Psychological and Paramilitary Staff): On live broadcast from SHERWOOD (CIA radio broadcasting program based in Nicaragua begun on May 1, 1954), ESODIC made appeal WSBURNT (Guatemala) airforce pilots to join liberation forces. One GAF aircraft reported in DTFROGS (El Salvador)..."


08/03/54: Cable from Guatemala to Director: Slugline RYBAT PBSUCCESS: RE: GUAT 116 (IN 33082): "1. SECANT (Major Enrique Trinidad Oliva) told Clower (Joseph G. Sancho) morning 3 August that although no proof exists he suspects (REDACTION) behind attack against liberation army. Is considering replacing (REDACTION) with Jose Luis Cruz as latter now commands more respect from army. (REDACTION) would be named to foreign diplomatic post. 2. Calligeris (Carlos Castillo Armas) still in capital but may proceed Zacapa any hour. 3. Immediately following funeral of cadets killed during 2 August battle Base Militar and guardia dhonor forces will attack guardia civil and palace on August 3 for purpose completely taking over control all forces within country. ESODIC B-2. 4. Following names of cadets reportedly spear heading yesterday's attack against liberation forces : Enrique Wer, nephew Cruz Wer: Cadet Barzanallana, nephew of Col Jose Barzanallana: Lenin Chavis Nackman: Captain Carlos Alarcon (as RCVD). ESODIC B-2. 5. Major Sosa of Base Militar suspected in pay Arbenz. He suspected of planning complete take over govt after which Argentine and Mexican Embassies will be forced allow asylees freedom. ESODIC B-3. 6. All planes including liberation F-51 have been confiscated by Base Militar forces and each plane under close armed guard ESODIC B-2." - - - 08/03/54: Cable from Guatemala to Director: Slugline RYBAT PBSUCCESS: RE: GUAT 118 (IN 33370): ..."5. (REDACTION) and ESODIC state original story to effect cadets were insulted and mistreated by liberation army completely false: That idea was that of cadets named para 4 of ref..." https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000920185.pdf


Circa 11/16/54: Report on Project PBSUCCESS: Pages 68-69 (Page 2-3 of PART THREE: EXTENSION OPERATIONAL PLANS FOR STAGE TWO): ..."5. FT/5: ESODIC and ESODIC/1, brothers, have provided lists and information on military personalities. This information is from their personal knowledge and their extensive unwitting sources in military circles. It is proposed to give ESODIC closer supervision, extend his field of unwitting sources and, if possible, locate a well-placed individual for a good penetration. ESODIC's brother is presently (REDACTION). His position will be investigated for possible future use since Calligeris (Carlos Castillo Armas) has mentioned him as a desirable officer to have working actively for the cause. ESODIC has a close acquaintance who is the line crew chief for the Guatemalan Air Force. This contact will be further investigated. It is proposed to use ESODIC for information concerning the activities of the Base Militar, including activities of the Air Force operating out of La Aurora Airport..."

Bill Simpich • Gavin McDonald

© Mary Ferrell Foundation. All Rights Reserved. |Site Map |MFF Policies |Contact Us