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Cryptonym: ESODIC-1

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Colonel Antonio Estrada Sanabria is probably the one who said that "ESODIC-1 is my man." A dispatch on April 1, 1954, stated that "in the ESODICs we have two retired Colonels..."
A CIA document in December of 1953 described ESODIC's elder brother as being a "man of strong character...the elder brother is regarded as being impetuous...and certainly in a position to know or to learn valuable information concerning the feelings and activities of members of the Guatemalan armed forces." ESODIC was the younger brother of ESODIC-1 (see dispatch of March 10, 1954). A dispatch on April 1, 1954, stated that ESODIC-1 said he had been offered a diplomatic position by Alfonso Martinez, apparently on behalf of President Arbenz, in around April 1951. ESODIC-1 also stated that he was a friend of Carlos Castillo Armas. The reporting officer, Cyrus E. Burnette, believed this to be the truth. A passage in this dispatch suggested that ESODIC-1 had been working with Kenneth S. Givloch (Birch O'Neal) in November of 1953. 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. A debriefing report by Nestor Sanchez on April 25, 1954, noted that "the main topic the Guatemalan Police hampered on throughout the interrogation was of a plot against the government by SECANT and ESODIC-1." 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. A cable on August 23, 1954, noted that ESODIC-1 had recently visited New Orleans, and that E-1 dismissed rumors that he was being lined up by a group of army officers to take over the presidency of the junta.


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..."


02/13/54: Cable from Guatemala to Director: Slugline PBSUCCESS RYBAT: RE: LINC 281 (IN 13523): "1. Col. McCormick, military attaché, has complete current order of battle, graphic breakdown per military zone, base, staff and installation plus detailed info re weapons complement each unit. Also has considerable biographic info on officers rank colonel through major. 2. He has forwarded all this info to ODEARL (U.S. Department of Defense). Same available locally. 3. Is this info available to SLINC? 4. If not can duplicate and forward immediately. 5. ESODIC-1 has never furnished complete desired evaluations of military. He fears surveillance and avoids contacts. Bannister (probably John Doherty)."


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...it now is apparent that ESODIC-1 looks to (REDACTION) for moral support and advice during three-way conversations...ESODIC-1 was discreetly asked to describe the job which President Arbenz had offered or would probably offer him. ESODIC-1 replied that in approximately April 1951, Alfonso Martinez, currently head of the Departamento Agrario Nacional (DAN), told him he had been authorized by Arbenz to offer ESODIC-1 a diplomatic position abroad; that if ESODIC-1 was interested he could probably have his choice of countries...reporting officer turned the questioning toward the ESODICs' knowledge and impressions of Calligeris (Carlos Castillo Armas). ESODIC-1 stated the two are old friends and that he hears from Calligeris at regular intervals. In answer to another question, ESODIC-1 stated correspondence between him and Calligeris is carried by messengers...It is reporting officer's impression that ESODIC-1 was telling the truth when he stated he is well known to Calligeris...ESODIC-1 then suggested that he attempt to select one man whom he trusts completely from within the garrison in Guatemala City...On the night of 25 March 1954, ESODIC-1 returned the list of reporting officer with the comment that he had reviewed the list with Givloch (Birch O'Neal) during November 1953, and that he had furnished all the information known to him at that time...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)."


04/25/54: Debriefing by Ontrich of SEMANTIC and SECANT: "The debriefing of SEMANTIC (probably Domingo Goicolea Villacorta) and SECANT (Major Enrique Trinidad Oliva) was very revealing and satisfactory especially after both cleared the LCFLUTTER (note: Polygraph - "lie detector" - testing). The first basic issue which had to be clarified was the degree of compromise caused by the January torture and interrogation of SECANT. The interrogation by Ontrich (Nestor Sanchez) and a check on the LCFLUTTER revealed no compromise of any assets. The main topic the Guatemalan Police hampered on throughout the interrogation was of a plot against the government by SECANT and ESODIC-1. No mention was even made in the interrogation about Calligeris (Carlos Castillo Armas). Since there was absolutely no truth in this story SECANT was on solid ground throughout the torture and interrogation. After this point was clarified and Calligeris, SECANT and SEMANTIC cleared the LCFLUTTER a detailed debriefing commenced on the internal assets of the Calligeris organization. SECANT and SEMANTIC provided facts, figures and names of leaders, potential leaders and followers in the 9 important areas... Although these people have not received any formal training in clandestine tradecraft it is remarkable what they know and how fast they pick up new ideas. The military angle of the operation was discussed in detail with SECANT and Calligeris. The internal Guatemala PM assets look fairly good...SEMANTIC and SECANT made a very good impression on Ontrich, Cadick (William Robertson) and Lugton with their detailed knowledge of the internal Guatemalan situation and their optimism on being able to carry out the job."

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."

Rebellion in Guatemala on August 2, 1954: https://second.wiki/wiki/rebelic3b3n_en_guatemala_del_2_de_agosto_de_1954

8/2/54: Since the end of July 1954, a group of six cadets from class 52 (fourth year), Second Sergeant René Santizo Corado, Corporal Francisco Rene Garcia Barzanallana de León, Corporal Oscar Morales, Cadet Carlos Anderson Lima, Cadet Herbert Frener and Cadet Ricardo Cobar had met in the classrooms to analyze the situation, it was decided that they would attack the houses where the members of the Military Junta that happened to Arbenz lived . The plan as structured would require at least 30 cadets; if they were successful they would return to the Polytechnic School , if they failed they would go to the mountains and then into exile. They had to look for volunteers in a discreet way but they found that almost the entire company shared their feelings... The cadets were at the command of the situation, and meeting with the Archbishop Catholic Metropolitan of the City of Guatemala Mariano Rossell y Arellano and the Ambassador of the United States in Guatemala John Peurifoy/JMBLUG, are told that the "Liberation Army" no It was a communist movement and, on the contrary, it was supported by the North American government, the ambassador made the position clear to them, and warned that if they persisted in their intentions, the United States Navy would be ordered to carry out an invasion of Guatemala . The cadets laid down their arms and released Carlos Castillo Armas. An act is drawn up by order of the president of the Military Junta Elfego Hernán Monzon Aguirre signed in which the conditions of the cadets of the Polytechnic School to the surrender of the "Army of Liberation", signed by Commander Colonel Antonio Estrada Sanabria; its officers, including Roberto Carpio Nicolle and with the presence of Archbishop Mariano Rosell y Arellano, who desisted from signing the agreement. The cadets led the "Liberation Army" to the railroad station and were transferred by train to Chiquimula for their demobilization.


08/23/54: Cable from Guatemala to Director: "1. Following info furnished Burnette by ESODIC-1 morning 23 August. A. ESODIC-1 visited New Orleans for three days for personal rest, vacation and shopping tour. On return Aug 22 learned of rumor circulating throughout capital to effect he being groomed by group army officers to take over presidency of junta. Said he had discussed this rumor with Calligeris (Carlos Castillo Armas) and both treating it as joke. B. Said he not only has no ambitions to assume control govt (RCVD doft) but recognized fact he not sufficiently astute politically to control both junta and army. Treats story as ridiculous that he politically ambitious. C. Repeated former statements to effect (REDACTION) quietly conniving with army officers to keep Calligeris 'off balance' and eventually take over control of junta. Said ministers of hacienda and agriculture take over control of junta. Said ministers of hacienda and agriculture, Reina Rosal and Rivera Siliezar (also RCVD Filiezar) respectively, and possibly minister defense Close, directly behind (REDACTION) aided possibility exists these three ministers may be using (REDACTION) as unwitting tool to shore up their own political defenses. D. Stated he together with undisclosed army officers carefully spotting local Calligeris supporters in strategic points within army for purpose reinforcing Calligeris support. (REDACTION). 2. ESODIC-1 gives impression he conscientiously supported Calligeris and has no personal ambitions. Gives definite impression distrusts (REDACTION). *Cable Secretariat Comment: Treated as RYBAT PBSUCCESS."

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954: Guatemala Current Section: 285. 8/29/54-Telegram From the CIA Station in Guatemala to the Central Intelligence Agency

08/29/54: Telegram from Guatemala Station: ..."Colonel Antonio Estrada, Commander Zacapa Zone, has promised full cooperation... Said ESODIC-1 was his man. Inferred he will send representative discuss matters with [name not declassified] who displeased with Calligeris (Carlos Castillo Armas). Advised that Trujillo has offered arms but only if ODYOKE/US government approves..."

Bill Simpich • Gavin McDonald

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