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Cryptonym: ESSENCE

Definition:
Unknown identity. Guatemalan anti-Communist leader.
Status:
Documented
Discussion:
A telegram from CIA Guatemala Station in August, 1954, mentioned that ESSENCE was among a group of leading anti-Communists, along with ZPSEMANTIC, Coronado Lira, and Mario Sandoval. The telegram also noted that they were somewhat ambivalent towards Calligeris (Carlos Castillo Armas).
Sources:

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954: Guatemala Current Section: Abbreviations and Cryptonyms

Page xv: ..."ESSENCE, Guatemalan anti-Communist leader..."

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954: Guatemala Current Section: 136. 4/28/54-Memorandum From the Senior Representative, Operation PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida (Dunbar) to the CIA Station in Guatemala

04/28/54: Memorandum from the Senior Representative, Operation PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida (Dunbar) to Guatemala Station: Subject: General-KUGOWN. Specific-Catholic Church Activities: "1. We are very pleased with your report in ref., since we, too, consider it highly important to mobilize anti-communist activities of the Catholic Church dignitaries and of Catholic lay organizations and indications on a continuous and rapidly increasing scale. 2. We suggest that ESSENCE (or any other contacts which you might be able to utilize for this purpose) may make use of some or all of the following arguments when dealing with either Church dignitaries and leaders of Catholic lay groups or publications: a. Express gratitude for the pastoral letter, stress both its domestic and its international effect and emphasize the urgent need for more such active, spiritual guidance in the face of the growing communist threat. b. Underscore fear that commies will interfere with religious instruction in schools, with Catholic youth activities and other aspects of church life, as they did wherever their power increased. c. Suggest that the Church might warn the faithful against inevitable spiritual contamination through the commie-led fronts (which should be listed by name, indicating each group’s affiliation with international communist organizations, such as WFDF, WIDF, FUS, IFC, etc.) d. Lay organizations and publications might warn the people that Guatemala will isolate itself from all Latin America (politically, economically and spiritually) if it continues to be springboard for the international communist conspiracy..."

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954: Guatemala Current Section: 260. 6/29/54-Telegram From the CIA Station in Guatemala to Operation PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida

06/29/54: Telegram from Guatemala Station to Operation PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida: "999. 1. [1 line of source text not declassified] 2. [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] his only ambition is obtain cease fire and end of “useless” slaughter. 3. He sending plane to Zacapa in attempt land there [1 line of source text not declassified]. I warned him that plane might be shot down and it would be advisable to waggle wings etc if approached. 4. He preparing [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] asking for cease fire and immediate start discussions with Calligeris. 5. My impression is that govt here so completely shaken they will make only half hearted attempt to establish any conditions. 6. ESSENCE has many men ready though they without arms at moment. However irregulars from Via Canales area may start moving in immediately. 7. Saw some of Salama prisoners. They horribly beaten. Several were assassinated by guards. 8. [name not declassified] stated that STANDEL 1 had forced him into deal with help certain army officers which had obliged him play cagey game and arrange for inside coup. [1 line of source text not declassified] Believe nobody desirous of occupying hot seat at this moment..."

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954: Guatemala Current Section: 284. 8/24/54-Telegram From the CIA Station in Guatemala to the Central Intelligence Agency

08/24/54: Telegram from Guatemala Station: ..."K. ZPSEMANTIC, Coronado Lira, Mario Sandoval, ESSENCE, and other key anti Communists and govt figures facing dilemma concerning their future actions. One hand do not wish jettison Calligeris who still popular hero. They consider supporting him desirable but only up to point where they can continue doing so without sacrificing anti Communist cause and their reputations. On other hand, break with Calligeris would play into army and possibly Communist hands unless this accompanied by successful movement which would control country..."

Contributors:
Gavin McDonald

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