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Cryptonym: SUMAC

Definition:
SUMAC was the cryptonym for Guillermo Toriello Garrido, Guatemalan Foreign Minister under Arbenz. A cable on June 29, 1954, stated that SUMAC had resigned.
Status:
Documented
Discussion:
A cable on June 14, 1954, mentioned that (REDACTION) had advised SUMAC not to attend the forthcoming Montevideo conference and to resign immediately. In addition, a cable on June 17, 1954, stated that SUMAC had tried to resign on the evening of June 16th, on the alleged grounds he disagreed with the mass arrests and tortures. However, the Minister of the Interior apparently "told him to mind his own business." A telegram on 23 June, 1954, from JMBLUG (John S. Peurifoy) mentioned that SUMAC had told him that the government could not stand prolonged tension. A CIA report on PBSUCCESS stated that on 23 June, 1954, "Toriello was quoted as saying the government could not stand prolonged tension." Furthermore, a telegram on June 24, 1954, mentioned that SUMAC was Chief of Protocol and he apparently told the press "there is too much fighting going on at Zacapa." Moreover, a telegram from June 27, 1954, stated that JMBLUG had received a telephone call from STANDEL-1 (Colonel Carlos Enrique Diaz) and SUMAC and both had indicated that they wanted to turn the government over to the junta. A CIA report on PBSUCCESS stated that on June 27th "at 1245 hours Ambassador Peurifoy was in conference with Colonel Diaz and the General Staff, having received a telephone call from Toriello." Also, a cable on June 30, 1954, mentioned that the press were reporting that the likes of Jacobo Arbenz, Toriello (probably Guillermo Toriello Garrido), Colonel Carlos Enrique Diaz, Jose Manuel Fortuny, Gutierrez (probably Victor Manuel Gutierrez), and many others had taken asylum at the Mexican Embassy in Guatemala City. Another cable the same day requested confirmation of the press reports that STANDEL (Jacobo Arbenz Guzman), SUMAC, and leading Communists had found sanctuary in the Mexican Embassy. SUMAC-2 was Lieutenant Colonel Jose Angel Sanchez Barillas.
Sources:

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000921936.pdf

06/14/54: Cable from Guatemala City to Director: Slugline PBSUCCESS RYBAT INTEL: "1. (REDACTION) furnished following advise to SUMAC at latter's request for counsel: That SUMAC not attend forthcoming Montevideo conference, that SUMAC resign immediately. ESPARTO (REDACTION) B-3. 2. Following info from ESPARTO probably came originally from (REDACTION) (see GUAT 826) (IN 17473): Arbenz agreed resign if army accepts certain conditions including that only 'foreign' commies will be molested. Army group spearheaded by (REDACTION) striving force issue immediately and take over prior to Arbenz answer. Feeling within group is Arbenz stalling, that his conditions impossible to meet, he will refuse resign. Eval B-3..."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000921702.pdf

06/17/54: Cable from Guatemala City to Director: RYBAT PBSUCCESS: RE: LINC 3885 (IN 18354): "1. SUMAC tried resign night 16 June giving as reason he disagreed with mass arrests tortures. Min Interior told him mind his own business. STANDEL (Jacobo Arbenz Guzman) said no resignation. (REDACTION) B-2. 2. Above not for SHERWOOD (CIA radio broadcasting program based in Nicaragua begun on May 1, 1954)..."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000921468.pdf

06/20/54: Cable from Guatemala to Director: Slugline RYBAT PBSUCCESS: RE LINC 4101 (IN 20091): SITREP NBR 1.: "1. Operational activity: Virtually nil. Routine contacts with PBPRIME (U.S.) sources. Surveillance of army truck convoy RCN of (unintelligible) of GUAT 884, where all quiet. 2. PI analysis: Capital very still, stores shuttered. People waiting apathetically, consider uprising a farce, some even speculating it is all a govt provocation. To judge by TGW tone and impression of SUMAC gained by JMBLUG (John S. Peurifoy), govt recovering its nerve. Enrique Viteri known to name set re to Mrs Mendoza's home. Anti-commies need shot in arm..."

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954: Guatemala: Current Section: 227. 6/23/54-Telegram From the CIA Station in Guatemala to the Central Intelligence Agency

06/23/54: Telegram from Guatemala Station: "935. From JMBLUG to Whiting. Re: DIR 05857. (2) 1. I restate for perspective that a real show of force on 18 June could have tumbled govt. 2. Events over the weekend have left two alternatives: A. Protracted struggle, which we eventually win. B. Defeat. 3. I fear that concern for saving face in the UN, press and elsewhere may lead to the infinitely graver loss of face attendant on defeat. The 'foreign posture of the country' in Latin America will be irreparably damaged by defeat in WSBURNT (Guatemala). If we win, nobody will listen to the Communist orders. 4. The issue now is how to wage the protracted struggle: A. Give all support to Calligeris (Carlos Castillo Armas). We cannot afford destruction of his forces; better that they evade the enemy than be beaten. Calligeris still has three possibilities: at a maximum, he will win; or, he may trigger the army to revolt; at a minimum, he will simply keep tension alive. SUMAC has stated to me that the govt cannot stand prolonged tension. He repeated this one hour ago. B. Step up the air offensive against the army, to induce defection or else crush it. C. Step up the air offensive against the capital, to stir (REDACTION) remaining troops, encourage friends, frighten foes. D. Replace the lost F–47 and procure as many other fighters as possible. E. If neither Calligeris nor the army win, continue air attack on the capital until STANDEL (Jacobo Arbenz Guzman) cracks. 5. The question between STANDEL and us is only this: who will capitulate last?"

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000928348.pdf

Report on Project PBSUCCESS: Pages 217-218: "23 June 1954...K-Program...Toriello was quoted as saying the government could not stand prolonged tension..."

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954: Guatemala: Current Section: 229. 6/24/54-Telegram From the CIA Station in Guatemala to Operation PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida

06/24/54: Telegram from Guatemala Station to Operation PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida: "944. 1. May be only our own emotional pendulum, but believe govt, which panicked 18 June, recovered 21 June, getting groggy again. PBPRIME (U.S.) newsmen say govt reps they deal with show renewed fear, jumpiness. SUMAC Chief of Protocol told press 'there is too much fighting going on at Zacapa', echoing SUMAC view govt cannot stand prolonged tension. Newsmen beginning feel anti-govt forces will win if they combine hanging on in north with dramatic acts in capital. 2. Govt not telling people anything. Army communiqués mostly propaganda, contain few facts, political not military in style. 3. Feel it significant govt has not tried stage mass rallies. STANDEL (Jacobo Arbenz Guzman), Commies apparently fear take any action precisely among the masses whose support they claim. Also no real evidence workers being armed. 4. Have searched without result for signs Commies might be planning desperate, last–ditch stand. Possibility remains, but at present appears more likely alleged die hards will claim they never red when tide has turned. 5. General impression is one of spongy, shapeless, gutless govt people. Among these blind, myopic one–eyed man can be boss. 6. Where as dramatic strike against capital would have been less useful in last few days, believe time for it, in view forgoing, rapidly coming again. With wounded returning, rumors about front will thrive. If favorable to us, we should reinforce them with air strikes; if unfavorable, we should counter them. Suggest 24 or 25 June. 7. Know this hard to believe, but people sitting here like kids watching for 4th July firecrackers to go off. The popular imagination is fascinated by the idea of bombs. To people, bombs will signify force majeure, turn of tide they do not understand PBPRIME sophistication, humane concern. Recommend we speak to these kids in kids language–with a big bang."

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954: Guatemala: Current Section: 245. 6/27/54-Telegram From the Central Intelligence Agency to the CIA Station in [place not declassified]

06/27/54: Telegram from Guatemala Station to Operation PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida: "981. 1. JMBLUG (John S Peurifoy) enroute at this moment 1245 hours local time for conference with STANDEL-1 (Colonel Carlos Enrique Diaz) and general staff following telephone call from STANDEL-1 and SUMAC who have intimated they wish to turn govt over to Junta. Obvious govt situation desperate despite communiqué to effect that govt will fight house by house until end. 2. Since army has shown no guts in past do not believe they can be expected to show courage now. 3. Believe govt on point of surrendering. 4. Have briefed JMBLUG that govt must agree to following points act or deny statements issued by Calligeris: A. Arrest Communist and other leaders responsible for situation. B. Declaration martial law. C. Cessation of hostilities."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000928348.pdf

Report on Project PBSUCCESS: Pages 228-229: ..."Colonel Donis Kestler advised (REDACTION) that the government's cause was lost as communications with the field had been cut and no word received since 0700 on 27 June...At 1245 hours Ambassador Peurifoy was in conference with Colonel Diaz and the General Staff, having received a telephone call from Toriello. Those present stated they had agreed that Diaz should be the next president and wanted Peurifoy to arrange a cease-fire so that troops might be brought back to keep order..."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000920749.pdf

06/29/54: Cable from Guatemala City to Director: Slugline PBSUCCESS RYBAT: "1. At 17 meeting with Junta, JMBLUG (John S Peurifoy) stated: A. He has spoken with unidentified Lt. who checked Gutierrez into Cuartel general. Lt said approx 2300 June 28, Col Jose Luis Morales Melgar new chief Guardia Civil, let Gutierrez out back door and his whereabouts unknown. B. Bellecer reported let escape and now in Chilean Embassy. 2. (REDACTION) promised investigate foregoing. 3. (REDACTION) at 1930 announced via TGW amnesty for any one arrested for political reasons. So includes commies. 4. (REDACTION) says seven commies in Chilean Embassy. 5. Chavez Nackmann, new head TGW, strongly tainted by association with STANDEL (Jacobo Arbenz Guzman) regime. 6. SUMAC has resigned. 7. PGT declared illegal."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000920779.pdf

06/30/54: Dispatch/cable from LINCOLN to Director: Slugline RYBAT/PBSUCCESS: "1. Latest info, including radio news, indicates perhaps 200 RPT 200 commies and pro-commies have taken asylum KMPAJAMA Embassy WSBURNT (Guatemala) City. This motley crowd includes Arbenz, Toriello, Diaz, Fortuny, Gutierrez, many others. Embassy quarters very crowded, had to rent nearby building to house all. 2. Quite likely these heterogenous personalities will use expected long waiting period until safe conducts arranged for political debates, including mutual recriminations, seeking scapegoats, analyzing each others mistakes etc. Contents such conversations might furnish valuable clues for either KUGOWN (Psychological and Paramilitary Staff) exploitation, prosecution of crimes, uncovery escaped commies, stay behind apparat or like. 3. Suggest you consider ways listening to these talks, whether by planting mikes, or through employees embassy, or stool pigeon among refugees, or any other practicable method. If you approve, request you instruct SGUAT (CIA station in Guatemala) directly, perhaps send technical expert with needed equipment there."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000920806.pdf

06/30/54: Cable from Director to Sr. Rep. Guatemala (Orig: J.D. Esterline, WH): Slugline RYBAT PBSUCCESS: "1. Can you confirm press reports re sanctuary in KMPAJAMA Embassy of all top commies as well as STANDEL (Jacobo Arbenz Guzman), SUMAC and company. Also request confirmation report of large angry crowds around embassy crying for blood of their oppressors. 2. If above reports true please provide as much detail as possible and put newsmen to taking photos of crowds. 3. HQs strongly supports LINC's suggestion to attempt infiltrate phony commies among people in sanctuary para 1 above. This should bear rich dividends if successful and might result in much deserved embarrassment certain KMPAJAMA officials. 4. Suggest station and LINC make heavy exploitation of fact STANDEL (Jacobo Arbenz Guzman) and SUMAC who protest anti-Communism thus revealed as birds of feather flocking with all commies in defeat. Government radio could also play this one a few times. It would do much to debunk the deathless farewell address." Releasing Officer: J. D. Esterline.

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000920329.pdf

07/09/54: Cable from SQUAT to Director: Slugline PBSUCCESS RYBAT INTEL: FOLLOWING FROM ONTRICH: "Obtained code used between WSBURNT (Guatemala) and WSHOOFS (Honduras) from (REDACTION). (REDACTION) steps being taken to name (REDACTION) as custodian of all files in WSBURNT Embassy in WSHOOFS. As soon as this accomplished will get coding machine from embassy and break cables from SUMAC to Chinchilla which presently our possession at TEGU. This may provide valuable info re WSBURNT commie activities in WSHOOFS."

Contributors:
Gavin McDonald

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