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Cryptonym: ZPSEMANTIC

Definition:
ZPSEMANTIC was probably Domingo Goicolea Villacorta. A cable on June 1, 1954, clarified that it was only SEMANTIC's brother, Hector, who had sought refuge in the Salvadoran Embassy, and not in the Ecuadoran Embassy
Status:
Probable
Discussion:
A telegram on August 29, 1954, stated that a withheld identity and ZPSEMANTIC mentioned Hector and Domingo Goicolea, among a group of people, who were ready to resign from the government in protest at Carlos Castillo Armas' political activities. Domingo Goicolea Villacorta was the Guatemalan Foreign Minister in 1955-1956. A cable on July 22, 1954, requested that Bannister (probably John Doherty) go to headquarters without ZPSEMANTIC. There appeared to be solid objections to ZRSEMANTIC's visit, unless it was arranged on official U.S. State Department invitation at a later date. A cable on July 23, 1954, mentioned that Carlos Castillo Armas had stated that he desired ZPSEMANTIC to go to the U.S., as his personal representative, to discuss CDNCC plans with the "Group", and to formally request increased technical other assistance in organizing an effective Guatemalan intelligence service. A cable on July 24, 1954, contained a reference to SEMANTIC's request to visit Washington, D.C. A memo on July 28, 1954, mentioned that Domingo Goicolea was to be the chairman of the Committee for the Defense of Democracy, which would be created by presidential decree. A cable on July 17, 1954, had stated that a second group, small and mobile, would be assigned to work directly under ZPSEMANTIC and would carry out the orders of the committee.
Sources:

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000922877.pdf

06/01/54: Cable from LINCOLN to Director: Slugline RYBAT PBSUCCESS: REF: LINC 3328 (IN 12824): FOR CADICK: "1. WSBURNT (Guatemala) (REDACTION) announced SEMANTIC in DTFROGS (El Salvador) Embassy and brother Hector in Ecuadoran Embassy. Dated (REDACTION). 2. GUAT advised ESSENCE received following from SEMANTIC: A. SEMANTIC brother not SEMANTIC in DTFROGS Embassy (note contrary to para 1 above)..."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000920338.pdf

07/08/54: Cable from Guatemala City to Director: RYBAT PBSUCCESS INTEL: "1. Five man junta has not enjoyed popular support but to contrary has provided disquiet since anti-commies fear situation unfavorable to them when commies not being arrested began to swagger and talk of revenge. Some indications of plotting within army. PRG put out anti-Calligeris (Carlos Castillo Armas) leaflet. 2. ESQUIRE sought by (REDACTION) afternoon 6 July and told that anti-commies disgusted with Calligeris and planned take action in self defense as latter told not show energy and rectify situation which fraught with danger. ESSENCE and ZPSEMANTIC also disgusted. 3. In view situation Bannister (probably John Doherty) entered into contact with (REDACTION). Heard his story and that of ZPSEMANTIC, advised JMBLUG (John S. Peurifoy) that situation as shown by these reports and all others received by station agents and informants was not favorable. This opinion also backed by ESSENCE, SECANT (Major Enrique Trinidad Oliva), Calligeris...5. Spoke last night with Ontrich (Nestor Sanchez) who alarmed...7. (REDACTION) has agreed work directly with Bannister and under his guidance while research team will supply (REDACTION) with requests for arrests, searches etc. and will give him info he needs for white book as well as helping preparation of this. However team will in position film all records for KUBARK (CIA). 8. JMBLUG in complete agreement this arrangement..."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000920251.pdf

07/16/54: Cable from Guatemala to Director: Page 3: ..."C. 9 July met (REDACTION) and ZPSEMANTIC in office chief (REDACTION) as members investigative committee and discussed basic principles, operations..." - - - 07/17/54: Cable from Guatemala City to Director: Slugline RYBAT PBSUCCESS INTEL: RE: DIR 08904 (OUT 61834): Page 2: "...A. On 16 July a decree will be issued creating a committee probably called Comite de Defensa de la Democracia and with jurisdiction over entire country while responsible only to Calligeris (Carlos Castillo Armas). Committee will be composed of president, two other members and two alternates, (REDACTION). B. A judge will be attached to committee with power issue search and arrest warrants for any part of country. C. A second group, small and mobile, will be assigned to work directly under ZPSEMANTIC and will carry out orders of committee..." https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000924569.pdf

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000920233.pdf

07/22/54: Cable from Guatemala City to Director: Slugline RYBAT PBSUCCESS INTEL: RE: GUAT 073 (IN 28546): ..."2. Though dated 19 July 54, the decree establishing the Comite de Defensa Nacional Contra El Comunismo was signed and became law on 20 July afternoon. The four fundamental provisions of this decree are: A. The committee will be composed of three members and two alternates. The president will be in charge of liaison with other govt organizations. B. The committee will have right operate throughout nation and order all police and other authorities to arrest Communist suspects. C. The committee is authorized to draw up its own internal regulations and work plans and is answerable only to the junta and particularly to Calligeris (Carlos Castillo Armas)...4. The decree embodies all the suggestions made by Bannister (probably John Doherty)...7. Important that all members of committee and Calligeris-SECANT (Major Enrique Trinidad Oliva) have stated their firm intention utilize committee and forthcoming stringent defense of democracy law to clean out government and country of all commie influence...9. Important point brought up is that govt absolutely broke at moment and committee will need financial support until govt able take up slack. In principle agreed some arrangement desirable but warned that this basically local problem and govt cannot should not expect ODYOKE (U.S. Government) or 'Group' pay for this activity. ZPSEMANTIC and Calligeris agreed that subsidy would be temporary affair. Advised them would present their plight to higher authority and advise without delay..."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000137012.pdf

07/22/54: Cable from Director to Guatemala City: Slugline RYBAT/PBSUCCESS: RE: GUAT 082 (IN 29751): "1. Re para 9 of reference approve immediate advance of $15,000 on a quid pro quo basis. Make clear to govt that further advances naturally dependent upon govt continuing to take positive anti-Communist measures. 2. Re para 10, will discuss on Bannister (probably John Doherty) arrival at HQs. 3. HQs concurs with para 12 of reference. 4. Request Bannister come HQs without ZPSEMANTIC. There appear solid objections ZRSEMANTIC visit unless arranged on official ODACID (U.S. State Department) invitation at later date."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000920221.pdf

07/23/54: Cable from Guatemala City to Director: Slugline RYBAT PBSUCCESS INTEL: RE: DIR 09770 (OUT 63326): Page 3: ..."4. With respect to CDNCC, Calligeris (Carlos Castillo Armas) stated he desires ZPSEMANTIC go PBPRIME (U.S.) as his personal representative to discuss CDNCC plans, needs with 'Group' and to formally request increased technical other assistance in organizing an effective WSBURNT (Guatemala) intelligence service. They now realize that CDNCC organization as pushed by station is not that of a police force but that of an intelligence service with certain police prerogatives and functions..."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000137014.pdf

07/24/54: Cable from Senior Representative, Guatemala City to Director: Slugline RYBAT PBSUCCESS: REF: GUAT 087 (IN 30309): ..."4. Ref para 4. Subject JMBLUG (John S. Peurifoy) approval advise Calligeris (Carlos Castillo Armas) group not qualified or able supply such support but that if Calligeris so desires you can on forthcoming trip ZRMETAL (Washington, D.C.) explore in official circles possibility satisfying request including SEMANTIC visit ZRMETAL..." (Handwritten in margin: F.G.W).

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000920205.pdf

07/28/54: Memorandum for the record: Subject: Report on activity (REDACTION) in Guatemala City, 4-16 July 1954: Pages 8-11: ..."On 7 July 1954, Col. Elfego Monzon indicated to us in the presence of COS that the Junta would create a 'Grupo A' (the investigative group) and 'Groupo B' (the anti-subversive squad)...On 9 July, we were invited by the Chief of the Guardia Civil to his office where we met with Mario Sandoval and Domingo Goicolea, who were introduced as constituting the board of the investigative group, along with Juan Miron, who was not present...17...Another meeting with the group was arranged for the 10 July 1954, 11 a.m. at the Jefatura (old U.S. Embassy). This meeting did not materialize since Domingo Goicolea had to leave town on a special mission...Mr. Krieg of the Embassy's Political Section arranged a meeting with the group at the Jefatura for 13 July 1954. This meeting did not materialize. Only Mr. Bernabe Linares (former Police Chief under Ubico) was present, and advised that he, Goicolea and Armando Sandoval were now members of the group...He also indicated that Goicolea was tied up with family matters, and that the group may have to proceed without Goicolea...21. On 16 July we assembled in the Jefatura in the presence of Bernabe Linares, Col. Domingo Rosales, Juan Miron and COS. COS advised that he had seen Castillo Armas the preceding evening and that a 'Committee for the Defense of Democracy' would be created by presidential decree, with sufficient authority to conduct a nation-wide investigation of Communism. The Committee would consist of Domingo Goicolea (chairman), Armando Sandoval and Juan Miron, and two alternates, Raul Midence, and one Lopez. COS stated that Bernabe Linares would be in charge of the investigation, and Col. Domingo Rosales in charge of security and personnel..."

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: "185. 1. Since returning to Station, have held conversations with ESQUIRE, Calligeris (Carlos Castillo Armas), ESCOBILLA, (REDACTION), ZPSEMANTIC, (REDACTION), ZPSECANT and other contacts this Station. Following conclusions have been reached which believe represents true picture although some details lacking. A. Political situation tends worsen because Calligeris shows little political sense. B. Calligeris apparently putting to one side tried collaborators of previous days and now surrounded by highly suspicious opportunistic elements including Jorge Garcia Granados, former secretary of Vicente Lombardo Toledano, former Ambassador to Washington, well known for Communist tendencies. Calligeris denies he has anything do with Garcia Granados, blamed latter’s presence in palace and closeness to govt on (REDACTION). However known that Calligeris has dined with him and consulted him on important matters...E. Meanwhile (REDACTION), ZPSEMANTIC, others consider (REDACTION) as menace who trying cut ground out from under anti Communists and weaken Calligeris. (REDACTION) has no popularity but does have some army support. Cannot see how tranquillity achievable with (REDACTION) remaining in junta. Problem is how get him out without trouble if he refuses to leave as (REDACTION), ZPSEMANTIC, Calligeris and others desire...I. ZPSEMANTIC told Clower (Joseph G. Sancho) noon 20 August that he has 900 armed men concentrating in city which will act in whatever way necessary to ensure that anti Communist cause is not defrauded by palace or by incompetence. Obvious that ZPSEMANTIC is (REDACTION) man. Have checked and ZPSEMANTIC story is true. More being armed daily." (CONTINUED BELOW)

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. L. Available info indicates that (REDACTION) has strong support in western part of country while ZPSEMANTIC, (REDACTION) and CEUA believe they control eastern part including bases of Zacapa, Jutiapa, Puerto Barrios, and Jalapa...P. As suggestion believe following should be done: (REDACTION) should be removed from junta and sent abroad on diplomatic mission. Calligeris and ZPSECANT should invite (REDACTION) to join them on junta while agreeing to follow (REDACTION) political plan which has support key anti Communist figures now occupying important positions in government..."

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: "208. Re: GUAT 185; (2) DIR 14411. (3) Have held further series conversations with contacts this situation and following is resume info obtained. 1. Political situation continues to worsen with probability that groups regular army will soon attempt coup or when and if cadets participating in Aug 2 and 3 uprising are sentenced by court martial...8. ESCOBILLA, (REDACTION), ESGAIN, and ZPSEMANTIC advised that Calligeris (Carlos Castillo Armas) had collected more than $200,000 for aid to army of liberation but these funds have been spent on other 'confidential' matters. Funds embarked by Arbenz govt for Congressional expenditure have also been spent for intelligence activities by Calligeris!...12. (REDACTION) and ZPSEMANTIC advised that following individuals are ready to resign from govt in mass protest against Calligeris political activities: Hector and Domingo Goicolea, Carlos Salazar, Carlos Sosa, Carlos Cifuentes, Gabriel Martinez del Rosal, Enrique Salazar Liquens, Mario Sandoval, Oscar Cobar, Adan Manrique Ríos, Manuel Orellana, Adan Serrano and Luis Coronada Lira..."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000920039.pdf

10/19/54: Cable from Guatemala to Director: Slugline RYBAT: RE: DIR 21547 (OUT 84129): "1. Following is accurate digest of GUAT answer to British re Springfjord case as presented orally by foreign minister...F. Without accepting in principal that ship might have been on border line of law and standards of international right, ZRSEMANTIC agrees that govt not withstanding its point of view is prepared discuss sum which is reasonable and just..."

Contributors:
Gavin McDonald

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