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Pseudonym: Ford, Robert

Unknown identity. A report in around November of 1954 on Operation PBSUCCESS mentioned that Robert (or Roberto) Ford was the Group's (SKIMMER) liaison officer with the Junta (SYNCARP).


01/02/54: Cable from LINCOLN to Director: Slugline PBSUCCESS RYBAT: "Request status IDEN A re KUGOWN (Psychological and Paramilitary Staff) assignment Honduras. If use feasible as planned IDEN A should stop at LINCOLN (note: CIA's Guatemalan covert operations headquarters, a forward base in Florida) enroute as soon as possible for final briefing. For PBSUCCESS contact IDEN A should call (REDACTION) in LINCOLN and ask for Robert Ford." - - - 01/23/54: Cable from LINCOLN to Director: Slugline PBSUCCESS RYBAT: RE: GUAT 003 (IN 10987), PARA 3: "Hediger should call 88-2230 and ask for Robert Ford. Alternate contact: 4-2336 and ask for (REDACTION). These are (REDACTION) exchange numbers." https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000914091.pdf

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954: Guatemala: Current Section: 97. 2/10/54-Contact Report

02/10/54: Contact Report: "No. 23. PLACE: Safehouse 'A'. PERSONS PRESENT: [2 names not declassified]. COVER USED: Roberto Ford. SUBJECT: Discussion of Political Matters with (REDACTION). Discussion: 1. On 9 February 1954 I advised (REDACTION) that within a very short time the Group would need a very concise report on his political platform; we would need this, I explained, to help summarize our future propaganda activities (which I restated for him). I advised (REDACTION) to put himself in the position of an individual facing a group of newspapermen who could within 10 or 15 minutes briefly outline his political program. He said that he would be very happy to do so and immediately started to prepare this report; after working on this matter for one day, he said that he was almost finished. In addition to writing the general points, (REDACTION) said that he was attempting when possible to put on a separate paper the specific steps of his program which would fall under each general heading; this, he said, would be extremely necessary in order to make our propaganda campaign more effective. 2. We developed the discussion of how (REDACTION) would implement this political program, discussing the great difficulties of re-orienting certain political trends in his country. At this point (REDACTION) made the following observation: 'If the Group gives me freedom of administration—' I immediately assured him that there would be no interference by the Group in Guatemalan administrative affairs once his Junta in power. He continued, 'Well, if that is true, and if RUFUS (Carlos Castillo Armas) provides me with the sufficient military security which he has indicated, then I will provide him with a sufficient strong administration.' He added, 'You will see that we will make this work.' 3. He indicated very forcibly that he himself would take the responsibility for administering the political and economic program..."

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954: Guatemala: Current Section: 104. 2/21/54-Contact Report

02/21/54: Contact Report: "No. 33. PLACE: Safe House 'A'. PERSONS PRESENT: B. Ford and (REDACTION). COVER USED: Pseudonyms. Discussion: Discussion Topic: Don Pedro: 1. In accordance with instructions which I had received, I went over in detail the memorandum (2) regarding the possible use, or exploitation, of Don Pedro. (REDACTION) attitude was completely negative. Even before I had finished the complete discussion of the points contained in the memorandum, he had attempted to interrupt me with strong objections. The complete list of objections is to be found in attached memorandum typewritten. (3) 2. The most outstanding thing which I gathered from this discussion was (REDACTION) intense dislike of Don Pedro, and any possible collaboration with him on the part of the Junta or the Group to him appeared as a grave error. He summarized this attitude in stating that even if we discover that it is necessary to place Don Pedro in a position of use—that is to secure his help in having San Salvador as a base of operations, or in some manner to assist us in that country—whatever small part he plays will not be worth the trouble which will be created later on by incorporating him into the movement. He pointed out that, in weighing this, it would be his opinion, and he was certain that RUFUS (Carlos Castillo Armas) would share this opinion, that no use could be made of Don Pedro. 3. I then explained several points which had been made in the initial discussion, of the written memorandum which had been given to me. However, (REDACTION) did not give in an inch and appeared to be adamant regarding the matter of doing any business at all with Don Pedro. 4. I advised him that, of course, they would be kept in constant knowledge of what was taking place with Don Pedro, and furthermore, the results of the conversations which might ensue..."

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954: Guatemala: Current Section: 106. 2/27/54-Contact Report

02/27/54: Contact Report: "No. 37. PLACE: Safe House 'A'. PERSONS PRESENT: (REDACTION) and Robert Ford. SUBJECT: RUFUS’ Letters Received from the Field For Delivery to (REDACTION): I delivered three letters to (REDACTION) from RUFUS (Carlos Castillo Armas) on 27 February. Having read them, he came back and advised me of the contents. 1. Letter dated 18 February. A. President Galvez of Honduras himself instigated a request through his foreign minister to RUFUS that he be given some indication that RUFUS was receiving aid from individuals in the United States. B. He sent Fournier (first name unknown), a Costa Rican, to intercede for him in Panama. RUFUS himself had not been able to go to Panama because he is now under a stop-order from President Remon which prevents him from entering Panama. C. RUFUS says that twenty men were sent to training camps on 19 February: six of them were radio men and 14 of them were saboteurs. D. Good relations are now in existence between his Group and elements in the Salvadoran and Honduran governments. E. More latitude is needed in the propaganda work. (REDACTION) interprets this to mean that wider use of funds with less control being placed on RUFUS is desired. F. The record which RUFUS made in LINCOLN (note: CIA's Guatemalan covert operations headquarters, a forward base in Florida) has been played in Salvador and Honduras...D. Jose Luis Arenas visited him again on 20 February. This time RUFUS was in Honduras. Arenas, according to RUFUS, was completely willing to listen to all criticism and has accepted it with complete humbleness. RUFUS said that Arenas is willing to do whatever RUFUS orders. RUFUS claims that he advised Arenas to return to Guatemala clandestinely and then to seek asylum in the Salvadoran Embassy in Guatemala City. Subsequent information indicates that Arenas followed this course of action since it is now known publicly that has Arenas has requested refuge or exile in the Salvadoran embassy in Guatemala City..."

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954: Guatemala Current Section: 107. 2/27/54-Memorandum to Robert Ford of the Central Intelligence Agency

02/27/54: Memorandum to Robert Ford: Subject: Brief for (REDACTION) so that he can include the information in his next letter to RUFUS: "The Group is much disturbed over the relationship, and RUFUS’ (Carlos Castillo Armas) lack of cooperation with Andres. Andres has been able to see RUFUS but once since 4 February and then only for a short period of time. RUFUS must co-operate fully, remembering that Andres is the Group’s representative in the field. In order for the Group and (REDACTION) to keep informed on what is going on, it is imperative for RUFUS to keep Andres fully informed so that he in turn can notify (REDACTION) and the Group, of any and all new developments. The Group and will not be able to coordinate any aspect of the operation if RUFUS is acting on his own without notifying (REDACTION) and the Group. Only this week RUFUS sent sensitive material to (REDACTION) via his own courier. This is exactly one of the things security-wise the Group is trying to correct. Three failures in the past were probably caused by insecure methods of operation, and definitely the recent 'White Paper' was the result of an insecure courier. If the Group is going to continue lending aid to the Junta, the Group will definitely not permit what has caused failure in the past to continue in the future. The Group wants to aid the operation but does not want to see it fail again because of the same old reasons of insecure means of operation and lack of coordination between the Junta and the Group. The Group realizes that RUFUS has a tremendous job and is extremely busy, but he can never allow himself to be so busy as to be insecure and not to keep (REDACTION) and the Group, who are trying to help him, and supporting him, fully informed of all his actions and developments in the field. Because RUFUS is so busy, it is impossible for him to devote necessary time to details; and that is exactly where Andres, (REDACTION) and the Group can help him and advise him..."


03/24/54: Dispatch (via Air Pouch) from Jerome C. Dunbar to COS, Guatemala (Info: WASH): Subject: LINCOLN: Operational Hediger's Reports: "Being forwarded for your information are the enclosed reports by Donald O. Hediger on Project ESPLANADE. Please return the enclosed reports in the next pouch from your station to LINCOLN." - - - From Page 3: 02/04/54: Report from Donald O. Hediger to Robert Ford: Subject: A: ESPLANADE-B, Activity of Hediger; B: Personal Suggestions: ..."1) Hediger's activities in ESPLANADE-B, so-called, as they related to LINCOLN project were as follows and under the following conditions: a) Hediger was preceeded in that station by an agent under cover-name of Hunkins, who had established considerable contacts in the Comite Civico Nacional (C.C.N.) and with (REDACTION). b) Initially, Hediger (REDACTION) active only in establishing minor contacts for miscellaneous intelligence and rumors as related, chiefly, to KMFORGET activity; assisting station with material and ideas for KMFORGET items which were fed to the original ESPLANADE group under Hunkins; and similar material for HDQ. consumption (such as clippings, misc. information, photos, etc). c) Hediger carried on other contact activity, also, but these did not bear directly on ESPLANADE..." Very detailed report continues (from Page 26 there is typed notes).


Undated Contact Report: Subject: Visit to RUFUS by Roberto Ford. Persons Present: (REDACTION), H. Hunt, (REDACTION): "The matter of how (REDACTION) resignation could best be presented to RUFUS (Carlos Castillo Armas) was presented to Hunt. He said in effect that (REDACTION) should go to (REDACTION) and check on his health, then go to RUFUS and give him personally (REDACTION) resignation letter. Advise RUFUS that we are sorry about the whole thing and that unfortunately (REDACTION) decision was caused by natural events which shaped up by the fact that RUFUS has now in effect been declared as the principal leader. (REDACTION) would listen to RUFUS's comments on (REDACTION) criticisms of the Group and would be ready to make any adjustments possible for future activities. Stress would be placed on the unfortunate fact of his (REDACTION) health and that maybe sometime in the future he could be of help,...This would in effect terminate (REDACTION) activities with the Group. (REDACTION) advised that he was not in agreement with this but suggested that (REDACTION) definitely attempt to conciliate (REDACTION) and then in a visit with RUFUS attempt to secure his aid in getting (REDACTION) cooperation at this critical time. Hunt stated he had not understood that it was desired to maintain (REDACTION) services, but in view of (REDACTION) views he thought then that (REDACTION) should go first to RUFUS without stopping to see (REDACTION) and that armed with RUFUS's personal views (which REDACTION possibly could influence) he could then return to (REDACTION) in a much stronger position, since he would not only be voicing the Group's opinion but RUFUS's as well. This was agreed to by (REDACTION) who requested that (REDACTION) commence his plans to visit RUFUS immediately and that he check with (REDACTION) and Robertson regarding method of contacting RUFUS in Tegooc."


Circa 11/16/54: Report on Project PBSUCCESS: Page 57: ..."3. Propaganda: During the period, the KUGOWN (Psychological and Paramilitary Staff) assets reported in Stage One Report, PBSUCCESS (El Rebelde, CEUAGE, El Combate, and the LIONIZER (note: the Committee for the Liberation of Guatemala, a Guatemalan refugee group in Mexico) bulletin), published several issues, with no noticeable increase in the quality of content or efficiency of distribution. The ESSENCE group in Guatemala City also engaged in the pasting of stickers, in the spreading of anti-Communist rumors, and in firming up its own organizations. At LINCOLN (note: CIA's Guatemalan covert operations headquarters, a forward base in Florida) three safehouses for KUGOWN personnel and operations were acquired. (REDACTION) occupied by (REDACTION) and by 'Robert Ford,' the GROUP liaison officer with the junta, has been in full operation since 15 January. A case officer for (REDACTION) was returned to Washington due to unsuitability on 20 January, and no replacement has arrived during the period. A case officer for (REDACTION) arrived at LINCOLN on 28 January, but because of involvement in a car accident and the necessity for resolving various personal details in Washington, he did not occupy the site until 15 February..."

Gavin McDonald

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