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Pseudonym: Hunkeler, Robert

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Unknown. A dispatch in August of 1964 stated that Robert S. Hunkeler was the JMPALM case officer. A cable around a year earlier indicated that Hunkeler was in the Foreign Intelligence (FI) section at JMWAVE.
It is possible that Hunkeler is his true name and Labanow is his pseudo - or the pseudo of a close ally - in 53-54 Labanow was in Costa Rica; in 63 Hunkeler was in Haiti. During 1963-64, Hunkeler served as a case officer in Haiti. In 1967, he operated several sales lines and a marketing line. Hunkeler's own operational review in February, 1967, mentioned that he had developed a personal relationship with Haitian dictator, Francois Duvalier.


08/28/63: Cable from JMWAVE to Director (Orig: FI/Hunkeler): Slugline DYVOUR JMPALM: "1. IDEN ref met Hunkeler 27 Aug after meeting with two more underground group proposing arms shipment reported ref. IDEN claims group passing IDEN 10,000 dollars for use by IDEN purchase arms and rent plane for shipment which they want delivered DOM REP night 31 Aug. Underground mbrs group unidentified to IDEN as Jack and Jerrard, both under thirty years age. They claim they arr Miami from SNTO 26 Aug after being in contact Gen Leon Cantave..."


08/30/63: Cable from JMWAVE to Director: Slugline DYVOUR JMPALM: "1. IDEN refs cancelled trip SNTO. 2. Before Hunkeler told SUBJ he not to participate ref plan, SUBJ said principals had returned NYC on orders SUBJ believed issued KUBARK (CIA). SUBJ principals said they will not participate with him and view him as untrustworthy. 3. When Hunkeler told SUBJ not to participate he agreed back out this deal but asked he be considered as participant other ops against Duvalier. Hunkeler said SUBJ trustworthiness not basis for Hunkeler's instructions and KUBARK probably not involved his principals. C/S Comment: *HQs desired IDEN not to travel DR."


12/13/63: Dispatch from COS, JMWAVE to Chief, Western Hemisphere Division (Info; Chief, Special Affairs Staff): "1. For some months Joe Merola, ex-convict who has made a number of offers to ODYOKE (U.S. Government) to use his services in operations against Haiti, has insisted to Robert S. Hunkeler that his friends have high powered connections in ODYOKE political circles and with KUBARK (CIA). Merola's friends, who have been involved in several efforts by Merola to support the MJH (Haitian Youth Organization) in trying to launch an invasion of Haiti, included John A. Grupe, Paul Weesner, and John Elie. 2. In early December 1963, when Hunkeler was dealing with Merola in the latter's most recent efforts to get KUBARK approval for an invasion of Haiti, Merola again insisted that the members of his group honestly believed that they were dealing with KUBARK and that they were in direct contact with a representative of KUBARK. Hunkeler again told Merola that his friends were not in contact with KUBARK but invited Merola to furnish information as to the person with whom his friends had been dealing, who claimed that he was a KUBARK representative. On 8 December Merola told Hunkeler that he (Merola) had stolen a telephone number from his friend and alleged that this number had previously been shown to Merola as being the contact telephone number being used by Elie in making contact with his KUBARK representative. Merola provided number: 388-1185, Washington, D.C. 3. The purpose of this dispatch is to advise Headquarters that there is a slight possibility that Merola did steal the aforementioned number from Elie and there exists a possibility that Elie may be dealing with someone who he believes to be a KUBARK representative. 4...Hunkeler..is maintaining infrequent contact with Merola in monitoring their efforts to support a Haitian invasion force...Hunkeler's identity is not known to Merola..."


02/05/64: Dispatch from COS, JMWAVE to Chief, Western Hemisphere Division (Info: Chief, Special Affairs Staff): "1. The purpose of this dispatch is to provide a chronological review of Robert S. Hunkeler's association with Joseph R. Merola, an ex-convict and suspected gun runner who has been helpful to JMPALM in monitoring Haitian exile activities in late 1963 and early 1964...4. The first meeting between Hunkeler and Merola took place on 26 August. At this meeting, which was held for the purpose of further debriefings concerning Merola's participation in a then unidentified exile group effort against Duvalier and to determine the identities of others participating in this plot, Hunkeler identified himself by an alias name only. This meeting was held under secure conditions in the downtown area of Miami...9. It was also in early January that Hunkeler learned that Merola had been named as a participant in a local robbery by a person soon to appear in court on trial for this theft...10. In summary, Merola has indeed been helpful to JMPALM in monitoring Haitian exile activities. He has consistently requested authority from his C/O to participate in such activities against Duvalier and has consistently been denied this request. He has never been paid for his services. However, future contacts with this informant will depend on the outcome of his current legal difficulties."


02/19/64: Memo for the record from Lawrence M. Sternfield, C/WH/7: "1. During the morning of 15 February I called Robert S. Hunkeler in Miami concerning the arrest of persons associated with Joe Merola. The phone call was precipitated by a cable from JMWAVE on the subject. 2. Hunkeler told me the following: a. That Merola did not know his true identity. b. Merola had been given a sterile telephone number and P.O. Box for communications with Hunkeler and that these had been closed down. c. That Hunkeler had gotten in touch with Merola and told him that he would be out of the country for approximately 20 days beginning 15 February. d. JMWAVE stations had informed the Miami police that Merola had been cooperative with CIA. 3. Hunkeler indicated that there was little concern regarding security in this case and that the JMWAVE station was fully informed of all pertinent facts concerning his relationship with Merola. 4. Immediately after my telephone conversation with Hunkeler I phoned the information in Para 2 to the duty secretary in SAS with instructions to pass the information on to Mr. Halpern, the duty officer. Mr. Halpern was unavailable at the time. I also informed the WH duty officer, Mr. Peak of the arms facts."


08/10/64: Dispatch from COS, JMWAVE to Chief, Western Hemisphere Division (Info: Deputy Chief, Western Hemisphere/SA): ..."3. JMPALM operations at the WAVE Station began approximately one year ago with the recruitment of several persons who appeared to be in positions to provide operational and intelligence information concerning Haitian exile politics and the Haitian political situation; others did not have immediate access but appeared to have an entree into the Haitian exile field and offered sufficient potential to permit the JMPALM Case Officer (Robert S. Hunkeler) to conclude that they could be expected to move into areas of significant importance at a later date. 4. In August 1963 the JMPALM Case Officer received information that Clement Benoit, one-time Consul General to the Bahama Islands, was in Nassau and preparing an exile invasion force to topple Duvalier. Accordingly, the JMPALM Case Officer flew to the Bahama Islands on several occasions and conducted an investigation of the Benoit movement and interviewed numerous persons whom Benoit claimed as his followers. Complete details of Hunkeler's investigations were reported to Headquarters which permitted the conclusion that Benoit was an optimistic dreamer who had little more in terms of assets than the ability to recruit raw manpower - Haitian cane cutters and rural workers illegally scattered throughout the Bahama Islands...5. In August 1963 UOAMBER-6, a Cuban national, was interviewed by the JMPALM Case Officer in order to review his past association with the Duvalier regime. Later JMPALM, following a lead made available by the KUJUMP office in Miami, recruited UOAMBER-8, a PBPRIME (U.S.) national who later developed a close relationship with UOAMBER-10, an official of the Haitian Consulate at Miami..." - - - Page 6: Handwritten: "Robert S. Hunkeler for" Andrew K. Reuteman.

104-10180-10210: [RESTRICTED]

02/16/67: Dispatch from COS, JMWAVE to Chief, WHD: Subject: Renewal of Robert S. Hunkeler Contract - note bottom right hand corner identifies the subject of the file as 201-274049 - the 201 number for Emilio Americo Rodriguez. "1. The present contract with Robert S. Hunkeler expires on 31 March 1967 and the question of renewal is up for immediate treatment and decision...2. Hunkeler is a former staff officer who resigned from WOFACT (CIA) in 1964 to establish a market research and marketing firm. He was recontacted in the spring of 1965 and employed as an independent contractor by the then COS, JMWAVE, who expressed the hope that this relationship might set a standard for use by WOFACT of former staff officers as long term clandestine assets and outlined Hunkeler's duties and responsibilities as follows: a. To provide cover for WOFACT personnel aboard. b. Spotter and assessor of Central American consular community in Miami. c. Spotter and assessor of recruitment targets throughout Latin and Central America as developed through his travels and contacts. d. Third party recruiter and agent handler, but only in certain carefully controlled circumstances...4..a. Cover was provided for a Berlin based agent, AMTHRILL-1 (Julio Kouri Barreto). Although the agent was terminated by Berlin Station, management of his cover was competently and professionally handled by Hunkeler...c. Hunkeler has a large number of business associates throughout Latin America and in his travels has contacted a number of government officials up to the presidential level...One of them, a Panamanian legislator, is of some interest to the Panama Station..." - - - Page 3 of dispatch included JMWAVE's recommendation that the employment of Hunkeler be terminated. This was outlined to him by his case officer, Jeremy F. Gedland, on February 15, 1967.

104-10180-10210: [RESTRICTED]

02/16/67: Memo for the record by Robert S. Hunkeler: Subject: Operational Review of Robert S. Hunkeler: After his resignation from the CIA, Hunkeler established his company, Identity A, in the Miami area. Identity A was The NALAD Corporation (North & Latin American Development Corporation), an exporting company specializing in industrial equipment, light industrial plants, and equipment. - - - Page 4: When Hunkeler returned to working for the CIA, he got himself appointed to a policy making position in the Identity B (Florida Colombia Alliance, founded by the Secretary of the State of Florida, Tom Adams). He was elected to position of President of Identity C (The Dominican-American Chamber of Commerce), was appointed to Board of Directors of Identity D (The Miami-Dade County Chamber of Commerce), was elected to position of President of Identity E (The International Affairs Council of the Miami-Dade County Chamber of Commerce, the largest international trade organization in Southeastern U.S.), and became delegate to several conferences (Panama, Jamaica and U.S.) of Identity F (The Chamber of Commerce of the Americas, comprised of 47 Chambers of Commerces from 17 countries). Hunkeler managed to establish a personal relationship with Identity G (Haitian dictator Francois Duvalier) and persons close to him, spot and access several Panamanian targets, and report on activities and recommendations of Identity H (CONEP - Consejo Nacional de Empresas Privades - National Association of Private Industry), an organization which provides commercial policy to the President of Panama. Page 7 contains Hunkeler's signature.

104-10180-10210: [RESTRICTED]

11/13/67: Dispatch from COS, Caracas to Chief, Western Hemisphere Division: Subject: Cover for Peter J. Di Gerveno: "1. The cover for Peter J. Di Gerveno (Emilio Americo Rodriguez) was discussed by Robert S. Hunkeler, Chester B. Dagnillo and the undersigned on 7 and 9 November 1967. The purpose of the conversation was to determine the most suitable cover to be used under the broad umbrella offered by Hunkeler's various enterprises. 2. The following conclusions were reached: a. That Di Gerveno will come to Caracas as the representative for some of Hunkeler's sales lines. Specifically he will be representative for IDENTITY-1, which is Hunkeler's marketing firm. b. In addition to representing IDENTITY-1, generally he will specifically be IDENTITY-1's sales agent for IDENTITY-2; IDENTITY-3; and IDENTITY-4 and possibly for IDENTITY-5..."

104-10180-10210: [RESTRICTED]

11/15/67: Cable from Caracas to Director (Info: JMWAVE): Slugline AKULE CIELBOW: "1. Request HQs consider not cancelling Project CIELBOW. Ref B pouched 14 November contains cover recommendations and request that HQs seek a replacement for Digerveno (Emilio Americo Rodriguez), whose death reported by Banasiak on return from JMWAVE. 2. Hunkeler and COS met night 14 November to discuss business developments subsequent to drafting of Ref B. Hunkeler believes if Spanish speaking officer with business experience can be obtained there would be no problem in replacing Digerveno in proposed cover mechanism. Hunkeler reports good progress made in obtaining outlets for his lines of merchandise. At COS request he will prepare report for HQs and Station on this progress upon his return JMWAVE. 3. JMWAVE: Request Station express COS sympathy to wife of Digerveno, whose death both personal and official loss."

Gavin McDonald • Bill Simpich

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