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Cryptonym: SAFFRON-1

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Described as "a firm supporter of Calligeris". Calligeris was the pseudonym for Guatemalan junta leader Carlos Castillo Armas.

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1952-1954: Guatemala Current Section: 126. 4/11/54-Telegram From Operation PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida to the Central Intelligence Agency

04/11/54: Telegram from Operation PBSUCCESS Headquarters in Florida: "1. Following summation situation represents LINC’s views based upon debriefing Ontrich (Nestor Sanchez) who arrived 0000 April 11: A. Galvez weakened and equivocated (REDACTION) to degree that required firm action to establish definite cooperation. Latter action taken by SKILLET (Whiting Willauer, U.S. Ambassador to Honduras) who, while keeping SKIMMER version and stressing ODYOKE (U.S. Government) non-intervention, kept Galvez in line while using Iden A and Ontrich to press for firm operational details. B. SKILLET demonstrated exceptional political skill in keeping Vice Pres from resigning thus holding govt together for PBSUCCESS. This action endeared SKILLET to Galvez. Latter apparently now leaning on SKILLET as source of strength during current politically unstable period preceding elections. C. Excellent security appears present despite above maneuvering. Only Galvez, Vice Pres, ForMin and Chief Air Force cut in within WSHOOFS (Honduras). No documentary evidence nor witnesses to SKILLET talks. Plausible denial remains intact. D. Galvez has general understanding with Osorio (3) to act against WSBURNT (Guatemala) together. SAFFRON-1, firm Calligeris supporter, due see Osorio next few days. More Galvez becomes committed in interim, stronger will SAFFRON-1’s pressure on Osorio be. Osorio’s support also requires ODACID (U.S. State Department) approach in manner believed in progress at HQs level. E. Removal MinDefense is essential earliest but is not a prerequisite for running initial flights. Time factor important as security weakens with every day’s delay once flights initiated. Need HQs action. F. LINC withdraws objections to intermediate storage at (REDACTION) as recent reports indicate increased enemy activity both sides of border. Thus gear would be moved from (REDACTION) direct with minimum delay into target areas..."


05/21/54: Cable from Withheld to Director: Slugline RYBAT PBSUCCESS: FROM ONTRICH: "1. 'Had very encouraging 45 minutes conversation with SAFFRON-1 afternoon 20 May. The man is very easy to do business with and very willing to help. Have set it up thru (REDACTION) with (REDACTION) that I will deal directly with SAFFRON-1 and only in extreme cases will I contact (REDACTION). Believe this will be satisfactory arrangement and (REDACTION) agreed. 2. SAFFRON-1 will (REDACTION) to provide (REDACTION) our troop movement. SAFFRON-1 tried but could not contact (REDACTION) during our conversation. Will check with SAFFRON-1 later tonight. Signing of mutual security pact cut meeting short but will do everything possible get some gear moving north tomorrow night. 3. DTFROGS (El Salvador) situation looks promising only waiting for final word. Arranged with SAFFRON-1 to give him final briefing before trip. Am sure SAFFRON-1 will do everything in his power to (REDACTION) a movement through DTFROGS at this time would be good since attention will be diverted towards sabotage action, Puerto Barrios area.' *5. Princep Note: Ontrich has ordered send all cables verbatim. Above nearly so. In view heavy load, request authority edit as see fit. *WASH Sig Cen Comment: No para 4 received, being SVCD."


05/30/54, Cable from Tegucigalpa to Lincoln (Info: Director): Slugline RYBAT PBSUCCESS: FROM ONTRICH: "1. Pivall tourist card expires 6 June. Must get him special documentation from SAFFRON-1 if he to remain in WSHOOFS (Honduras). 2. To date Pivall unknown to authorities here. Advise soonest. 3. Obtain special documentation."


5/31/54 Albert Haney approves the request to obtain special documentation from SAFFRON-1.


06/02/54: Cable from Withheld to Director: Slugline RYBAT PBSUCCESS: FROM ONTRICH: "1. SAFFRON-1 informs WSHOOFS (Honduras) Ambassador to DTFROGS (El Salvador) friend of ERRATIC and very possible former has been putting good word in DTFROGS President ear in regard to ERRATIC. 2. WSHOOFS Ambassador to DTFROGS has not been briefed WSHOOFS Government position re Calligeris (Carlos Castillo Armas). 3. SAFFRON-1 informing ambassador to DTFROGS drop all support or build up ERRATIC."


06/23/54: Cable from Withheld to Director: Slugline RYBAT PBSUCCESS: FROM SALAL: "1. Ontrich (Nestor Sanchez) talked with SAFFRON-1 night 22 June, latter feeling very depressed and sure operation has failed. Said SAFFRON also felt very bad. Ontrich did everything possible to pep him up assuring him air power was now ready for use. SAFFRON-1 felt this could have been used first day to show power. Says people now reluctant to believe friendly forces have power to succeed and propaganda put out by WSBURNTs (Guatemalans) last four days re foreign mercenary forces has not helped the situation. 2. Feels WSHOOFS (Honduras) badly compromised and nothing will stop spread of Communism throughout Central America if we fail. Claims this will be last chance for long time to stop WSBURNT (Guatemala), and long time before WSHOOFS or KMFLUSH (Nicaragua) will participate such operations since two countries will be first to receive retaliation blow from WSBURNT. 3. SAFFRON-1 reported three bombs, one a dud, dropped San Pedro de Copan 1300 June 22 by WSBURNT plane. Demonstration backed by liberals planned by university group TEGU 1600 June 23. This worries govt great deal. Gives Liberal Party election timber. SAFFRON-1 feels that if some power is not demonstrated immediately, such as capture of Zacapa, public sentiment even in WSHOOFS will turn against movement. 4. Assurance of strong air power only thing that picked SAFFRON-1 up some. If this does not materialize we can expect WSHOOFS aid to falter. He casually mentioned he may even take trip out of country."


06/23/54: Cable from Director to Withheld (Orig: Frank G. Wisner, Unit: DD/P): Slugline SKILLET FROM WHITING: "1. Reference your telephone report to ODACID (U.S. State Department) yesterday advising of your conversation with SAFFRON-1, we understand he told you that the birds were WSBURNT (Guatemala) birds. For your information, United States press today plays heavily AP story TEGU dateline that Honduran Government said night of June 22 Honduras bombed by unidentified repeat unidentified planes near border Guatemala and that Foreign Ministry announced bombing Santa Rosa Copan. 2. Can you inform us for our information whether there has been any local reference to the WSBURNT nationality and origin of the planes, or whether this aspect of SAFFRON-1 report to you has been omitted or suppressed? *Cable Secretariat Comment: Treated as PBSUCCESS/RYBAT." Releasing Officer: Allen W. Dulles, DCI.

Bill Simpich

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