GENERAL- KUFIRE. - SPECIFIC- GUATEMALAN RAIL DISTURBANCES. (W/ATTACHMENT)

Created: 5/20/1954

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROSOftM fiaaSEASSANIHZfl) '

VI* AIR NO. f 9

TO : ay

KIOM : citlBF, WD

SUBJECT: UFIRS.

uatemalan Rail Disturbances.

Iasty trip to Guatenala onay athe obtained the attached report.

I also added the following:

entire covenant of these arms wouldars.

the carro wore lit knocked-down aircraft and

least SO cases have dimensionseet at thotonches at tho top,eightoot.

the Guatemalan Railroad employees join the strikenot bo until after all of the ams wereGuatenala City.

section where the attainted derailaent occurredheavily patrolled in the future.

could not speculate aa to tbe possible effect iton any projected PESUCCKSS olans to transport araa

C. tollable WSBU.WT source states two nwrc shiploads aro expected.

to the involved details if stting the After giving the attached lotter t< Ito submit part of the infomation to PBpfll/Ji AnbassadorAttache, who cabled the information to Washington. Inwith request for ndnirain use of cable traffic, the contents

are not beingould appreciate LINCOLN'S coanenttho method of conmuueation this report aa similar cases will probably occur in the future.

Ii. In order to protectt is requested contents of attached letter are not revealed enidentity of addressee and addresser.

PHTTJ.TP UTURVELL

INCLCSUfE:

Personal3 pages.

L?/hdw

DISTfilEUTION:

ncl as noted abovo in duplicate.

ncl ag noted above in single copy.

ncl as noted above in single copy.

AIR

Dear

I confirm my radiogram to you of this morning, as follows:

"BANANERA WENT OH STRIKE SIX THIS MORNING kLLC QUIPMENT REMOVED AHD TRAIN SERVICE SUSPENDED STOP AT ONE OTIS HORNING UNKNOWN PARTIES ATTEMPTLD BLOW UP EXTRA SOUTH WITH EIGHT CARS SPECIAL FREIGHT AT BRIDGESIXTEEN BY PLACING SEVERAL INFERNAL MACHINES OH EACH RAIL IN BRUCE CONNECTED BY WIRE IN BUSH TWO HUNDRED YARDS AWAY BUT ONLY ONE EXPLODED AS ENGINE PASSED BREAKINGBUT TRAIN PASSED WITHOUT DAMAGE TRAIN CONTINUING WITH PILOT."

On May lSth several newspapers and many rumors spread the news that the Labor syndicate at Bananera would go on strike at'clock on the morning ofh."

zjHowever, the

strike did not ma'(*nai:iwC

he mixed train from Zacapa to Barrios, which passes through the Fruit Company lines, operated nomally but the Bo bos extra, which runs out of Bananera, was delayed several hours, though it did make its run.

We do not know just why the strike was not pulled off asfor general consumption it was due to some legal angle which had notand the leaders, located at Moralos, stating they had not yetinstructions from the City. On the other hand, weto the effect that as soon as the people, many of them notthe Fruit Company nor syndicate members, who were located in theserved by our trains, realised their situation, they sentto the syndicate leaders at Bananera and Morales tellingif they were to be left abandoned without means of transportationof getting food,hey would take their machetes and goand Morale," heads of the leaders. Shortlya.m. yesterdayinformation that the strike would be held

up foroursommittee could be sent to the City to secure support and definite instructions.

At one o'clock thisas informed that advice had come through from Bananera to the effect that the strike had been set. to-day.

li.

.opinion is

that the secona angle, as mentioned in the foregoing, is wnat delayed the strike. to-day.

out of Barrioshis morning,ars of

special cargo irom. ALFHSM, on arrival at bridge6as met with an explosion on the bridge as the locomotive passed over but the train continued over the bridge without damage and stopped after the crossing. Tlie Guatemalan Array Captain and several soldiers, whowere on the train, stopped the train for investigation, it was found that several homemade bomb affairs, connected by electric wire, had been attached to each rail on the bridge; the wire ran out into the bushistance of about 2CO yards to the detenating machine. Only one of the bombs exploded, breaking one rail and knocking off the ends of three or four ties. There was no other damage to the track, equipment or personnel on the train. The military people on the train were unable to locate the parties whose ovident intention had been to blow up the train.

L

The Governor and several military people left Barrios for the -

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At JjJi^Jhis morning thehe Guardia Civil,

Colonel Crua

lines with the Jefes of tne uuaram uivix at ^rogreso and Zacapa,hem wi th regard to^trying to apprehend the parties who could not be fount! C 2

/ The 8

ill bring the total upars of this special cargo which

have already been dispatched to the City. Everything that arrives in thethis ship is held under guard until night and then discharged. owhere this cargo is being stored in the City. hould estimate thathalf of the cargo has been discharged. Another train should leave Barrios"mp this afternoon,

Barrios with othar cargo and

empty fruit cars as it is ready, evidently toolid train of thisinto seriousmll as

other carloads of miscellaneous freight. For what it may beas informed last nii;ht that amongons are suypoied to be Li* knocked down airplanes.

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It is anyone's guess now what will result from the Bananora strike.

k.

There has been considerable publicity to tho effect that there are twothis strike. The first is to get increased wage and other benefitsFruit Company and the second to support the Honduras strike. Itow days this strike will spread to Barrios and also tocourse, if Barrios goes out this would ajtone-tl-cally close downthe Tiquisate laborers* legal position with regard to pay, ate.,doubtless be different than if they officially went on strike,would no doubt take considerable time due to the necessity ofvarious legal maneuvers,

it is understood that the SAIIF shoulo. not be able to go on strike

butbey decide to dorankly do not know who would prevent then nor whether thoy would be influenced by ovorturos frcm any one, though my guoss right now is that thoy will not bringie-up unless something unforeseen at the present time develops or unless this is being handled as the final club in the "leaders'* plans.

inish thisjust arrived to discuss various mtters

and informs me that he was called to the offico of the Labor. yesterday. On his arrival there Salasar was talking on thePresident Osorio who askedget ail the information possiblo from

me on the cargo of theas he was very much interested as well asthishall do my bost. Minister Salazar was naturallyknow whatwere with regard to possible spreading of

Guatemala strikes to Salvador and also askeddetermine my ideas

on this natter. Tho Minister then told "* that tho General SecretaryUTF, Hector Venture, an I.CA. employeee:Mty in Congress, whoin the railways as well as in higher government circles, willbe given enough rope to hang himself politically and then perhapsgiven his walking papors. Salazar then stated point-blank that thereno railroad strike in Salvador.

The reports here aro to the effect that there are two more shipments of this kind from the samo place to arrive here shortly.

Nicaragua and Guatemala suspended diplomatic relations as of yesterday and the Micaraguan Ambassador, along with the Ilicaraguan Consul and their entire forces, left Guatemala for "ianagua yesterday on Pan-American. The press states that at the same time this delegation left Guatemala, the Guatemalan official representation in Nicaragua were handed thoir passports.

Tours very truly,

I ]

L J

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