SYNCARP ACTIVITIES - MORALE IN OPPOSITION CIRCLES. (W/ATTACHMENT)

Created: 3/12/1954

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

AIK POUCH

T PBSUCCESS RTBA'.

SECRET

Chlaf of Stetim, Chief, HBBi

STKAEP Activities

Morale in ori-osition cirelos.

wlcseda" Lincolnloadquartors is one copy ofmemorandum prcparod byiief, -ounselor of Uibessy andoncerning morale ln opposition circles.

*ithout revealingource Counselor Krleg stated lieiered Ids louree to be fairly reliable and uell informed.

CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM' RELEASE IN FULL

3

Clara H. Heagoy

SECRET MEMORANDUM

William L. Krieg

4

Morale in Opposition Circles.

A young Guatemalan who hao previously voluntoored information regarding the organised opposition to the Arbenz Administration, informed me thie morning thet around the end of February the organization had been alerted, presumably on orders from Colonel CASTILLO Armas, and informedovement against thewas to be gotten under May within the next ten days. Subsequently, the order Mas cancelled and they Mere told to Malturther period.

My Informant stated that this order and itacancellation bad drastically lowered aorale in the organisation; that individuals were under great strain and fear of apprehension by the Government; and that several of them were losing heart in thesuccess of the movement and were considering making their peace with the Oovernment.

He said that the brother of Colonel Roberto BARRIOS Pefia, who ia in exile in Bl Salvador, had been spreading word that Colonel Caatlllo Armas had sold out to the Government and that he wasdelaying any move against It. My informant apparently did not accept this atory literally, but he pointed out that Colonel Castillo Armas has large suae of money at his disposal and despite this fact has done nothing. Expenses were mountingumber of "our best people" had been forced Into exile recently and that in addition to maintaining them they were alsolsable number of former Guatemalan Army sergeants who Mere presumably in training for an eventual assault*

As an example of the practical difficulties involved in maintaining the organisationonstant state of alert, he said that they had been Instructed on occasion to contact specified Army officers; In some Inptances the officers agreed that they Mould deliberately misfire if called upon to fight theand would join it at the earliest possible moment. He pointed out that such officers were in mortal terror beoause they knew the opposition

organization was infiltrated by Government spies andorrible fate awaited then if they were denounced to the authorities. The temptation was to run to the authorities first and reveal the plans, thereby gaining substantial rewards.

Concluding this phase of the conversation, my informant etated that he was completely fed up and about ready to throw in the sponge. He eaid he hadumber of feelers from Government sources, and he expressed some interest In the idea ofthe Government parties with an organized group of persons who would secretly be opposed to the Communist tendencies of the present regime.

1 suggested that the Infiltration technique seemed to offer little prospect of success evenong period of time. ointed out that whenever members of the Government parties had in any way opposed the Communists they had been shunted to one side and cited the case of Carlos GARCIA Bauer.

okingnquired whether he was taking asylum ln the Salvadoran Embasay as had the opposition Deputy Jose Luis ARENAS. He said that he was not and added that Arenas had gone into the Salvadoran Embassy because he too had believed that action was imminent and wanted to beafe place when the movement actually started. He expressed himself in very harsh terms regarding Sr. Arenas.

COMMENT: o not know how much of my informant's discouragement is personal and how much reflects the views of other porsone with whom he* iso not believe that he is likely to withdraw from the movement much less join forces with thebut he is obviously beginning to question the effectiveness of the movement's leadership, in strong contrast with his former high opinion of Colonel Castillo Armas.

Original document.

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