Here are excerpts from documents related to the coup plot, which was code-named PBSUCCESS.
Telegram from C.I.A. headquarters to a C.I.A. station, whose location remains classified, Jan. 26, 1952:
Hq. desires firm list top flight Communists whom new government would desire to eliminate immediately in event of successful anti-Communist coup.
Memorandum for the record, Sept. 18, 1953:
At 1500, 18 September 1953, a meeting was held at the office of [Allen W. Dulles, the Director of Central Intelligence] to discuss the present status
of PBSUCCESS and to consider future plans for this operation. . . . Cabell [Gen. Charles P. Cabell, the agency's deputy director] stated that he
concurred in approval of the general plan but felt that the budget estimate should be increased to $3,000,000 to provide more adequately for
contingencies. Mr. Dulles agreed.
Memorandum from Col. J. C. King, chief of the Western Hemisphere division, C.I.A. Directorate of Operations, Sept. 25, 1953:
Tasks for Chief of Station, Guatemala
a. Controlled penetration of the Communist Party.
b. Controlled penetrations of the major labor unions.
c. Controlled penetrations in the major anti-Communist organizations.
d. Controlled penetrations in the armed forces, or controlled agents with access to current planning both in senior and junior officer groups.
e. Controlled agents with access to high-level Guatemalan Government political propaganda planning. . . .
The station will prepare a list of the 25 most dangerous Communists and pro-Communists and attempt to gather data re these targets which could be used
for character assassination. . . . More pictures of comparisons of living conditions of the top Commies and the peons will be of special value.
Memorandum for the record, Oct. 29, 1953:
Station Guatemala has been directed to take the following actions:
1. Transmit all rumors re Arbenz officials, the Guatemalan Army, revolutionary activities and Communist activities.
2. Prepare a weekly "psychological barometer" report on local conditions.
3. Make a continuing study of morale factors among students, laborers, army officers, enlisted men, government officials, farm owners, and business
and professional men. . . .
Paramilitary Action: An initial shipment of approximately 15 tons of arms and ammunition is now ready for shipment from [DELETED] and subsequent
transshipment to [Colonel Castillo Armas in] Nicaragua. . . . This material is intended for use by [Colonel Castillo Armas] in his Nicaraguan training
center and to test facilities for clandestine introduction of arms into Guatemala.
Memorandum from C.I.A. headquarters, Nov. 5, 1953:
Station was instructed to mail "mourning cards" for 30 successive days to Arbenz and top Communist leaders. Cards were to mourn the purge or
execution of various Communists in the world and to hint forthcoming doom to recipients.
Telegram from PBSUCCESS headquarters in Florida to C.I.A. headquarters, Jan. 30, 1954:
White Paper [issued by the Guatemalan government] has effectively exposed certain aspects of PBSUCCESS . . . If possible, fabricate big human interest
story, like flying saucers, birth sextuplets in remote area to take play away.
Memorandum for the record, March 2, 1954, from Colonel King:
At 1910 on 28 February, I picked [Pseudonym] up in my car at the corner of Massachusetts and Wisconsin. We drove for about an hour out River Road and
I am certain were not observed. [Pseudonym] expressed his regrets for the compromise of the five paraphrased cables, and in a manner which appeared to
be entirely sincere. I asked him how it was possible, with all of the security indoctrination which he had had, plus the great emphasis on secrecy
based on all phases of PBSUCCESS, to have done such an unpardonable thing as to leave sensitive papers in a hotel room. He replied that he had no
explanation, that it was a stupid, unpardonable thing to do, but that it was an act of thoughtlessness and carelessness. . . . It was agreed that for
the next month [Pseudonym] will remain in Chicago. We discussed two general areas where he could bury himself after that date — Alaska and the Pacific
Northwest . . . He has never been in the Northwest and suggested as a possibility that he get a job until fall as a fire watcher on a mountain top
where he would meet very few people.