Press Release
Press Release · Thursday, May 22, 1997

Press Release
May 22, 1997
National Archives to Open CIA Guatemalan Materials

Washington, DC . . . On Friday, May 23, 1997, the National Archives and Records Administration will release 1400 pages of materials transferred by the CIA that relate to covert actions in Guatemala in the 1950's. These redacted copies will be available at the National Archives College Park facility, located at 8601 Adelphi Road, beginning at 9 A.M.

The majority of the documents relate to three covert actions in Guatemala that resulted in the collapse of the government of President Jacobo Arbenz Guzman. The three phases of the covert actions were known by their codewords: PBFORTUNE, PBSUCCESS and PBHISTORY. PBFORTUNE, begun during the Truman Administration, was a short-lived operation due to security leaks. PBSUCCESS initiated in August 1953, during the Eisenhower Administration, supported the coup d'etat that resulted in the resignation of President Arbenz and the installation of Colonel Castillo Armas. The final phase of the operation, PBHISTORY, aimed at recovering documentation abandoned by President Arbenz's Administration. The release also contains two heretofore classified historical accounts of the operations. Finally, English synopses of 324 Spanish audio tape recordings will also be made available on May 23. The tapes will be released by the National Archives and Records Administration on Friday, May 30, 1997.

A research card is required for viewing the materials. Cards may be obtained from the Consultant's Office in Room 1000 at the College Park facility. Clean search room procedures apply.

For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail at Visit the National Archives Home Page on the World Wide Web at


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