top of page
Learn More

Plot to Overthrow Guatemala

"The Guatemalan Government, independent and republican in form, has in the past been dominated by strong dictator-presidents whose personal policies favored the interests of a small, wealthy, upper class. President Arevalo, elected for the term 1945-51, represents a break with tradition".

- SR-46 Guatemala 27 July 1950-

  The Plot to Overthrow the Guatemalan Government (also available on the Central Intelligence Agency's website) reveals the true intention of intervention in Guatemala. Taken at face value, such language by any other country would have created an outcry of indignation. If it were a Russian document, news would have spread like wildfire.


Books written on the subject continue to dismiss this document. The facts show the intentions were much more sinister, and provides evidence that academia has failed to acknowledge such action ever taken place.


The document in question is dated the 20th of November, 1951, three years prior to the coup. Jacobo Arbenz, the second freely elected president in Guatemala's history, took the office in March of that year and carried on with Arevalo's progressive reforms. In less than 8 months, plans were created to overthrow the new government.

Pertinent information as to who and when have been redacted, as well as identifying information found in the first paragraph. It's aims are laid out in clear language- To overthrow the present Guatemalan government BY FORCE. It was not "The war against Communism" or "Battle for Democracy" commonly referred to today.

The document goes on to direct what kind of government will be established with total disregard for the Guatemalans themselves. It was decided that a provisional government would be established for a period of two years (Carlos Castillo Armas, leader of the U.S. coup- was assassinated in 1957. It can be argued that the United States played a role in his death to prevent details of the coup from becoming public) and the first measure taken would be to abrogate the present socialistic (not "communist") Constitution of 1945.


The Constitution of 1945 was created by the revolutionary government and offered all Guatemalans- for the first time ever- guaranteed rights and freedoms. Yet, the United States decided that it must be reverted back to the constitution of 1925, in effect transforming the country back to dictatorial rule. (Why 1925? During that period, then President Lazaro Chacon signed a 25 year contract exempting the United Fruit Company from all government duties and taxes to expire at the end of 1951, suggesting generous language favorable to foreign companies at the time).

Plot to Overthrow Guatemala.png
Screen Shot 2020-12-17 at 2.20.19 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-12-17 at 2.20.34 PM.png

The new constitution would abolish the independence of the military, placing the president in control of the armed forces and re-instituting dictatorship control. It would go on to abolish ALL labor legislation since the revolution of 1944 (nothing was to be kept regardless of the Guatemalan people's interests), and in almost sadistic fashion, guarantees would be made to industry (owned primarily by United Fruit).

It was determined that whatever government to be established would base foreign policy on it's relationship with the United States and not on it's own values or desires. It also states that the country would modernize transportation and economy (for corporate interests- the majority of the population has not benefited). The operation itself was designed in advance and carried out with minimal deviation from what has been outlined in this document. 


There was no credited basis for planning the removal of rights and freedoms of the Guatemalan people. Juan Jose Arevalo's government was progressive, not communist, and acknowledged as such in international circles. Jacobo Arbenz continued with reforms being instituted by a freely elected government.


Decree 900- the "infamous" agrarian reform- was not institutionalized until June 17th of 1952, seven months after the plot was created.


The United States intervened with the sole purpose of "rolling back the clock" to the days of repression and peonage. The United States overthrew a legitimate government, altered its' constitution, and dictated the priorities of the future "government". From a purely objective standpoint it becomes clear why this document has been long overlooked- The Department of State committed multiple crimes against a sovereign nation. The facts are indisputable.


Suspicions of subversion were identified by the Guatemalan government during Arevalo's term. The plot to overthrow the government was uncovered soon after this document was created. For two years the government of Guatemala vocalized concern of intervention, attempted to defend independence through the "legal process" of the United Nations, and presented documentary proof of the plot. The operation had been shared throughout Latin America and Europe by reporters grounded in the United States. No action was taken to investigate the accusations or the evidence, the program was renamed PBSUCCESS (PBFORTUNE was rather obvious), and it's secrets buried behind a curtain of lies, further acknowledging the illegal activities of the United States government and the deliberate attempt to cover it up.

This needs to be known by the American people.


The illegal acts committed by the United States to include obstruction of justice is a deplorable injustice for the people of Guatemala, who have not recovered from the event. Guatemala was a victim of international crimes with no opportunity to seek resolution. The event sparked the beginning of a revolutionary movement which would be branded as communist and artificially create an environment of destabilization which continues to this day. 


The argument that anti-communism was the main cause for intervention is undeniably false in the case of Guatemala.

bottom of page