Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Roberto Alejos Arzú

Roberto Alejos Arzú - Guatemalan Sugar Industrialist; Rightwing Anti-Communist Revolutionary; CIA Asset; Leader of SMOM Guatemala


In 1965 HEMMING was involved with Roberto Alejos Arzu in an attempt to overthrow the Government of Guatemala. [CIA Intell. Information Cable IN 74057 10.16.65] The CIA reported that in April 1965 "Roberto Alejos Arzu, Guatemalan millionaire who resided in Miami Beach, Florida, planned the overthrow of the Government of Guatemala in the Spring of 1965, using a group of Cuban emigres he had recruited for the operation. On May 4, 1965, Alejos and Luis Sierra Lopez, military leader of the group, were apprehended and their arms cache seized by United States Government officials. There have been several reports on Alejos' recent involvement in another attempt to overthrow the Guatemalan Government. On October 13, 1965, Armando Medina Montes de Oca, a member of Roberto Alejos Arzu's abortive plot to overthrow the Guatemalan Government in the Spring of 1965, said that the pilot who flew Roberto Alejos to Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, a short time ago [October 13, 1965] was GERALD PATRICK HEMMING. The aircraft landed at Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, where it remained for about two weeks. HEMMING is now in Miami. (Field Comment: HEMMING, an American soldier-of-fortune and United States Marine, has been engaged in Cuban revolutionary activities for about five years. HEMMING, leader of INTERPEN, a guerilla group, was most recently involved in the recruitment of Cuban emigres with guerilla warfare experience who would be willing to fight the Communist guerillas in the Dominican Republic on behalf of General Antonio Imbert Barrera. It is believed this plan never materialized.) Medina intends to give this information to the new Guatemalan Consul General in Miami, hoping that this will sharpen his interest in Alejos. (Field Comment: It was recently reported that Medina accepted an offer of $30,000 to deliver Alejos safely to Guatemalan authorities)." [CIA IN 74057 - 10.16.65 - Source: "A Cuban emigre, former member of a Cuban Commando Group, who is no longer associated with activists. Source is regarded as reliable, and previous reporting from him has proved to be accurate."] HEMMING told this researcher: "We were going to overthrow Montenegro. He was cutting deal with the guerrillas. Alejos didn't like it. He wouldn't let Cuban exiles launch raids against Castro. He eventually got ousted." Before the 1980 election Alejos complained that "most of the elements in the State Department are probably pro-Communist...either Mr. Carter is a totally incapable president or he is definitely a pro-communist element." [Jay Marshall, The Iran-Contra Connection]

Alejos Arzú

An important theme in the history of the Knights of Malta is its support to the central american counter-revolution through personages such as the Guatemalan Roberto Alejos Arzú, and of private institutions like the Amicares Foundation.

Alejos Arzú has had a long career right-wing activist: 'In 1959, the powerful sugar industrialist Roberto Alejos Arzú, put at the disposal to the Central Intelligence Agency U.S. (CIA) his extensive farm The Helvetia at which Cuban troops and anti-castro mercenaries were to be trained.'

'Of those lands, located in the western part of Retalhuleu, they left toward Port Heads, Nicaragua, from which the would be failure Bay of Pigs invasion was launched...’.

Roberto Alejos Arzú is an uncle of Alvaro Arzú Wilson, who in the 90s was president of Guatemala and also a brother of Mercy Arzú, founder of the pro-life group Family of Americas.

Alejos was one of the characters who two decades ago was important in approaching the conservative government of Reagan, from the start of his campaign. Previously, Alejos had complained that 'The majority of the elements of the State Department probably were pro-communist who were using appeal to human rights as an argument to promote the socialization of these areas. We have arrived to the point of fearing the State Department more than the communist infiltration. Carter is either a completely incompetent president or is downright communistic'.

In April of 1980, Alejos sought sponsorship during a meeting with members of Young Americans for Freedom, the Foundation Heritage, Moral Majority, Young Republicans National Federation, the American Conservative Union and Conservative Digest. During the adminstration of Reagan, Alejos established good contacts with congressmen and officials of the State Department U.S. and even Reagan himself, who did not hesitate to support a government that was anti-communistic.

Alejos has been also one of the leaders of the Knights of Malta in Central America. In December 27, 1984, the Washington Post reported that according to Alejos, ambassador of the Knights of Malta in Honduras, the private foundation called AmeriCares together with the Knights of Malta channeled more than 14 million dollars of medical aid to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala in the two previous years, and that in Honduras a part of those funds was destined for the Indian miskitos who supported the contras.

In Honduras, AmeriCares began officially its operations in 1985, being diplomatically connected to, and supported by the Knights of Malta. 'As in the Central American remainder, in Honduras AmeriCares worked very close with the Knights of Malta. They support military civic actions and counterrevolutionary programs, but also provide supplies to the Department of Health for clinics in the country'.

In Guatemala a part of the funds mentioned was distributed among the armed forces, like part of a program of relocation by means of 'model villages'. According to Alejos, ‘..... the Guatemalan army sends medicines of AmeriCares to the people of the model villages along the border with Mexico'.

Besides, the Association of the Air Command, of Fort Walton Beach, said to have used installations of the Knights of Malta in El Salvador. The retired general H. C. Aderholt, leader of the group of 1500 members affirmed that the command sent food and medicines to the Knights and that jointly 'we gave good support to the Salvadorian air command'. According to Aderholt, the association mentioned has distributed to El Salvador 4,5 million in food and well-proportioned medicines by the Christian Broadcasting Network and World Medical Relief. In turn, Russ Bellant, in the Detroit Metro Times of October 9, 1985, stated that Aderholt claimed that the Christian Broadcasting Network of Pat Robertson had given the Knights of Malta 2 million dollars for operations in Central America.

The American magnate J. Peter Grace, of the Knights of Malta, has said that he initiated the medical shipments to Central America in 1983 based on the notion that AmeriCares and the Knights worked together in the region. Grace presided the American Institute for Free Work Development (AIFLD), an organization linked to the CIA, and was also member of the American Committee of Liberation of the Bolshevism, a group also linked to the CIA, and that helped ex-officials of the Nazi intelligence to escape from the pursuit.

At the beginning of the 90s, Marvin Bush, son of the president Bush sr, accompanied the second shipment of AmeriCares to Nicaragua. The cargo was received by Roberto Alejos, in the capacity of representative of the Knights of Malta. Prescott Bush jr, uncle of the current president Bush, is member of the Knights of Malta, and of the executive counsel of AmeriCares. As it has been mentioned, member of the Knights of Malta William Simon belonged also to the national counsel of Prodemca, an organization that along with the Knights has been involved in the support for the contras and to other groups of anti-sandinista opposition in Nicaragua.

It suits to add that in Mexico, after the earthquake of 1985, AmeriCares did an air shipment of more than 1.5 million in medical equipment. As in other countries, its work has been supported by the Knights of Malta, whose president has been José Muddy Chávez, a character who at the end of the 90s, like the president of the Red Cross, was publicly opposed to the distribution and use of condoms. The organization SHARE distributed in Mexico vaccines of Americares that had been rejected in Philippines, as 'unnecessary and potentially dangerous'.

http://www.argenpress.info/notaold.asp?num=017096 (translated by http://ets.freetranslation.com/ and subsequently polished up by yours truly)
The delegation led by Generals Graham and Singlaub to Guatemala in 1979 was hosted by plantation owner Roberto Alejos, the Guatemalan codirector of the Knights of Malta, an ultraconservative lay Catholic organization. Alejos also allowed the CIA to use his farm to train brigadistas for the Bay of Pigs invasion. (41)

The Knights of Malta is closely allied with Covenant House's
Central American activities. AmeriCares consigns its shipments to
the Knights and the Knights deliver it to Covenant House operations.

Roberto Alejos, the leading figure of the Knights of Malta in
Guatemala and the group's ambassador to Honduras
, has played an
important role in Covenant House's development in Central America.
He was considered to be the link to numerous donations, many of
them anonymous, that Covenant House received from moneyed people
around Central America.(12) Alejos, linked to William Simon and
J. Peter Grace through the Knights, has a history of anticommunist
activities and once ran as a rightwing candidate for president of
He was described by author Jean-Marie Simon as "a thug
in a business suit,"
and has been connected with the CIA and the
contra aid network. When queried about Alejos connection with
Covenant House, Jean-Marie Simon said, "its like having Idi Amin
on the board of Amnesty International."

Social Network Diagram:

Guatemala 1960-1984 Cuba 1961

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* Colby,G. Dennett,C. Thy Will Be Done. 1995 (412)
* Covert Action Information Bulletin 1981-#12 (16, 19-20)
* Covert Action Information Bulletin 1986-#25 (36)
* DeCamp,J. The Franklin Cover-up. 1994 (180)
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* Lernoux,P. People of God. 1989 (295)
* Marshall,J... The Iran-Contra Connection. 1987 (53)
* NACLA. Latin America and Empire Report 1976-09 (25)
* National Reporter 1986-W (57, 60)
* Operation Zapata: Bay of Pigs Testimony. 1984 (75)
* Prados,J. Presidents' Secret Wars. 1988 (182)
* Prouty,L.F. JFK. 1992 (126)
* Sklar,H. Washington's War on Nicaragua. 1988 (83, 240)
* Smith,J.B. Portrait of a Cold Warrior. 1981 (339)
* Tully,A. CIA: The Inside Story. 1962 (246)
* Washington Post 1984-12-27 (A1, 25)
* Wise,D. Ross,T. The Invisible Government. 1974 (23-8, 41)
* Wyden,P. Bay of Pigs. 1979 (35)

pages cited this search: 36


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