In order to remain covert the CIA told Castillo Armas that the PBHistory group was businessmen and experts from universities. As a result, Castillo Armas signed the decree allowing for the creation of the Comite de Defensa Nacional contra el Comunismo on 20 July. Furthermore, the U.S. group would work under the banner of a social research company and would work in cooperation with the Comite de Defensa Nacional contra el Comunismo, which was a subsidized by the CIA. The Guatemalan group had twenty-five members and their duty was to assist the U.S. members whenever necessary.
However, the Guatemalan group was not granted the power to arrest or search house of prominent government officials who had served under Arbenz. This was largely because Armas lacked trust in the Comite. Nevertheless, the Comite was able to conduct personal searches of exiles as they left the country. This proved to be ineffective as very few documents proved to be revealing. By 4 August 1954, a joint-action plan was developed and eight CIA operatives were deployed to Guatemala along with three state members and 1 member of the United States Information Agency.
Since the covert operation to overthrew the Arbenz government had progressed so rapidly, the CIA hoped that Arbenz and Guatemalan Party of Labour (PGT) leaders would not have time to destroy potential incriminating documents, which would link Arbenz to Moscow. Additionally, the CIA had hoped that the “PTG records left behind in haste would enable the agency’s international Communism Division to reconstruct the PTG’s collective leadership and organizational structure, and perhaps do the same for Moscow-oriented movements throughout the hemisphere.” However, a CIA memorandum to CIA director Allen Dulles indicated that the documents seized “were of such topical nature and, in the main, of such low-level intelligence and propaganda interest, that they did not lend themselves to an impressive bound volume.”
Nevertheless, the group sifted through 500,000 documents and was able to salvage over 50,000 documents for the purpose of exploiting and illustrating communist activities within Guatemala. The documents were copied and microfilmed. The PBHistory analyzed the documents and then handed the originals over to the comite in order to index and file them. Ronald M. Schneider, an extra-Agency researcher who later examined the PBHISTORY documents, found no traces of Soviet control and substantial evidence that Guatemalan Communists acted alone, without support or guidance from outside the country.