Aleksandr Dmitrievich Ogorodnik
Alexander Dmitrievich Ogorodnik
November 11, 1939
|Died||June 22, 1977 (aged 37)|
Moscow, Soviet Union
|Occupation||Diplomat, spy, naval officer, doctor in Economy|
Alexander Dmitrievich Ogorodnik (November 11, 1939 – June 22, 1977) was a Soviet diplomat who, while stationed in Bogotá, was contacted by the Colombian Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to spy on the Soviet Union, operating under the code name TRIGON.
He initially showed little promise and claimed he knew only of Colombian political affairs. He was later transferred to the Soviet Foreign Ministry in Moscow. In this new position, he was able to photograph a great deal of secret diplomatic cables, many of which were sent daily to the White House.
Ogorodnik eventually requested a suicide pill to be used in the event that he was caught. His chief CIA handler in Bogota, KGB double agent Aldrich Ames, was able to supply him with one. However, Ogorodnik threw away the first pen containing the L-Pill (lethal pill) and asked for the CIA to provide him with another pen. After much discussion in the CIA Headquarters regarding this request, it was eventually approved and his Moscow handler, Martha Peterson, delivered the pen through a dead drop.
Ogorodnik was betrayed by Karl Koecher, a Czechoslovakian translator working for the CIA, and was arrested in 1977. During his interrogation, Ogorodnik offered to write a full confession and asked for his pen. When the interrogator handed him the pen with a cleverly hidden cyanide pill in the cap, Ogorodnik bit on it and died soon after. He was said to have died before he hit the floor.
He died without knowing the existence of his daughter, Alejandra Suárez Barcala, that was born from his romance in Bogota with a Spanish woman, Pilar Suárez Barcala, who helped CIA in Ogorodnik’s recruitment.
- Peterson 2012, p. 117.
- Peterson 2012.
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- Myre, Greg (June 10, 2019). "'Moscow Rules': How The CIA Operated Under The Watchful Eye Of The KGB". NPR. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
- Tenerife, Chema Hernández | S/ C. de (2019-05-06). "Alejandra Suárez: "A los 14 años supe que mi padre era un agente de la CIA, y me cambió la vida"". eldia.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 2021-05-30.
- Earley, P. (1998). Confessions of a Spy: The Real Story of Aldrich Ames. London: Penguin. ISBN 9780425167120.
- Peterson, M. (2012). The Widow Spy. Wilmington: Red Canary Press. ISBN 9780983878124.
- Suarez Barcala, Alejandra. Nombre en clave: Trigon (in Spanish). Madrid: Punto de Vista Editores. ISBN 9788416876600.