Serial 1377
Dec 14, 78 • 1816 • Georgetown-State • 4283

[Editor’s note: This is a State Department cable that was included in the FBI’s 2009 RYMUR release of documents under the Freedom of Information Act. It was not included in the State Department’s own release, but we have included identifying information for it using the agency’s designations.

[The person in this serial whose name is deleted is DEA agent Briggs. While it is deleted in the text, the subject line of the memorandum includes it. The deleted information from the memorandum – designated by brackets – which is known to the editor has been indicated by red type.]

UNCLASSIFIED FBB 138

[Listing of agencies receiving informational copies on pdf]

0 141816Z DEC 78
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8461
INFO AMEMBASSY CARACAS
CONFIDENTIAL GEORGETOWN 4283
E.O. 11652:
TAGS: SNAR
SUBJECT: PROPOSED TRAVEL OF DEA SPECIAL AGENT BRIGGS TO GUYANA
REF: STATE 314399.

1. As Department is aware the GOG [Government of Guyana] is still considering an outstanding request from the U.S. Secret Service that their agents be permitted to come to Georgetown to interview the survivors of Peoples Temple. Approval of this request was first granted and then withdrawn on December 9-10. Cabinet level task force in Jonestown still “has the request under consideration.” FBI is also anxious to obtain permission from the GOGMZO [likely “GOG to”] conduct interviews with Jonestown survivors still in Guyana. This request is also outstanding.

2. It was he certainly appreciates DEA’s interest in having Special Agent [name deleted] [Briggs] travel to Guyana for the purpose set forth in reftel. However, if such visit is to be fruitful it will depend upon the full cooperation of his Guyanese counterparts. It is essential therefore that prior GOG concurrence be obtained before Special Agent [Briggs] travels to Georgetown.

3. Embassy would propose to raise the prospect of a

UNCLASSIFIED
UNCLASSIFIED
PAGE 02 GEORGE 4283 161452Z

visit by Special Agent [Briggs] as soon as the outstanding requests of the Secret Service and the FBI have been dealt with by the GOG.

4. Comment: GOG is still acutely sensitive about the entire subject of Jonestown, including its handling of the affair. Cheddi Jagan’s Daily Mirrorsyas [likely “Mirror has”] already strongly criticized the government for the “large number of US Secret Service men, soldiers in plainclothes and possibly agents of the CIA moving freely on the soil of our independent and sovereign nation.” GOG cooperation has been very good and forthcoming up until now but articles such as the one in Jagan’[s] Mirror will cause them to be cautious.

Burke [John Burke, American ambassador to Guyana]

Originally posted on July 15th, 2020.

Last modified on July 6th, 2022.
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