Serial 1508

[Editor’s note: This document was released both as a State Department cable as part of its 1981 FOIA release, and as Serial 1508 of the FBI’s RYMUR release. The text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1979STATE001310_e.html.]

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[Listing of agencies receiving informational copies on pdf]

P R 032253Z JAN 79
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN PRIORITY
INFO AMEMBASSY CARACAS
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E.O. 12065: NA
TAGS: CASC, GY
SUBJ: FBI INTERVIEWS WITH PEOPLES TEMPLE MEMBERS STILL IN GUYANA
REF: (A) US SECRET SERVICE 0001
(B) GEORGETOWN [illegible]

1. Department notes that a number of Peoples Temple (PT) members remain in Guyana not in the custody of the GOG. Presumably, most of these will depart in the relatively near future but, as the Embassy has reported, some have elected to remain in Guyana permanently. It is been suggested that those PT members still in Guyana and not in the custody of the GOG might be invited to come to the Embassy voluntarily for interviews with the Legal Attaché while he continues to be a Georgetown

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on TDY assignment from Caracas. If a significant number of those remaining in Georgetown agree to this procedure it might speed up the entire process. An interview with the Legal Attaché in Georgetown might make unnecessary further FBI interrogation of PT members on arrival in the US. It is also possible that an interview with the Legal Attaché might render interrogation by the Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies on arrival unnecessary. If Embassy and the Legal Cachet agree, they should contact PT members in Georgetown and schedule voluntary interviews in the Embassy. Legal Attaché should contact his own headquarters about how these interviews should be structured.

2. Department notes that Michael Prokes was able to return to the US without the knowledge of the Embassy or law enforcement agencies in the US. While there are no grounds for asking the GOG to prevent the departure of PT members once the GOG has granted permission, the Embassy should reiterate to the GOG the importance of having GOG immigration officials inform the Embassy immediately of the departure and destination of any PT members so that the relevant law enforcement agencies can be informed.

Vance [Cyrus Vance, Secretary of State]

Originally posted on July 25th, 2020.

Last modified on July 15th, 2022.
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