Serial 1636

[Editor’s note: This document was released both as a State Department cable as part of its 1981 FOIA release, and as Serial 1636 of the FBI’s RYMUR release. The text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978STATE319334_d.html.]

CONFIDENTIAL FBB 345

[Listing of agencies receiving informational copies; as well as listing of drafting process on pdf]

0 192312Z JAN 79
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN IMMEDIATE
CONFIDENTIAL STATE 319334
E.O. 12065: 12065: GDS 12/19/84 (MARKS, LEE M.)
TAGS: CASC, OREP (RYAN, LEO), GY
SUBJ: REQUEST BY FBI TO REMOVE FROM GUYANA MATERIALS TAKEN BY CONSULAR OFFICERS FROM JONESTOWN
REFS: (A) GEORGETOWN 4315; (B) STATE 304925

1. Embassy is authorized to release to the FBI materials now in consular custody of Embassy which FBI representative identifies as being a potential evidentiary value. As noted in Ref (B), 22 U.S.C. Section 1175 (begin underscore) et seq. (end underscore) does not preclude use of material in consular custody for law enforcement purposes or circumscribe investigative authority of FBI. Department has received requests from Department of Justice for

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PAGE 02 STATE 319334

access to this material. Access may be granted either within or outside the consular district of Georgetown.

2. In order for FBI investigation to proceed effectively, it is necessary that documents and tapes in custody of U.S. Consul be returned to US. FBI estimates that copying seven cartons of tape recordings in possession of Embassy would take at least two months in Guyana with portable equipment available for purpose. Same tapes could be copied in FBI lab in Washington in 2 1/2 to 3 weeks with a markedly higher quality of reproduction. FBI further advises that copying more than seven cartons of People’s Temple documents in possession of Embassy would take approximately four months with manpower and equipment available in Guyana, but could be accomplished and FBI lab in approximately two weeks with significantly higher quality copies.

3. In view of necessity of returning this material to the US, Embassy is requested to make the following proposal to GOG [Government of Guyana], ASAP. All designated materials would be transported to U.S. USG [U.S. Government] will provide copies of all tapes and documents to GOG as soon as these are available. GOG law enforcement representatives would be welcome to come to Washington to work with FBI in connection with reproduction of tapes and documents. Presence of GOG representatives during reproduction process and transport of reproduced materials back to Guyana may be sufficient for evidentiary chain of custody purposes in connection with Guyanese legal proceedings. As necessary, USG will make originals of such materials available to GOG in connection with court proceedings in Guyana.

Vance [Cyrus Vance, Secretary of State]

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PAGE 03 STATE 319334

Originally posted on May 13th, 2018.

Last modified on July 6th, 2022.
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