Serial 39

[Editor’s note: This document was released both as a State Department cable as part of its 1981 FOIA release, and as Serial 39 of the FBI’s RYMUR release. The text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978GEORGE03843_d.html.]

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GEORGE 03843 212007Z
ACTION SCS-06
INFO OCT-01 ARA-11 ISO-00 CCO-00 CA-01 L-03 FBIE-00
CIAE-00 INR-10 NSAE-00 INRE-00 PA-01 TRSE-00
MCT-02 SS-15 DODE-00 NSCE-00 SSO-00 ICAE-00 SY-05
SYE-00 USSS-00 AID-05 OC-06 JUSE-00 PM-05 H-01
/072 W
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Z 211959Z NOV 78
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC FLASH 8123
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E.O. 11652: NA
TAGS: CASC, OREP (RYAN, LEO) GY
SUBJ: PEOPLES TEMPLE: DISPOSITION OF REMAINS.
REF: A. STATE 294528 B. GEORGETOWN 3826

1. Minister Mamilton [Hamilton] Green, chairman of the GOG [Government of Guyana] cabinet level committee designated to assist on the Jonestown tragedy, broke out of cabinet meeing at 2:30 p.m. local time to meet with Amb [U.S. Ambassador to Guyana John Burke] and Acting DCM [Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Victor Dikeos] to discuss various issues related to the Jonestown effort.

2. Amb reviewed with him points 1.a through 1.e of reference a, and asked whether Guyanese government would agree to interment of the bodies at Jonestown in graves located on that property. Minister Green, who was going back into cabinet after our meeting, said that he would refer the matter to the prime minister [Forbes Burnham] and the rest of his colleagues and provide an answer as soon as the cabinet meeting is over, sometime later this afternoon toward 6 P.M. Green did ask several questions and while Amb and ADCM were with him he summoned his public

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GEORGE 03843 212007Z

health adviser to obtain his advice on the proposal. The public health officer, Claude Merriman, who has been a senior adviser to the GOG on a wide varity [variety] of issues over the years, opined that the interment would be possible and in his estimation burial of all the remains could be accomplished in two days using mechanical digging equipment.

3. In the expectation that the cabinet decision will be favorable Minister Green is scheduling a trip to Jonestown at 0700 November 22.

Burke [John Burke, U.S. Ambassador to Guyana]

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Originally posted on May 16th, 2018.

Last modified on June 24th, 2022.
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