[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.]
0 292030Z NOV 78
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO RUEHFB/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
CONFIDENTIAL GEORGETOWN 4008
E.O. 11652: XGDSA
1) American ambassador has instructed that no active investigation be conducted by FBI in Guyana and that all contact with local authorities be on a strict liaison basis. American ambassador is providing full support and has intervened on highest levels at request of Legat such as in the securing of access to immigration records where fingerprint cards of deceased were copied on night of November 28, 1978.
2) No attempts being made to interview PT members in Guyana, and it is believed the Government of Guyana will not allow interviews of these individuals in Guyana.
3) Police of Guyana have conducted interviews both in Jonestown, at the airport crime scene and at Lamaha Gardens in Georgetown. Police on a daily basis are requested to preserve all evidence and to furnish a copy of their statement[s] concerning the preserving of evidence to FBI. When the statements are drawn up, it is believed FBI will immediately receive copy.
4) Police in Guyana have been requested to furnish an inventryy [inventory] of physical evidence in their possession, and iit [it] is believed that when this inventory is made, a copy of the inventory statement will be made available promptly.
5) A large amount of physical evidence belonging to American citizens, as taken at Jonestown, is maintained under lock in the U.S. Embassy. This evidence has not been inventoried and it is understood at Georgetown that negotiations are being conducted between the Justice Department and the State Department concerning the legal disposition of this evidence.
6) A crime scene investigation was conducted by the police of Guyana at Jonestown, at the airport and at Lamaha Gardens. A written report of the results of their investigation has been requested, and it is believed that a copy will be furnished as soon as this report is prepared.
7) Autopsy examination of Congressman Ryan’s body hand carried to Washington this date. Embassy at Georgetown has telephonically alerted State to furnish copy to FBI.
8) Ambassador at Georgetown well aware FBI desires interview of all surviving members of PT and has instructed the FBI be advised that copy of message advising of return to US of each member be furnished FBI HQ. Inasmuch as commercial transportation could be used in return of some survivors, it may not be possible to process all of them through a single port of entry in the US. However, FBI will be furnished itinerary in advance of each departure.
9) Classified by 6705, XGDSA, indefinite.
Burke [John Burke, American ambassador to Guyana]