Nov 20, 78 • 1837 • State-Georgetown • 293999

[Editor’s notes: The full text of this document was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978STATE293999_d.html.

[This document appears as Serials 19 and 465 in the FBI RYMUR release and as State
Department cable 293999
in the State Department release.]

CONFIDENTIAL
PAGE 01
STATE 293999
ORIGIN ARA-15
INFO OCT-01 EUR-12 EA-10 NEA-11 ISO-00 SSO-00 NSCE-00
INRE-00 ICAE-00 SCS-06 CA-01 H-01 SY-05 FBIE-00
SYE-00 PA-01 TRSE-00 MCT-02 AID-05 OC-06 CCO-00
JUSE-00 CIAE-00 INR-10 NSAE-00 SVC-00 /086 R
DRAFTED BY ARA:JGRIFFITH
APPROVED BY ARA:JBUSHNELL
S/S-O: T MARTIN
——————100103 201911Z /64

O 201837Z NOV 78
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN IMMEDIATE
INFO AMEMBASSY PANAMA IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY CARACAS IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY PORT OF SPAIN IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY PARAMARIBO IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY KUWAIT IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY TEHRAN IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY TOKYO IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L STATE 293999
LONDON FOR MICHAEL FINLEY, TOKYO FOR SENATOR HAYAKAWA
E.O. 11652: GDS
TAGS: CASC, OREP, GY
SUBJECT:SITUATION REPORT NO. VII
REF: STATE 293803 AND PREVIOUS

1. THE GUYANESE CRISIS COMMITTEE HAS APPROVED OUR OFFER OF

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PAGE 02 STATE 293999

MEDICAL EVACUATION AND GRAVE REGISTRATION UNITS, INCLUDING UP TO 12 HELICOPTERS. THE NATIONAL MILITARY COMMAND CENTER (NMCC) IS MOBILIZING THE UNITS. THE HELICOPTERS ARE EXPECTED TO ARRIVE EARLY NOVEMBER 21.

2. OUR DCM [DEPUTY CHIEF OF MISSION] TO PANAMA, WHO IS HELPING AT GEORGETOWN, AND A CONSULAR OFFICER ARE FLYING TO JONESTOWN THIS MORNING WITH THREE PRESS REPRESENTATIVES AND GUYANESE OFFICIALS AND WILL MAKE AN INITIAL ASSESSMENT OF THE SITUATION THERE. THEY ARE EXPECTED TO REPORT THEIR FINDINGS THIS AFTERNOON. ANOTHER FLIGHT WILL BRING OUR PATHOLOGICAL AND POISONS EXPERTS TO JONESTOWN THIS AFTERNOON. AMBASSADOR [JOHN] BURKE ALSO NOW ADVISES THAT THE 4-MAN DOD COMMUNICATIONS TEAM WILL FLY UP TO JONESTOWN TODAY. THEY ARE EXPECTED TO BEGIN TRANSMISSIONS FROM JONESTOWN THIS AFTERNOON.

3. THE AIR FORCE IS INVESTIGATING WHETHER THE MATTHEWS RIDGE AIR STRIP CAN TAKE AIRCRAFT AS LARGE AS C-130S SO THAT IT CAN BE USED AS A STAGING AREA FOR OPERATIONS IN JONESTOWN. THE AIR STRIP IS ABOUT 35 MILES AWAY FROM JONESTOWN, AND ITS USE WOULD CONSIDERABLY EASE SUPPLY PROBLEMS AND FACILITATE EVACUATION ACTIVITIES.

4. THE GUYANESE GOVERNMENT HAS REQUESTED THE LOAN OF TWO OTTER OR SIMILAR AIRCRAFT. THE AMERICAN PEOPLES TEMPLE CRISIS HAS OVERTAXED GUYANA’S DOMESTIC AIR TRANSPORT SYSTEM, WHICH IS CRITICAL FOR THE SUPPLY OF MANY ISOLATED GUYANESE COMMUNITIES. NMCC HAS NO OTTERS, BUT IS LOOKING INTO ALTERNATIVE WAYS OF RESPONDING TO THIS REQUEST.

5. AMBASSADOR BURKE ADVISES THAT AUTOPSIES HAVE BEEN PERFORMED ON THE BODIES OF CONGRESSMAN RYAN AND THE FOUR OTHERS KILLED DURING THE ATTACK AT PORT KAITUMA AND THAT

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THEY ARE READY FOR TRANSPORT BACK TO THE UNITED STATES. SCS IS COORDINATING THEIR MOVEMENT WITH THE NMCC. ALSO AMBASSADOR BURKE ADVISES THAT GUYANA WILL PROBABLY REQUIRE THAT AUTOPSIES BE DONE ONLY ON A REPRESENTATIVE SAMPLE OF THE DEAD AT JONESTOWN BEFORE AUTHORIZING THE RETURN OF THE BODIES TO THE UNITED STATES.

VANCE [CYRUS VANCE, SECRETARY OF STATE]

CONFIDENTIAL

Originally posted on March 1st, 2020.

Last modified on June 23rd, 2022.
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