Dec 20, 78 • 0004 • State-Georgetown • 319402

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978STATE319402_d.html.]

LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
PAGE 01
STATE 319402
ORIGIN L-03
INFO OCT-01 ARA-11 EUR-12 ISO-00 JUSE-00 SSO-00 SCS-06 CA-01 H-01 TRSE-00 NSCE-00 /035 R
DRAFTED BY L/ARA:TFORTUNE:JUSTICE:JHIRGIN:EDK
APPROVED BY L:L.M. MARKS
ARA – J. BUSHNELL
——————063362 200316Z /15

O R 200004Z DEC 78
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN IMMEDIATE
INFO AMEMBASSY BERN
AMEMBASSY PANAMA
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE STATE 319402

E.O. 12065: GDS
TAGS: CASC, GY, (PEOPLES TEMPLE)
SUBJECT: PROTECTION OF UNITED STATES INTERESTS VIS-A-VIS PEOPLES TEMPLE ASSETS IN GUYANA

1. DEPARTMENT, AFTER CONSULTATION WITH DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, HAS DETERMINED THAT EMBASSY SHOULD IMMEDIATELY LODGE WITH GOG A FORMAL STATEMENT OF USG INTEREST IN ANY PEOPLES TEMPLE (PT) ASSETS IN GUYANA.

2. DEPARTMENT IS OF THE VIEW THAT BECAUSE OF SUBSTANTIAL USG EXPENDITURES IN CONNECTION WITH JONESTOWN INCIDENT INCLUDING REPATRIATION AND DISPOSITION OF REMAINS OF PT MEMBERS, USG HAS A STRONG INTEREST IN CONSERVATION AND EVENTUAL DISPOSITION OF PT ASSETS IN GUYANA. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE IS EXPLORING POSSIBLE LEGAL MEANS THROUGH WHICH USG MIGHT RECOVER EXPENSES INCURRED. IN CONNECTION

LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
PAGE 02 STATE 319402

WITH THIS EFFORT, USG MAY WISH TO FILE A CLAIM AGAINST PT ASSETS IN GUYANA. WHILE NO FINAL DETERMINATION HAS BEEN MADE REGARDING WHETHER USG WILL ULTIMATELY ASSERT SUCH A CLAIM UNDER GUYANESE LAW, DEPARTMENT BELIEVES THAT U.S. SHOULD MOVE PROMPTLY TO PRESERVE ANY RIGHTS IT MAY HAVE UNDER GUYANESE LAW. UNLESS STRONG OBJECTIONS ARE PERCEIVED, EMBASSY IS ACCORDINGLY INSTRUCTED TO CONVEY TO GOG THE FOLLOWING NOTE:

3. BEGIN TEXT. EXCELLENCY:

I HAVE THE HONOR TO REFER TO THE NOTE PRESENTED BY THE EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS ON NOVEMBER 26, 1978, CONCERNING THE RESPONSIBILITY OF AMERICAN CONSULAR OFFICERS UNDER THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES TO ACT AS PROVISIONAL CONSERVATORS OF THE PERSONAL ESTATES OF DECEASED AMERICAN CITIZENS WHO WERE RESIDENT AT JONESTOWN, GUYANA.

I WOULD LIKE TO EXPRESS THE APPRECIATION OF MY GOVERNMENT FOR THE COOPERATION AND ASSISTANCE RENDERED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF GUYANA IN CONNECTION WITH THE EFFORTS OF THE EMBASSY’S CONSULAR OFFICERS TO TAKE POSSESSION OF AND TO REPATRIATE PROPERTY OF DECEASED U.S. CITIZENS. IN THIS CONNECTION, I WOULD LIKE TO REQUEST THAT OFFICIALS OF THE GOVERNMENT OF GUYANA NOW PRESENT AT JONESTOWN RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES EMBASSY ANY SUCH ITEMS OF PERSONAL PROPERTY FOUND AT JONESTOWN WHICH CAN BE IDENTIFIED THROUGH REASONABLE EFFORTS.

LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
PAGE 03 STATE 319402

AS YOUR EXCELLENCY IS AWARE, THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES EXPENDED A CONSIDERABLE SUM IN CONNECTION WITH THE INCIDENTS AT JONESTOWN. THE UNITED STATES INTENDS TO SEEK REIMBURSEMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES FROM ASSETS OF THE PEOPLES TEMPLE IN GUYANA AND ELSEWHERE. TO THAT END, I WISH TO INFORM YOUR EXCELLENCY THAT THE UNITED STATES RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SUBMIT SUCH A CLAIM IN GUYANA IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE LAWS AND PROCEDURES.

CONSIDERING THE STRONG INTEREST OF GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE ULTIMATE DISPOSITION OF ANY ASSETS IDENTIFIED AS BELONGING TO THE PEOPLES TEMPLE IN GUYANA, I WOULD REQUEST THE ASSURANCES OF YOUR EXCELLENCY THAT THE GOVERNMENT OF GUYANA WILL GIVE SYMPATHETIC CONSIDERATION TO ANY CLAIM OF THE UNITED STATES IN THIS MATTER.

IN ORDER TO INSURE THAT THE ASSETS OF THE PEOPLES TEMPLE IN GUYANA ARE PROPERLY ACCOUNTED FOR, AND TO PROTECT THE INTEREST OF BOTH OUR GOVERNMENTS, I REQUEST THAT AN INVENTORY TO BE MADE OF ALL PEOPLES TEMPLE ASSETS IN GUYANA AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, AND THAT THE GOVERNMENT OF GUYANA ENSURE THAT NO ASSETS OF THE PEOPLES TEMPLE ARE DISPOSED OF IN ANY MANNER PREJUDICIAL TO THE INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES. MY GOVERNMENT IS WILLING TO PROVIDE WHATEVER ASSISTANCE MAY BE APPROPRIATE IN CONDUCTING THE INVENTORY AND IN PROTECTING AND PRESERVING THE ASSETS.

IN ORDER THAT THE POSITION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES BE PROPERLY MADE A MATTER OF RECORD, I WOULD REQUEST THAT THIS NOTE BE OFFICIALLY RECORDED WITH THOSE OFFICIALS OF THE GOVERNMENT OF GUYANA HAVING

LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
PAGE 04 STATE 319402

RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE CONSERVATION AND DISPOSITION OF ASSETS OF THE PEOPLES TEMPLE IN GUYANA. (COMPLIMENTARY CLOSE) END TEXT.

4. FYI. NOTE INTENTIONALLY DOES NOT ADDRESS DISTINCTION BETWEEN RIGHTS OF USG IN ITS CONSULAR CAPACITY, AND USG RIGHTS AS CLAIMANT AGAINST ASSETS OF PEOPLES TEMPLE. DEPARTMENT RECOGNIZES LIMITATIONS OF CONSULAR RESPONSIBILITY OVER CORPORATE OR ORGANIZATIONAL PROPERTY, BUT DOES NOT WISH TO CONCEDE THIS POINT TO GOG AT THIS TIME. WITH RESPECT TO EMBASSY’S CONCERN, REGARDING ITS ABILITY TO EXERCISE CONSULAR AUTHORITY OVER PROPERTY IN JONESTOWN, AND THE NEED FOR HELICOPTER SUPPORT IN ORDER TO DISCHARGE THIS RESPONSIBILITY, DEPARTMENT BELIEVES THAT THROUGH EFFORTS PREVIOUSLY MADE BY CONOFFS TO RETRIEVE PERSONAL EFFECTS, AND REQUEST CONTAINED IN PARA 2 OF NOTE TO GOG, CONSULAR RESPONSIBILITY HAS BEEN EFFECTIVELY DISCHARGED WITH RESPECT TO INDIVIDUAL PROPERTY. IN VIEW OF LACK OF CONSULAR RESPONSIBILITY FOR CORPORATE PROPERTY AT JONESTOWN, DEPARTMENT DOES NOT REGARD CONTINUED PRESENCE OF HELICOPTER SUPPORT AS NECESSARY. PLEASE INFORM US SOONEST OF DATE HELICOPTERS CAN BE RELEASED UNLESS YOU PERCEIVE REASON FOR CONTINUED USE. NORMAL FUNDING WILL BE AVAILABLE TO CHARTER AIRCRAFT IF VISITS TO JONESTOWN NEEDED. END FYI.

VANCE

LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
NNN LIMITED

OFFICIAL USE
PAGE 01
STATE 319402
ORIGIN SS-05
INFO OCT-01 ISO-00 /006 R 66011 DRAFTED BY S/S-O:BRAMSEY
APPROVED BY SVALERGA
——————086344 210547Z /14

O 210432Z DEC 78
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
INFO RUEKJCS/ SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0000
JCS WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0000
USCINCSO QUARRY HEIGHTS CZ IMMEDIATE
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE STATE 319402
FOLLOWING REPEAT STATE 319402 ACTION GEORGETOWN INFO BERN PANAMA DEC 20:

QUOTE LIMITED OFFICIAL USE STATE 319402
E.O. 12065: GDS
TAGS: CASC, GY, (PEOPLES TEMPLE)
SUBJECT: PROTECTION OF UNITED STATES INTERESTS VIS-A-VIS PEOPLES TEMPLE ASSETS IN GUYANA

1. DEPARTMENT, AFTER CONSULTATION WITH DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, HAS DETERMINED THAT EMBASSY SHOULD IMMEDIATELY LODGE WITH GOG A FORMAL STATEMENT OF USG INTEREST IN ANY PEOPLES TEMPLE (PT) ASSETS IN GUYANA.

2. DEPARTMENT IS OF THE VIEW THAT BECAUSE OF SUBSTANTIAL USG EXPENDITURES IN CONNECTION WITH JONESTOWN INCIDENT INCLUDING REPATRIATION AND DISPOSITION OF REMAINS OF PT

LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
PAGE 02 STATE 319402

MEMBERS, USG HAS A STRONG INTEREST IN CONSERVATION AND EVENTUAL DISPOSITION OF PT ASSETS IN GUYANA. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE IS EXPLORING POSSIBLE LEGAL MEANS THROUGH WHICH USG MIGHT RECOVER EXPENSES INCURRED. IN CONNECTION WITH THIS EFFORT, USG MAY WISH TO FILE A CLAIM AGAINST PT ASSETS IN GUYANA. WHILE NO FINAL DETERMINATION HAS BEEN MADE REGARDING WHETHER USG WILL ULTIMATELY ASSERT SUCH A CLAIM UNDER GUYANESE LAW, DEPARTMENT BELIEVES THAT U.S. SHOULD MOVE PROMPTLY TO PRESERVE ANY RIGHTS IT MAY HAVE UNDER GUYANESE LAW. UNLESS STRONG OBJECTIONS ARE PERCEIVED, EMBASSY IS ACCORDINGLY INSTRUCTED TO CONVEY TO GOG THE FOLLOWING NOTE:

3. BEGIN TEXT. EXCELLENCY:

I HAVE THE HONOR TO REFER TO THE NOTE PRESENTED BY THE EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS ON NOVEMBER 26, 1978, CONCERNING THE RESPONSIBILITY OF AMERICAN CONSULAR OFFICERS UNDER THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES TO ACT AS PROVISIONAL CONSERVATORS OF THE PERSONAL ESTATES OF DECEASED AMERICAN CITIZENS WHO WERE RESIDENT AT JONESTOWN, GUYANA.

I WOULD LIKE TO EXPRESS THE APPRECIATION OF MY GOVERNMENT FOR THE COOPERATION AND ASSISTANCE RENDERED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF GUYANA IN CONNECTION WITH THE EFFORTS OF THE EMBASSY’S CONSULAR OFFICERS TO TAKE POSSESSION OF AND TO REPATRIATE PROPERTY OF DECEASED U.S. CITIZENS. IN THIS CONNECTION, I WOULD LIKE TO REQUEST THAT OFFICIALS OF THE GOVERNMENT OF GUYANA NOW PRESENT AT JONESTOWN RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES

LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
PAGE 03 STATE 319402

EMBASSY ANY SUCH ITEMS OF PERSONAL PROPERTY FOUND AT JONESTOWN WHICH CAN BE IDENTIFIED THROUGH REASONABLE EFFORTS.

AS YOUR EXCELLENCY IS AWARE, THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES EXPENDED A CONSIDERABLE SUM IN CONNECTION WITH THE INCIDENTS AT JONESTOWN. THE UNITED STATES INTENDS TO SEEK REIMBURSEMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES FROM ASSETS OF THE PEOPLES TEMPLE IN GUYANA AND ELSEWHERE. TO THAT END, I WISH TO INFORM YOUR EXCELLENCY THAT THE UNITED STATES RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SUBMIT SUCH A CLAIM IN GUYANA IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE LAWS AND PROCEDURES.

CONSIDERING THE STRONG INTEREST OF GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE ULTIMATE DISPOSITION OF ANY ASSETS IDENTIFIED AS BELONGING TO THE PEOPLES TEMPLE IN GUYANA, I WOULD REQUEST THE ASSURANCES OF YOUR EXCELLENCY THAT THE GOVERNMENT OF GUYANA WILL GIVE SYMPATHETIC CONSIDERATION TO ANY CLAIM OF THE UNITED STATES IN THIS MATTER.
IN ORDER TO INSURE THAT THE ASSETS OF THE PEOPLES TEMPLE IN GUYANA ARE PROPERLY ACCOUNTED FOR, AND TO PROTECT THE INTEREST OF BOTH OUR GOVERNMENTS, I REQUEST THAT AN INVENTORY TO BE MADE OF ALL PEOPLES TEMPLE ASSETS IN GUYANA AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, AND THAT THE GOVERNMENT OF GUYANA ENSURE THAT NO ASSETS OF THE PEOPLES TEMPLE ARE DISPOSED OF IN ANY MANNER PREJUDICIAL TO THE INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES. MY GOVERNMENT IS WILLING TO PROVIDE WHATEVER ASSISTANCE MAY BE APPROPRIATE IN CONDUCTING THE INVENTORY AND IN PROTECTING AND PRESERVING THE ASSETS.

LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
PAGE 04 STATE 319402

IN ORDER THAT THE POSITION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES BE PROPERLY MADE A MATTER OF RECORD, I WOULD REQUEST THAT THIS NOTE BE OFFICIALLY RECORDED WITH THOSE OFFICIALS OF THE GOVERNMENT OF GUYANA HAVING RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE CONSERVATION AND DISPOSITION OF ASSETS OF THE PEOPLES TEMPLE IN GUYANA. (COMPLIMENTARY CLOSE) END TEXT.

4. FYI. NOTE INTENTIONALLY DOES NOT ADDRESS DISTINCTION BETWEEN RIGHTS OF USG IN ITS CONSULAR CAPACITY, AND USG RIGHTS AS CLAIMANT AGAINST ASSETS OF PEOPLES TEMPLE. DEPARTMENT RECOGNIZES LIMITATIONS OF CONSULAR RESPONSIBILITY OVER CORPORATE OR ORGANIZATIONAL PROPERTY, BUT DOES NOT WISH TO CONCEDE THIS POINT TO GOG AT THIS TIME. WITH RESPECT TO EMBASSY’S CONCERN, REGARDING ITS ABILITY TO EXERCISE CONSULAR AUTHORITY OVER PROPERTY IN JONESTOWN, AND THE NEED FOR HELICOPTER SUPPORT IN ORDER TO DISCHARGE THIS RESPONSIBILITY, DEPARTMENT BELIEVES THAT THROUGH EFFORTS PREVIOUSLY MADE BY CONOFFS TO RETRIEVE PERSONAL EFFECTS, AND REQUEST CONTAINED IN PARA 2 OF NOTE TO GOG, CONSULAR RESPONSIBILITY HAS BEEN EFFECTIVELY DISCHARGED WITH RESPECT TO INDIVIDUAL PROPERTY. IN VIEW OF LACK OF CONSULAR RESPONSIBILITY FOR CORPORATE PROPERTY AT JONESTOWN, DEP-ARTMENT DOES NOT REGARD CONTINUED PRESENCE OF HELICOPTER SUPPORT AS NECESSARY. PLEASE INFORM US SOONEST OF DATE HELICOPTERS CAN BE RELEASED UNLESS YOU PERCEIVE REASON FOR CONTINUED USE. NORMAL FUNDING WILL BE AVAILABLE TO CHARTER AIRCRAFT IF VISITS TO JONESTOWN NEEDED. END FYI.

VANCE
UNQUOTE
CHRISTOPHER

LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
PAGE 05 STATE 319402

NOTE BY OC/T: ORIGINAL DIST.: L/JUSE,ARA,EUR,SSO,SCS,CA,H, TRSE,NSCE.

LIMITED OFFICIAL USE
NNN

Originally posted on March 25th, 2020.

Skip to main content