Dec 22, 78 • 1120 • Georgetown-State • 4409

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978GEORGE04409_d.html.]

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PAGE 01 GEORGE 04409 221210Z
ACTION SCS-06
INFO OCT-01 ARA-15 ISO-00 CA-01 SSO-00 PPTE-00 H-02 PA-02 L-03 ICAE-00 NSCE-00 SS-15 SY-05 /050 W
——————109965 221220Z /15

O 221120Z DEC 78
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8528
UNCLAS GEORGETOWN 4409

E.O. 12065: NA
TAGS: CASC, GY (PEOPLES TEMPLE)
SUBJ: EMBASSY ASSISTANCE TO DETAINED JONESTOWN SURVIVORS

1. EMBASSY UNDERSTANDS FROM TELEPHONE CONVERSTATION WITH SCS THAT DEC 21 “WASHINGTON POST” HAS STORY BY GREGORY ROSE THAT QUOTES MR. DALE PARKS AS SOURCE FOR ALLEGATIONS THAT: CONSUL WOULD NOT RETURN TO PARKS GROUP THEIR AMERICAN PASSPORTS; CONSULATE WOULD NOT ASSIST IN GROUP’S DEPARTURE ARRANGEMENTS DESPITE FACT THAT NONE IN GROUP HAD BEEN CHARGED BY GUYANESE AUTHORITIES; CONSULAR OFFICER TOLD GROUP THAT SKY MARSHALS HAD TO ACCOMPANY WHEREAS NY PAN AMERICAN OFFICE STATES THAT PAN AM MADE NO REQUIREMENT FOR SKY MARSHALS.

2. OBVIOUSLY MR. PARKS, HIS FAMILY AND FRIENDS, WHO SHARED THE SERVICES OF A LOCAL ATTORNEY, HAD HOPED TO LEAVE GEORGETOWN SOME TIME BEFORE THE GUYANESE AUTHORITIES PERMITTED THEM TO DO SO. THE GOG CONSIDERED SEVERAL OF THEM AS IMPORTANT WITNESSES AND PUBLIC PROSECUTOR WAS UNWILLING TO AUTHORIZE THEIR DEPARTURE FROM GUYANA UNTIL TESTIMONY AND STATEMENTS HAD BEEN OBTAINED. IN FACT, DALE PARKS MADE HIS FINAL APPEARANCE IN COURT DEC 15 WHILE ANOTHER MEMBER OF THE GROUP TESTIFIED IN A HEARING ON DEC 19. GOG POLICE OFFICIALS CLEARED THEM FOR DEPARTURE ONLY LATE ON DEC 18.

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3. REGARDING PASSPORTS, THE GROUP WAS INFORMED FOLLOWING THEIR REQUEST LAST WEEK THAT ANY INDIVIDUAL WHO WISHED COULD PICK UP HIS PASSPORT AT THE CONSULATE OR COULD APPLY FOR A NEW PASSPORT IN THE EVENT THE OLD PASSPORT HAD BEEN LOST. MEMBERS OF THE GROUP WERE FURTHER INFORMED THAT IT WOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO POSSESS A PASSPORT TO RE-ENTER THE UNITED STATES AS THE CONSULATE COULD MAKE SPECIAL PROVISIONS. IN FACT, SEVERAL SURVIVORS, INCLUDING SOME SCHEDULED TO TRAVEL WITH MR. PARKS, DID NOT HAVE PASSPORTS (SEE GEORGETOWN 8517).

4. ONCE THEY HAD BEEN CLEARED TO LEAVE, CONSULATE ASKED FOR SPECIAL ASSISTANCE FROM PAN AMERICAN TO ENABLE GROUP TO DEPART AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. ORIGINAL DEPARTURE DATE WAS SET FOR FRIDAY, DEC 22, BUT SUBSEQUENTLY PAN AMERICAN INFORMED CONSULATE SPACE WOULD BE MADE AVAILABLE FOR THE MAJORITY OF GROUP TO DEPART THURSDAY, DEC 21.

5. LOCAL PAN AMERICAN OFFICE INFORMED CONSULATE THAT PAN AMERICAN NEW YORK WITH WHICH IT HAD CHECKED REQUIRED SKY MARSHALS TO ACCOMPANY DEPARTING JONESTOWN SURVIVORS AND THAT PAN AMERICAN NEW YORK WOULD DISCUSS WITH DEPARTMENT NECESSARY ARRANGEMENTS. (STATE 293748)

6. THROUGHOUT THEIR PERIOD OF TIME IN GEORGETOWN AWAITING GOG CLEARANCE TO LEAVE, CONSULAR OFFICERS HAD ALMOST DAILY CONTACT WITH MEMBERS OF PARKS GROUP AT THE CONSULATE, AT THEIR HOTEL, OR BY TELEPHONE. IN FACT, THE HOTEL WHERE THEY WERE HOUSED IS JUST ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE CONSULATE. TWO OF OUR TDY CONSULAR OFFICERS ARE RESIDENT IN THE SAME HOTEL.

7. PRINCIPAL PROBLEM CONSULATE HAS HAD WITH THE GROUP IN LAST FEW DAYS HAS BEEN REFUSAL OF SOME OF THE GROUP TO TRAVEL

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ON ANY AIRCRAFT WHICH ALSO CARRIED CERTAIN OTHER JONESTOWN SURVIVORS, PARTICULARLY THOSE WHO WERE RESIDENT IN GEORGETOWN AT THE LOCAL PT HEADQUARTERS WHEN THE TRAGEDY OCCURRED, DESPITE ASSURANCE THAT THE PRESENCE OF SKY MARSHALS WOULD ENSURE THEIR SAFTEY [SAFETY]. THIS PROBLEM RESOLVED ONLY WHEN PAN AMERICAN REDUCED THE NUMBER OF SEATS AVAILABLE TO THE SURVIVORS AND THE CONSULATE REQUESTED THE TWO SURVIVORS TO WHOM THE PARKS GROUP PRINCIPALLY OBJECTED TO WAIT UNTIL ADDITIONAL SPACE WAS AVAILABLE.

I. COMMENT. THE LONG WAITING PERIOD TO EXIT GEORGETOWN AND GUYANA HAS NOT BEEN EASY FOR THE JONESTOWN SURVIVORS. BESIEGED BY A LARGE FOREIGN PRESS CORPS, FORCED TO LIVE IN HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS WHICH ARE FAR FROM FIRST CLASS (BECAUSE GEORGETOWN REALLY HAS NONE SUCH), FACED IN SOME CASES WITH THE PRESSURES OF HAVING TO GIVE TESTIMONY IN COURT CASES INVOLVING FORMER COMRADES FROM JONESTOWN, UNCERTAINTY PERHAPS, OF THEIR OWN FUTURES — ALL THESE HAVE COMBINED TO MAKE LIFE LESS THAN IDYLLIC FOR THEM.

BURKE

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Originally posted on March 25th, 2020.

Last modified on December 30th, 2020.
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