823.00 Revolutions/11: Telegram

The Chargé in Peru (Mayer) to the Secretary of State

151. At diplomatic body meeting this morning Papal Nuncio, Chilean Ambassador, German Minister, Japanese Minister and myself were delegated a committee to call upon junta and request assurance of protection both for our nationals, their business interests and our own diplomatic mission. We particularly informed General Ponce that a number of people had come to us asking right of asylum which we have of course granted; we requested that the junta afford ample protection for our houses. With this in mind General Ponce and the junta assured us of their protection stating that they were declaring martial law to enforce order.

I was not much impressed with organization of the junta and feel in common with rest of my colleagues and others that there is very little real control and that the situation might get out of hand at any moment. There is considerable rioting and burning of houses in Lima and threats of same even in the suburbs. Unless some strong man steps in to take control I am very apprehensive of disorder which may be dangerous to foreigners as well as others.

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Two of the daughters of the President have come to me for asylum which I of course granted and have them and their children in my house along with one of their husbands, Alfredo Larrinaga.

I do not like the looks of things at all nor does Admiral Pye. We believe immediate preparatory steps should be taken at Panama looking toward despatch of naval force here for protection of American lives and interests.