721.23/802a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Brazil (Morgan)36

14. Peruvian Ambassador this morning advised Department that Peru has accepted Brazilian “offer of mediation”. This “mediation” to be on following basis: 1, Peru to turn over Leticia to Brazil, and 2, Brazil to return Leticia to Colombia on the understanding that negotiations will at once be opened in Rio for the modification of the frontier between the two countries as established in the Salomon-Lozano Treaty. Conference will also discuss questions of economic and commercial nature in that region.

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Ambassador stated that Peru had suggested only one modification, namely that Leticia should be held by Brazil while the negotiations are going on. Peru had also made a further proposal as evidence of its goodwill in the matter, namely that a mixed commission of Brazilians and Peruvians go to Loreto to try to find out whether the Loretanos would be willing to have Leticia returned at once to Colombia. He also expressed under instructions of his Government the appreciation of Peru for interest of United States in the matter and for its support of Brazilian proposal.

Ambassador was told that the Brazilian proposal as he outlined it was different from the one communicated to this Government by Brazilian Government. Proposal, as he stated it, makes the primary concern of conference the modification of the boundaries established by the Treaty of 1922. This was not in Brazilian proposal communicated to us and this Government understood that while Colombia did not object to having this matter brought up in the conference and discussing it most fully it had not agreed in advance that there must be a boundary modification. The Ambassador stated that this boundary modification is desirable and expressed hope that this Government would support the proposal in Bogotá. He was told that this Government will not cross wires with the Brazilian Government and will only support Brazilian proposals communicated to it by Brazilian Government.

Department feels that you should advise Brazilian Government of above.

  1. The same telegram (omitting last paragraph) was sent on the same date to the Ambassador in Peru as No. 17.