821.00/7–1444: Telegram

The Ambassador in Colombia (Lane) to the Secretary of State

1253. In connection with last paragraph of my telegram 1240 [1254], July 13, 7 p.m.25 President López said to me today that what was needed above everything here is a sufficient number of rifles for the national police.

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He confirmed to me what the Department and the Embassy have known for some time that there is great friction between the army and the police. He said that the recent developments have shown that the police is loyal to the Government and that there is jealousy for that reason between the police and the army. He said that his intention is if arms and ammunition can be obtained for the police to declare publicly that Lend Lease material is being received for that purpose.

I consider the foregoing to be a most dangerous development in the internal situation here. If news of this should reach the public and the army I am apprehensive lest it might bring about a further and more serious revolt than that which has just ended.27

I respectfully suggest that this point of view be kept in mind in connection with any requests which may be received for further arms and ammunition on behalf of the police.

  1. Not printed.
  2. The so-called Pasto Rebellion of July 10, 1944, which was suppressed and followed by court martial proceedings against some 90 persons, of whom 65 were army officers.