740.21112 RP/5–445: Telegram

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

643. Your 467, May 1, 1945. I was with the President a long time last night. It was the first time I have ever seen him depressed. When I talked to him about the great advisability of doing something about Axis spearhead firms he replied without beating about the bush [Page 866] that it was utterly impossible for him to do anything. Shortly after July 10, 1944 (the Pasto affair)50 he had issued drastic decrees and had been determined to clear up the matter. He had called together the National Economic Commission and everything was set to go ahead but nothing happened. He changed officials and still nothing happened. Finally a judge crucial in the matter took leave of absence and never returned to his post and even his own liberal press had turned against him.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

… Any replacement program no matter how sound might easily be seized upon by enemies of López regime as proof of its “corruption.” The Department is doubtless aware that political situation in Colombia is very active at this moment.

However, since dictating the foregoing the President, to my surprise, has telephoned inviting me to have tea this afternoon with him and the Procurador General Escallón in order to discuss further the question of foreigners in Colombia.

  1. An uprising against the Government promoted largely by Army officers.