811.24523/8–2346: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Peru (Cooper)


756. Urtel 892, Aug. 19,64 Re par 12 erroneous reference was made to draft unexecuted agreement.

Re jurisdiction over accused military personnel: Jurisdiction is inherent in sovereign and is exclusive. Any exception must be based on consent of sovereign—express or implied. In view of express provisions of 2 (f) of Agreement of April 24, 1942 difficult conclude that Peruvian Government consented to immunity of American military personnel from its jurisdiction. Provisions of 2 (f) seem to Dept. to indicate clearly that American personnel who commit offenses against political laws or traffic regulations outside the base are subject to laws of Peru.

While continuing to exert every proper effort to persuade Peruvian Government to relinquish claim to jurisdiction Embassy will be guided by foregoing and will not base such efforts on any claim to immunity from local jurisdiction on legal grounds in absence of express instructions from Dept. (Embtels 900, 920, 922). In this connection you should informally and personally advise FonMin and President Bustamante that highest Brazilian courts including Supreme Court and Supreme Military Tribunal in similar and even more serious cases affecting our troops stationed in that country have disclaimed jurisdiction allowing same to rest with US military courts. After pointing out that publicity here attending trial by Peruvian courts might well lead to public demand for withdrawal all assistance to Peruvian Air Force, particularly should shooting of Sgt Eiland result fatally, if Peruvian Govt persists in demand for jurisdiction you should accede. In that case adequate assurances should be sought covering speedy trial, legal representation of accused and of course protection (should that in your judgment be necessary) of men to be tried.

  1. Not printed.