821.85/9–1247: Telegram

The Chargé in Colombia (Warner) to the Secretary of State


599. ReDeptel 453, September 11. Department has apparently misinterpreted my telegram reporting Chief of Protocol “expressed regrets” as apology. No apology has yet been made. When news despatches from Washington reached Bogotá September 11 reporting that spokesman for Department had stated that “the Colombian chancellery, as well as Chief of Police had presented excuses to the Embassy of the United States in Bogotá” the Secretary to the Presidency “emphatically” informed press that “the Government of Colombia has not presented excuses”. As to press report of Department’s statement that chief of police had also “made excuses” to Embassy, the Secretary to the Presidency informed press that “General Torres Duran had limited himself, as was his duty, to offering all protection to the US Embassy building and to all other dependencies”. At same time Presidency informed press that Chief of Protocol “went himself yesterday to the Embassy to deplore what had happened”. In view of foregoing, Embassy unable to inform FonOff of acceptance of Colombian Government’s apology.

Chief of Protocol has indicated informally that FonOff is taking up question of payment of damages to Embassy property. President issued statement last night that note would not be made public until decision in premises has been reached. In view thereof, the Embassy refraining from giving facts to press which now attributes confusion and manifestations which took place to lack of facts at that time.

Embassy awaiting further instructions from Department. However, contents of Deptel 453 brought informally to attention of Secretary General FonOff this morning as friendly gesture.