197. Memorandum From Robert S. Folsom of the Office of Regional American Affairs to the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Holland)1


  • Termination of Action under Rio Treaty in Costa Rican-Nicaraguan Situation


The Special Committee of the COAS/OC has recommended to the Council that action under the Rio Treaty in the Costa Rican-Nicaraguan situation be terminated. The recommendation is premised on the progress made by the two countries in reestablishing [Page 620] cordial relations, including the settlement of various outstanding problems, the establishment of the Commission of Investigation and Conciliation (CIC), and the prospect of their completing the bilateral agreement recommended by the COAS/OC in the near future. The Council meets on September 8 to act on the draft resolution prepared by the Special Committee which provides for: (1) cancellation of the Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, (2) termination of the provisional action of the COAS/OC, (3) continuation of the Special Committee to assist the parties as necessary in their negotiations on the bilateral agreement, and (4) expression of satisfaction over the fact that the CIC has been established and confidence that the parties will avail themselves of its services. Amb. Dreier has requested instructions on the position which he should take on adoption of a resolution covering these points, recommending at the same time that he be authorized to approve.

Since the Special Committee made its evaluation and recommendation, we have learned that Nicaragua has managed, with the assistance of Guatemala, to get hold of Carlos Jimenez Ballard and proposes to make a dramatic revelation of his confession which allegedly implicates Figueres in the assassination of Remon and the attempted assassination of Somoza.2 What the reaction of Costa Rica to this disclosure will be is hard to foresee, but it could conceivably reverse the progress being made by the two countries in the settlement of their differences, requiring a reassessment of the conclusions and recommendation of the Special Committee. Subject to what might occur as a result of this incident, AR and MID concur in Amb. Dreier’s recommendation that the United States support termination of action under the Rio Treaty.3 An instruction to this effect for your signature is attached.4


That you sign the instruction.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 718.00/9–255. Confidential. Concurred in by Newbegin and Neal.
  2. A report dated August 15 describing the arrest in Guatemala City of Carlos Jimenez Ballard was forwarded to Holland and Lyon under cover of a memorandum, August 16, from John W. Fisher of the Office of Middle American Affairs. According to the report, Jimenez was involved in the assassination of President Remon of Panama and in attempts to kill President Somoza of Nicaragua and President Lozano of Honduras. (Ibid., 713.00/8–1655)
  3. Dreier submitted this recommendation to Holland in a memorandum of June 29, on which the Assistant Secretary initialed his approval. (Ibid., 718.00/6–2955)
  4. Not found attached to the source text.