152. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Chile1

187383. Subject: Detained Americans.

Department spokesman having difficult time with questions if Embassy officers have seen detained Americans and what we are doing to assure their welfare.

Imperative that consular officers gain access to detainees so spokesman can say so. We note Junta representative told Embassy officer they trying to improve their image in foreign press. Continued refusal to allow access by consular officers to detainees runs counter to this effort.

Can anticipate that questions will be asked about detained Americans at noon briefing tomorrow and hopeful we can answer by then that they have been contacted.

  1. Summary: After the daily news briefing on September 20, the Department instructed the Embassy to redouble its efforts to contact any U.S. citizens detained by the military junta in Chile.

    Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, [no film number]. Confidential; Niact; Immediate. Drafted and approved by Bell in ARA/PAF; cleared by Karkashian in ARA/BC, Shlaudeman (in substance), and King in S/PRS (information).