154. Telegram From the Embassy in Chile to the Department of State1

4462. Subj: Detained Americans. Ref: State 187383.

1. Of nine persons reported currently detained or missing in last sitrep (Santiago 4442), four are confirmed by Chilean authorities—two Garrett-Schesches and two Maryknoll priests, Flynn and Dougherty—all held at National Stadium. We have assurances that two Garrett-Schesches will be released to Embassy at 1000 hours Sept. 21st. Of remaining five, two were seen by employers or neighbors when detained. Other three reported missing by relatives or friends and presumed detained. Chilean military authorities deny they are held at National Stadium and have no further info. Embassy continues to check other sources including hospitals to locate them.

2. Of thirteen additional persons reported in sitreps to be missing or detained, but then subsequently reported safe, eight personally reported circumstances of detention and release to Embassy. Their time of detention varied from thirty minutes to overnight. Consulate made inquiries in four of these cases—other four were released before Embassy heard they detained. In the remaining other five of these thirteen cases, all of which were eventually reported safe, consulate had unconfirmed info on detentions and sought unsuccessfully to locate them.

3. Because of special military security procedures, normal consular channels are not highly effective and embassy must rely on informal [Page 791] military contacts to obtain info re detainees and to attempt to secure their release.

  1. Summary: In response to previous instructions from the Department, the Embassy reported on its ongoing efforts to contact U.S. citizens either missing or detained by the military government in Chile.

    Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, [no film number]. Confidential; Niact; Immediate.