306. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Peru1

262399. Subject: Presidential Letter

Embassy requested to deliver following letter from President to General Morales Bermudez, dated October 31:

Begin text: Dear Mr. President: Thank you for your letters of September 12 and 24.2 Like you, I was pleased we were able to meet and exchange views last month on the occasion of the historic signing of the new Panama Canal treaties.3

Now that we have met, I hope we will continue to keep in touch on matters of major concern to us both. Frank communications between us can deepen mutual understanding and improve cooperation on many issues in which Peru plays an important role.

As you probably know, I met individually with Presidents Banzer and Pinochet after our own meeting.4 One of the topics we discussed was Bolivia’s aspiration for a sovereign outlet to the Pacific. I assured them, as I did you, of my Government’s support for negotiations that would lead to an outcome satisfactory to all three nations. I was pleased that you and they were subsequently able to take advantage of your joint presence in Washington to meet privately on this important subject.5

I have been gratified to learn that Foreign Minister de la Puente has continued conversations since then with the Foreign Minister of Ecuador as well as with his Bolivian and Chilean counterparts on matters relating to peace, integration, and development in the Andean Region. One of the issues that most concerns me in this regard is the danger that scarce resources might be diverted to military ends. I was encouraged to learn from you that your Government had decided against purchasing new armaments. Did you get a chance to discuss [Page 871] this with your neighbors? I believe moves to implement the Declaration of Ayacucho with respect to limiting the acquisition of offensive armaments—or controlling their use—would be a major step not only for the Andean Region but also for the global quest to control conventional arms. I would be most interested in hearing your further views on this subject—particularly on how weapons-producing countries like my own might cooperate with you and other countries to achieve genuine restraint.

I have learned that Foreign Minister de la Puente has held talks with Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ayala on Ecuador’s proposal for gaining sovereign access to the Amazon. That is an encouraging development.

The news that the leaders of the countries of the Andean Pact had used the occasion of the signing ceremony to complete the very difficult negotiations on the Automotive Sectoral Program was especially gratifying to me. The United States has long supported the goal of integration among the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, and I am hopeful that the Andean Pact will remain an effective force for economic development in the region.

I was pleased to hear that Peru has now reached an agreement in principle with the IMF. I hope this will help you to overcome the balance of payments difficulties you described to me, and that the Peruvian economy will rebound from its difficulties. In that regard, I hope that the credits we provided through the commodity credit corporation were helpful. We are currently reviewing our program on food assistance, and I hope that we can be helpful here as well.

Finally, I appreciate your sending the autographed copy of the “Tupac Amaru” plan.6 Your hopes to consolidate the gains of the Peruvian revolution and your announcement of elections next June for a constituent assembly are most heartening.

Please do not hesitate to keep me informed of your thinking on these and other matters of concern to you. I have complete faith in Ambassador Shlaudeman, and hope that we may continue our dialogue either through him, or directly when necessary. Sincerely, Jimmy Carter. End text.7

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Office of the Deputy Secretary: Records of Warren Christopher, 1977–1980, Lot 81D113 Withdrawn Material, RC#1126, Box 10 of 13, Human Rights—Latin America. Confidential; Immediate. Sent for information immediate to La Paz and for information to Santiago and Quito. Drafted from a text received from the White House; approved by Fuller and in S/S.
  2. The September 12 letter was not found. In telegram 8391 from Lima, September 24, the Embassy transmitted an unofficial translation of the text of the September 24 letter. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770348-1053)
  3. See Document 304.
  4. See footnote 4, Document 304.
  5. See footnote 6, Document 120.
  6. Not found.
  7. In telegram 284222 to Lima, November 25, the Department transmitted Morales Bermudez’s November 10 response to this letter. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770438-0808)