811.20 Defense (M) Colombia/14: Telegram

The Ambassador in Colombia (Braden) to the Secretary of State

585. Reference is made to your inquiry of November 1372 concerning the status of arrangements for purchase of platinum through the Banco de la Republica.

The National City Bank at Bogotá advises that the Banco de la Republica has not yet made shipment of the 1900 ounces already held, and had not informed them of any further purchase to apply against the further 40,000 ounces mentioned in the Metals Reserve Company’s authorization dated September 23 to the Banco de la Republica.

Meanwhile there is reason to believe that contraband exports continue and the Embassy believes that the Exchange Control authorities in certain cases allow open selling, witness a shipment of United States dollars 1700 worth by air express for one Gustavo Lafosee at Rio de Janeiro recently insured by a local company.

[Page 52]

My recommendation is that the National City Bank agency here be instructed energetically to follow up with the Banco de la Republica both the 1900 ounces shipment and the purchase of the additional 40,000 ounces. If this does not produce satisfactory results then I should be informed in detail in order that I may pursue the matter with the authorities.

  1. Letter of November 13 not printed.