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File No. 812.00/10265.
The Mexican Embassy to the Department of State.'
On November 27, last, when the federal army attacked the town of Las Vacas, the leader, Roberto Rivas, and 45 of his men fled from the place and took refuge in Del Rio, Texas; and, when Captain Winterburn ordered the apprehension of the rebels by 75 of his men, who in their flight had swum the river on horseback, they were set at liberty after their arms, equipment and mounts had been turned over to the Customs officer; this being done in spite of the courteous protests of the Mexican Consul at the place, addressed to Captain Winterburn, whose aggressive replies it is not necessary to state.
Inasmuch as the said rebels were apprehended with arms in their hands and seeing that, on the occasions that federals were obliged to pass across the river between Brownsville and Eagle Pass they were detained by the authorities of this country and not only were their arms seized but they were also arrested in their quarters, it would appear that the processes which, in cases apparently identical, have been observed have been with prejudice to the federals. MEXICAN EMBASSY,
Washington, December 15, 1913.
File No. 812.00/10316.
The Secretary of State to the American Consul at Nuevo Laredo.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, December 19, 1913. Sir: The Department encloses herewith a translation of a memorandum, dated December 16, 1913, from the Mexican Embassy at this capital, stating that the authorities of Laredo, Texas, have forbidden transit to that place of all persons supposed to be connected with the Mexican Federal Army.
You are instructed to bring this matter to the attention of the Laredo authorities, and report to the Department if there is any foundation for the statements made in the memorandum. I am [etc.]
For the Secretary of State:
WILBUR J. CARR.
The Mexican Embassy to the Department of State.
The Mexican Embassy is in receipt of information to the effect that the authorities of Laredo, Texas, have absolutely forbidden transit to that towni of all persons supposed to be connected in any manner with the Mexican Fed eral Army, not excepting the private individuals who form the Defensa Social
: Referred, December 18, to the Secretary of War.
in Nuevo Laredo, who are not allowed to cross from that side although they do not carry arms and wear no uniform, and only wish to cross for the arrangement of private matters, their interests being thereby injuriously affected. MEXICAN EMBASSY,
Washington, December 16, 1913.
File No. 812.00/10317.
The Acting Secretary of State to the American Consul at Ciudad
Juárez, Mexico. No. 199.]
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, December 20, 1913. Sir: The Department encloses a copy of a translation of a memorandum received from the Mexican Embassy at Washington, saying [quoting the language of the Embassy's memorandum of December 3).
You are instructed to bring this matter to the attention of the local authorities. I am [etc.] For the Acting Secretary of State:
WILBUR J. CARR.
PROTECTION OF AMERICAN LIFE AND PROPERTY IN MEXICO.
Note. On September 15, 1912, the American Ambassador presented a note to the Mexican Government specifying many instances of crimes committed against the life or welfare of American citi. zens in Mexico by mobs, rebel and Federal soldiers and others, and demanding that measures be taken (1) to capture and punish the murderers of American citizens; (2) to stop discrimination against American interests; and (3) to bring about such general improvement of conditions as to prevent further molestation of Americans. (For. Rel. 1912, pp. 842 846.)
On November 22, 1912, the Mexican Government responded to this note declaring that it had not spared any effort to comply with its international duties, but recognizing the right of the United States to inquire into the nature of such efforts. (Id., pp. 871-877.)
The correspondence from that point largely consists of inquiries and replies concerning the safety of American citizens and other foreigners and reports of the protests and other representations made to the Mexican authorities in that connection. These are omitted as involving no exchange of representations between the two Governments other than those in the nature of routine. For the same reason the reports in reply to the series of instructions here printed, from consular officers and the Embassy, are also omitted. The instructions themselves are given in order to show the steps taken by this Government in its general plan of protecting American citizens in Mexico.
1 ('ontinued from For. Rel. 1912 ; see p. 1379 of that volume for index of : * policy of the United States in protecting American citizens in Mexico ;" " protection by the United States of American life and property;" and (p. 1378) measures taken by Americans to protect themselves."
File No. 312.11/1001a.
The Acting Secretary of State to the American Consular Officers in
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, November 25, 1912. GENTLEMEN: The Department desires to ascertain the extent to which American citizens resident in Mexico have suffered in their lives, peace and property as a result of the disturbed conditions prevalent throughout Mexico for the last two years, to be apprised of the wrongs for which no redress has been furnished that have been suffered by them and to which the passage of time but adds an intensity of degree, and to be informed of the measure of protection, if any, that has been afforded them generally and in specific instances by the Mexican Federal Government. You are instructed, therefore, carefully to review the correspondence on file in your office since October 1, 1910, and earlier correspondence wherever necessary, and to submit to the Department, at the earliest time compatible with a thorough compliance with the requirements of this instruction, a succinct but comprehensive report on these matters in accordance with the accompanying directions, which should be carefully studied. These directions have been so prepared as to cover the entire field. It will be obviously unnecessary, therefore, to do more than to comply with them in so far as they are applicable to the peculiar circumstances of the instances of murder, death, hardships, annoyances, et cetera, that have occurred in your district. Your report should be prepared in as compact and neat a form as possible, your various statements being made to follow the sequence of the heads given in the directions, so far as possible, and being so arranged and numbered as to make them easily identifiable.
Your report, when sent to the Department, should consist of the following papers:
First. A list of the murders that have occurred in your district.
Second. The histories of the various cases of murder, each history being made a separate document, and all the documents being placed together.
Third. A list of deaths incident to the existence of the revolution and its attendant state of war.
Fourth. The histories of the various cases of such deaths, each history being made a separate document, and all the documents being placed together.
Fifth. A list of hardships and annoyances.
Sixth. The histories of the various cases of hardships and annoyances, each history being made a separate document, and all the documents being placed together.
Seventh. A list of property losses.
Eighth. The separate histories of the various cases of such property losses, each history being made a separate document, and all the documents being placed together.
Ninth. A brief statement of instances of constructive losses.
1 Not printed. The directions consist of minutely detailed amplification of the eleven points enumerated in this instruction.
Eleventh. A statement of the general conditions under which Americans in Mexico have been obliged to live since the beginning of the present revolutionary unrest, and the sufficiency or insufficiency of the measures taken by the Federal Government in the conduct of its operations against the insurrectionists, and to afford protection to American life and property. I am [etc.]
For Mr. Huntington Wilson :
WILBUR J. CARR.
File No. 312.11/1048.
T'he American Ambassador to the Secretary of State.
Mexico, January 18, 1913. MY DEAR MR. Knox:
The draft of the note' sent hither by the Department of State to be transmitted by this Embassy to the Mexican Government marked a distinctly new departure in our dealings with this Government and the questions arising out of the situation which exists here. In that note, which differs only from an ultimatum in that it contains no prescribed limitation of time for the performance of the demands made, we clearly and fully recited our grievances against Mexico and in a number of cases demanded specific performance. Having assumed this position and having stated clearly to the Mexican Gov. ernment that unless compliance with the demands made therein was forthcoming we would feel compelled to take such steps for the protection of our rights as might seem proper to us, we can not, with due regard for our dignity, prestige and consistency, retrace our steps, ignore the formal diplomatic exchanges, and reappear before the Mexican Government in the light of a humble supplicant. Our note of September 15 was undoubtedly carefully considered in all of its bearings by the Department before its transmission to the Mexican Government and it must have been understood at that time that there could only be one of two conclusions resulting therefrom, viz, either the Mexican Government must yield, repair the damages it has done to us, and give clear guaranties for the future or we must take some vigorous and drastic action with the purpose of securing redress for our wrongs, an abatement of the situation, and perhaps, incidentally, the downfall of a Government which is hateful to a vast majority of the people of this country and which has given us innumerable evidences of its bad faith, inefficiency, hostility and insir.cerity.
I wish to make my own views quite clear here. I do not believe in the occupation of Mexico nor do I believe in or advocate the acquisition, either justly or unjustly, of a single foot of Latin-American territory. On the contrary, I am and have been since I have had an opportunity to study Latin America and Latin-American conditions from an unusually advantageous position more and more impressed with the circumstance that the government of these countries, alien in speech, customs and race, is, under our form of
* For. Rel. 1912, p. 835. It was embodied in the note of September 15, 1912.
government, a most difficult enterprise and that each new burden which we assume and each new adventure which we essay leads to the creation of additional burdens and the invitation to more perilous adventures. At the same time my experience has taught me that these LatinAmerican countries should be dealt with justly and calmly but severely and undeviatingly. Any other course will bring disaster and forfeit to us, in the estimation of these peoples, the respect and awe with which they have been taught to regard us and will sacrifice the genuine benefits which spring from a consistent, firm, and wellunderstood attitude on all international affairs.
I am of the opinion that all the matters treated of in our note of September 15 must be made parts of a direct settlement with Mexico growing out of the diplomatic correspondence based thereon, and that any other course will be tantamount to a sacrifice of national dignity and prestige. The draft of the note verbale or memorandum which is transmitted as inclosure No. 1 of this despatch expresses briefly, but I think clearly, what our position is or should be in the light of the Mexican Government's reply' of November 22 to our note of September 15. It may be amended, amplified, or changed to suit the Department's views as to phraseology, but it expresses, in my judgment, the logical position at which we have arrived as a result of our note of September 15. Of course the Department will understand that unless the delivery of this proposed note should obtain satisfaction from the Mexican Government we must then adopt one of the several drastic courses which have been under consideration by the Department, and which in my judgment—though perhaps necessarily delayed by patience, a repugnance to extreme measures, a reluctance to engage in adventurous sallies, and a natural fear of misinterpretation of our motives-must finally be adopted in the interest of peace in America and the protection of our own interests.
The memorandum inclosed with this dispatch, and numbered 2, was prepared by Mr. Schuyler. It is not intended as an alternative with the inclosure No. 1, but simply for the use of the Department in indicating the Embassy's views upon some of the points raised by the Mexican reply to our note of September 15. I am [etc.]
HENRY LANE WILSON.
For a period of more than two years now the Republic of Mexico has been in a state of revolution, first against the long-established Government of President Díaz and subsequently against that of President Madero. During all of this long period a state of anarchy, intermittent, sporadic, and rising and falling as the tides, has prevailed through a large part of the territory supposedly under the control of the Mexican Government, and for the administration of which it is responsible not only to its own citizens, but, under accepted principles of international law, to the nations of the world, which, upon the invitation of Mexico, have sent their nationals and their capital hither, relying upon the ability of this Government to afford to both the usual safeguards guaranteed by civilized states.
· For. Rel. 1912, pp. 871-877.