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The American Minister to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Guatemala, December 8, 1910. EXCELLENCY: I have the honor to invite your excellency's attention to a complaint which I have received that an American citizen by the name of Thomas J, McCullough, who was arrested on the 5th instant under a charge of swindling, was denied the right to notify his consul general of his arrest and imprisonment in the jail of the 4a Seccion de Policia.
Mr. McCullough subsequently succeeded—but, I am informed, without the permission of the authorities—in advising the American consul general of his arrest, and was immediately released upon the explanation of an error which had been the cause thereof.
I shall, however, appreciate it if your excellency will kindly cause such instructions as may be necessary to be issued to prevent a recurrence of the denial of access on the part of an American citizen under arrest in this Republic to his appropriate consular officer and that you would be so good as to inform me when such steps have been taken. I avail, etc.,
R. S. REYNOLDS HITT.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs to the American Minister.
Guatemala, May 8, 1911. Mr. MINISTER: In reply to your excellency's courteous note of the 4th instant, I have the honor to advise your excellency that pursuant to your request proper instructions have been issued to the proper authorities to permit American citizens who may be arrested in the Republic immediately to apprise their competent consular representative of their detention. I avail (etc.).
LUIS TOLEDO HERBARTE.
File No. 814.0441/5.
The American Minister to the Secretary of State.
Guatemala, May 27, 1911. Sir: With reference to my dispatch No. 85 of the 10th instant relative to the system of “incomunicación” I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy, accompanied by translation, of a note which I have received from the minister for foreign affairs incorporating instructions issued by the minister for government and justice to the departmental governors and judges of first instance, to permit American citizens under arrest in this Republic to communicate freely with their diplomatic or consular representative or with any other person, excepting only those in cases where the laws in force specifically forbid such intercourse.
I have transmitted copies of the foreign minister's note to the consul general for the information and guidance of himself and of the American consular agents in Guatemala with the request to report promptly any failure of the local authorities to comply with the instructions of the minister of government and justice. I have, etc.,
R. S. REYNOLDS Hitt.
Guatemala, May 24, 1911. Mr. MINISTER : In compliance with the request of your excellency, I have the honor to communicate to you the text of the circular telegram which the minister of government and justice addressed to the authorities, which reads textually as follows:
GUATEMALA, May 23, 191. To the governors and judges of first instance:
Pursuant to a resolution of the Government of the Republic, I recommend that in the tuture, and excepting only those cases which would be opposed by definite laws on the matter, to permit Americans under arrest to hold communication as often as they desire with their diplomatic or consular representative or any other person. I avail [etc.],
LUIS TOLEDO HERBARTE.
The Secretary of State to the American Minister.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, June 2, 1911. Sir: The department acknowledges the receipt of your dispatch No. 85 of May 10 last, relative to the system of “incomunicación”
the Guatemalan minister for foreign affairs in a communication dated May 8, 1911, of which you inclose a copy and translation, that “ proper instructions have been issued to the proper authorities to permit American citizens who may be arrested in the Republic immediately to apprise their competent consular representative of their detention." The department also notes that in an interview which you had with the President of Guatemala on May 9 he observed that“ incomunicación,” which might extend for a period of from 5 to 60 days, was only provided for in the case of very grave accusations; that it would be difficult to entirely abolish it, but that in all other cases there was no objection to Americans under arrest communicating with their diplomatic and consular representatives; and that he would cause a circular in this sense to be issued.
There is apparently a discrepancy between the President's observations and the communication of the minister of foreign affairs, but it is assumed that the circular to be issued will, in accordance with the promise in the letter, permit all American citizens who may be arrested for any cause immediately to apprise their competent consular representative of their detention. Should the circular, however, not grant this permission as stated in the communication of the minister for foreign affairs, you will bring this matter to the attention of the minister, with a request for the proper modification of the circular in accordance with the terms of his communication to you.
You will also endeavor discreetly to expedite the issue of this circular and request to be furnished with a copy of it for the guidance of our consular officers and the exact information of the department. I am, etc.,
P. C. Knox.
File No. 814.0441/5.
The Secretary of State to the American Chargé d'Affaires. No. 84.]
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, July 27, 1911. Sir: The department is in receipt of Mr. Hitt's dispatch No. 96 of May 27 last, inclosing a copy of a note from the Guatemalan minister for foreign affairs, incorporating instructions issued by the minister of government and justice to the departmental governors and judges of first instance, directing them to permit American citizens under arrest in Guatemala to communicate freely with their diplomatic or consular representatives or with any other person, except only in those cases in which the laws in force specifically forbid such intercourse.
Mr. Hitt also reports that he has sent copies of the foreign minister's note to the consul general for the information and guidance of the latter and of the American consular agents in Guatemala, with instructions to report promptly any failure of the local authorities to comply with the instructions of the minister of government and justice.
The department is awaiting a reply to instruction 74 of the 2d ultimo before answering Mr. Hitt's No. 96. I am [etc.],
· P. C. KNOX.
File No. 814.0441/6.
[Extract.] No. 125.]
Guatemala, August 19, 1911. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the department's instructions to this legation of June 2 last, relative to the system of “incomunicación” which prevails in Guatemala. It is pointed out in these instructions that in Mr. Hitt's dispatch No. 85. of May 10 last, there appears a discrepancy between the terms of the note of the minister of foreign affairs and the statements made to Mr. Hitt by the President of Guatemala, and instructions are given this legation to bring the matter to the attention of the minister of foreign affairs.
In reply I have the honor to inform the department that I sought an interview with Mr. Toledo Herrarte, the minister of foreign affairs, and called his attention to the apparent discrepancy between his note of May 8 and the statement of the President to Mr. Hitt..
I showed Mr. Toledo Herrarte his original notes and he immediately stated to me that no discrepancy was shown nor was any such thing intended. He explained that in his first note he made it clear that all American citizens were permitted immediately to inform their consular representatives of their detention in every case, even when "incomunicado," but that the circular, transmitted in his second note, expressly stated that all American citizens were permitted to communicate freely-which, he explained to me, meant personally to visit and speak with the prisoners except when they were “incomunicado” under article 11 of the Penal Code, which expressly provides for this kind of detention in accusations of a very grave character.
He then went on to explain that the difference between “inform" and" communicate freely," as made by the Guatemalan Government, was that “ to inform” meant to apprise the consular representative by messenger or letter, while “ to communicate freely” meant to speak in person and see the representative, and that the latter case, when the prisoner was “incomunicado," would involve a breaking of the laws of Guatemala and could not be done. However, in all cases, even in those of “ incomunicación," the prisoner would be permitted to inform his representative of his detention. I have, etc.,
JORDAN HERBERT STABLER.
REVOLUTION IN HAITI-RECOGNITION BY THE UNITED STATES
FERED PRESIDENT SIMON.
(Extract.] No. 892.]
Port au Prince, June 22, 1911. SIR: I have the honor to inform the department that President Simon to-day told me that he contemplates leaving here on the recently acquired warship Antoine Simon about the 25th instant. The President will go as far as Cape Haitien on the boat, touching at the various points en route. From Cape Haitien he will march with a division of the army to Ouanaminthe and the frontier, where he will make personal investigation to ascertain if it is true that the Dominican authorities are harboring Haitian guerillas and permitting them to make raids into Haiti. * *
President Simon also had news that arms had been landed in the vicinity of Fort Liberté and that that section would soon revolt. He desires to personally investigate the matter. He hopes to return to Port au Prince in about 10 days. I have, etc.,
H. W. FURNISS.
Santo Domingo, July 13, 1911. . The American minister, Mr. Russell, had a conversation with the minister for foreign affairs on the situation in Haiti in which he stated that many of the Haitian forces were deserting and taking refuge in Dominican territory; also political suspects. Their return had been demanded, but the Dominican Government, knowing that they would probably be shot, had refused to give them up. Mr. Russell states that it would seem that these refugees, safe in Dominican territory, would not risk their lives by returning to Haitian territory, but he will endeavor to obtain definite information through the American employees of the general receivership on the frontier, and will report.