to Mr. Evarts.
Lima, Peru, August 7, 1878. (Received September 4.)
Sir: I regret to have to report in such a brief period of time since my last dispatch, No. 271, of 31st ultimo, a disturbance of the peace of this republic through political strife.
At Arequipa, on the 28th ultimo, the day of the opening of the Congress here, a meeting was called and a protest signed against its acts, which threw out the “Nationalist” candidate and seated a Civilist from there.
By examining the correspondence from this legation in the archives of the State Department it will be seen that Arequipa has often been the scene of revolutionary plots and strife, and is now considered the seat and chief point of the Pierolist party.
Telegraphic reports stated that the people were in favor of the President and government, but opposed to the Congress, and demanded a plebiscite. Many reports were in circulation, and on the 3d instant, in the afternoon, cable dispatches were received rather vague, stating that Colonel Suarez, prefect of Arequipa, had been proclaimed dictator.
The papers of this city gave full details on the 5th instant of what had taken place in Arequipa on the 28th ultimo. A meeting had been prepared by the authorities, and was composed mostly of the lower classes. Seditious cries were freely uttered of “Down with the Congress” and “Long live the provisional president, Suarez!” Otherwise, all passed off quietly.
Last evening’s papers gave information that somewhat explained the [Page 733] contradictory reports of the previous days, stating that a revolution had been carried through on Sunday, 4th instant. Suarez was at the head of it, and it had extended into the interior, taking in the department of Puno and down to the coast to the port of Mollendo. Suarez commands the railroad and telegraphic communications from Mollendo, through Arequipa, to Puno, over 300 miles. The revolutionists have taken charge of the cable telegraph office at the port, so now there is only dependence to be placed on the steamers that touch at Mollendo twice a week for information.
Colonel Suarez, the leader of this outbreak, is merely known in his military capacity, being an old personal friend of President Prado, and is prefect of the department of Arequipa. It is said that the movement is being made in favor of Pierola, who is now in Europe. This evening’s papers state that Colonel Suarez has removed all military stores from Mollendo to Arequipa, and also the rolling stock of the railroad.
Yesterday and to-day Congress have held secret sessions, but up to the present writing I have not received any information of proceedings.
The government has issued a bulletin late this afternoon, in which it is said that Arequipa was quiet 5 that Suarez had to take the part he did to save the city from falling into the hands of the “Pierolists,” but now all was in order. From private telegrams that I have seen this is to be doubted. It may be a stratagem for Suarez to recover himself from a false position.
I am, &c.,