No. 498.
Señor de Zamacona to Mr. Blaine.


Mr. Secretary: Although the undersigned is aware of and deplores the peculiar circumstances which disturb social order in the districts bordering on the Rio Grande, and to which the Department of State refers in the note with which it was pleased to honor this legation under date of the 15th instant, he nevertheless deems it his duty to inform the United States Government of certain facts which are of common occurrence in that region, and which are of such a nature that they are well calculated to stimulate the zeal of the governments of both republics [Page 828]in using the power at their disposal to afford greater security to the inhabitants of the border, as well as an administration of justice more in accordance with the existing laws and treaties.

The Mexican consul at El Paso informed this legation in the early part of this month that, on the 28th ultimo, a Texan gendarme (constable?), named James Gillett, crossed with a companion from the village of La Isleta to Zaragoza, Mexico, and arrested an American citizen who had resided there for several months, and who was charged with complicity in a murder. The accused was brought to this side of the line without any form of extradition, and the Department of State will see, by the inclosed extract from the El Paso Times, by what a savage proceeding he was deprived of life.

The consul who sends this intelligence says that he will soon send this legation the documentary evidence collected by the Mexican authorities in the town where the capture took place, for the purpose of showing that it was carried into effect without any of the formalities prescribed by the extradition treaty between Mexico and the United States. I was unwilling, however, to delay sending this communication until the receipt of that evidence, since the inclosed article from the Times clearly shows the arbitrary manner in which the alleged murderer was arrested, and because, if any considerable time were allowed to pass, difficulties might arise as regards the apprehension and punishment of the parties who have claimed, in this instance, to punish one crime by committing another, which is condemned both by common justice and by international law.

I entertain the confident hope that the Department of State will make use of the foregoing information, and that it will endeavor to amplify it by such means as are at its disposal, and by taking measures to cause the Texan police to respect the requirements of the extradition treaty.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure.—Extract from the El Paso Times of April 8, 1881.]

conklin’s murder avenged.

Captain Giliett, who a few week ago arrested Onofrio Baca, one of the assassins of Conklin, of the Socorro Sun, several miles down the river on the Mexican side, delivered up his prisoner, and the following from the Las Vegas Gazette shows how the people afterwards got away with the brute:

“Onofrio Baca, the principal in the murder of A. M. Conklin, editor of the Socorro Sun, and the news of whose capture was given in the Gazette yesterday morning, was brought to Socorro and there taken in hand by the vigilantes and strung up to the cross-beams of the gate in the court-house yard Until he was dead. Baca was captured by Texas Rangers in Old Mexico. They took him without warrant, and brought him across the border. Once on American soil, he was safe enough. He was brought up to San Marcial and detained there until night. His wife met him at San Marcial, and with the certain knowledge of the doom hanging over the prisoner the meeting was very affecting. About twenty of the friends of Baca from Socorro went down to meet him at San Marcial. As they were passed down they thought money unnecessary, but in coming back the conductor demanded fare, and not having cash they were fired out of the caboose. Baca was brought upon a freight, arriving at Socorro near midnight. He was taken to the jail, but the vigilantes gathered in force and hung him.”