Zamacona to Mr. Blaine.
Washington, June 6, 1881. (Received June 7.)
Mr. Secretary: The Government of Mexico has sent the two inclosed documents to this legation, with instructions to communicate them to the Department of State. Both have reference to the frequency and magnitude of the thefts committed in the frontier State of Chihuahua by outlaws from Texas, who usually find shelter and a market for their plunder on this side of the boundary line.
The interviews which I have had, since the advent of the present administration, at the Department of State, and some of the communications with which I have recently been honored by the said Department, have convinced me that the Government of the United States realizes the situation of some districts bordering on the Rio Grande, in respect to security for life and property, and that it is disposed to use all the means at its command for the repression of lawlessness; at the same time the facts convince me that the measures which have thus far been taken to that end have not had such an effect as could be desired, and that it is necessary to repeat or add force to them in order that they may prove efficient.
The Government of Mexico, in instructing me to call the attention of the Department of State to the insecurity of the property of stock-raisers in Chihuahua, and to the desirability of vigorous action against Texan cattle-thieves, reminds me that the United States Government has, for a long time, acted upon the principle that it is the duty of a nation to prevent the organization, on its soil, of expeditions whose object is the commission of depredations in a neighboring country, and that, on this basis, certain measures were adopted which are no longer in force, the design of which was to promote the welfare of the two republics and to strengthen fraternal relations between them.
The inclosed documents show up the evil in two aspects, since they refer not only to the robberies committed in Mexico by outlaws having their residence in the United States, but to the dangers to which the owners of the stolen property are exposed when they cross to this side of the Rio Grande, in the hope of recovering it.
The murder of the two young men Jáuregui and Sanchez, which is referred to in one of the inclosed documents, shows the ferocity and audacity of the frontier outlaws, and also (which is a still more serious matter) the apathy of the judicial authorities after they had been made aware of that crime.
The authorities of Chihuahua point out (and with reason) one fact which is deserving of the attention of the Department of State. This is, that when cattle are driven, in the way of lawful trade, from one republic to the other, this fact never escapes the notice of the frontier custom-houses, while the large numbers of cattle stolen in Mexico and driven to Texas go almost unnoticed.
I have written this note without waiting for the full and authentic details of the investigation which is now being held in Chihuahua, and to which allusion is made in the inclosures, because prompt action may be a condition of success in the measures which I hope the Department [Page 832]of State will cause to be taken in order to facilitate the recovery of the cattle mentioned in the aforesaid documents and in order to strengthen the tenure of property and to impart vigor to the action of the courts on the frontier.
I have, &c.,