No. 510.
Señor de Zamacona to Mr. Blaine.


Mr. Secretary: The consul of Mexico in Arizona recently advised this legation of the hanging of certain Mexicans near Willcox, stating that the competent authorities had made no investigation such as the case demanded, and did not seem disposed to bring the guilty parties to justice.

As the sheriff of Pima County, according to the consul’s report, had taken some cognizance of the matter, the consul was recommended to procure some information, if possible, from that officer. The result has been the note of which I inclose a copy.

The aforesaid sheriff therein states that a number of persons, usurping the functions of the proper authorities, declared the Mexicans in question to be thieves, and thereupon hung one and retained the other in custody. The whereabouts of the latter is as yet unknown.

The most remarkable feature of the communication to which I allude is that the officer from whom it emanates justifies the outrage referred to, considering it as beneficial and necessary.

I should insult the Department of State by pointing out the absurd and alarming character of such a view of the case, and the necessity of not permitting said view to impair the guarantees that should be enjoyed by Mexican citizens residing in Arizona, according to the general principles of law, and to the treaties between Mexico and the United States.

I therefore confine myself to requesting the Department to be pleased to urge the competent authorities, through the proper channels, carefully to investigate the case to which this note has reference (and of which it appears that the civil officers of Arizona already have knowledge), to the end that the parties who shall be found guilty may be punished as they deserve.

Be pleased to accept, &c.,

[Page 841]

The Sheriff of Pima County to the Mexican consul at Tucson.

In reply to your communication of May 27, 1881, I have the honor to send you the following report:

A large number of horses and mules was stolen on the 15th of March, 1881, from the ranches on the Gila River, in the neighborhood of Safford and Solomonsville, in Graham County. The owners of the stolen animals, to the number of about twenty, two-thirds of whom were natives of Mexico, followed the trail and pursued the thieves. They succeeded in capturing José Ordoña and Rafael Salcido, who had disposed of the animals and were returning to the Gila River. José Ordoña, who was recognized as a horse and cattle thief, was hung by the pursuing party, and Salcido was compelled to go with them and show them where they had hidden the animals. He took them to the valley of San Simon, and almost all the animals were found through the information given by him. The party returned to the Gila River, bringing Salcido with them, and I have as yet received no positive information as to what they did with him. I think, however, that I shall be able to give you positive information in a few days.

The southeastern portion of the Territory has been under the control of the worst and most desperate class of outlaws, both American and Mexican, and an example was needed in order to put an end to so deplorable a state of affairs. I do not know of a single instance in which an innocent person has been hung or killed by good and law-abiding citizens.