No. 32.
Mr. Hall to Mr. Frelinhuysen .

No. 20.]

Sir: For several months past the government of Guatemala has been receiving information of projected invasions of its territory by expeditions of armed forces, having for their object the enticing or compelling the inhabitants of the frontier, who are mostly Indians, into subscribing or adhering to public acts of annexation to the bordering States of Mexico; it is said that those expeditions have been preparing in Campeche, Yucatan, Tabasco, and Chiapas. The first of these invasions has taken place during the present month in the department of Peten; all the information in regard to it, thus far received, is contained in the accompanying copies of dispatches and letters to the minister of war of Guatemala, and which have been received during the past week. For convenient reference I inclose a tracing from an authentic map, showing what is believed to be the correct boundary lines between Mexico and Guatemala, and the location of the towns said to have been invaded, as well as those which are mentioned in the inclosures.

The first information comes from the alcalde of an Indian town named Silvituk. As well as can be made out, from a letter dictated by a person who can neither read nor write, it appears that the place was invaded, and that the inhabitants were compelled to go to the village of Tenchac and there declare their adhesion to Campeche. He charges, also, that deception was practised upon them by a priest named Bersunea, “who told them that the Republic of Guatemala was taken.” This priest is a native of Campeche, and is well known to the Guatemalan government.

The several communications embraced in the inclosures are numbered from 1 to 5. Nos. 2 and 3 are translations of dispatches from the military commandant of Peten to the minister of war,- they report the fitting out of an expedition in Tabasco, with the knowledge and consent of the governor, for the invasion of that department; that one commercial firm has given therefor the sum of $5,000, and another has contributed 60 Winchester rifles5 that the expedition would be sent by steamboat from Tabasco to a place called Tonosique, on the Umacinta River, six days from his headquarters. He reports also the invasion of the towns of San Antonio and Concepcion. The remaining letters and telegrams merely corroborate the general news of the invasion. This affair has given the Government of Guatemala a vast deal of trouble and anxiety, besides the expenses which it can illy afford to incur, of sending 500 troops from Coban to the frontier. I have time only by this mail to communicate the facts, and to say that the government is reluctant to believe that the Government of Mexico has any knowledge of these hostile movements. At the earnest solicitation of the President of Guatemala, I cabled to you on the 26th the following:

President Orantes has information of invasion of Guatemalan districts Concepcion and San Antonio by Mexican troops, compelling inhabitants to declare for annexation to Campeche. President hopes invasion not authorized by Mexico. Five hundred troops sent to invaded districts. I apprehend hostilities may ensue unless Mexicans retire.

No suggestion of any action in the premises on your part has been made; it was desired only that the Government of the United States should be advised of these movements.

I have, &c.,

[Page 50]
[Inclosure 1 in No. 20.—Translation of communications received by the Government of Guatemala in relation to the invasion of the department of Peten by Mexican armed forces.]

Governor Tuz to the prefect and military commandant of the department of Peten.

Sir: I send this for your information, having received no reply to a dispatch I sent making known to you that forces were coming from Campeche to take possession of these places, which was carried out. A commission having been sent, they made us go down to Tanche (Tenchac) to subscribe to an act of adhesion of these towns to Campeche. Finding ourselves without resources for resistance we had to yield, but we offer not to take up arms against that department. This happened through the deceptions of the Curate Bersumsa, who told us that the Republic of Guatemala had been taken and that we could not resist a state like Campeche. Hearing this we were afraid, and we told them to continue, that we could not, inasmuch as we had taken an oath (to Guatemala probably), but afterwards we learned that you had sent circular orders, and these papers were taken in Tanche (Tenchac) and we had no knowledge of the orders which you sent us. Besides this, orders have been given to collect provisions for the troops that are going to Concepcion, or for your headquarters, I am not sure which.

This is all I have to make known to the respectable headquarters.

For the Governor José Ma Tuz.

[Inclosure 2 in No. 20.—Translation.]

Military commandant department of Peten to Minister of War.

Dear Sir and Friend: I write to communicate to you the news given me by a merchant who has just arrived from Tabasco. He says that in the capital of that state, with the knowledge and permission of the governor, a party of bandits is being formed to come and rob the department; that the house of Bulues &; Company has given them $5,000, and the house of Valenzuela, 60 Winchesters; that sixty persons were ready who were expecting to complete the number to one hundred, to go out; they will come to Tenocique in a steamer of the house of Bulues; that place is not more than six days from here.

Many of these rogues have been woodcutters in this department; have failed and wish to retrieve their fortunes by robbing and pillaging. The person who has given me this news is very respectable, and from the names of the individuals he mentioned, and whom I know, I believe it, because they are bandits capable of anything that is bad, and one of their pranks is to ruin the house of Jumet and Sastre to which the Bulues are in hostility.

I will do everything possible not to be surprised, and will defend myself to the last. I have no other arms than 25 Remingtons, second class. I have therefore asked for 25 of first class, and I again ask you most earnestly to send them to me immediately with corresponding ammunition. With fifty men well armed I will teach these bandits a lesson.

* * * * * * *

I remain, &c.,

[Inclosure 3 in No 20.—Translation.]

Military Commandant department of Peten to the Minister of War.

Sir: I have the honor to annex a dispatch from the alcalde and governor of the town of Silvituk (see No. 1), in which he communicates to me that the towns of the district of San Antonio have been invaded by forces from Campeche, who drew up acts in those towns annexing them to Campeche. Besides this, I have news that in the town of Concepcion, near the boundary of Campeche (state of), and 112 leagues from here, there are two hundred troops of Campeche that are preparing to march on these headquarters. * * * * *

I am, &c.,

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[Inclosnre 4 in No. 20.—Translation.]

Señor Cruz to Minister of War.

Sir: I have had news from Peten, given me by a person who has just arrived from there. There are two hundred men from Campeche in the town of Concepcion preparing to march upon the capital of Peten.

I expect you to send me orders and two competent officers for the emergency, I deem expedient.

I am, &c.,

[Inclosure 5 in No. 20.—Translation.]

To the Minister of War:

At this moment I have received a courier from the prefect of Peten, recommending the following telegram to be sent to you:

“On the 15th instant one of the spies sent to the frontier of Campeche returned, stating that forces from that state to the number of 200 men have invaded the department and are marching upon this capital.”

I await your orders,