No. 279.
Mr. Phelps to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

No. 61.]

Sir: Colonel Puga, in the north, who has for a long time been in control at Caxamarca, the home, so to speak, of the Government here, and who has been so often reported destroyed, has recently defeated General Iglesias’ brother, taken Trujillo and Salaverry, seized the railway, concerning which I have written in my No. 58, and it is further reported, has overturned the established authorities of Iglesias at Lambayeque, Pocasmayo, Puna, and other places. The Government troops appear to have gone over to him with their arms, and the outlook for Iglesias in that section is not at all encouraging.

[Page 413]

A commissary in the Chilian army at Chorillos stated this morning that a force is ordered to embark at once for the scene of Puga’s exploits to quell the montoneros. I have no further evidence than the officer’s word.

Reports for some days have been circulating that two Chilian columns are moving against General Caceres, one from this side and the other from Cuzco, and it is perfectly clear that, unaided, Iglesias is unable to contend with his two enemies of the north and central provinces, and that the Chilian army alone supports him. It is at least a very singular condition of affairs.

The elections for deputies to the National Assembly have been entirely without significance, the nation in the main having stood aloof while there have been no contests. The final board of supervision of the election returns for the various localities of the department divided, part declaring one set of candidates elected and the other portion returning the other ticket. The rule in the election has been but one candidate and public apathy, and I find myself unable to determine what proportion of districts have elected deputies.

* * * * * * *

Should the Chilians undertake to put down the enemies of Iglesias in the north and elsewhere it becomes an acknowledgment of the absence of Peruvian support for the Government which Chili established.

I have, &c.,