No. 457.

Mr. Buck to Mr. Bayard .

[Extract.]
No. 25.]

Sir: I have at last received from the foreign office a note relating to the Owen Young case, with inclosures, of which I send copies and translations.

It will be seen the Government * * * is profuse in its avowals of good purposes and zeal to comply with the demands of the United States that the culprit be punished. Perhaps its explanation correctly states the difficulties in the way, but it will also be observed no reference is made to the matter of indemnifying the family of the murdered man.

I have, &c.,

CHAS. W. BUCK.
[Inclosure in No. 25.—Translation.]

Mr. Urrutia to Mr. Buck .

Mr. Minister: I have bad the honor to receive your excellency’s esteemed dispatch dated 4th instant, in which you manifest to me the delay of this ministry in giving the necessary reply to the dispatch of his late excellency, Mr. Phelps, of 28th April last, referring to the prosecution initiated in connection with death of the American citizen Mr. Owen Young; and in which you earnestly urge the writer for the quick termination of this process and the punishment of the culprit, in virtue of instructions your excellency has received from your Government.

It would have been very satisfactory for me to have been able to reply opportunely to the said dispatch of his excellency Mr. Phelps if the reports of the authorities of the department of La Libertad concerning the case of Owen Young, which had to serve as the basis of my reply, had been received by this ministry before the death of said diplomatic agent. But, as your excellency knows, the said department has since then been invaded by the freebooters of the rebel Ramon Flores, and the superior court of justice of La Libertad established in Truxillo has not been able to communicate any report to the ministry of justice. Nevertheless the eagerness which has animated and animates my Government for the conclusion of this case has made it depart from the regular course, through the said court of justice, and it has directed a dispatch direct to the judge of first instance of Pacasmayo that he keep this ministry constantly informed about the state of this case, as you will see by the certified copy which I have the honor to accompany attached to this dispatch.

The above-mentioned judge, under date 17th ultimo, advises having sent a dispatch to one of the criminal judges of this capital that he may take the declaration of [Page 612] graduated Col. Belisario Flores, with which he will conclude the case in question as quickly as possible.

Said dispatch was returned with the respective act on the 24th July last. Everything induces the Government to hope that in a very short time more the desired end will be arrived at; and everything proves that official activity has not been wanting one instant in exacting the apprehension and legal punishment of the culprit who caused the death of Owen Young. So as to make the action of the law more active and energetic I have sent the ministry of justice a full copy of your excellency’s dispatch, to which I have now the honor of replying, with the urgent note added to said copy.

It is very painful for the undersigned, that the duration of the case of Owen Young should have been interpreted by the Secretary of State of your excellency’s Government as a want of justice, the continuation of which would prove that the lives and property of the American citizens in this Republic do not enjoy sufficient guarantees. To remove this erroneous idea, it is sufficient for your excellency to fix your attention for a moment on the circumstances under which the crime was committed, and on the logical and natural results.

Sent to the province of Pacasmayo a Government force in pursuit of the freebooters which were laying waste those districts, a fight took place in Tecapa, a plantation on which Owen Young resided, and which had been taken possession of by a band of rebels. These being defeated, it was when the death of the American citizen, Owen Young, took place, caused, according to the declaration of two eye-witnesses of said deed, and who were servants of Owen Young, by a soldier who considered him, Young, an accomplice of the freebooters, and who immediately left to join his dispersed companions in pursuit of the enemy. None of the witnesses named by this legation and scrupulously examined by the judge of the case have been able to give any indication of the name or features of the supposed association, thus increasing the difficulty of immediate action by the law, it having been obliged to amplify its judicial investigations even in this capital, so as to be able to appreciate the facts of the case, and subsequent identification of the culprit. This is the reason for the delay in the process, and, as your excellency will understand, there has been no reason for believing a want of justice; nor should such delay be thought for a moment to show that the life and property of citizens of the United States do not enjoy in Peru the necessary guarantees. Why the occurrence of a long criminal process is very frequent in all nations, but this has never served as the foundation to doubt the justice of a nation, and the guarantees it offers foreigners.

Peru has never omitted to give all kinds of securities to the persons and interests of subjects and citizens of other nations living in its territory, and even in the midst of her internal conflicts the foreigner in the sphere of the legal Governments has enjoyed the respect of the public and the benefits of his work, notably for its well-being and prosperity, the distinguished American colony, to which my Government has always granted the most decided protection.

The writer flatters himself with the certainty that your excellency in your uprightness and just criticism will allow the natural and unavoidable duration of the process initiated about the death of Owen Young, and the profound interest my Government has in the capture and punishment of the culprit, whoever he may be, and that you will manifest to the Government of the United States the loyalty of its proceedings, and its desire to remove all impediments to the frank and cordial relations which happily exist between both countries.

I repeat, &c.,

BALTASAR GARCIA URRUTIA.
[Inclosure 1 in inclosure in No. 25.—Translation.]

Mr. Tovar to Mr. Urrutia .

In answer to your excellency’s dispatch, dated 9th instant, I have the honor to tell you I have ordered it to be copied and sent direct to the judge of first instance of the Province of Pacasmayo, so that he can give account at once of the progress made in the process initiated on account of the assassination of the North American citizen, Owen Young, and in future he should do so by every steamer.

As communication between the city of Truxillo and this capital is interrupted in consequence of political disturbances, which, at the commencement or middle of the month of May last, took place in the former, it has been impossible for the superior court of [Page 613] justice of La Libertad, which is the proper one to do so, to inform this ministry in regard to the prosecution of the process referred to. Complying with this duty, I have pleasure to advise your excellency for the ends it may serve.

God guard your excellency.

MANUEL TOVAR.

In conformity.

The chief official,

[seal.]
LUIS E. MARQUEZ.
[Inclosure 2 in inclosure in No. 25.—Translation.]

Mr. Tovar to Mr. Urrutia .

The judge of first instance of the province of Pacasmayo, in a dispatch dated the 17th instant, says to this ministry, as follows:

“I have the honor to acquaint your excellency that through your worthy medium you may advise the minister of justice that in the criminal process which is being prosecuted in this court under my charge to discover the authors and accomplices of the assassination of the late American subject Owen Young, under date of 11th instant I forwarded a dispatch to one of the criminal judges of first instance in Lima that be may take the declaration of graduated Col. Belizario Flores in accordance with the indications made by the ministry of the attorney-general in its last judgment, and I supplicate that your excellency, within the limit of your action, order that the same be taken and immediately returned so as to be able to give a quick conclusion to this process.”

I have the honor to transcribe this to your excellency for your knowledge and the ends that it may concern, begging to advise your excellency that I have directed the corresponding dispatch to the president of the superior court of justice of this district recommending that it takes due care that the declaration be taken as soon as possible, to which the requisitorial dispatch referred to in the note I have calls for.

God guard your excellency.

MANUEL TOVAR.

In conformity.

The chief official,

[seal.]
LUIS E. MARQUEZ.
[Inclosure 3 in inclosure in No. 25.—Translation.]

Mr. Tovar to Mr. Urrutia .

According to the report issued by the criminal judge of this capital, Dr. Adolfo Villagascia, which has been forwarded to this ministry of the president of the superior court of this district, the requisitorial dispatch of the judge of first instance, of Pacasmayo addressed to one of the criminal judges of Lima, with the object of taking a declaration in connection with the process being prosecuted on account of the assassination of the North American citizen, Owen Young, was returned duly taken to the court of issuance on the 24th instant.

I have the honor to communicate this to your excellency for your knowledge.

God guard your excellencv.

MANUEL TOVAR.

In conformity.

The chief official,

[seal.]
LUIS E. MARQUEZ.
[Inclosure 4 in inclosure in No. 25.—Translation.]

Mr. Urrutia to Mr. Tovar .

The envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the United States of North America, under date 4th instant, has addressed me a note which I have the honor to communicate to your excellency, calling your attention to the absolute necessity of [Page 614] giving a quick conclusion to the process referred to, as in this are interested the precepts of the law, the good name of the judicial power, and the honor of the Government; and I besides supplicate your excellency to oblige the judge of the cause in question to obtain at once the apprehension and legal punishment of the culprit, giving immediate account to this ministry.

God guard your excellency.

BALTASAR GARCIA URRUTIA.

In conformity,

The chief official,

[seal.]
LUIS E. MARQUEZ.