Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, Transmitted to Congress, With the Annual Message of the President, December 6, 1886
to Mr. Hunter.
Quito , April 22, 1885. (Received May 18.)
Sir: In my last dispatch, dated the 11th instant, I informed the Department of State that the question of the citizenship of Mr. Julio E. Santos had been referred to Washington to be determined between the Department of State and Minister Antonio Flores.
I immediately instructed the vice-consul-general at Guayaquil to forward all evidence in his possession and a copy of Consular Agent Goddard’s letter of April 4, in which he describes a visit to and interview with Mr. Santos. I also instructed Mr. Goddard, consular agent, to send direct to the Department of State (for the purpose of facilitating their arrival) any declarations that had not been furnished to the Guayaquil [Page 245] office. By the time this is received all the procurable information upon the subject referred to should be in Washington.
Subsequent to the forwarding of my last dispatch I received the accompanying documents from Mr. Santos, which do not relate to his citizenship, but which will be very valuable to the Department in determining its line of action in case it is decided that Mr. Santos is a citizen of the United States.
I am, respectfully, yours,
Mr. Parreño to Mr. Jaramillo .
(Delivered at noon February 4, 1885, Molina.)
Most Excellent Sir: I, Julio R. Santos, a citizen of the United States of North America, and a merchant, established at Bahia de Caráquez, respectfully represent to your excellency that fifty-six days ago I was arrested by one Colonel Ganja, without knowing by the order of what civil or military authority or for what cause. During the time that I have been under arrest I have been kept as a prisoner on board the national war steamers called the Nueve Jalio and the Huachon. My situation on board of those vessels has been one of real torture. I have been taken from Esmeraldos to Bahia, Manta, &c., until finally I have been brought to this city. During this long period I have been kept in solitary confinement; no statement of mine has been received, and I have not been notified of any judicial order whatever; I have only been verbally required on various occasions to pay over the sum of $30,000 as a condition of being set at liberty.
As by the constitution of the Republic foreigners enjoy the same guarantees as natives, and as I do not consider legal the infliction of a punishment without previous trial and sentence, I have refused to pay the aforesaid sum, and have borne with resignation the physical and moral sufferings by which it was sought to compel me to do so.
My Government at Washington has addressed the consul residing at Guayaquil in my behalf, and, in obedience to its instructions, that officer has addressed the Government of Ecuador, and has elicited the fact that the latter Government had not the slightest knowledge of what has been done to me, and, as that irregular situation continues with respect to me, I make this statement to your excellency, transmitting to you the original communication which has been addressed to me by the American consul, residing at Guayaquil, to the end that your excellency in the exercise of power No. 1, which, in such cases is granted to me (you) by article 29, of the organic law concerning the judiciary, and in discharge of the corresponding responsibility, may be pleased to issue suitable orders for the administration of justice in my case.
Porto Viejo, at 1 o’clock in the afternoon, on Wednesday, the 4th day of February, 1885.
Let the judge of the province report concerning the complaint contained in the foregoing petition.
Dr. Vicente Benites, minister resident of the superior court of justice, has issued and signed the foregoing order.
Porto Viejo, February 4, 1885, at 1 o’clock p.m.
On the same day I notified Julio R. Santos of the foregoing order.
- JULIO R. SANTOS.
Most Excellent Sir: As I have not acted in the prosecution on account of crimes and offenses committed against the internal security of the Republic, I have no knowledge relative to the matter concerning which I am instructed to report. Your excellency may instruct the second municipal judge (who is acting in my place, and to whom the process is addressed by the associate judge, who has knowledge of the fact that I have not acted) to make a report in explanation of the application of Mr. Julio Santos. The foregoing is all that I have to report in deference to the truth.
It is known that the report of the preliminary examination of the petitioner has been sent by the authorities of the district of Sucre, and the said report must now be in the proper court which tries criminal cases. Consequently let the judge of that court amplify his report concerning this matter without confining himself to giving an account of the preliminary examinations of the other prisoners, but simply their present condition and needs.
Dr. Vicente Benites, minister resident of the superior court of justice, has issued and signed the foregoing order.
Porto Viejo, February 6, 1885, 2 o’clock p.m.
Most Excellent Sir: Up to the present hour I have no knowledge of any preliminary examination held at Caráquez on account of political offenses, much less of any held in the case of Mr. Julio Santos. This is all that I can say in reference to the truth.
Let the judge, in view of the foregoing application and order, amplify his report as speedily as possible.
Dr. Vicente Benites, minister president of the superior court of justice, issued and signed the foregoing order.
Porto Viejo, February 6, 1885, 1 o’clock p.m.
Most Excellent Sir: I fulfill the duty which your excellency has ordered me to fulfill by stating that, with regard to the matters contained in the application of Mr. Julio Santos, I have no official information in regard to any of them, inasmuch as I have received no communication from the governor of the province placing Mr. Julio Santos in the power of the court which has not ordered his arrest and imprisonment and has issued no order for his prosecution, because it has had no legitimate information such as to warrant it in proceeding against Mr. Julio Santos.
[Porto Viejo, 2 o’clock p.m., Saturday, 7th of the current year and month.]
Request the governor of this province to be pleased to report with regard to the foregoing application and complaints.
Dr. Vicente Benites, minister president of the superior court of Manabi and Esmeraldes, issued and signed the foregoing order at the date and hour mentioned.
Porto Viejo , February 9, 1885.
To his Excellency the president of the superior court, present:
The undersigned, governor of the province, in obedience to your order, hereby states that under date of December 2 and 20 he instructed the criminal judge to institute proceedings against all those charged with rebellion against public order in the Republic and with seeking to overthrow the constitutional Government. In both communications the name of Mr. Julio R. Santos appears in the inclosed lists as a ringleader and accomplice. In the case conducted at Bahia, grave charges were preferred against Santos, and that gentleman was arrested at Ligna, or I know not where, with a party of armed men, more than thirty large boxes of percussion caps, warlike equipments, &c. At the house of Santos Hevia two or three hundred Remingtons were found, and in the vault where the body of Antonio Santos, the father of the accused, is deposited, about forty boxes of metallic cartridges were found. This gentleman ought to be a little more scrupulous about asserting his innocence, and the judge who had charge of the case must have taken the usual steps, because it is public and notorious that all the revolutionary prisoners were arrested in this town. The parties who make complaint should prefer direct charges, and not trouble the court of which you are president with improper requests; for it is the duty of the political authorities to prosecute and keep them in safety without trespassing upon the powers of the judiciary. God guard you.
Let the foregoing report be communicated to the petitioner, and let him exercise his right as he may think proper before the proper authorities.
Dr. Vicente Benites, minister president of the superior court of justice, issued and signed the forgoing order.
First municipal court of the district.
Mr. Julio R. Santos: In the proceedings instituted by his honor the judge of the province for the crime of rebellion against the legitimate Government, of which you have this day been duly notified, the aforesaid judge has ordered me to send you the present constitutional notice that you are to be confined in the barracks of this city as being charged with the crime above mentioned. God guard you.
Copy of the decision pronounced at Porto Viejo, March 28, 1885, at 12 o’clock m.
This preliminary examination, which has suffered many delays to the prejudice of the prisoners, owing to my long continued illness, to my absence, and that of the municipal alcaldes, to the wants of persons able to act as Government attorneys, clerks, or witnesses for the prosecution, must now be put in such shape that it may be brought to a speedy conclusion. Therefore, as the reasons which have prevented me from acting no longer exist, having somewhat recovered my health, and the time of my leave of absence being at an end, although the proceedings have not been strictly according to law, since the Government attorney confined himself to expressing an opinion only with regard to the applications for release on bail, and the summonses were not issued owing to the fact that the prisoners were in the barracks at Monte Cristi by order of other authorities, the pending questions are now to be determined, as is also the course to be pursued in the preliminary examination.[Page 248]
Application has been made by some prisoners for release on bail. Some of them have applied for the pardon granted by the officer in command of the vanguard. General Reynaldo Flores, in order to secure the conclusion of this preliminary examination. It has been asked that the decision may be revoked which orders the consolidation of proceedings for conspiracy with those brought on account of crimes against the domestic security of the Republic committed by means of armed forces, and other applications have been presented which have not been granted. For the decision of all these points it is necessary to take into consideration the data in possession of the court that may assist it in pronuncing a legal decision. Consequently, the voluminous documents in the case having been examined, it is observed that the preliminary examination was a legal one, which was instituted by this court, with a view to eliciting the facts of the conspiracy formed by Thomas Jesus Caballos in this district and extended at the request of the Government attorney so as to embrace the conspiracy set on foot in other places, and proceedings against other persons have been instituted by this same court, with a view to investigating the reality of the seditious movements, which were almost conspiracies, which took place in the parish of Calceta, the persons engaged in which cheered ex-General Eloy Alfaro and expressed in a loud voice their hatred of the President of the Republic, whom they declared their intention to kill.
It is also proposed to investigate the reality of the crimes and offenses committed by force of arms against the domestic security of the Republic by many, either as principals or as accomplices or as abettors. The documents sent by the Government of this province and by other authorities, although they do not deserve the name of papers connected with a preliminary examination, since they lack the legal requisites, either because they were drawn up by incompetent authorities or were mere copies of other documents,* are nevertheless papers which the court must take into consideration as a basis of its proceedings. From these documents it appears (1) that the conspiracy set on foot about the middle of last year became a regular revolution under the leadership of ex-General Eloy Alfaro, consummated by the pronunciamentos issued at Monte-Cristi Charapotó, and Calcita, and by the revolutionary declaration in this capital, by the occupation of this city by the forces of Alfaro, and by the battles of Monte-Cristi, Picosa, Charapotd, this capital, and the naval battle which took place in the waters of this province; (2) that there are sufficient presumptions against those whose names appear in the lists prepared to consider them as principals, accomplices, or abettors, since from the combination of articles 110 and 125 of the code of E. E. C. C, it is evidently inferred that written proof of such presumptions being unnecessary, those which are based upon proceedings which are null and void are of sufficient value, it being necessary only to fulfill the condition prescribed by the first article, which has already been done, and it being unnecessary for the preliminary examination to be concluded, since the terms of the aforesaid articles 110 and 125 are contradictory.
Consequently, the offenses which have been inquired into being comprised in chapter 3, book 2, of the penal code, and the said offenses being punishable with imprisonment for a long or a short term, the applications for release on bail are denied, with the exception of that of José Reyes, of Picosa, because it does not yet appear that any charge has been made against him, and that of Manuel Alcivas, who, being furnished evidence that when he committed the, offense he was under fifteen years of age, is favored, articles 84, 85, 86, and 137 of the aforesaid case; these persons must consequently furnish bail, or if they have already done so and have relinquished it, they are at liberty to furnish it again. The pardon, which is asked, being contrary to the fourteenth paragraph of article 62 of the constitution, has no legal value that can enable it to serve as the basis of the conclusion of this examination, and consequently there is no ground for granting this request. It is manifest, as has been stated, that the conspiracy became a genuine revolution, and therefore the conspiracy and the revolution being comprised in chapter 3, title 1, book 2 of the aforesaid penal code, and both of them being determinate crimes and offenses, there is no general inquiry as to crimes, still less as to persons, since an inquiry is addressed to those who were responsible therefor. Consequently, and since the unity of the cause would be impaired, inasmuch as the provisions of article 319 of the code of E. E. C. C. would be violated, the revocation of the sentence ordering the consolidation is refused, especially since the same parties who are found to have been guilty of the offenses against the domestic security of the Republic have been found guilty of engaging in the conspiracy, and since the preliminary examination relative to the latter are now at an end, and may serve as a guide in the new examination which is being prepared. This order having been published, let the process issue to decide concerning the petitions which have not yet been decided. Let a list be prepared of those who are to be notified of the prosecution and other legal measures; let the process be properly made out, and let the papers be issued to the judges of other jurisdictions, and let the [Page 249] Government be requested to return the prisoners to this city, to the end that the examination may be speedily concluded, and that the necessary testimony may be taken. Let a copy of this order be transmitted to the Government, in order that it may inform the honorable minister of foreign relations, and also the honorable minister of justice.
Secretary of the Treasury.
- This portion relates to the preliminary examination held at Caráquelz and other places.↩