to Mr. Buck.
Washington, June 23, 1888.
Sir: In your No. 376 of the 24th ultimo, you inclose copy of a protest made on June 16, 1885, before the acting British vice-consul at Arequipa, by Mr. V. H. MacCord, an American citizen, and now consular agent of the United States at Mollendo, detailing the outrages inflicted on him in June, 1885, by the prefect of Arequipa, Col. Don Manuel San Roman, who was appointed by General Cáceres.
Mr. MacCord was at that time acting superintendent of the Arequipa, Puno, and Cuzco railroads, and had caused all the engines to be withdrawn from the Mollendo division and concentrated at Arequipa. On June 11th the prefect of Arequipa made requisition on Mr. MacCord for an engine and train of cars, to convey troops to a point on the Mollendo division, placing the train under the command of Sergeant-Major Valdez. During its absence, while in charge of the said officer, the engineer detached his engine and ran off with it to the opposing forces at Mollendo. Although Mr. MacCord was in no way responsible for this occurrence, it having been the result of the treachery of the engineer and the carelessness of the guard, he was thrown into prison by the prefect and threatened that if use was made of the runaway engine he would be shot. A short while afterward he was taken out of prison, placed before a file of soldiers and asked whether he wished to say anything, as he was about to be shot. After a conference among the officers, he was, however, taken back to prison and ordered to pay a fine of 10,000 soles. Declining to do this, he was deprived of food and drink, and left standing in a damp cell, all the furniture, and even a stone on which he had been sitting, being removed. Finally, some of the commercial houses in the city having raised the funds necessary to pay the fine, he was released and immediately made protest, as above stated, on June 16, 1885.[Page 1370]
The case has, you state, never been formally laid before your legation until the date of your dispatch, because it was feared that injury might be done to the railroad interests of Mr. MacCord’s employer, Mr. Thorndike.
Mr. MacCord’s explanation of his delay in presenting his claim is satisfactory to the Department, and you are instructed to present the case to the Peruvian Government, requesting an explanation.
I am, etc.,