Mr. Hicks to Mr. Gresham.
Lima, April 10, 1893. (Received May 1.)
Sir: Referring to my No. 482, of April 3, I have to say that on the 5th instant the official report of the acting consular agent at Mollendo was received, giving full particulars of the riot and attack on the consular agency of the United States on the 25th ultimo. I at once directed to the minister of foreign affairs a note calling attention to the serious feature of the affair—that while the mob was primarily a domestic affair with which I had nothing to do, yet where the sanctity of the consular agency of the United States was invaded and its acting consular agent wounded in defense of the office, it became a grave international offense, which was heightened by the presence of Peruvian gendarmes, who made no attempt to defend the consular agency or repress the riot.
On the same day I had transmitted to the Department a telegram containing a brief account of the affair, and on the 6th instant I received a reply from the Department, directing me to make a protest and, if the facts were well established, to ask an expression of regret and an assurance that the guilty parties would be punished and reparation would be made.
Inasmuch as my note of the 5th to the foreign office, while not couched in the form of a protest, practically answered the purpose, I decided [Page 512]to await the reply of the minister before communicating with him further. I was induced to this course by an informal notice from the foreign office to the effect that the minister in reply to my note would concede exactly the points which I was directed by the Department to request.
Late on the evening of the 8th instant I was waited upon by a clerk from the foreign office who presented the reply of Doctor Don Cesareo Chacaltana to my note. As I had anticipated, the minister regrets the incident, which is distinctly disavowed by the Government. He also announces that the subprefect in charge at Mollendo has been removed and will be submitted to an examination so that his guilt or responsibility may be determined, and that all the parties concerned in the affair are to be prosecuted and reparation will be made to the victims. The note is expressed in friendly terms and I think was written in a genuine spirit of equity and good feeling toward the United States.
As soon as I could make a translation of the minister’s note, I dispatched to the Department a telegram stating the receipt of the note, and that in my opinion it fully met the purposes of a protest, and declaring that, unless the Department directed otherwise, I did not now consider any protest necessary.
I shall wait a reasonable time for further advice by telegram from the Department, and then nothing further having been received, I shall reply to the minister, expressing my satisfaction at the prompt and voluntary apology and promise of reparation which he has given, and the hope that the incident may be closed to the mutual satisfaction of both countries.
I append in this connection a copy of the correspondence, with a translation of the minister’s note, as well as a copy of the telegrams sent by the legation to the Department, and the telegram received by this legation from the Department.
I have, etc.,