Mr. Romero to Mr. Gresham.
Washington, January 9, 1894. (Received January 9.)
According to information communicated to the Mexican Government by the governor of the State of Chihuahua, Victor Ochoa, profiting by the circumstance that there were a number of people thrown out of employment by the recent paralysis of business, and ready for any adventure, organized on United States territory, and especially at El [Page 427]Paso, gangs of bandits who attacked and plundered the custom-house at Las Palomas, of which assault your Department was duly informed. On account of the crimes which he had committed in Mexico, the consul at El Paso, Tex., requested his extradition; but, unfortunately, the U. S. commissioner set him at liberty, on the ground that his Mexican citizenship was not proven, whereas, this being an exception to be alleged in order to place obstacles in the way of extradition, it should have been presented and proved by the accused and not by the agents of the Mexican Government.
Encouraged by the impunity accorded to his crimes on this account, Ochoa again organized a band of thirteen mounted and armed men, with which, on the 5th instant, he attacked and robbed several private individuals at a place called El Borracho, about 10 leagues distant from Paso del Norte, going thence to Las Yacas. The governor of the State of Chihuahua detached a force sufficient to pursue Ochoa and his band, and it is certain that, upon the approach of this force, Ochoa will again seek refuge in the territory of the United States.
As in this case, the Government of Mexico will again have occasion to request his extradition, I have thought it proper to make this communication without delay to your Department, in order that it may be informed of what is taking place on the frontier and may, with full knowledge of the matter, determine, at its convenience, what steps it deems appropriate to take in view of its interest, that crimes committed upon the frontier shall not go unpunished.
Be pleased to accept, etc.,