Mr. Romero to Mr. Gresham.
Washington, March 13, 1894. (Received March 13.)
Mr. Secretary: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a note from your Department of yesterday’s date, inclosing a copy of the Attorney-General’s opinion in the case of Victor L. Ochoa, received by you on the 8th instant, in answer to the request made on the 6th instant, pursuant to instructions from the Government of Mexico for the apprehension and punishment of Ochoa in this country for his recent, invasion of Mexican territory.
The Attorney-General is of opinion that Ochoa having committed a common crime, and one which had no political character, the Federal courts of the United States have no jurisdiction in the case, which opinion is shared by the Department of State.
With due respect for the opinions of persons in such high authority, I think it appropriate to call your attention to a precedent which sustains the request of the Mexican Government in this case. A number of persons, led by Francisco Benavides, Maximo Martinez, Pablo Gomez, and Cecilio Echeverria, organized in United States territory an expedition very similar to that which, a year later, was carried into effect by Ochoa, for the purpose of committing depredations in Mexico, and upon their return to the United States they were tried and sentenced by the Federal courts.
I see no reason whatever why the case of Ochoa can not be proceeded with in the same manner.
I have communicated to the Mexican Government your note and the opinion of the Attorney-General, to the end that, in view of them, I may be furnished with suitable instructions.
Be pleased to accept, etc.,