Mr. Renjifo to Mr. Olney.


Mr. Secretary of State: I have the honor to refer to the polite note of your honorable Department of the 11th of February of the current year, signed by your worthy predecessor, the late Hon. Walter Q. Gresham, in reply to one which, under date of May 9, 1890, was addressed to the Hon. James G. Blaine by the minister of this legation, Señor Hurtado, denying that any responsibility could accrue to the Government of Colombia on account of the suspension of the newspaper entitled the Star and Herald, published at Panama, which [Page 221] was effected by General Santo Domingo Vila, civil and military chief of the Isthmus, inasmuch as the said act was not only not approved by the Government of Colombia, but it was decidedly disapproved by it, and occasioned the removal of the said General Santo Domingo Vila from the high post he occupied.

As the note to which I refer not only endeavored to refute the reasoning and arguments set forth by this legation in support of the freedom of my Government from fault and its consequent lack of responsibility in regard to the suspension of the newspaper in question, but indicated that the claimant is willing to accept a compromise which the Government of Colombia pay, propose reducing the sum of $91,000 at which originally, with the approval of your honorable Department, the damages caused by the said suspension were estimated and for which claim was therefore made against my Government, I have thought it my duty to advise it of the above, furnishing it with a copy of your note, in order that it may give me precise instructions, and I shall proceed to do so by the next mail. As soon as I obtain an answer from my Government on the subject I shall have the honor to acquaint you with it.

I hope that the honorable Secretary will kindly excuse the delay of my reply to the note of the honorable Department of the 11th of February, on account of this legation having been virtually closed during my absence from this country the last four months.

With sentiments of the most distinguished consideration,

I have the honor, etc.,

Julio Renjifo,
Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.