Mr. Bridgman to Mr. Hay.
La Paz, Bolivia , December 15, 1898 .
Sir: I have the honor to state that on November 6 the Government officials of the city of La Paz, with apparently the almost unanimous concurrence of the inhabitants, issued a proclamation announcing “The regeneration of Bolivia under the rule of Federal Government,” and appointed a list of officials to act under the new Government. This is an actual secession from the Government at Sucre and the rule of President Alonzo on the part of the La Paz district. The reason for this action is, as stated in the dispatch No. 72, of December 10, and in the cablegram sent the Department yesterday, a copy of which is herewith inclosed, the urgent desire on the part of all citizens of La Paz, official and private, that the seat of government remove from Sucre to this city. La Pasians have been given distinct reasons to think this removal would take place in December, if not earlier, and the decision of Congress to the contrary, on the date of November 15, has brought about the present crisis. Armed resistance is decided upon and active preparations to that end are being made as rapidly as possible. Up to date they have secured 400 rifles and 2,500 rounds of ammunition only. They expect to have 5,000 men at their command, 300 of these being native Indians. President Alonzo left Sucre December 6 with 2,000 men armed with Mauser rifles. On December 16 he reached Oruro, three days’ march from this place. A telegram sent by him to the insurgents urging cessation of hostile action was disregarded, and active resistance by the people here is planned as soon as President Alonzo reaches La Paz with his troops. It is not yet fully decided whether to meet the troops on the “Alto” or within city limits. Several proclamations and announcements have been issued by the leaders of the revolution. * * * Note to the legation, a * * * translation is herewith inclosed. * * * Circular to the legation, of which a * * * translation is also herewith inclosed. * * *
* * * We (the United States, Brazilian, and French ministers) have also met and agreed upon inflexible rules to govern us in the reception of refugees who may later apply to the different legations for “asylum.” This is quite certain to take place and we shall try to be governed exactly by the rules established under international law and laid down in our books of instructions.
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I have, etc.,