Señor de Azpiroz to Mr. Hay.

No. 506.]

Most Excellent Sir: By special direction of my Government, I have the honor to address you with a request that instructions be issued by the proper authorities to cause an investigation of the matter reported to Mexico by the consul of the Republic at Brownsville, Tex., and which will be made known to you by the copy I append to this note; and if it should be proved thereby that the Ranger McKenzie, who wounded the Mexican, Eulogio Zambrano, did exceed his powers, that the penalty provided by the law of the United States for such offenses be applied to him.

Accept, etc.,

M. de Azpíroz.
[Page 474]

The consul of Mexico at Brownsville, Tex., reports as follows in a note dated the 27th of January last:

“I regret to bring to your knowledge an outrage suffered by the Mexican citizen, Eulogio Zambrano, who was attacked from behind while absolutely defenseless by the ranger, Sam McKenzie, who fired three shots at him—two of which inflicted wounds, one through the neck and another through the shoulder, Zambrano now being in serious danger of death.

“The facts are as follows:

“Eulogio Zambrano, a domestic servant of Mr. Santiago A. Browne, pawned in Mr. Lastra’s shop a rifle belonging to Browne, and the Ranger McKenzie brought Zambrano before the owner of the pledge (it was then 3 o’clock in the afternoon and the pawn shop stands on one of the most central streets of Brownsville). Zambrano there confessed to having pawned the rifle and, as he says, tried to run away when McKenzie fired his pistol at close range; he could, in the opinion of all the eyewitnesses, very well have seized him with his hand, for, as above stated, Zambrano carried no arm, or have fired for the purpose of frightening him, or lastly refrained from a show of temper and passion on the person of a wounded and defenseless man, all the more as this is expressly forbidden by the criminal code of the State—Willson’s, pages 91 and 92, which read word for word as follows:

“Art. 276 (255) What force may be used:

“In making an arrest all reasonable means are permitted to be used to effect it. No greater force however shall be resorted to than is necessary to secure the arrest and detention of the accused. O. C. 229.

“Note 1. Decisions under preceding article.

“In attempting to make an arrest for a petty offense, the officer is not authorized to shoot at the party fleeing from such arrest. Tinner V. S., Tex., 128.

“Nor to kill a prisoner who is not attacking or resisting him, but merely running away from him. Caldwell V. S., 41 Tex., 86. Nor to strike a prisoner except in necessary self-defense. Skidmore V. S., 43 Tex., 93. See other decisions upon the subject collated in P. C, Art. 670, note one, ante.”

But unfortunately, Mr. Secretary, this is not observed in dealing with Mexican people, and incidents similar to this one occur almost daily in Texas, as in the case of the shocking murder of the Cerda brothers, also committed by rangers, and duly reported by me to your office; it is true that in many cases intervention is precluded by doubts concerning the rights belonging to them or Mexicans; such was the case of the Cerda brothers who, under article 1, Chapter I, Section III of the law of alienage and naturalization, had lost their rights, inasmuch as the parents, sons of Mexicans, had lost their nationality, and of the two murdered sons one was over 21 years of age and had not been registered, and the other, less than 21 years old, had, one month before being killed by Ranger Baker, evidenced his intention and desire to be registered as a Mexican citizen; but it is not so in the present case, for it was barely four months since Zambrano had come from Mexico and was in the service of Mr. Browne.

Ranger McKenzie, the principal of this deed, like those who caused the treacherous death of the Cerda brothers, was freely walking the streets of the city, on bail, one or a half hour after the crime.