Señor de Azpíroz to Mr. Hay.
Washington, November 28, 1904.
Most Excellent Sir: With reference to previous correspondence relative to the case of Eulogio Zambrano, I have the honor, by special direction of my Government, again to apply to you and to say that after careful examination of the evidence in the case produced by the authorities of the State of Texas, this embassy finds that there exists a patent conflict between the circumstances reported by the consul of Mexico at Brownsville and the conclusions and judicial proceedings of the governor of Texas.
The consul says that when Zambrano was proved guilty of the offense of theft in the pawn shop the police officer could have arrested him without any need of firing at him; and the wounds of Zambrano showed that the shots were fired at close range. The ex parte testimony of the police officer (charged with assaulting Zambrano) and the statement of the district attorney, on the other hand, tend to prove that Zambrano attempted an escape; that in order to bring him to a halt a shot was fired over his head, but this failing to stop him, he was fired at again and sustained wounds, but that no further violence was needed to prevent the offender from escaping. It is proper to ask in this connection what further violence was called for in the opinion of the person who made this statement, worse than hitting with a bullet a fleeing man, granting that Zambrano had attempted to escape.
The consul reports that Zambrano was tried and sentenced without any account being taken by the court of the wounds inflicted by McKenzie. But the district attorney and the interpreter of the court state that the judge, in passing sentence upon the prisoner, told him that he inflicted a light punishment because he had been wounded, which affords grounds to insist that the wounding was unwarranted.
Inasmuch, as under the custom of the State of Texas in criminal trials, it seems that the State ranger, McKenzie, can not be tried anew or punished, and as, on the other hand, the quotations from the law of Texas, made by the consul in this regard and transcribed in my note to you of September 19, 1904, No. 28, prove that McKenzie was not justified in wounding Zambrano, but should rather be punished for it, my Government is constrained to ask an indemnity for one of its citizens on what bears the features of a denial of justice, and therefore instructs me to enter in its name, which I have the honor to do [Page 481]by means of this note, a formal complaint against the authorities of Texas on account of the slight respect they usually evince for the lives and interests of Mexicans residing on this side of the border, and an indemnity claim in behalf of Eulogio Zambrano, victim on this occasion of such deplorable carelessness.