The Secretary of State to the Mexican Ambassador.

Dear Mr. Ambassador: During the past year I have received from a number of American citizens having mining and other local interests in Sonora letters giving detailed accounts of the hostile activity of the Yaquis and the depredations committed by them to the great damage of life and property. Many of them go so far as to express a doubt as to the full gravity of the situation being understood by the Mexican authorities, in view of the extent and duration of the hostilities and the insuccess of the measures taken to put a stop to them and to secure protection to peaceable residents.

I annex extracts from some of these lettersa as showing their general tenor, thinking that the statements therein made may be of interest and possibly of service to the Mexican Government in dealing with this grave problem, which affects so many foreigners in common with native Mexicans. The general facts recited are probably known to your government, but the testimony of eyewitnesses and parties in interest may supply useful details which may not be accessible in the ordinary course of administration. In my own country it has not infrequently happened that private and personal information has helpfully supplemented the knowledge gained through official channels, as in the case of the uprisings of our own Indians, and has thereby enabled the authorities to take necessary and effective action. It may very possibly be the same in Mexico. At any rate, the urgency of the situation in Sonora is my excuse for bringing the matter to your notice.

For the purpose of this informal communication it has not seemed necessary to give the names of the writers. In the instances where their statements were specific and the urgency of protection apparent the representations of our citizens have been conveyed to your government through our embassy.

I am, etc.,

Elihu Root.
  1. Not printed.