Chargé McCreery to the Secretary of State.

No. 115.]

Sir: Referring to my No. 96, of the 28th ultimo,a reporting that I had, as instructed in the Department’s telegram of the 27th ultimo,a requested the arrest and provisional detention of Charles Luna, charged with murder in Williamson County, Tex., and that the Mexican Government had ordered his arrest, I have the honor to inclose copies and translations of a note from Mr. Mariscal, and its inclosures, from which it will be seen that the governor of Tamaulipas had ordered the provisional detention of the fugitive upon the request of the governor of Texas and that the foreign office considers the action of both governors in contravention of Article X of the extradition treaty, and desires that the case be brought to the attention of the Department.

I informed Mr. Mariscal that a copy of his note and inclosures had been transmitted to the Department.

I have, etc.,

Fenton R. McCreery.
[Inclosure 1.—Translation.]

The Secretary of Foreign Affairs to Chargé McCreery.

Mr. Chargé d’affaires: Referring to your note, dated the 27th of September last, in which you were pleased to request the arrest and provisional detention of Charles Luna, charged with murder in Williamson County, Tex., I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of a communication addressed to me by the governor of the State of Tamaulipas, in which he informs me that the governor of Texas having directly requested from him the aforesaid provisional detention, he issued the regular orders for the arrest of the fugitive.

I also beg to inclose a copy of a report from the proper section of this department relating to the irregularities attending the matter in question, to the end that the Department of State of the United States be informed of the procedure followed in this case, with the understanding that the instructions which the case requires have been transmitted to the governor of Tamaulipas.

I renew, etc.,

Igno. Mariscal.
[Subinclosure 1.—Translation.]

The Governor of the State of Tamaulipas to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs.

Republic of Mexico—government of the free and sovereign State of Tamaulipas.

Referring to your courteous note, No. 361, dated September 28 last, issued by the section on America, Asia, and Oceanica, of the department under your worthy charge, I have the honor to inform you, that in view of a telegraphic request from the governor of Texas, the municipal prefect of New Laredo was ordered to cause the arrest and provisional detention of Charlie Looney, whose name was erroneously given in the telegrams and in your communication I answer, as Charles Luna. Therefore, on the 26th of last month the said individual was provisionally detained at said city of New Laredo, because the county sheriff from Texas identified him. The extradition has already been requested by the said governor of Texas for a man named Charlie Looney, alias Charlie Coleman, alias [Page 661]Charlie Martin, an American citizen, and recommended by the American consul at New Laredo, who furthermore stated that the fugitive is willing to appear before the jurisdictive judicial authorities of Texas to answer to charge of murder, for which he is indicted.

In transmitting the above to you, in reply it affords me pleasure to assure you of my distinguished consideration.


Pedro Arguelles, rubric.
[Subinclosure 2.—Translation.]

Mr. Vera to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs.

Department of Foreign Affairs—Section on America, Asia, and Oceanica.

Mr. Secretary: The American embassy, in its note of September 27 last, requested from this department the provisional detention of Charles Luna, charged with murder in the State of Texas, and a fugitive at New Laredo. In accordance with the above request, the governor of Tamaulipas was asked by mail to issue his orders for the arrest of the accused, and in answer to the note from this department the above-mentioned officer replied that “in view of a telegraphis request from the governor of Texas the municipal prefect of New Laredo was ordered to cause the arrest and provisional detention of Charlie Looney, whose name was erroneously in the telegrams as Charles Luna; that therefore, on the 26th of last month, the said individual was provisionally detained at said city of New Laredo, because the county sheriff from Texas identified him; that the extradition had already been requested by the said governor of Texas for a man named Charlie Looney, alias Charlie Coleman, alias Charlie Martin, an American citizen, and recommended by the American consul at New Laredo, who furthermore stated that the fugitive was willing to appear before the jurisdictive judicial authorities of Texas to answer the charge of murder for which he was indicted.”

The undersigned takes the liberty to call your attention to the irregularity attending this case on account of the governor of Texas making a direct request for a provisional detention on the governor of Tamaulipas, and also because the latter granted said request, as in so doing both governors have infringed the spirit as well as the terms of Article X of the extradition treaty in force, which provides that “on being infomed by telegraph or otherwise through the diplomatic channel that a warrant has been issued by competent authority for the arrest of a fugitive * * * each government shall endeavor to procure the provisional arrest of such criminal,” etc. There is no doubt that the intention in fixing the express provision of the treaty for federal action with respect to provisional detention was to protect personal rights so far as possible with a view to prevent any conflict between the laws of the states and those of the federation. Otherwise the powers to take cognizance of the requests for extradition, which are conferred on frontier authorities by Article IX of said treaty, would have also been extended to them in the above chapter.

If the report merits your approval, and you consider it advisable, the same may be transmitted to the governor of the State of Tamaulipas in reference to his note upon the subject, with a view that he bears the same in mind for future cases, adding that with respect to the present case he can continue to take cognizance of the same, since the request for extradition has been made upon him in accordance with said Article IX.

The undersigned begs to suggest that a copy of the governor’s communication and of the above report (if approved) be transmitted to the American embassy in reply to its note, in order that the Department of State be informed of what has happened.


M. Zapata Vera.
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.