Ambassador Thompson to the Secretary of State.
Mexico, October 27, 1906.
Sir: I acknowledge the receipt of the department’s instruction No. 131, of the 13th instant, relating to the seizure of the American fishing schooner Aloha, and inclose herewith a clipping from a Mexican daily, El Imparcial, and a translation thereof. The clipping contains, besides, a map showing the location of the Aloha at the time of her capture. I also transmit copy of my letter of September 17 to the American consul at Veracruz, approving the suggestion made in his letter of the 7th of said month (inclosure 8 in my dispatch 198) to have the case of the Aloha tried before the district court of Veracruz, instead of that of Campeche, said to be the one having jurisdiction in the matter. As both courts are of equal rank, this method of procedure seems to have been agreeable to the Mexican authorities, according to a note and its inclosure from the foreign office, copies and translations herewith transmitted, by which I am advised that the district court of Veracruz, after looking into the case of the Aloha, dismissed the same for want of evidence to prove the existence of the crime, and that the decision, favorable to the vessel, had been referred to the second circuit court for revision. This information caused me to send my telegram to the department reading as follows:
Mexico, D. F., October 27, 1906.
My two hundred twenty, September twentieth. Foreign office advised that sentence of district court of Veracruz relative to schooner Aloha is for release, subject to confirmation of second circuit court.
D. E. Thompson.
It affords me pleasure to report that this case has had a favorable solution, as the decision of said court is final, so far as the Aloha is concerned, but owing to the fact that the above note from the foreign office did not state that said decision was of an executory character, and that it had been referred to the second circuit court for revision, I understood this latter proceeding as necessary to affirm the sentence of the district court; this, however, is not the case, judging from a second note and inclosure from the foreign office, copies and translations herewith transmitted, showing that the revision will have for a sole purpose to establish whether the officials of the lower instance who handled the case have incurred any responsibility, and I infer that whatever the result of this revision, may be the release of the Aloha will in no way be affected.
I also inclose copy of my note to the foreign office requesting that I be furnished a copy of the decision of the district court and of the “toca” (record) of the circuit court, in order that I may have a complete history of the case, should the same require further action.
I have to-day received a note from Minister Mariscal advising me that the request for the above copies has been referred to the attorney-general for such action as may be proper.
As it sometimes occurs that the decisions of the class described are, notwithstanding their executory character, delayed for reasons of small importance, I have asked the American consul at Veracruz, by telegraph, as per copy inclosed, whether the Aloha has been released, and if so, on what date. So soon as I receive his reply I will transmit the same to the department.
I have, etc.,