File No. 419.11 D 29/18.

The American Minister to the Secretary of State.

[Extract.]
No. 197.]

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt late on the 22d instant of the Department’s telegram of August 22, directing me immediately to demand [etc.].

On the following morning I addressed a note to Señor Chiari, Minister for Foreign Affairs, in the sense of your telegram. My note was actually delivered to Señor Chiari at about 3 p.m. I have since learned from a trustworthy source that about 4.30 p.m. Señor [Page 1252]Quijano, accompanied by Captain Walker of the Panaman police, embarked in a small boat in the port of Panama and proceeded to a point near the island of Flamenco in the bay. The boat lay at this point until the steamship Chile bound for Guayaquil passed, coming out of the port of Balboa, when Señores Quijano and Walker boarded her. Señor Quijano evidently desired to leave as hurriedly and as secretly as possible, taking this most unusual manner of joining his steamer in order to escape notice and avoid passing through the Canal Zone. His passage was taken under the name of “Wallace,” which is part of his full name (Quijano-Wallace), although he is not known by it. Before leaving Señor Quijano found time to tender his “irrevocable “resignation to President Arosemena, said to be dated the following day. The Captain Walker who accompanied him is the police officer who was in command of the police detachment which brutally charged unoffending men, women, and children in the Santa Ana Park on the night of the 4th instant.

This afternoon I called upon Señor Chiari and inquired of him when I might expect a reply to my note, informing him at the time of the seriousness of the matter and of the expectation of my Government that its demands would be complied with promptly. Señor Chiari answered that the Government was still considering its reply, which I would receive to-morrow (28th [sic] instant). In answer to my inviting his attention to the circumstances of the departure of Señor Quijano, which resembled a flight, Señor Chiari remarked that Señor Quijano’s resignation had been prepared some time before, that he had long been contemplating a trip abroad and that he had avoided passing through the Zone and had left quietly merely because certain personal enemies of his might otherwise have attempted some injury to him. He admitted, however, that Señor Quijano had been ill-advised in engaging a cabin under the name of “Wallace.” He knew nothing as to how the President had accepted his resignation. Captain de la Ossa, he believed, was still occupying his post.

I then invited Señor Chiari’s attention to the expectations of my Government relative to the identification and punishment of the guilty. Señor Quijano [sic] replied that Judge de la Guardia was still investigating the occurrences on July 4. In answer to my questions he stated that he did not know when this investigation would end, nor whether as yet the evidence examined pointed to any persons as guilty, nor in fact anything regarding it. Señor Chiari in fact showed a disinclination to giving any information as to the Panaman Government’s investigation. He remarked, however, that he regretted that in demanding the removal of Señores Quijano and de la Ossa, I had not submitted the evidence which had induced my Government to make these demands. Señor Chiari showed throughout this conversation, as he has always done, a desire to belittle this whole affair and to procrastinate, doubtless with a view to leaving it to be settled by Dr. Porras’ administration. I shall, however, in accordance with the Department’s directions, use all proper means toward securing the prompt removal of these men.

In this connection I have the honor to state that I am informed by the Zone police that there appears again to be a reasonable chance of securing evidence as to the identity of the murderers of Ralph W. [Page 1253]Davis and certain other policemen who took part in the Cocoa Grove affair. It seems likely that once Señores Quijano and de la Ossa are removed, a number of witnesses will be prepared to give evidence who are now afraid to do so.

I have [etc.]

F. Percival Dodge.
[Inclosure.]

The American Minister to the Secretary for Foreign Affairs.

No. 249.]

Excellency: I have the honor to inform your excellency that I have received instructions from my Government directing me immediately to demand of your excellency’s Government the removal from their respective offices of Señor Quijano, chief of the Panaman police, and of Señor de la Ossa, captain of police.

These demands are in view of the evidence before my Government relative to the affair which occurred on July 4 last in the district of Panama known as “Cocoa Grove” and also in view of the evidence relative to the affair which occurred on the 12th instant in the same district, both of which affairs are now receiving the most serious consideration of my Government. The demand for the removal of Señor Quijano is also in view of a request of the Secretary of War of the United States made on account of the killing of one marine, Pelote, and the arrest of a man, woman and child by certain Panaman police on July 4 last within the territory of the Canal Zone.

My Government further directs me to inform your excellency that obviously it expects that the Panaman Government will make all proper efforts to identify the person or persons guilty of the murder of the American Ralph W. Davis during the affair at “Cocoa Grove “on July 4 last, and will cause them as well as the other guilty police officers and privates to be adequately punished.

I avail [etc.]

H. Percival Dodge.