File No. 823.00/113.
The American Minister to the Secretary of State.
Lima, August 19, 1913.
Sir: Supplementing the Legation’s No. 228 of August 3, 1913, and the cablegrams of July 25, July 31, August 5, August 8 and August 10, concerning the attack by a mob upon the residence of former President Leguía, his subsequent arrest and imprisonment, and finally his deportation from the country, I have the honor to report additional details, as well as upon the present political conditions.
I have been favored by the Italian Minister with a copy of his note addressed to the Foreign Office, dated July 25, 1913, informing the Peruvian Government that Vice President Roberto Leguía had taken refuge, and been given asylum, in that Legation on that day. It will be noted that such asylum was sought the same night on which the residence of the former President was attacked. The French Minister also informed me that another brother, Carlos Leguía, Vice President of the Senate, had asked for, and been offered, asylum in the French Legation, provided he found that the necessity therefor should exist.
The Peruvian Foreign Office replied to the Italian Minister on July 29 stating that no order for the arrest of the Señor Leguia in question had been issued. It was then that the latter left the Italian Legation. I have learned that the Italian Minister, in addition to writing the Foreign Office, personally asked for and was furnished a guard of half a dozen soldiers, who were placed within the Legation residence.
I have sought this information because it will preserve written evidence of the recognition by the Peruvian Government of the right of a political refugee to seek and be accorded asylum in the legation of a foreign country, which may prove of value in the future and serve as a precedent.
Concerning the departure of ex-President Leguía, as reported in the Legation’s August 8, and supplementing statements there made, there has been no positive obtainable information as to the exact terms of his departure. President Billinghurst said to me in the [Page 1146] first interview after the mob’s attack that Mr. Leguía’s friends were trying to induce him to go abroad. He said he was perfectly willing that the trial upon the charge growing out of the night of July 24 (he did not name the charge) should be postponed, and that Mr. Leguía should go abroad under bond, but that he demanded a previous hearing or that such charge be dismissed. The President added that he was perfectly willing that he be set free, but he said: “I can not be responsible for his safety.” He further said that Mr. Leguía had acted hastily in firing upon the mob, etc., and his attitude was that of an observer of passing events. From the fact that Mr. Leguía was accompanied by Señor Gabriel Bernales, a Comisario of the sixth district, which includes the Leguía residence, and also by the Minister of Government and Police, Colonel Gonzalo Tirado, it would seem that his departure was a deportation from the country rather than upon any agreed terms.
On yesterday the papers announced that Vice President Roberto Leguía had sailed for Valparaiso under an assumed name on the 14th instant. * * *
I have [etc.]