File No. 312.52/144.

Consul Letcher to the Secretary of State.

[Telegram.]

Department’s January 8. José and Agustín Gonzalez, brothers, Spanish subjects, who conducted a fish market and restaurant at Chihuahua, were found murdered at the public cemetery of Chihuahua on the morning of December 12, the day on which all Spaniards ordered expelled from Chihuahua by Villa left by special train for El Paso. The bodies lay exposed until about eight o’clock at night following when they were carried to the public morgue. I [Page 790]am informed by the British Vice Consul who has been informally representing Spanish interests in Chihuahua at the request of the Spanish Minister to Mexico that the authorities promised to investigate the murder of these two men. If this promise has been complied with the results of such investigation have not been made public. Circumstances all point in my judgment to a quasi official execution, the two men having evidently been carried alive to a point near where their bodies were found and there murdered. The bodies were dragged from the roadside where the murder occurred to a ravine some twenty yards distant. I personally visited the spot on the day of the murder and saw the pool of blood at the point where apparently the murder occurred. I am informed that the Gonzalez brothers were very bitter and outspoken in their protest against the action of the authorities in expelling them from Chihuahua and in their characterizations of such authorities. This circumstance coupled with the fact that the wounds indicated a formal execution lends color to the opinion that the execution was official.

Letcher
.