File No. 812.001 H87/33.
The Confidential Agent of the Constitutionalist Government of Mexico to the Secretary of State .
Mr. Secretary: [Review of the overthrow of Madero and the assumption of power by Huerta; the overthrow of Huerta by the Constitutionalist Party led by Carranza; charges Generals Mondragon, Blanquet, Reyes and Felix Diaz with planning the overthrow of Madero, and Huerta with the execution of the plan; charges Huerta with ordering the murder of President Madero and Vice President Pino Suárez; refers to Huerta’s public declaration of his intention to reside in the United States, his conferences in New York with Mondragon, Blanquet, Felix Diaz and others for the purpose of planning a new revolutionary movement against Mexico.]
The Department of Justice of the United States has been able to catch Huerta, accompanied by members of his family, on the banks of the Rio Grande, at the time in which, guided by Pascual Orozco, he was on his way to invade Mexican territory to continue disturbing order in that country and give occasion for prolonging the civil war.[Page 831]
The Government of my country having been informed of these events and being fully convinced that the purposes of Huerta, Blanquet, Mondragon and Felix Diaz are no other than to lead a new revolution into Mexico, which will undoubtedly result in greater evils and complications for both countries, and with a view to punishing in accordance with our laws and as demanded by Mexico’s indignant conscience those who forced the Mexican people to resort to arms, has directed me through the Department of Foreign Affairs to request, as I now have the honor to do, that your excellency’s Government kindly place Victoriano Huerta at the disposal of the Mexican authorities and order the detention of Generals Felix Diaz, Manuel Mondragon and Aurelio Blanquet, to the end that they be taken into Mexico, where the crimes they are charged with occurred and where they should be tried in accordance with the law.
* * * The principal charge made against Victoriano Huerta is contained in Article 2, Section 1, of the Extradition Treaty of February 1899, in force between the United Mexican States and the United States of America, and expressly defined in the final part of Article 7 of the same treaty as not of a political character.64
The natural desire of my Government to punish the guilty parties has not been decreased by the circumstance of its Rot having so far been recognized as a perfectly established government, on account of the strife which is still raging in Mexico against the remnants of the reactionary elements. This very same circumstance may serve as an excuse for the non-compliance of the requisites and formalities [sic] which in normal conditions should attend every request for extradition. But even if, because of the absence of recognition, it may be thought that the above-mentioned extradition treaty may be accidentally in suspense, some allowance should be made for the indignation felt by the Mexican people due to the offense made to its dignity and the attack upon its conservation; and, because of the gravity and far-reaching significance of the crimes committed by Huerta against the integrity of the Mexican Government, this application seems justifiable, since the violations of the natural and immutable laws of human conscience must at all times and in all civilized nations fall under the discipline of the penal law.
Moreover, it [is] a well-established and sanctioned by practice principle of international law that the changes and internal disturbance of a sovereign state have no decisive influence upon its international consideration; they do not exempt it from any obligation, nor deprive it of its rights within the province of foreign relations; and in the present case our application is just, legally sound and emanates from a real government from the point of view of international law, and one controlling and exercising authority nearly over the entire Mexican Republic, which still holds its unity, its identity and its sovereignty, and whose international relations were interrupted only because of the usurpation of Huerta.
The surrender of Huerta by the American Government to the Constitutionalist Government presided [over] by Mr. Carranza would be in keeping with international usage and provided by an extradition [Page 832] treaty between the two countries; and would signalize, moreover, the moral justification of the policy of the Government represented by the Honorable Woodrow Wilson with regard to the Mexican situation, who first declined to recognize Huerta as the Chief Executive of Mexico, and now, that the latter has sought an asylum in American territory as a fugitive of Mexican justice, would [sic] deliver him to the government he betrayed, in order that he may be tried according to law.
This would be an act which would set in relief the loftiness of American justice and a proof to Europe of America’s high sense of morality.
I trust that this application may be accepted in the spirit hereinbefore set forth and I confide in the eternal principles of justice and the welfare of the community, guiding the life and development of this great country, worthily represented by an honest administration, that the request of my Government may be granted.
I avail [etc.]
- Section 1 of Article 2 of the treaty reads: “1. Murder, comprehending the crimes known as parricide, assassination, poisoning and infanticide.” The final part of Article 7 reads: “An attempt against the life of the head of the Government shall not be considered a political offense.”↩