File No. 812.00/14500.

The Brazilian Minister to Mexico to the Secretary of State.


383. I beg to transcribe the following sentences from a speech made by Obregon yesterday in reply to one of the chairmen of a meeting of more than three hundred Mexican merchants and proprietors called by him to deal with the question of the modification of the special tax decree requested by Mexicans:

Every authority good or bad must make itself respected and I am resolved to do this at any cost.

The Constitutionalist army does not come to beg good will, it comes to impart justice according to the Constitutionalist criterion and without worrying as to what the morrow may bring forth.

Understand well that it was not I who excepted foreigners from paying the tax but our laws, which are very deficient. But I call to your notice that true equality and democracy will exist only when we Mexicans no longer have to defer to those who smoke opium and chew tobacco. Our territory is immensely rich; our miseries should not pass beyond the frontiers and here is where we should do everything to relieve our poverty.

You call my attention to the moral force and influence of foreign capital but I warn you that I am resolved to do justice above everything else. I thank you for the lessons of your wise men which you wish me to learn. I can have no wise men at my side but I respond for my acts with my blood. You need not be alarmed over this decree for others soon will be published which will alarm you more.

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I repeat that you refused to pay the tax taking the decree as a political arm but once more I will say to you that I have no intention of letting myself be outwitted and I am determined that my orders shall be obeyed without caring for what may happen afterwards. I have said and I repeat that I will not punish hungry people who try to get bread and do justice to themselves. If my children had no bread I would go out and look for it with a dagger in my hand until I had found it.

After this speech he declared them all to be his prisoners, the building had been previously surrounded by troops. They are yet detained. Your attention is called to part in which he states that more decrees more alarming will follow.

Cardoso de Oliveira.