815.00/1888: Telegram

The Minister in Honduras ( Jones ) to the Acting Secretary of State

The situation here extremely grave. Bertrand executed coup d’etat, assuming dictatorship last evening, sequestered all opposition publications and printing outfits, including El Cronista, arrested all the employees. During the night soldiers occupied all vantage points in the city and pillaged. Ten most prominent citizens arrested, placed in penitentiary and flogged. All prisoners are being badly beaten before incarceration; policemen and military guard home of all opposition leaders. Latest information is that those not now under arrest will be taken from their homes by force this evening; some homes already entered, the doors being battered down by military and police.

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Last night deputy made earnest appeal to me for president[ial candidate] Rafael Lopez Gutierrez and today another delegation declared he was not only ordered incarcerated in the penitentiary but in case of trouble he would be assassinated together with other opposition leaders.

I am informed unofficially but from reliable source that General Corso, a Mexican, until today Chief of Police of Tegucigalpa, has been made Generalissimo in full charge of whole Republic; General Ciromora of Salvador, recent Chief of Palace Guards, has been made Chief of Police.

. . . . . . .

I am besieged by officials for asylum at the Legation and protection. The foregoing is confirmed by French and British consular officers.