The Chargé in Mexico (Summerlin) to the Secretary of State

No. 2338

Sir: With reference to that part of President Carranza’s report on Foreign Relations, read before the Mexican Congress on the first instant, relative to the successful activities of the Mexican authorities against the murderers, kidnappers and assailants of American citizens in Mexico,54 I have the honor to invite the attention [Page 576] of the Department to the following cases, mentioned in the report, in which it appears, in so far as the records of the Embassy show, that nothing has been accomplished by the Mexican authorities towards the apprehension and punishment of the responsible criminals:—

La Espada”. This was the kidnapping case of a Mr. Thomson, who was released, presumably, after the payment of ransom. The records of the Embassy do not show that the Mexican authorities were responsible for this release, nor do they show that any effective measures have been taken by them looking to the apprehension and punishment of the bandits in question.
The Cheyenne Case. The local press has announced that arrests have been made, but no official confirmation has been received by the Embassy.
Correll Murder. No confirmation of the local press reports as to the capture of the murderers has yet been received.
Shipley Kidnapping Case. The records show that the release of this American was due to the action of the Company employing him in sending the ransom money demanded directly to the bandits. The authorities did nothing to effect his release nor has the Embassy been advised of any effective measures taken by the authorities to bring about the capture and punishment of the kidnappers.
Thompson Kidnapping Case. This American youth was released by the bandits before the ransom money had been paid. No reports have been received as to the apprehension of the kidnappers.
The Catron Murder. No arrests have been reported, despite the fact that the names and locations of several persons who are believed to have been implicated were furnished by the Embassy.

In connection with the local press statements in regard to the reported arrests of murderers and assailants of American citizens, I have the honor to report that I have been advised by the Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs not to accept them unless and until they have been confirmed by the Foreign Office—even when such notices have been made public by the Chief of Staff of President Carranza.

It will be observed by the Department that no mention is made in President Carranza’s report of the twenty other American citizens who have been murdered in Mexico since June, 1918.

I have [etc.]

George T. Summerlin
  1. Ante, pp. 538 ff.