823.00 Revolutions/199: Telegram
The Ambassador in Peru ( Dearing ) to the Secretary of State
[Received March 24—2:42 a.m.]
143. Fighting and firing has been going on in all the central part of Lima since 8 o’clock this afternoon. The wildest rumors are current and the situation is frankly very dangerous. As nearly as we can ascertain the soldiers of the Fifth Regiment at the Santa Catalina Barracks revolted, threw out their officers; marched upon the Palace and are now calling for return of Sanchez Cerro and in possession of the city. Unknown whether Palace has fallen. Whereabouts and intentions of government, police, Seventh Regiment which generally guards Palace, and naval forces unknown but Chorillos cadets and Fifth Cavalry are thought to be under command of Colonel Roberto Lopez who will endeavor to regain control.
It is extremely dangerous to reach the cable office which is in a narrow downtown street and there may be some delay with our messages.
Responsible persons tell me the movement is communistic and they expect the worst. It is difficult to say what will happen but looting and disorder are expected tonight and a reign of terror. Firemen and volunteer guards are standing ready to afford protection but as they are poorly armed they are not especially effective.
Department should be prepared for eventualities and take immediate steps to establish communication with the Embassy in case it receives no word for 24 hours.