817.00 Bandit Activities, 1931/4: Telegram

The Vice Consul at Blue fields (Rowe) to the Secretary of State

Armed bandits under Blandon with 75 men well armed and equipped with machine guns suddenly appeared at Logtown about 60 miles from Puerto Cabezas at the end of the railroad early in the morning of April 11th. Captain Pefley, Marine Corps, Department commander of the Guardia, left Puerto Cabezas with small patrol upon hearing rumors of trouble. They were ambushed near Logtown at about 11 a.m., Captain Pefley was killed and one Guardia wounded. Additional officers of the Guardia have been sent to Puerto Cabezas from Bluefields. Today all available Guardia have interposed themselves between the bandits and Puerto Cabezas planning to attack them today assisted by two Marine bombing planes from Managua, U. S. S. Asheville due at Puerto Cabezas midnight 13th and U.S.S. Memphis due at 6 a.m., 14th. Bandits have killed several civilians some of whom are reported to be Americans on Bragmans Bluff Lumber Company farms. Bandits control company’s property north of Snaki on Wawa River about 110 kilometers from Puerto Cabezas. Civicos policing Puerto Cabezas in absence of Guardia who are all in the field awaiting arrival naval vessels. Puerto Cabezas alarmed but no disorders yet reported. Barely enough Guardia left in Bluefields to police the town. Number of Guardia in eastern Nicaragua considered far from sufficient to combat bandits should they concentrate on this area. Rumors persist that more bandits under the command of Altamirano are proceeding toward Puerto Cabezas from the interior.