817.00 Bandit Activities, 1931/88: Telegram

The Minister in Nicaragua (Hanna) to the Secretary of State

53. Reference telegram from American Consul, Bluefields, April 28, 2 p.m.21 Marines in northern area have been withdrawn to Managua with exception of 20 men in Ocotal to be withdrawn shortly. One hundred Marines already withdrawn to Managua from central area and remaining garrisons in that area numbering approximately 125 men will be withdrawn by middle of May. Guardia has replaced the Marine garrisons.

The Guardia in the northern and central areas now numbers approximately 1,400 enlisted and will shortly be increased to 1,500 by new enlistments under plan of February last. The situation in these areas reported to be quiet and patrols are not encountering organized bands of bandits. General Matthews considers the repulse of the bandits’ incursion into the eastern area combined with the killing of Blandon as the severest blow organized banditry has suffered for a long time. He says he has more confidence than ever in the ability of the Guardia to handle the situation. His greatest fear is that the preservation of order in other portions of the Republic may become increasingly difficult because of unemployment resulting from the earthquake and that this may even become a more serious problem than banditry.

  1. See last sentence of telegram supra.