817.00 Bandit Activities, 1931/164
The Minister in Nicaragua (Hanna) to the Secretary of State
[Received June 11.]
Sir: I have the honor to report that the Brigade Commander has informed me that on May 10, 1931, a Guardia patrol under Captain Puller (First Lieutenant, U. S. Marine Corps) was in contact one league from the junction of the Guasanera and Cua rivers with four armed bandits going up the river in canoes. Two bandits were killed, and there were two shotguns among the captured articles. Two hours later the patrol came upon a main camp occupied by about 15 bandits who deserted it upon arrival of the patrol.
On May 15, 1931, a group of 100 bandits under Ortez attacked Palacaguina using machine guns, rifle and hand grenades, and rifles. The attack lasted for several hours, and many houses were damaged by bombs and rifle fire. Some bandits were dressed in Guardia uniforms with red and black emblems. Two stores were looted to the amount of about $1,000. The Guardia finally succeeded in driving the bandits out, the bandit casualties being estimated at several killed and wounded while the Guardia had no casualties. Guardia patrols went out in pursuit and airplane reconnaissances were made, but without result.
On May 13 Lieutenant Bell (Corporal U. S. Marine Corps) and a Guardia patrol had a contact at Lagartillo. No further details were reported.
On the same date a Guardia patrol under Lieutenant Hutchcroft (Sergeant U. S. Marine Corps) was ambushed by Jose Leon Diaz and eight bandits near El Salto. The patrol drove the bandits from their position and pursued them, regaining contact near Jocotillo. One Guardia was slightly wounded while six bandits are known to have been killed. Captain McQueen (First Lieutenant U. S. Marine Corps) and another patrol heard the firing of Hutchcroft’s contact and proceeded to Jocotillo. They entered a house to get information, and bandits opened fire accompanied by cries of “viva Sandino”. The patrol was surrounded, but drove the bandits from their position. One Guardia was wounded and three bandits are known to have been killed.
On May 15 a Guardia patrol under Lieutenant Kipp (Sergeant U. S. Marine Corps) was in contact with a group under Chavarria at Rio Grande. One bandit was killed, one Krag rifle, one mule, and some ammunition captured; and $250 worth of goods stolen from Palacaguina was recovered. The bandits scattered and it was imr possible to regain contact.[Page 821]
On May 16 a Guardia patrol under Lieutenant Brauer (Second Lieutenant U. S. Marine Corps) was in contact with a group of 12 bandits under Ortez. A bandit camp was destroyed, but there were no known casualties.
On the same date a Guardia patrol under Lieutenant Trosper (Corporal U. S. Marine Corps) had a contact with bandits killing five and destroying a camp. There were no Guardia casualties.
On May 25, 1931, Lieutenant Hamas (Gunnery Sergeant U. S. Marine Corps) and a Guardia patrol had a contact with bandits at La Colema. Two bandits were killed and eight wounded. There were no Guardia casualties.