816.00 Revolutions/59: Telegram

The Chargé in El Salvador ( McCafferty ) to the Secretary of State

17. The situation described in my 12, January 23, 10 a.m., remains unchanged. While the threatened attack on the capital last night did not occur, there have been many disturbances in the section from Santa Tecla to Sonsonate. Many assassinations of prominent people have taken place. An Italian citizen was killed and Italian property burned at Juayua. I spoke informally to General Martínez last night regarding the protection of Americans and foreigners and he assured me that the authorities had the situation completely dominated but I have reason to believe that they are running dangerously short of munitions. A body of a few hundred civilians has been armed and is assisting the Government by patrolling the capital at night. A number of local capitalists are now collecting money for the government to purchase arms. There is naturally much pessimism amongst landowners. Yesterday martial law was declared in the entire country.

McCafferty