The Vice Consul at Tela (Stout) to the Secretary of State

No. 62

Sir: I have the honor to report local repercussions from the recognized disturbances on the western frontier and the apparent entry of a third party into this year’s political campaign.

On June 5 a government patrol under Lieutenant Cantarero clashed with irregular forces of Filiberto Díaz Zelaya at Barranca, near the village of Florida in Copán. The next day The President of Honduras declared martial law in the frontier provinces of Copán, Santa Barbara, and Cortes in order to combat the “Revolutionary” activities of Díaz Zelaya. The center of Díaz Zelaya’s activities over the past three months has been about sixty miles from Tela and, although the area governed by Martial Law borders my district on the west, no immediate danger is apparent and the government is taking no active measures locally. However, economic repercussions are noticeable. [Page 713] Business conditions and collections have dropped off about ten per cent and new insurance, even at the prevailing rate of five per cent for fire and two per cent for riots and civil commotion, is not available. There is roughly $273,000 outstanding insurance from American companies.

There is enclosed herewith a document,4 printed in San Pedro Sula and widely distributed in the plantation area, purporting to offer a national labor program for the coming elections. The candidate for President, Manuel Cálix Herrera, is the well known communist who was exiled to the Bay Islands after the January strike in Tela. While there are a number of political units alienated from or but slightly attached to the major political parties, I believe there is little chance that this new organization will be able to gain their loyalty. At the last municipal election, the Labor Party polled 82 out of 1366 votes.

Respectfully yours,

Kenneth S. Stout
  1. Not reprinted.