The Ambassador in Nicaragua (Whelan) to the Department of State 1


116. President Somoza has just informed me that two members National Guard were killed, one wounded today in attempt to assassinate [Page 1379] him. Three truckloads arms and ammunition smuggled from Costa Rica with full knowledge Costa Rican officials especially Colonel Herrera of Civil Guard, the President claimed. Attempt made to ambush him last night on leaving reception my house but he told us then that he had been tipped off and guards ran men away from nearby city water tank. Today, two guardsmen attempted to stop suspicious truck on road to Montelimar but occupants opened fire. A motorcycle policeman joined the fray and he and one guardsman killed and the other guard wounded. Child passing by also killed. Assailants escaped but are believed to be surrounded. Somoza told Colonel Layton there were fourteen men in truck. Colonel Rogers says air force spotted abandoned truck containing ammunition and he learned some men in jeep were arrested in front my residence gate last night.

President told Layton he was declaring martial law. President claims General Chamorro2 back of plot. Chamorro failed appear my reception last night which was unusual, Somoza then commenting on it.

Please inform G–2.

  1. Repeated for information to San José, Tegucigalpa, San Salvador, and Guatemala City.
  2. Presumably Emiliano Chamorro Vargas, President of Nicaragua from 1917 to 1921 and leader of the Conservative Party.