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that Castaneda was not implicated in the revolution and that while he brought his cadets to the revolutionary headquarters he did so under duress and only after two rounds of machine gun shots had been fired at the military school.

It might be thought that the argument could be advanced that the "appointment" of a First Designate was not an "election” in the sense of Article II. The Constitution in fact does appear to make a verbal distinction between the “appointment” of designates by the Congress and the "election" of President and Vice President by popular vote. The Department, however, after thorough consideration, feels that to adopt this argument would be to give sanction to a mere play on words and that there can be no reasonable doubt that the appointment of designates by Congress is in fact an election coming within the purview of the provisions of Article II, and that Castaneda would be debarred from recognition due to the fact that he had held the office of Secretary of the Interior within the 6 months preceding such election.

The Department would be glad to have you, if you perceive no objection, explain the foregoing fully to Martínez and Castaneda, impressing upon them the care with which the Department has examined into the matter and our desire to fulfill scrupulously the obligations incumbent upon us in view of our decision made in 1923 to be guided by the Treaty in our relations with the Central American States. We have no animus against any individual and our fervent hope is that someone may legally assume the presidency of Salvador who can be recognized consistently with the provisions of the 1923 Treaty. There is of course absolutely no personal feeling against Castaneda who, if he resigned now to become eligible for election as designate 6 months later, could apparently then be recognized if the incumbent of the Presidency in the interim-who might be the present third designate or anyone else not debarred by the treaty-should then resign that office.


816.01 Caffery Mission/12: Telegram

The Minister in El Salvador (Curtis) to the Secretary of State

SAN SALVADOR, December 30, 1931—6 p. m.

[Received 9:23 p. m.] 128. From Caffery. Last night I had an informal conference with the youthful leaders of the revolution. I explained to them at length why we could not recognize Martínez. They then expressed a decided preference for Castaneda to succeed him. I explained the difficulties in his case (they are now discussing the names of other officers not

debarred by the treaty as possible candidates). I received the impression that these young officers are sincerely interested in attempting to put an end to the corruption which has hitherto been characteristic of the government and determined to fight the communistic propaganda which has been spreading here during recent years. They emphasized that they put Martínez in the Presidency because it was the only constitutional course to follow. Their attitude was very friendly and they demonstrated an apparent desire to be conciliatory. I told them that the Department of State would be glad to recognize anyone not debarred by the treaty whom the Assembly might designate as First Designate to succeed Martínez. (They implied that it might be easier to persuade Martínez “to deposit power” in the hands of a newly elected First Designate than it would be to force him to resign). During the discussion they brought up tactfully the well known charges regarding the United States forcing its will on the smaller Latin American countries. I explained to them we had not the slightest desire of doing anything of the kind; “we are backing no candidates” (they are aware or conjecture that the various civilian political groups here have been urging me to back their respective candidates). I described in some detail the reasons for the policy of the Department of State in Latin America in general and especially in the present instance.

I have been endeavoring among the public in general to have the idea accepted that the only way out of the existing situation is to have the Assembly designate a new slate of designates (men not debarred by the treaty) and for Martínez then to step aside. I believe that the public are coming to see that there is no other way of solving the problem.

As I have stated before, Martínez' assumption of the Presidency was exceedingly well received by the nation at large and was of course entirely in accord with the Salvadoran Constitution. There is consequently considerable ill feeling against us as a result of our stand against him. Everyone here feels too that the Salvadoran reservations to the 1923 treaty were meant especially to cover a case of this kind and that we are forcing our will on them in spite of that fact; although I am of course doing my best to refute their thesis.

I am in accord with the leaders of the regime that it is not practicable to call an extraordinary session of the Araujo Assembly for even violent measures might not succeed in persuading that body to be reasonable.

With the excited state of public feeling existing here now the only practicable plan is this: In accordance with the constitution elections for Deputies for the new Assembly will be held beginning the second Sunday in January; the new Assembly will meet between the 1st and 15th of February and will designate three new Designates; and Martínez then would step aside and the First Designate would assume the Presidency (Martínez emphasizes his constitutional succession to the Presidency and it is only through pressure from the leaders of the revolution with whom I talked last night that he can be persuaded to step aside in February).

There is nothing more to be done here until the Assembly meets in February and therefore we plan to leave here next Sunday or Monday for Washington unless of course the Department desires otherwise.

I shall have additional recommendations to make upon my arrival at Washington. [Caffery.]




The Secretary of State to the Salvadoran Chargé (Leiva)

WASHINGTON, May 13, 1931. MY DEAR MR. CHARGÉ D'AFFAIRES : I was shocked to learn of the injuries which you suffered last night and I hasten to extend to you an expression of my regret. I assure you that the police will make every effort to apprehend the offenders.

I trust that you will recover promptly and I want you to know that you have my deepest sympathy. I am [etc.]



The Salvadoran Chargé (Leiva) to the Secretary of State


WASHINGTON, May 14, 1931. MR. SECRETARY: I have had the honor to receive Your Excellency's kind note in which you are good enough to show your sympathy in connection with the attack of which I was the victim on the 13th of this month, and express your desire that those guilty of the criminal act-breaking into the Legation and attacking the undersigned with a weapon-may soon be caught and brought to justice.

Permit me, Excellency, to express to you in return my deep gratitude for the note to which I am replying, and the fine courtesy towards myself which inspired it. I beg [etc.]


701.1611/199 The Salvadoran Minister for Foreign Affairs (Castro) to the

Secretary of State 35

[Translation] L. D. No. 730

SAN SALVADOR, May 27, 1931. MR. SECRETARY: I have the honor to write to Your Excellency with reference to the events which occurred in the Legation of El Salvador at Washington during the night of May 13 instant.

It is known to Your Excellency that on that occasion Dr. Carlos Leiva, Chargé d'Affaires ad interim of El Salvador, suffered serious blows, which endangered his life, as a consequence of having taken by surprise a thief who, certainly in association with others, had entered the Legation building with the obvious intention of robbing it. Dr. Leiva resisted the thief and during the struggle received the blows to which I refer and which still keep him in the hospital, where he has already undergone a delicate operation. One of the blows caused the fracture of a comparatively benign character of a bone of the skull.

It is my duty first of all to express to Your Excellency the gratitude of my Government for the delicate manifestations of courtesy which Dr. Leiva received on this unfortunate occasion from His Excellency the President of the United States, Your Excellency and other high officials of the Government, as well as from society in general.

At the same time I cannot help referring to a paragraph of the report presented by Dr. Leiva regarding these events, it being in full agreement with previous information obtained by my Government. The literal tenor of this paragraph is as follows:

“Upon my return from El Salvador I was informed that thieves had entered the

Legation during the night of Holy Wednesday and stolen not only several articles of personal use but also 6 cases of wines, liquors and liqueurs. The door of the room in which these were located had been broken. In order to avoid annoying publicity the police was confidentially notified at the time. Toward the end of April, upon returning to the Legation about 11 o'clock p. m., I found the street door open. I called the police and a search of the house was made with three officers, but no one was found. I gave the police to understand that I was sleeping entirely alone in the building without any kind of weapons,

and asked them to keep watch and accord me personal protection. The police then offered to establish a special guard for the Legation, but notwithstanding this it was invaded by thieves again in the early morning of May 13. After attending a meeting of friends, I returned home at 2 o'clock a. m. I entered without any mistrust and when in the vestibule a man appeared and, confronting me, said: 'Stand still, hands up, while at the same time pointing a 45-caliber pistol at me. I quickly threw myself on the bandit, grasping his right hand in which he held the weapon, and a fierce struggle began. The thief succeeded in firing one shot, but fortunately without hitting me. We rolled on the floor; he struck me heavily on the head with

* Delivered to the Department by the Second Secretary of Legation, June 3,

an electric lantern; I struck him with my right hand and at a certain moment succeeded in biting the fingers of his left hand and seized the electric lantern, with which I in turn dealt him blows on the head. The man was weakening and seemed to me to be fainting. I then took advantage of the moment and hurried out into the street to call for help. Some policemen came about 10 or 15 minutes later. We entered the house. The thief had disappeared, leaving a metal bar such as his craft use with which to break in doors; also

the electric lantern and the frame of a pair of spectacles without glasses. This man was the lookout instructed to watch so that no one would interrupt the task his accomplices were performing in the cellar of the Legation. It is probable that these accomplices fled on hearing the noise of the struggle and the shot. In the garden were found some cases of wines and liquors ready to be taken away; in the cellar others are missing which had been doubtless taken out before."

In the paragraph copied from the report to which I refer it appears evident that the Chargé d'Affaires ad interim of El Salvador applied to the police on two distinct occasions with short intervening intervals and reported the incursions of persons into the Legation for the evident purpose of stealing goods, pointing out the personal danger he incurred owing to the fact that he slept entirely alone in the Legation building. It is to be noted that, owing to the alarm which such occurrences naturally produce and the necessity of acting immediately in order to obtain the requisite protection, the action of Dr. Leiva in applying directly to the police was quite justified. I do not doubt that Your Excellency will appreciate these circumstances and that you will moreover consider that the action of Dr. Leiva should have resulted in adequate protection by the police for both his person and the building of the Salvadoran Diplomatic Mission.

I therefore take the liberty to make the foregoing statement to Your Excellency in the most friendly and courteous spirit, while requesting an investigation of the events to which I refer in order to determine the responsibility of the police for having failed adequately to protect the person of the Salvadoran Chargé d'Affaires and for failing to keep guard near the Legation Building notwithstanding its knowledge of previous incursions of thieves therein. At the same time I venture to hope that the protection to which I refer will be as efficient as possible in future in order to prevent such disagreeable occurrences as those which I find myself called upon to bring to Your Excellency's official knowledge. I reiterate [etc.]


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