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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, 1919

Nicaragua,   pp. 659-677 PDF (5.8 MB)

Page 672

(3) That great conflagrations take place so often and so evi-
dently from arsons that insurance companies have either
refused to carry our insurance or only at the exorbitant
rate of 10%.
Whereas the local Government is clearly unable to give us that
guaranty of life and property which is essential to the continuation
of the vocations and ordinary pursuits of organized society, as is
evidenced by:
(1) The lack of policemen and other peace officers,
(2) The absence of adequate jails in which to confine criminals
and persons accused of crimes,
(3) The fact that officers who would dare arrest and bring to
justice lawless persons, and jurymen who might condemn
such persons, would thereby endanger their own lives
and property through incurring the ill will of the per-
sons condemned.
Whereas we can obtain no assurance from the Government ol
Nicaragua that the lawlessness about us will be speedily terminated,
for the chief officials of the Government admit:
(1) That policemen can be had only by drafting into service,
(2) That they have no funds for repairing jails,
(3) That they have no money wherewith to buy food for pris-
oners; all of which may be true, yet immense sums are
monthly collected from us in taxes and duties, and
Whereas we respect your judgment and believe in the good will
of the United States of America towards all distressed peoples;
Therefore we, the undersigned residents of Bluefields respect-
fully petition you to lay our plight before the Government of the
United States and endeavor to obtain for us, in whatever way may
seem most proper and effective, protection for ourselves and prop-
erty to the end that we may continue to reside here and follow in
peace the pursuit of our legitimate occupations.
We are [etc.]               [Here follows a list of 74 names]
Memorandum of Mr. E. G. Greene of the Division of Latin Ameri-
can Affair8 of the Department of State
[WASHINGTON,] April 26, 1919.
The Nicaraguan Minister called at the Division this morning and
spoke to Mr. Greene . . .

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