case of Julio
César Rivas, Sandinista pretender
Managua-born Julio César Rivas
charismatic, well connected, an eloquent
speaker, a gifted fabulist
Sandinista pretender who used his alleged
connections with Sandino to line his pockets,
live well, meet women, and advance his personal
interests. Tapping into a groundswell of
anti-Yankee sentiment across Latin America,
Rivas both enriched himself and helped to
galvanize pro-Sandinista feelings among popular
and working-class organizations from Chile to
Mexico. It is an intriguingly ambiguous portrait.
(Right: photograph of Julio César
Rivas, from La Provincia, Iquique,
Chile, 8 March 1929, USDS 817.00/6247)
of documents begins with Marine-Guardia
reports on interrogations of Rivas from 21 April
to 15 May 1928. Much of this takes the form of a
long first-person narrative. This is followed by
a report on the interrogation of his young new
wife; and several State Department reports and
newspaper stories on his speaking and
fund-raising tour of South America in March
1929, after which his paper trail ends.
himself, Rivas clearly knew a lot about
the movement and people in it. Much of his
information about Sandinista activists rings
not only "big" names like Froylán
Turcios in Tegucigalpa, Pedro José Zepeda in
Mexico City, and José Idiáquez and Manuel
Guillén in Danlí (Honduras), but also lesser
figures, like Alfonso Irías, the Alcalde of
Jalapa, who in fact was Sandinista (see for
example EDSN-Docs of 28 June and 10 July and 17
July 1927), and others. On the other hand, Rivas
made some absurd claims (for instance, that
Liberal General Francisco Parajón wrote letters
to Sandino via Froylán Turcios in Honduras; or,
that his wife died in the field of battle in
Nicaragua leading the "Women's Battalion";
there was no such battalion; more likely he dumped her for somebody else).
general untrustworthiness, it is likely
that Rivas actually did play a role in
shepherding the US journalist Carleton Beals to
Sandino's camp in January-February 1928
mainly by guiding him partway from José de Jesús
Zamora in San Salvador to Froylán Turcios in
Tegucigalpa. The timing and details sound right. On the other hand, the supposed "treaty" with
Sandino, via Rivas, signed by Mexican President
Plutarco Calles, was doubtless pure fiction.
Rivas was a
spinner of yarns. There is no evidence
that he was ever connected to the rebel movement
in any way, except by collecting money in its
name. Perhaps, early on in the war, he received
an introductory letter from Sandino. If so, that
letter from Sandino became his ticket to a
lucrative career as a peddler of patriotism.
(Though Rivas' description of showing Calles an
official letter of introduction from Sandino
without an official seal smacks of fabrication
Sandino would never send such a letter
making it likely that he made up the whole
thing.) Above all, Rivas was a
a man who knew how to
talk to people and gain their confidence &
trust, to remember their names & faces, to read
an audience, to tell a good story, to make his
living by his tongue & his
jail soon after these interrogations,
he traveled through in Colombia, Chile, and
elsewhere in South America, falsely presenting
himself as a Sandinista general, and collecting
money & material aid that doubtless ended up
in his pocket
like the thousands of pesos &
dollars he said he collected in early 1928. His
case would seem to merit further study.
also provide a fascinating glimpse into
the political complexities of Central America,
the Caribbean, Mexico & South America in the
late 1920s, and the extent of popular sympathy
that Sandino's rebellion garnered among
political organizations & working people
across the region.
Secret & Confidential B-2
STATEMENT OF JULIO CESAR RIVAS, GIVEN the 21st.
Former Agent of Sandino and now in the
National Penitentiary in Managua, Nicaragua
Sandino's correspondents: HONDURAS: Froilan
Turcios; SAN SALVADOR, Dr. José de Jesús Zamora;
SONSONATE, Dr. Ramon Quesada; SANTA ANA, Alberto
Garcia, merchant; TAPACHULA, CHIAPAS, José
Calderón, Proprietor of Power house; CORDOBA,
VERACRUZ, Francisco de la Llave, President of
the Federation of Laborers; MEXICO (the
Capital), Dr. Pedro José Zepeda, Carlos León,
José Allen y Capitán, Leopoldo Carotti, Italian
owner of vessels. In Honduras, Serapio Hernández
y Hernández, Consul of Colombia, also buys
ammunition which is sent to Sandino.
Rivas made four trips to Mexico, the first trip
being on his own account. He arrived there from
Cuba with the intention of knowing the country.
He made the second trip at the suggestion of
Froilán Turcios, who only gave him $25.00 and a
"plancha" (metal plate) with which he might
secure funds from all the Masonic Lodges, as his
was a patriotic mission. All the Lodges
responded; once in Mexico, he was taken by Dr.
Zepeda to General Alvarez, Calles' Chief of
Staff, who took him in his own car during the
night to the Castillo de Chapultepec (Mexico's
White House) where he had a conference with
Calles. The latter distrusted him, and told him
so, whereby Rivas got frighten[ed], for he had
seen more than 120 Mexican Generals, officers
and soldiers shot.
Turcios gave him 76 letters, which he delivered
to the addresses; he returned 17 days after.
On his third trip he was invested with power by
Sandino, his credentials were delivered to him
by Turcios. Sandino is a Mason, 18 degrees, and
is helped by all the Central American and
Mexican Lodges, with the exception of the
Managua Lodge, where they have very good people,
although some of the masons write to Sandino
informing him of all that goes on in the
interior; but he requests that he should not be
required to denounce the local Masons, as he has
been helped a great deal by them.
On his third trip he received 240 letters from
Turcios, to be distributed on the way and in
Mexico. Calles received him very cordially, and
gave him $5,000.00 Mexican Silver, 6 letters and
half a dozen good shirts as a present to
Sandino. General Alvarez gave him an electric
lamp (Flashlight) for Sandino, and Zepeda gave
him some medicines (medical supplies). Besides,
he receive[d] 316 letters from the various
Lodges of Mexico and El Salvador; and $9,600.00
Mexican silver from don Francisco de la Llave;
$435.00 in gold and a letter from Guillermo Q.
Quesada, Grand Master in Veracruz; $300.00 in
gold and another letter from the Costarrican
Consul, whose name he has forgotten. He gave
receipts for all this money. In Puerto Mexico
the Logia Egipto gave him $200.00 in gold; in
Tapachula he received $3,200.00 in silver; in
San Salvador $600.00 gold. He turned all this to
Turcios; everything but the shirts and the
flashlight which his wife brought herself.
On his fourth trip he received money from the
Union Antilliana, the initials of which form the
following name: UXALIA. The President of that
society is señor Carlos Leon, whom it is said is
the leader of the Venezuelan revolution, which
expects help from Mexico.
Calles celebrated a Treaty ad referendum with
Rivas, as a representative from Sandino, the
principal clauses of which stipulate the
Mexico agrees to furnish Sandino 1,000,000
rounds of ammunition by lots so that he can
maintain himself fighting until there is not an
American left in Nicaragua. When these (the
Americans) leave, he (Sandino) will be furnished
5,000 armed men, 5,000 rifles, Machine guns, 10
airplanes, 5,000,000 rounds of ammunition, a
battery of guns manned by engineers, and
10,000,000 Mexican pesos, in silver; once he is
victorious, Mexico agrees to keep him in power.
Sandino agrees not to quit fighting until he has
completely driven the Americans out, not to
acknowledge the Chamorro-Bryan Treaty, to sell
Nicaraguan Canal stocks to all the Nations
except the United States, and to reserve up to
$15,000,000.00 worth of canal stocks for Mexico,
not to acknowledge the Moncada-Stimson
agreement, and to accept Mexican supervision.
This treaty was legalized by a Notary by the
name of Medardo Luna y Luarque and never got
into Sandino's hands, as neither did the last
correspondence, because he was compelled to
destroy it and throw it in the water on Fonseca
Bay when he was captured. His wife was bringing
it and destroyed it to prevent their taking it.
His first trip he made as a road guide from
Tegucigalpa to Cifuentes, which lies on the
border. He was guiding the following persons:
Anastacio Luna, Mario Robles and Manuel
Echevarria, all Mexicans, and Calixto Garcia, a
Hondureñan; Echevarria is now Sandino's Second
Chief. At Cifuentes, Sebastian Hernandez (a) el
Cubano, together with Alfonso Irias, Alcalde of
Jalapa, took charge of the men.
Those in charge of transporting the ammunition
from Tegucigalpa are the following persons:
Manuel Perez, as far as Danli; Manuel Guillen as
far as Cifuentes; Jose Idiaquez receives them
there and delivers them to Irias in Jalapa.
Sometimes the ammunition is taken right out of
the San Francisco barracks in Tegucigalpa, late
General Alvarez sends (ships) ammunition from
Mexico in Captain Carotti's launch La Veloz,
which enters the Gulf of Fonseca and into the
Hacienda El Flor, which is between El Tempisque
Francisco Martinez Funes buys ammunition in
Honduras, and Calles promised to send 10 Machine
Guns on his last trip to Mexico, but does not
know whether they have been sent.
Sandino is well informed of what goes on in the
interior of Nicaragua, and particularly (what
goes on) in Managua. The correspondence is
carried by some man to Tempisque, and delivers
it to a man they call El Chele Amaya, or to
another they call Damas, who has a launch. They
take it to Ampala and from there it is sent by
mail to Tegucigalpa addressed to Dr. Aspuru
España, to Serapio Hernandez y Hernandez and to
Juan B. Moncada. Dr. German Castillo is one of
those who write very frequently.
Sandino received $2,000 gold in three shipments
and some printed loose leaf literature, from
Note: Rivas tells that he did not see the Treaty
in Mexico, but while on the way, as he tore the
envelope, which was made of cloth and sealed
with wax. Once he read it, he put it in another
cloth envelope he obtained in Guatemala, and
sealed it with wax, using a Mexican coin as a
He also tells, that Jose Maria Zelaya, the
Alcalde, has made use of his wife, promising her
her freedom, and that other friend[s] of Zelaya
have done it also, that being the reason why he
is disappointed with the Liberals. That in order
to abuse his wife they secured the complicity of
some liberal Guardias, who allowed his wife to
leave the jail at night.
He weeps a great deal and appears to be very
nervous; and shows some Masonic documents which
proves him to be a Master in the Orient (Lodge)
TESTIMONY OF THE 23rd. APRIL.
Santos Sequeira also carries correspondence from
Tegucigalpa to Sandino.
The newspaper man Beal was sent by Dr. J. Jesus
Zamora and joined him in San Salvador, to be
conducted to Tegucigalpa. He turned over to Beal
138 of the letter[s] he was carrying from
Mexico, and he made a package of them which he
sealed with wax and an American coin and labeled
them "To the American Minister". The letters
were delivered to the addresses.
On his last (fourth) trip he deliver[ed] to
General Horacio Portocarrero a communication
from Calles, in which he was informed that he
(Calles) would send 2,500 men through Cabo
Falso, Honduras, in February 1929, when the
American[s] leave after the elections. These
people will be placed at the order of General
Portocarrero himself, and of Generals Julian
Irias and Hipolito Retes, Hondurenean. Toribio
Tijerino would supervise this also.
According to what Dr. Zepeda told him, another
contingent of 2,500 men under the command of
Rivas and General Sobalvarro will arrive through
the Gulf of Fonseca.
Vicente Mejia Colindres [Liberal political
leader in Honduras] received a communication in
which the American Minister informed him that on
account of his having written a virulent article
against the United States in 1911, he would not
be recognized by the American Government in case
he should be victorious in the elections. For
that reason he made a trip to San Pedro Sula and
with Dr. Jacinto A. Meza decided to reorganize
the Hondurenean Liberal party, and to send a
communication to Sandino offering his help and
support in consideration of Sandino's
reciprocity. Sandino accepted.
Among Sandino's friends in Granada there [is] a
man by the name of Torres, probably Valeriano.
Among those that write to him more often,
besides Dr. German Castillo, there are Juan
Ramon Aviles [publisher of La Noticia, Managua],
Augusto J. Caldera, Anastasio Somoza, Francisco
Parajon, Jose Maria and Francisco Zelaya and J.
D. Arróliga. He observed that most of the
letters are encouraging letters and informing
him that he must keep on without weakening. Few
of them give any details.
In Puerto Mexico, Colonel Juan P. Perdomo is
Sandino's supplier of provisions.
The CROM (Mexican Regional Federation of
Laborers) the President of which is Payan Ocaña,
helps Sandino with ¢ 25 a month contributed by
every member of the organization. The other
Labor organizations of Mexico contribute with ¢
10 cents from each member. Rivas did not carry
In San Salvador, when Rivas passed through
there, they had 15 cases of Springfield
ammunition, but they were not decided as to
whether they would send it to Sandino with Solon
Lacayo or whether they would give them to Dr.
Clauses of the Treaty project which he
remembers: 25% of the canal laborers will be
Mexicans; 25% will be Japanese once the canal is
finish[ed] each laborers is to receive 50
Hectares on the bank of the canal the Mexicans,
and the Japanese in the hills.
Mexico will replace any airship lost by Sandino
2d Brigade of Marines
HEADQUARTERS SECOND BRIGADE
27 April, 1928
My Dear Minister:
In reference to my letter of 24 April, the
following additional information is respectfully
This information was secured from Cesar Rivas, a
Sandino courier who was captured. List of
Sandino's correspondents in Honduras: Sarapio
Hernandez y Hernandez, Consul of Columbia is
said to be buying ammunition which is being sent
to Sandino. Froylan Turcios frequently gives
letters to agents for delivery to Sandino. Money
has been frequently turned over to Turcios which
had been collected from Masonic Lodges for
Sandino. Rivas says he made a trip from
Tegucigalpa to Cifuentes which lies near the
border. Among others, he was guiding Calixto
Garcia of Honduras. Those in charge of
transporting ammunition from Tegucigalpa are:
Manuel Perez of Danli; Manuel Guillen to
Cifuentes and Jose Idiaguez [Idiaquez] from
there to Jalapa. Sometimes the ammunition is
taken right out of San Francisco barracks late
General Alvarez sends ammunition from Mexico
which enters the Gulf of Fonseca and into the
Hacienda La Flor, which is between El Tempisque
and Ampala. It has been taken in via Captain
Carotti's launch La Veloz.
Francisco Martinez Funes buys ammunition in
Additional names of correspondents:
A man called El Chile Amaya
" " " Damas
Dr. Aspirion Espana
Juan B. Moncada and
Dr. German Castillo
It is requested that this information, or such
parts as you deem advisable, be communicated to
Mr. Maloney in connection with the mission
With assurances of my highest regards, believe
me, I am,
Very sincerely yours,
Brigadier General, U.S. Marine Corps
Commanding Second Brigade
Honorable George T. Summerlin
Minister of the United States to Honduras.
SWORN DECLARATION MADE BY JULIO CESAR RIVAS
Wednesday, 2 May, 1928
1. How old are you?
2. Where were you born?
3. What did you do in the last revolution?
A. I was not in the country at the time, I was
living in Cuba.
4. As near as possible state when you first met
A. I do not know him at all, even at the present
time, but I have served him quite a bit.
5. Through whose influences were you brought
into the services of Sandino?
A. By the influences of Froilan Turcios, the
6. When did you leave Cuba for Central America?
(See appendix #1).
A. I arrived in Bluefields just about the time
when the Stimson-Moncada agreement was being
7. When you arrived in Bluefields, with whom
were you in sympathy at that time, with Moncada,
the Liberal cause, or what?
A. With Dr. Sacasa -- the Liberals.
8. Where you brought to Nicaragua by Sacasa?
A. No, I came to serve Sacasa voluntarily.
9. How long have you known him?
A. That was the first time I saw him.
10. Have you seen him since?
A. I saw Dr. Sacasa in Guatemala on one of my
trips to Mexico.
11. What trip was that?
A. I think it was the first one that I had been
sent by Sandino. I had made another trip before
on my own accord.
12. When was this first trip made when you were
sent by Sandino?
A. You can figure for yourself, when I came to
Bluefields and met Sacasa, as I have stated
before, the Moncada-Stimson affairs were going
on and I didn't have time to do anything.
Immediately after that I got a job as a con- /
p. 2 / ductor for a railroad which lasted a
month or twenty days. (See appendix #2) Then for
a month or more I took a job as a timekeeper at
the farm "El Boom" and then with the little
money that I had saved I immediately after that
made my first trip to Honduras and worked my way
up to Mexico. (See appendix #3)
13. Was your Señora with you from the time you
left Cuba and all of this time?
A. No, she was remaining in San Miguel,
14. How long were you in Cuba?
A. Seven years.
15. All this time she was in Salvador?
A. This wife was a brand new one, I was formerly
married in Cuba. My former wife is now in Cuba,
and she has three children.
16. How many trips did you make to Mexico?
17. Were these trips all made over the same
18. Describe the route of the first trip?
A. When I left Nicaragua and went to Honduras I
devoted myself to dictating conferences on
spiritualism. (See appendixes #4,5,6,7 and 8) In
that way I got a lot of money and then I went to
Guatemala to live on the Public by dictating
conferences on spiritualism also, and finally
the authorities put me in jail and later gave me
eight days to leave the country. Then I went to
Mexico. I always found some way to make money
and then after the people found out I was a
Nicaraguan the asked me about Sandino and his
exploits against the Americans, and then I told
them things about Sandino and in this way I made
them believe that I was a messenger of Sandino
going to see Calles. Different Masonic lodges
helped me with money, and they gave me a
recommendation to other lodges in the country.
19. How long were you in Mexico this time?
A. I only remained there twenty-two days but I
picked up a lot of money during my stay there
and also received about 228 letters to bring
back to Sandino which I turned over to Froilan
20. Describe your trip back.
A. During this stay of twenty-two days in
Mexico, besides getting a lot of letters from
different Masonic lodges I also got letters from
General Alvarez, the Chief of Staff of the
Mexican Army. I also got letters from Dr.
Zepeda, a Nicaraguan, who is a sort of advisor
to President Calles, and also one from Dr.
Carlos León, who is the President of the Union
Antilliana. / p. 3 / Together with these letters
I covered many of the Mexican provinces and
finally crossed the border to Guatemala. In
Guatemala I spent two days during which time I
kept myself locked up in the hotel as I was
afraid that the authorities would get wise about
my being there, and on the second day I took an
automobile to Salvador. In Salvador I arrived in
a town named Santa Ana and there I went to the
masonic lodge and stated I was bringing letters
to Sandino and that I was out of money so they
gave me 100 colones, then from there I went to
Sonsonate. There I received a bunch of letters
also to take down to Sandino, (See appendices
#17-19) and they also took me to the manager (a
Britisher) of some railroad to see about
obtaining transportation for him. The manager
was very glad to hear that I was bringing
letters from Calles to Sandino. The manager
asked if Calles wouldn't send the Sanvadorans in
a bunch of eggs (meaning testicles). This caused
quite a bit of laughter and jesting. Then I
proceeded to San Salvador, the capital, and with
the letters of recommendation I had obtained in
Sonsonate I presented myself to the editor of
the "Diario Latino", don Miguel Pinto, and he
gave me 50 colones. I then went to the masonic
lodge and they gave me 100 colones. Also Dr.
Ramon Quesada of Sonsonate gave me letters for
Sandino. In San Salvador Dr. J. J. Zamora gave
me letters for Sandino. From San Salvador I
proceeded to La Union where I met my present
wife. I got a letter in San Salvador from H.
Portocarrero for Froylan Turcios. In La Union we
both took the gasoline boat but my wife had the
correspondence in her bosom, where I put it
myself. I must mention here I told her to be as
late as possible so as not to be inspected and
so about the time the boat was leaving she
hurried out and therefore was not inspected. We
arrived at Ampala but didn't land and kept going
to San Lorenzo where we landed and took an
automobile to Tegucigalpa. When we arrived in
Tegucigalpa we went to the hotel Nuila. The next
day I went to see Froylan Turcios and delivered
all the letters that I was bringing to Sandino.
Immediately after that my wife was taken sick
and she went to the hospital where she spent
twenty-two days. After that I went to live at
the hotel Union which is owned by a Nicaraguan.
21. How did you register, in your own name?
A. Yes, I always went under my own name.
22. What time was this, do you have any idea?
A. It must have been in the month of December,
23. Then what did you do?
A. And while my wife was in the hospital I
received answers from the letters sent to
Sandino and also a letter from Sandino addressed
to me thanking me for my services and a letter
to Calles in which I was introduced as Sandino's
representative which was not sealed and by which
letter I was darned near shot by Calles who
distrusted me. Sandino's signature was worth a
lot of money in all of the Republics of Central
America. Everywhere I showed that signature I
was to get free transportation everywhere. After
my wife came out of the hospital I took her to
the hotel Union and there we spent two days
(Starting the Second trip.) / p. 4 /
After which we started back to La Union, my wife
carrying all the correspondence in her bosom.
She stayed at La Union and I went north again. I
left Tegucigalpa, the masonic lodge helped me
giving me money and through the masonic lodge I
got transportation in a government truck going
to San Lorenzo, my wife carrying all the
correspondence and Sandino's letter showing me
as his representative before Calles. After I got
to La Union I left my wife there and proceeded
to San Salvador. There in San Salvador I
delivered a letter of representation to Dr. J.
J. Zamora. I then passed through Sonsonate and
there I presented another letter of
representation to Dr. Ramon Quejada and then I
passed through Santa Ana and delivered a letter
of representation to Alberto Garcia the
proprietor of the Hotel Internacional. All these
people to whom I presented the letters of
representation were supposed to gather money for
me at the time when I returned. From Santa Ana I
went right on through to Mexico and stopped at
Tapachula. There I delivered a letter of
representation to don Manuel Calderon, a
Spaniard, the owner of the power house and also
President of the Masonic Lodge, and got some
help. From there I passed on to Vera Cruz and
went to deliver a letter of representation to
Guillermo Q. Carballo, grand master of the
masonic lodge, from whom I obtained some help.
From Vera Cruz I passed on to Cordova, and in
Cordova I saw Francisco de la Llava who is the
President of the Prom [CROM], and he also helped
me. All this money I got was for myself to carry
out this trip, but when I returned I was to get
money from all those people for Sandino. From
there I passed to Mexico City and went to live
at #90 Guatemala Street, under my own name. I
never changed my name.
(Thursday, 3 May, 1928.)
On my way to Mexico City I had to make a change
at the railroad junction Santa Inoricia. There I
met a woman who accompanied me to Mexico City,
her name is Margarita Tinajura. Her husband had
been a Sergeant in the Army and had been shot.
She was trying to get transportation to Mexico
City and I paid it, and she stayed with me all
the time I was there. She now lives in the town
of Pachuca, which is in the federal district of
24. Give us a description of this woman.
A. She is about 23 years old, medium height, and
as far as her build is concerned she is really
handsome but she has a very homely face. She has
a Japanese slant to her eyes. She is from the
town of Dolnom. If she is well paid and she is
approached saying that she is sent for by me she
will come and give information. She is an indian
The next day after I arrived in Mexico City I
went to see Dr. Pedro J. Zepeda. I did not have
any letter of representation to Dr. Zepeda but I
had my letter given me by Sandino. Dr. Zepeda
then took me in his car to see General Alvarez,
Chief of Staff of the Mexican Army. General
Alvarez made an appointment with me for 8
o'clock that same night. After that (about 4
o'clock in the morning) I was taken to Dr.
Carlos Leon, the President of the U.S.A.Y.A. or
the Venezuelan revolution. Dr. Carlos Leon tried
to induce me to join his activities, the
Venezuelan revolution, but Dr. Zepeda advised me
not the join that union because they were not
going to get any aid from the Mexican
government. At 7 o'clock that same evening I
went to Dr. Zepeda's house to wait until the
hour of the appointment with General Alvarez. At
eight o'clock I was taken to General Alvarez's
house by Zepeda himself in his car. After we
arrived at his house we waited until the General
finished his dinner and then the General took me
out for a ride in his car, Dr. / p. 5 / Zepeda
following us in his car. During this ride we
talked on the events here in Nicaragua. We
finally ended the ride at the Castillo
Chapultepec. There General Alvarez and Dr.
Zepeda took me in to meet the President. With
the President we talked things over about the
events here in Nicaragua. I had been instructed
to tell the President that there were about
14,000 marines in Nicaragua and that they were
about to declare a protectorate here in
Nicaragua for a hundred years, and information
of that kind. All this while the President
(Calles) appeared as though he couldn't trust me
very much. Then I showed him my letter of
representation sent by Sandino but this letter
didn't have Sandino's seal so, although the
President didn't say so it could be seen that he
suspected me of being a spy or hoax. We did not
do anything that night. When we got out Dr.
Zepeda told me also of the apparent suspicion of
the President so I got cold feet for in those
days President Calles ordered a lot of officers
and some service men shot for political reasons.
The next day President Calles sent word to me
instructing me to call at the President's palace
and bring my letter of introduction. I did just
as I was told and left the letter with the
President. Then Dr. Zepeda told me that the
President wanted to keep that letter so that he
could compare it with any other letter that I
might bring in the future to see that they were
identical. As I was afraid of the President or
what he might do I devoted myself to trying to
get help from masonic lodges so as to get out of
the country as soon as possible. After my
interview with President Calles and my fear of
the suspicions of the President I decided to get
as much help as possible from the masonic lodges
so as to enable me to leave the country. It
happened that there were two different kinds of
masonic lodges in Mexico. I first went to the La
Grande Logia del Valle de Mexico. At this lodge
it was told me that as they had an American
Chapter they could not allow me to discuss the
Nicaraguan affairs, the activities of Sandino,
nor to talk against the Americans and therefore
the lodge itself could not help me but Master
Mason Dr. Payan O. Caña of that same lodge and
who also was the President of the Mexican Prom
[CROM], told me that he was going to recommend
to the Mexican Federation of Labor that each
member contribute 10¢ each month to Sandino's
cause. Incidentally each member agreed to
contribute 25¢ instead of 10¢ . I also was
presented to the other masonic brotherhood La
Grande Logia Anagua. From this lodge I obtained
considerable help and money to leave the country
as soon as possible. (See appendix #9 and 10) I
was informed by this lodge that on my second
trip to Mexico they would have sufficient money
collected for Sandino. I then left Mexico City
accompanied by a Costa Rican by the name of
Mario Robles Salazar who had heard one of my
conferences on Sandino at one of the lodges and
who had decided to accompany me to join Sandino.
I left Mexico and went right through Guatemala
and stopped at San Salvador. I left my companion
Mario Robles Salazar here mixed up with some
woman and after picking up some correspondence
for Sandino proceeded to La Union. There I
picked up my wife and took her along with me to
Honduras. My wife carried all the correspondence
in her bosom to Honduras. We then went to
Tegucigalpa and I left my wife at the hotel and
went to deliver all the correspondence I had to
Froylan Turcios. In the meantime my traveling
companion Mario Robles Salazar, who had followed
me to Tegucigalpa and met me there, the day
after my arrival went with me and I turned him
over to Manuel Guillen who is the agent who
takes the correspondence from Tegucigalpa to
Sandino, and he no doubt guided my companion to
25. What happened to this other woman while you
were doing all these things?
A. I only stayed a few days in Mexico but this
woman stayed with me all the time I was there,
and I left her there when I started on my return
/ p. 6 / trip. She did not do any running around
with me but she knows all about my affairs.
26. How many letters did you bring back with you
on your second trip?
A. About 194 which were turned over to Froylan
Turcios in Tegucigalpa. I only stayed in
Tegucigalpa two days this time and in the
meantime I saw Froylan Turcios, told him of the
trouble in Mexico City and of the suspicions of
President Calles, as by this time Turcios
already had signed and sealed blank appointments
from Sandino. He prepared one for me (Rivas) and
also one for Dr. Zepeda in Mexico City which was
to be taken to him by me on my third trip and I
received instructions to leave immediately on my
third trip without waiting for the replies to
the correspondence brought to Sandino. On this
third trip I was to collect all the money from
the people for Sandino. I took my wife along
with me and left her at La Union. From there I
traveled right through to Mexico and made my
first stop at Tayachula, Mexico. There I
obtained a little financial help to continue my
trip. From there I continued to Cordova where I
stopped to sleep for the night. The next day I
went directly to Mexico City. In Mexico City I
went to see Dr. Zepeda, delivered Dr. Zepeda's
appointment as Sandino's Agent, and got
instructions from Zepeda to start collecting all
the money which I was promised for Sandino.
Immediately I went to see Dr. Payan Ocaña,
President of the Mexican Prom [CROM], to collect
the money he had promised me. He gave me about
4,000 pesos, Mexican. I went to see the
President of the U.S.A.Y.A., Dr. Carlos Leon,
and got about 1,000 pesos. The Great Anagua
Lodge gave me 1600 Mexican pesos. Altogether I
got about 9,000 Mexican pesos in Mexico City. I
then received instructions from Dr. Zepeda to
return to Tegucigalpa as soon as possible. I
then immediately proceeded to Cordova where I
made my first stop on my return trip. In Cordova
I went to see Don Francisco de la Llava, the
President of the Prom [CROM] there. He turned
over to me about 4,500 Mexican pesos,
contributed by members of the Mexican Prom
[CROM]. Then I proceeded to Vera Cruz, Mexico,
where I made my next stop. The masonic lodge
gave me about $500.00. (See appendixes #11 and
12) From Vera Cruz I went to Rincon Antonio and
there I got $90.00 from the masons (reference
letter) and a letter from the Masonic Lodge
introducing and recommending me to all other
brotherhoods asking them to help me continue my
trips. (See appendix #13) I then proceeded to
Tapachula and the Guatemalan border, and there
the Masons gave me 400 dollars. From there I
went all the way to Salvador and stopped at
Santa Ana. There I received 50 dollars and I
continued to Sonsonate and I received 100
dollars from the masons. From there I passed to
San Salvador and got $400 there. I do not
remember whether I stopped to pick up my wife or
not. On one trip I remember that I did not stop
to pick her up. From there I proceeded to
Honduras, via: Ampala and San Lorenzo, and
arrived in Tegucigalpa where I turned over all
this money to Froylan Turcios. By instruction of
Turcios I was given $300.00 for my expenses for
the next trip which I was to make immediately. I
carried this money in my brief case which was
never searched. They always searched my suit
cases but not until the fourth trip did they get
suspicious and search my brief case on account
of my going back and forth so much.
(Friday, 4 May, 1928)
I informed Turcios that I was not to delay, by
instructions of Dr. Zepeda, but to return to
Mexico City without making any other stops than
the absolutely necessary ones. (See appendix
#14) I arrived there four or five days after
starting. On this trip I went via the same
route, / p. 7 / through Salvador, Guatemala, and
from there to Mexico. (From Tegucigalpa to San
Lorenzo, Ampala, from there on to La Union. Then
to San Salvador, the Capital of Salvador, and
through Sonsonate and Santa Ana, right through
Guatemala to Tapachula. From there to Cordova
and on to Mexico City.) The day after my arrival
in Mexico City I went to see Dr. Zepeda who
expressed his surprise at my prompt return and
informed that President Calles, after having
seen my sealed and signed credentials was
anxious to see me. He (Dr. Zepeda) immediately
took me to the White House and on the way there
explained to me that they had prepared a treaty,
between Calles and Dr. Zepeda, about what was to
be done, if Sandino was victorious in return for
Mexico's help. (See appendix #15) The treaty was
alright but I was to sign it. We arrived at the
President's house. President Calles received me
very cordially and embraced me, apologizing for
having suspected me on my first visit, but
saying that now everything was alright. Then he
informed me that a treaty had been drawn up and
he wished me to read it over and then sign it.
After I had a few drinks I proceeded to read the
treaty. When President Calles thought that I was
through reading the treaty, he asked me if I
thought it was alright and if I was satisfied
with it. I told him that as far as I was
concerned he thought it was alright and that I
was satisfied but that I had no way of knowing
if General Sandino would be satisfied. Then Dr.
Zepeda put his arms around my shoulders and told
me not to worry about General Sandino, to go
ahead and sign it and that the rest would be
fixed up alright. So I signed it. While I was
signing it General Calles slipped me a check for
5,000 pesos and told me to go and cash it at the
Banco Nacional de Mexico, to buy myself some
appropriate clothes and to attend a reception
which he was giving in honor of the officers
from Japanese boats. I then took a copy of the
treaty and put it inside of a cloth envelope
which President Calles had given me, sealed it
and took it away with me to Dr. Zepeda's office
where I left it until the time of my departure.
That night I attended the reception and while in
the reception President Calles gave me a package
containing six linen shirts requesting me to
deliver them to Sandino and to send them with
his compliments. This package I left at the
palace to be picked up the next morning. The
rest of the night I spent having a good time.
The next morning I called for the package with
the shirts and while at the President's palace,
General Alvarez, Chief of Staff of the Mexican
Army, gave me a flash light and asked me to
deliver it to Sandino. Then after having a good
time the rest of the day and spending
considerable money I left that night with my
packages, considerable correspondence for
Sandino, and the treaty, and via the usual route
proceeded to Tegucigalpa. I made a stop in San
Salvador and when I went to see Dr. J. J. Zamora
he introduced me to Carleton Beal, an American
newspaper man and requested me to take him on to
Honduras, and from there direct him to Sandino's
Camp whom he wanted to visit. I took advantage
of the fact that Beal was going with me to slip
him all the correspondence that I had except the
treaty. This correspondence which consisted of
238 letters, I put in a large envelope which he
sealed with wax, using an American coin. He
wrote on the envelope: "For the American
Minister in Honduras." Before proceeding with my
trip (see appendix) I accompanied Mr. Beal to
the Cable office and there he sent a cable to
"The Nation" magazine in New York, stating that
all collections, and all medical supplies and
cotton gathered were to be remitted to Dr. J. J.
Zamora, President of the Anti-Imperialist
League, in San Salvador, then I went to General
H. Portocarrero. General Portocarrero informed
me that he had received a letter from General
Calles in / p. 8 / which he was instructed to
proceed immediately to Mexico City. General
Calles was going to give him 2,500 men to land
in Nicaragua through Cabo Falso, after the
American troops had left Nicaragua after the
general elections and also informed me that
General H. Reyes and myself were going to land
with 2,500 men thru Cosiguina. But, he informed
me that he was going to start right away to see
about getting these men for he did not think it
was necessary to wait until the Americans left
Nicaragua. Then Carlton Beal and I started on
our trip. We arrived in La Union. I went to
spend the night with my wife and Carleton Beal
went to spend the night at Mr. Weston's who is
the owner of the gasoline boats that travel to
Fonseca. The next day we took the boat to
continue on our trip but as usual my wife
arrived late so after having started they had to
turn back to get her and this time a complete
search as made of all our things. Evidently they
already suspected us. They searched all my
suitcases and they searched my person. The copy
of the treaty I was carrying myself they never
got hold of but they did get hold of a letter
which Sandino had addressed to me expressing his
appreciation for services which I had performed.
This letter they were reading and while doing so
I managed to hide the treaty. Then I snatched
part of the letter away from the inspectors
saying that it was just a woman's letter and I
tore off half of Sandino's signature. They
allowed us to proceed on our trip but when we
arrived at Ampala the authorities there had a
warrant for my arrest. They did not bother my
wife or Carlton Beal. Carlton Beal proceeded to
Tegucigalpa but made me a present of $20.00 when
he left. My wife chose to stay with me. The
Director of Police of Ampala, who is a brother
Mason, vouched for me and requested that I be
allowed to stay at his office. The next day the
authorities of Ampala received orders for my
deportation to Nicaragua. When I heard this news
I was very much afraid for I realized I was not
going to fare very well here in Nicaragua.
Fearing that I was to be captured as soon as I
arrived in Nicaraguan territory I destroyed the
treaty which I still had in my pocket. When we,
my wife and I, arrived at Tempisque no one
molested us and I felt sorry that I had
destroyed the treaty and all other compromising
documents and papers that I had. In Tempisque I
told my wife to return to La Union as that way
she would be saved any trouble that we might
encounter here in Nicaragua, but she refused
insisting that she wanted to come along with me.
We arrived in Chinandega and there we spent the
night at the hotel Capitolio. In the meantime I
had warned my wife that she was to be very
careful what she said lest she should get us
into trouble. Incidentally I must say that she
was always very careful and it was not thru her
that I was captured. We were still carrying the
package of shirts and the flashlights. I must
state here that of the six shirts which General
Calles had given me for Sandino I had given one
to my wife's uncle in La Union and I was wearing
another one myself. The other four were in the
valise with the other affects that were
entrusted to me in Mexico City. We proceeded to
Managua on the train and arrived here
unmolested. In Managua we went to live at the
Hotel Estrella and I devoted myself to obtaining
help from the Masons here who were very kind to
me; helped me a great deal. Immediately I drew a
passport to go to Honduras overland with my
wife. (See appendix 16) I intended to go to
Honduras leave my wife at Choluteca and keep
going to Tegucigalpa from where I would start
again on a trip to Mexico City and get another
copy of the treaty. While in Managua I never
spoke to anyone about my affairs about my
connection with Sandino but one day visiting at
the silversmith shop where I once worked here in
Managua I expressed myself very bitterly against
the Americans and someone who overheard me
denounced me to the American authorities. For
that reason I was appre- / p. 9 / hended about 2
o'clock in the morning in the hotel Estrella and
sent here to the Penitenciaria. My wife was also
apprehended. In the meantime many of Sandino's
correspondents who lived here in this city and
who thought that I was bringing correspondence
to them endeavored to interview me and they
wanted to know where I kept my correspondence,
my papers and documents. I informed them that I
left all my things in the hotel. Upon arriving
at the hotel they found that my wife was also
arrested and that she had taken the valise with
her. They managed to get her out of jail one
night, unknown by the jail authorities, and
tried to get her to tell them where all the
correspondence was. She didn't have the
correspondence but she had the shirts that had
been sent to Sandino, the medical supplies and
also the flashlight. I am inclined to believe
that she turned these things over to them and
that these articles have already been sent to
27. Did Carleton Beal know that about this
treaty which you had with you?
A. No, he didn't know.
28. Did he know about the two thousand some men
that were coming in by Cosiguina, and the 2,500
that were coming in by the other way?
A. He didn't know anything about that because on
the way we only talked about Sandino and his
activities, and I never did tell him any of my
29. Did Carleton Beal show any sympathy for
A. Yes, he had much and he had a camera with
which he intended to take Sandino's picture.
30. Who swore out the warrant for your arrest?
A. It was sworn out in La Union, I think, and
then word sent ahead to have me stopped.
31. Where were you when you destroyed the
A. On the way from Honduras to Nicaragua.
32. How many days were you in Mexico on that
A. About two days, I arrived there at night
time, the next day I went to see Calles and also
went to the reception that evening and on the
following day (the second day I spent in Mexico
City) in the evening I left.
33. How do you explain about these passports,
one dated only fifteen days later than the
other? (see appendix #14 and 16)
A. The trip from Honduras to Mexico can be made
in five days, I spent two days in Mexico, and
then on my return trip to come through and
arrive in Managua I made in eight days.
34. Do you know the name of Sandino's agent in a
place called Estancio?
A. I do not know of any place by that name. / p.
35. Do you know one in the place called Esquapa?
A. I do not know of any agent but I know that
ammunition sent to Sandino stops there and I
have only been there in peace times, but I do
not know of any agent there. (See appendix #20)
36. What assistance does the Parajon outfit give
Sandino in Leon?
A. The only thing I know about Parajon is that
he sends correspondence to Turcios in
Tegucigalpa for Sandino.
37. How do they send this correspondence?
A. All the correspondence from here is taken by
men to Tempisque and there it is turned over to
a man, Chele Amaga, who owns small sailboats who
takes it to Ampala and mails it to Sandino.
38. Where does this boat sail from?
A. Right from Tempisque.
39. Did President Calles sign this treaty that
A. Yes, it was signed by Calles and was sent to
Sandino for consideration.
(Signed) J. C. Rivas.
15 May, 1928.
Subscribed and sworn to before me this date.
JOHN H. PARKER
SWORN DECLARATION MADE BY ADRIANA FLORES DE
Tuesday, 14 May, 1928.
1. What is your name?
A. Adriana Flores de Rivas.
2. How old are you?
A. Twenty-one years.
3. Where were you born?
A. San Salvador, the Capital of El Salvador.
4. Have you ever been in Nicaragua before?
A. No, this is the first time.
5. What is your husband's name?
A. Julio Cesar Rivas.
6. When and where did you first meet him.
A. I met him about the month of May, 1927, in La
7. When you you married to him?
A. Eight or nine months ago, in the month of
8. What was his occupation at this time?
A. I have no idea but he was always traveling.
9. Were you ever in Cuba with him?
A. No. His former wife, the one from whom he is
divorced, lives in Cuba.
10. Where did you and your husband go after you
A. After we were married he continued his
travels leaving me in San Salvador. He promised
that he would take me to visit some of the other
provinces of Central America but he never took
me any further than Honduras. In Tegucigalpa I
was taken sick and afterwards he took me back to
11. Where and with whom did you you stay in La
A. I stayed with my aunt in La Union, but
sometimes I would go to San Salvador where my
12. When did you first go to Mexico with your
A. I don't remember when it was for I was only
there with him one time. He went to the City of
Mexico. We only stayed there about ten days. It
was about three or four months after our
13. Did you go directly to Mexico City or did
you stop at any time along / p. 2 / the road?
A. We went directly making only the necessary
14. Do you inow how many trips your husband made
A. I don't know how many exactly, and I don't
know if he went direct or all of the way on
every trip, but I think it was on the second
trip he undertook that I went with him.
15. How many trips did you make with him to
A. I only made one trip to Tegucigalpa with him.
I do not know how many he made as he always just
left and said he would be back soon never saying
where he was going.
16. Describe this trip giving all the incidents.
A. We went to Ampala where we stopped to have
lunch at the hotel and my husband went to see
the Commandante de Armas. Then we proceeded to
San Lorenzo and there we landed and went to
Tegucigalpa by auto. In Tegucigalpa we went to
live at the Hotel Nuila and after I came out of
the hospital we went to the Hotel Union. I had
spent about 19 days in the hospital.
17. What was the object in your accompanying
your husband on this trip?
A. The purpose I served him was to pass through
the customs house a small package which my
husband gave me and which I carried in my bosom.
I was not searched this first trip but on the
second they even searched where they shouldn't
have searched. The second trip they took all of
my clothes off, there was a girl there who did
this but a Corporal stood by and watched it. On
this trip they found some papers on my husband
but I don't know anything about them.
18. Relate the incidents of your trip from there
A. We were allowed to continue to Ampala where
the customs officers asked who General Julio
Cesar Rivas was and my husband answered that it
was he. Then they told him they had a warrant
for his arrest. He was arrested but I was not
bothered. I stayed with him in Ampala and the
American who had been accompanying my husband
continued on his trip alone, but before leaving
he gave my husband some money, I do not know how
much. The American had a little sealed box or
package which I think was for the American
Minister in Honduras and he seemed to be a
correspondent for the American minister, at
least I imagined he was.
19. What was the American's name?
A. I do not know; my husband introduced him to
me but we did not carry on any conversation
other than what was necessary for the formality
of the introduction.
20. While in Mexico City what did you do?
A. The whole trip took ten days but we were only
in Mexico City about two days. I never went out
with him but stayed at the Hotel. Mexican people
used to come there and see him.
21. What is the name of the hotel? / p. 3 /
A. I don't remember.
22. Were any of these people that came to see
him in uniform?
23. Did he bring anything from Mexico with him?
A. I do not know for he kept everything from me
for fear I would talk.
24. Were you bringing anything from Mexico among
your baggage on your last trip to Honduras?
25. Were there any linen shirts?
A. Yes, four linen shirts.
26. Anything else?
A. Some jars of medicines.
27. Anything else?
A. An electric light.
28. Do you know who these things were for?
29. What did you do with these things?
A. I sold the shirts to the matron, threw the
medicines in the toilet, and sold the flashlight
to the jailer, Pedro Diaz.
30. Tell what happened in Ampala and all the
rest of the way from there to Managua, and up to
the present time?
A. When he was arrested at Ampala he was taken
to the Commandancia de Armas, then I went to see
the Director of Police who is a mason and who
had been introduced to me by my husband on the
return trip from Tegucigalpa to La Union on the
trip that I went there with him. I told the
Director about my husband having been arrested
and kept at the Commandancia de Armas, so as a
brother mason he spoke to the Commandante de
Armas and managed to get permission to keep my
husband at the office of the Director of Police
instead of being locked up at the Commandancia
de Armas. The Commandante de Armas communicated
with the Commandante de Armas in Tegucigalpa
about my husband's case so then the Commandante
de Armas in Tegucigalpa sent instrutcions to
Ampala to have my husband and myself deported to
Nicaragua on the first available transportation.
31. Do you remember if your husband was bringing
any papers when you were being deported?
A. He was only bringing his masons papers and
such things as that. / p. 4 /
32. Do you remember having seen destroying any
papers or documents?
A. I don't remember.
33. Where did you go from there?
A. We landed in Tempisque.
34. Did you stop any time in Tempisque?
A. No, we stayed long enough to secure animals
and left Tempisque at about 5 o'clock in the
afternoon, arriving at Chinandega a little after
7 o'clock in the evening. Our baggage was sent
in the bull cart which makes that regular trip
to and from Chinandega, and it didn't arrive
until the next morning. We arrived in Chinandega
and tried to get a room in the hotel but
couldn't and we went to the small boarding house
by the railroad station. We arrived there
Friday, stayed there Saturday and left for
Managua Sunday morning. We arrived in Managua
and went to live at the Ayala Boarding House but
I didn't like the place so I asked him to get
another place. He tried to get rooms at the
Hotel Lupone but couldn't so we went to live at
the Hotel Estrella. We were here in Managua
about five days before we were arrested. My
husband was arrested about 1:00 a.m. Friday and
I was arrested about 12 noon of the same day.
While we lived at the hotel he used to go out
but I never left. When I was arrested I was
taken to the Minister's and he questioned me
there. I was sent by order of the Minister to
the House of Correction for women. While I was
there I was taken out one night by Francisco
Zelaya and his brother Jose Maria Zelaya, the
Alcalde, and also the Matron accompanied us. I
was taken to the house of Jose Moncada but I
didn't find him at home. The reason we went
there was to see if he wouldn't do anything
about getting me out of jail. There was a
Liberal lady who used to communicate with me
most every day about my case, bringing
communication from the Salvadoran Minister and
other people, but I do not know her name. The
shirts were sold to Zelaya through the Matron
and I received $3.00 for the four shirts.
35. Were you ever in San Miguel?
A. Yes, to see my family there, but never with
him. He has never been here.
Adriana X Flores de Rivas
Manuel M. Salguero
May 15, 1928
Subscribed and sworn to before me this date.
JOHN H. PARKER,
END OF FILE.
Source for the foregoing: RG127/198/1928-Misc
2, 1928. Piles, Colombia, to Sec. State,
POLITICAL RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES.
On July 6th there
arrived at Cartagena one Julio César Rivas, who
declares himself to be a "General" in the
revolutionary forces in Nicaragua and the bearer
of a message from Sandino the Colombian people.
The ostensible purpose his visit to this country
is to conduct Sandino propaganda and to collect
funds which may or may not ultimately reach the
bandit leader. The newspaper interview he had in
Cartagena with was published only in the
MERCURIO of that city was reported by the Vice
Consul in charge in his voluntary report of July
7, 1928. A similar interview from Barranquilla
published in LA NACTION was transmitted to the
Legation by the Consul who likewise sent a copy
to the Department under date of July 14th. A
reprint of part of this interview was published
in EL NUEVO TIEMPO of Bogotá on July 19 and a
copy thereof is transmitted herewith. The
statements of "General" Rivas are so absurd on
their face (such as the killing of 5,000 marines
and the devouring of many by cannibal indians of
Sandino's army) that it is difficult to believe
they will be given much credence even on the
part of the unthinking public. It is understood
that "General" Rivas is on his way to Bogotá and
it remains to be seen what sort of a reception
he will be given here, particularly by a press
which is always on the alert to say something
hostile to the United States. A local Sandinista
committee has been formed in Bogotá "to render
moral and material aid to the Nicaraguan here
and to strengthen the bonds of Latin American
unity." This committee likewise claims that Luís
Cano, owner and editor of EL ESPECTADOR, and
Sanín Cano, prominent editorial writer for EL
TIEMPO, have joined the ranks of Sandino's
Colombian supporters. The / p. 2 / The Legation
cannot, however, vouch for the accuracy of this
claim. The press likewise reports that a group
of young Colombians in Medellín are organizing
themselves as volunteers for Sandino's army and
only await the necessary funds for
transportation to the Central American republic.
Their enthusiasm will, of course, soon subside
and it is extremely doubtful whether they will
even get as far as the Colombian coast on their
The aforementioned newspaper articles
particularly "General" Rivas' reference to the
cowardice of the marines have aroused the hasty
anger of some of the more excitable and less
sound-thinking members of the American colony,
who seemed to feel that the Legation should take
some action in the premises; they made, however,
no constructive suggestions as to what they felt
should be done, and this opinion was not shared
by the more solid and experienced members of the
colony. There is enclosed in this
connection a copy of a letter written by Sandino
to one Froilán Turcios, in which he expresses,
among other things, confidence in his ability to
drive our forces from his country. ....
22, 1928. W. E. Cook, American Minister,
Caracas, Venezuela, to Sec. State, Washington,
Venezuela, August 22, 1928.
Secretary of State, Washington.
I have the honor to transmit herewith the
translation of a news item taken from the
Caracas newspaper EL HERALDO of August 21, 1928.
This item, which was evidently received by mail
from Barranquilla, Colombia, reports an alleged
interview with General Julio César Rivas, an
emissary from Sandino in Colombia.
The Department will note that General Rivas is
reported to have said that Sandino had also sent
a "mission" to Ecuador and Cuba.
I have the honor to be, Sir,
Your obedient servant,
/s/ Willis S. Cook, American Minister
Enclosure No. 1
Despatch No. 1669
article from EL HERALDO of August 21, 1928.
THE WAR IN
Barranquilla, August 5th. The Nicaraguan
General Julio César Rivas, a friend of General
Sandino's who has been entrusted by the latter
to collect funds in Colombia with which to
continue his national campaign, states that in
the Sandinista ranks forty Colombians are
fighting, among whom General Federico Paredes,
who commands the "Colombia" battalion.
He states that Sandino has likewise despatched a
similar mission to Ecuador, entrusted to General
Manuel Girón, "a brave rebel who was the first
to bring down an American enemy airplane", and
another mission to Cuba, consisting of General
Quesada and Colonel Landaverde.
General Rivas says that Sandino has 2,000 men
who have sufficient morale to fight for their
country, and who are equipped with war material
which has been taken from the enemy.
He adds that the principal arm upon which
Sandino's troops are counting are dynamite bombs
filled with pieces of iron and encased in
Questioned regarding information as to the
Women's battalion he said that this battalion
has taken part in various encounters with Yankee
troops and has behaved heroically; and he
mentioned the fact that it had been commanded by
his own wife Señora Adriana Flores, who died on
the battlefield in one of the last engagements.
It is at present under the command of Señorita
Margarita Araos [Arauz], the wife of General
Sandino, and he adds that this women's battalion
is fighting bravely and facing the same dangers
as the other soldiers.
14, 1929. R. R. Bradford, American Consul,
Iquique, Chile, "Activities of 'General' Rivas
of Nicaragua," USDS 817.00/6247 (3 pp.
General Julio Cesar Rivas, de las Huestes de
Sandino, Habla a "La Provincia" al Llegar a
Iquique, Chile, March 8, 1929.
2. Miguel Angel (pseud.), "Rivas,"
La Provincia, Iquique, Chile, March
3. Augusto San Miguel (Chileno),
"Anecdotas de Sandino, el Condor Latino",
La Provincia, Iquique, Chile, March 13,
4. "El general nicaragüense Julio
César Rivas, dictará esta noche su anunciada
conferencia en el Teatro Municipal",
Provincia, Iquique, Chile, March 13,
1929, and "Sobre la ocupación militar
norteamericana en Nicaragua y la
personalidad de General Sandino",
Tarapacá, Iquique, Chile, March 13,
10, 1929. Munro, Div. of Latin Am.
Affairs, to White, Asst. Sec. State, USDS
Cesar Rivas was arrested in Nicaragua last year
on suspicion of acting as a Sandino courier, but
was subsequently released because it appeared
that his activities had been confined chiefly to
traveling around Central America and Mexico,
collecting money and obtaining free board as a
representative of Sandino, but in fact doing
very little to help the cause. It did
appear that he had made two trips from
Tegucigalpa to Mexico carrying letters for
Turcios, but he gave up even this work when he
found how easily he could exploit his supposed
connection with Sandino for his own benefit.
There is no reason to suppose that he was ever
with Sandino's forces. He and his wife
both afforded us much amusement of a rather
unedifying nature while they were being held for
1929. T. Horn, U.S. Consul., Antofagasta,
Chile, to Sec State, USDS 817.00/6277.
REPRESENTATIVE OF GENERAL SANDINO.
/s/ Thomas S. Horn
completion: March 25, 1929.
Date of Mailing:
March 29, 1929.
For the past week, an individual calling himself
General Julio Cesar Rivas, and claiming to be a
Nicaraguan and the representative of General
Augusto Calderon Sandino, has been visiting
In an interview with a reporter of "El Mercurio",
a short time after his arrival, he mentioned
that his mission was to tell the friendly
nations of South America the truth of the
Nicaraguan situation. He mentioned having
made addresses in Arica and Iquique.
Among the statements he is reported to have made
is one to the effect that 40,000 American troops
are in Nicaragua, / p. 2
/ Nicaragua, opposing 2,000 troops
of Sandino. He is presumably in possession
of a passport of General Sandino, sending him on
The morning of Sunday, March 24, Rivas gave a
free lecture in the Teatro Nacional, to a group
of about 1,500 persons who filled the
auditorium. The Consul attended, and
particularly noted a tendency on Rivas' part to
stress deaths and injuries to the civil
population of Nicaragua as a result of American
airplane bombing raids over the territory in
which Sandino is operating. He intimated
that American authorities had offered Sandino a
check for $200,000.00 if he would retire from
the conflict; and that the check was promptly
returned. Rivas in the course of his
remarks, said he had been forbidden to speak,
both in Ecuador and in Peru.
After the meeting, an apparently spontaneous
procession of several hundred men, headed by
Rivas, marched through the downtown streets of
Antofagasta, shouting for a free Nicaragua, and
against Americans and American imperialism.
No disorders were reported in connection with
"El Mercurio", the only really influential
newspaper of Antofagasta, contented itself with
a very brief and inconspicuous paragraph this
morning, in referring to the lecture. No
mention was made of the demonstration.
to the Department.
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