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ir28.01.30   B-2 Report, Managua


28.01.30  •  B-2 Report  •  Managua  •  January 22-28, 1928  •  Lt. A. C. Larsen


30 January 1928


From: 0000  22 January 1928
To  : 2400 28 January 1928

MAP: Clifford D. Ham 1924; 1:500,000.


(a) The situation in the northern area shows a slight trend toward improvement. The outlaw leader Sandino having lost his stronghold has scattered his forces throughout the entire department of Nueva Segovia, most especially in that area to the southwest of EL CHIPOTE. Practically all the important highways and principal towns are denied to these groups by Marine patrols, thus, these outlaws are being forced further south and to the west.

(b) Conditions in the southern area have been somewhat unsettled during the past week. In those towns in the more northern section of the southern area conditions are most unsettled; in many incidents the natives have fled because of persistent rumors of the bandits moving to the south.

In the early part of the week a renewal of the Corinto strike was threatened due to the decision rendered by the Ham Committee, investigating living conditions in Corinto. The decision was that the laborers did not rate a fifty percent increase in wages. On the 26th of January the dock workers walked out declaring a renewal of the strike, but upon receipt of the news that workers would be brought from the interior to break the strike, the discontented workers were only too glad to return to their work at the old wage scale.


(a) The local press, divided into two factories, the Conservative and Liberal, continues to reflect the attitude of the respective parties. The Conservatives display an increasing spirit of hostility while the Liberals exhibit an added desire to cooperate with our forces in bringing about peaceful conditions throughout the country, as well as an election conducted in an honest manner, in which each party will receive fair treatment.

(b) The foreign press continues to criticize our Nicaraguan policy in a most unfavorable manner. The below quoted paragraph clearly demonstrates the attitude assumed by the greater share of the Latin-American publications:
The "El Mercurio" says editorially: "The sending of reenforcements of United States Marines to Nicaragua in an epoch of peace and on the eve of the Pan-American Conference in Havana has caused surprise and disillusion-reviving painful memories and provoked anew a feeling of uneasiness throughout Latin-America. A return to the system of intervention necessarily will bring as a consequence loss of confidence in the United States and stimulation of resistance on the part of publie opinion."


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     The Brigade Intelligence Officer upon receipt of sufficiently reliable information caused to be placed under arrest JULIO CESAR RIVAS, a Sandinista. Rivas was arrested by the local police, upon orders of the Minister of the Government, and confined to the penitentiary at Managua. Rivas has been making recent trips throughout Central America as evidenced by his many pass-ports, and which gives his nationality as CUBAN, GUATEMALAN, and NICARAGUAN. Rivas has served in the Cuban Navy and as a Sergeant Major in the Nicaraguan Army, and admits having served in the last revolution with the Liberal Army. He has been traveling throughout Central America presenting papers with forged signatures of General Sandino and collecting funds for the latter's assistance. One of the papers found on Rivas contains a list of names and opposite the names figures, which evidently indicate amounts collected.

     Rivas is quite boastful about his admiration for Sandino and wishing him every success in his efforts. Rivas appears to be a dangerous criminal type and a general bad actor. He had evidently led a soldier of fortune existence in Central America, flocking to any banner where loot and any other revenue may exist.

     An investigation continues unfolding interesting information on the activities of certain individuals having a bearing on Rivas' game.


     At about 2200, on January 28, 1928, the Marine patrol at LA PAZ CENTRO, consisting of Corporal Howey and Private Schornak, was returning from the town to camp, when a native, Juan Andres Espino, jumped from behind a building and grabbed the Corporal from the rear around his arms and shoulders. Cpl. Howey called on Schornak, who was in the lead, for assistance. Schornak turned and not being able to make out whether or not the native was armed, fired and hit the native in the right thigh just below the right hip. All possible medical assistance was rendered, but the man died at about 1630 January 30, 1928, in the Leon Hospital, as a result of the wound inflicted and great loss of blood. A Court of Inquiry has been formed to conduct an investigation into this case.


     The tangled skeins of the Nicaraguan political situation are becoming more and more difficult to follow; the political feud being well fed with acts of hostility mutually retaliated. Of late, a misconstrued version of the Marines attitude is providing each of the conflicting factions with an abundance of electoral propaganda, most detrimental to our position as envoys of peace. Propaganda of this nature, published in newspapers throughout Nicaragua, has a tendency to break down, in the minds of the Nicaraguans, as well as in the minds of a certain group of overly sympathetic Americans, the prestige and integrity that we have built up through our unbiased adherence to fairness in dealings with the natives.

     The LEON LABOR UNION has caused to be imported a group of Latin-American


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agitators, who are not greatly prone to command, but govern or control by appeal to that ever prevalent anti-American spirit, so noticeable in Latin-America. One of these agitators is Dr. Haya de la Torre, who is the founder of the "Intellectual and Manual Workers of Latin-America." Torre has a long record of radical agitation in PERU, his native land, which frequently brought him in conflict with the authorities there. Tranquillino Saens, has made Managua his Headquarters. Their assistants are Dr. Vasconcelos of Mexico City, a Socialist, and Dr. Palacios of Buenos Aires, well schooled in radicalism. These men have been invited to supervise the coming election and it wil be their duty, it is believed, to persuade, largely to appear to personal feeling, all the laborers in Western Nicaragua to strike for higher wages.

(F) MILITARY OPERATIONS:   See attached sheet.


     The president is contemplating appointing a man to serve as a Military Judge to decide on cases such as Julio Cesar Rivas, a bandit suspect.

     A resolution has been presented to the House of Deputies setting aside the sum of two hundred thousand dollars to be used for the payment of a bonus to the man who served in the last civil war. The Senate to date has not taken any action on this bill. (Source): Mr. Louis Rosenthall, Manager of Banco Nacional de Nicaragua and Dr. Dana G. Munro, American Charge d'Affaires.

     It is fairly reliably reported that Emiliano Chamorro has issued instructions to a Conservative General Nogera Gomes, to organise a group in the vicinity of JUIGALPA and foment trouble in the Department of Chontales.


A.C. Larsen,
First Lieutenant, USMC,

Source:  US National Archives, RG127/209/2 and RG127/43A/3.
Many thanks to Lebanon Valley College student researcher Katrina Wells for transcribing this document.