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PC27.09.20   kenyon

INVENTORY OF PC-DOCS, THRU 1927

24.02.18 BOURKE
24,03,24 BIRNBAUMER
27.05.19 CHAPPELL
27.06.07 SWANSON
27.06.22 RICHAL
27.07.16 HATFIELD
27.07.20 HATFIELD
27.07.28 HATFIELD
27.08.12 FLOYD
27.08.18 BRUCE
27.09.04 O'SHEA
27.09.05 MCQUADE
27.09.08 CHAPPELL
27.09.20 KENYON
27.09.22 PEARD
27.10.12 O'SHEA
27.10.18 SATTERFIELD
27.11.02 CHAPPELL
27.11.02 GOULD
27.11.06 PEARD
27.11.07 BELLINGER
27.11.10 KEIMLING
27.11.11 BROWN
27.11.12 HARBAUGH
27.11.13 CRUM
27.11.14 DARNELL
27.11.19 WELLS
27.11.20 BELLINGER
27.11.26 KEIMLING
27.12.06 PEARD
27.12.07 BROWN
27.12.11 BROWN
27.12.11 KEIMLING
27.12.11 HARBAUGH
27.12.15 BROWN
27.12.17 CRONMILLER
27.12.18 MARTIN
27.12.19 WELLS
27.12.31 GOULD

27.09.20.   Kenyon, Complete Report of Somotillo Area

P C - D O C S :      P A T R O L   &   C O M B A T    R E P O R T S
thru 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 +

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COMPLETE REPORT OF SOMOTILLO AREA GATHERED FROM PATROLS FROM 10 JULY TO 19 SEPTEMBER, INCLUSIVE

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----- ROADS -----

          The bull cart road to Somotillo via the ferry is passable at all seasons of the year but bulls and carts must be towed across at this crossing of the Estero.  Very little mud injures this road during the wet season.  The fordable crossing about nine miles above this point involves the use of a mud road that is bottomless for nearly twenty miles during the wet season.  This crossing is at the San Juan Ranch.  All other trails and roads east of Somotillo are little affected with rain with the exception of the Mayacunda area.  All west are through spotted areas of short swamp grass, and bad in wet season.  The International bull cart road to Honduras is very good.  This road leads to Choluteca and from there to Tegucigalpa.  The roads to the North and East of Somotillo are trails only with the exception of a very bad bull cart road to Cinco Pinos.  This area north and east is very mountainous, although not shown as such on the map of Mr. Clifford D. Ham.  From the mountains in this area one can see Momotombo and two other active volcanoes near Leon.

 

----- OCCUPATION OF INHABITANTS -----

          The entire area is given to cattle business.  There are a few cane mills but they are all operated by bulls and the products sold locally.  These mills are all in the mountain sections where a considerable amount of coffee is grown, but the business of coffee is in bad condition due to abandonment of the mountain plantations by the owners to to lack of police protection, and consequently the sugar mills, which supplied the laborers on coffee farms, do a very limited amount of work.  Every name on the Ham Map shown by a black dot represents a cattle ranch with the exception of San Francisco which is a mountain town and should have a circle around the dot.  All of the ranches are very old with the exception of San Ramon of the Mountelvan Estate which is located at what is shown on the map as Casimiro.  The other San Ramon near Villa Nueva is property of the Midence Estate.  Most of these ranches have about one thousand head of cattle and from fifty to three hundred head of horses, although many have practically no horses.  Cheese is made at all ranches.  Those ranches shown by the dots on the river of the Honduran border are only small farms in the mountain country.  In the small towns there are stores only in Villa Nueva and Somotillo.  The banditry in the mountains destroyed all stores in the others and conditions are not yet safe for the natives to attempt to stock the stores abandoned.  Many of the people living in the small towns are engaged in carrying Honduran contraband tobacco to Leon and in distilling liquor in native stills for sale to the ranch laborers.  In Somotillo there are more than a dozen stores of varying character selling all kinds of cheap wares and a considerable variety of imported liquors.  It is safe to say that a third of the population in the town live by stealing from the big ranches or from one another.  The country is also infested with professional game hunters who live in small huts in isolated places and sell dried dear meat and skins of all kinds.  In this area this trade is pretty well curbed due to the confiscation of every gun of every hunter known to me at this time.  The laborers on the ranches are furnished with beef and corn and paid from fifteen to twenty cents for each day of actual labor.

 

----- NATURAL PRODUCTS -----

          Very little native fruit is cultivated in this area.  All of it grows well.  Wild game is abundant.  [ p. 2 ]  

 

----- CHARACTERISTICS OF THE NATIVES -----

          Racially, most are Indians.  Invariably lazy.  Murder and maiming with arms and machettes very common.  Considerable drinking on week ends and holidays.  Very few pay any attention to religion of any kind.  Churches in most towns abandoned and in ruins with exception of Villa Nueva.  Practically all totally disarmed.  Practically all profess to be members of Liberal Political party, especially when seeking clemency for stealing or murder.  Women invariably virtuous.  There is no known prostitute in the area.  Bulk of natives illiterate.  Health is remarkably good.  All are cowards and have a fear of Americans that amounts to terror.

 

----- POLITICS -----

          Although none of the natives can give any cause for participation in politics, all are emphatically Liberals or Conservatives.  Liberals are in the majority.  Conservatives are usually property owners or town officials holding offices until the coming elections.  The bandit Cabullo [Cabulla] visited this town twice and murdered several people.  Several of the young men of the town joined him but the bulk of those who were in the revolution from this section followed another well respected bandit here called by his followers, General Perraulta [Concepción Peralta].  A Conservative leader, sent here from Managua goes by the designation of General Pinera.  He successfully hid from the opponents during the revolution and is not accused of banditry during the time he led a group of nearly one hundred natives but stole the pay roll from his followers and has no political support.  Politics is usually given as the motive for all crime.

 

----- PATROLS -----

          All patrols are mounted.  Six animals were furnished this outpost by the Quartermaster.  Only three of these were ever serviceable.  Two have been returned to Chinandega and the owner of the Las Mesas Estate came for another that was unserviceable.  A group of thirty horses and mules has been obtained by collecting what are known as national animals.  These animals are delivered to property owners as soon as the present proof of ownership.  Patrols have been made only to disarm natives known to have arms or to catch those with stolen animals or capture criminals.  The following patrols have been made to date.

          July 10th.  Left at 2. p.m. for Villa Nueva with Sgt Payne, Cpl. Nelson, one private and Marcelino Lopez.  Returned 7.p.m.  Made inquiries in Villa Nueva of activities of bandit Pinera.  Learned he had left for Honduras.  Talked with Miguel Midenci [Midence], owner of the Hato Grande, Las Posas, San Ramon of Villa Nueva, and several other cattle ranches.

          July 15th.  Left 10. a.m. for Triumfo [Triunfo], Honduras with Sgt. Payne, one private, and man who had been caught carrying arms to make inquiries relative to him.  Returned afternoon of same day.

          July 17th.  Left 8:30 p.m. with Sgt. Payne, six privates and guide to locate murderers of one named Sanchez killed same day in Henoqual.  Arrived at the three houses occupied by the ones implicated about 1. a.m.  They broke away when a private fired without cause.  Several shots fired after them.  One reported injured later.  Returned 6. a.m. July 18th.

          July 23rd.  Left for Santo Thomas at 3. p.m. with Sgt. Payne, Cpl. Holton, one private and guide.  Took one mule from Honduran who had no possession.  July 24th.  Went to Cinco Pinos.  Got one more mule and four more horses.  Arrived San Francisco at dark.  One mule and three  [ p. 3 ]  horses of this latter group later called for by rightful owners.  July 25th.  Started for Somotillo before daybreak.  Alcalde of San Francisco gave me a good mule left there by the troops.  Arrived Somotillo 1:1t [sic] p.m.

          July 25th.  Went after a horse thief with Estephen Varda and four Marines.  Got small bay stallion.  The man crossed to Honduras.  Left 9. p.m.  Returned 3:30 a.m.

          July 29th.  To Henoqual.  Got pistol.  Out in morning, returned after dark.  Sgt Payne, 1 Marine and guide.

          July 30th.  To Henoqual.  Got large white horse from Joaquin Ramos.  July 31st.  Returned to Somotillo about 9. a.m.  Sgt. Payne, and guide.

          Aug 2nd.  Left for Santo Thomas at about 1. p.m.  Got two shotguns, 1 pistol, 1 horse, and 1 mule.  Aug 3rd.  Returned to Somotillo after dark.  Cpl. Nelson, three Marines and guide.

          Aug. 5th.  Left 1. p.m. with Cpl. Holton and guide for Villa Nueva.  1 shotgun.  Returned Somotillo 9. a.m. following morning.

          Aug. 6th.  Left 4. p.m. with Cpl. Nelson, two men and guide for Santo Thomas.  Aug. 7th.  Took two pistols and two horses.  Aug. 8th.  Reached Somotillo about 10. a.m.

          Aug. 9th.  Left 1. p.m. for Mayacuna [Mayacunda].  Cpl. Holton and guide.  All night at Calera.  Aug. 10th.  Reached Mayacuna 10. a.m.  Got two horses and left about noon.  Somotillo 9. p.m.

          Aug. 12th.  Sent Cpl. Holton and two men to Calera to get bay stallion.  They returned 1 Midnight with stallion.  Did not go myself.

          Aug. 16th.  Cpl. Nelson and three guides and seven privates and I left at 9. a.m. for Santo Thomas.  Got two horses and three pistols.  Took two of the pistols and one horse from Marcial Rivera, bandit of Cinco Pinos.  Slept in Cinco Pinos.  Aug. 17th.  All day on road in search of information, relative to Salgado.  Slept in San Pedro.  Learned Sabino Rodriguez had burned the town hall and killed the Alcalde during the revolution.  Aug. 18th.  Went to San Francisco.  Went to house of Sabino Rodriguez and got pistol.  He later surrendered his one stolen horse.  Slept with three men not far from border of Nueva Segovia.  Other four stayed in San Francisco during the night.  Aug. 19th.  In Frisco nearly all day.  American engineer, Mr. Samuelson, asked me to locate Waterman and recover his Luger pistol.  He gave me a bay stallion.  Left at 4. p.m. for Somotillo.  Took mule on way which was later returned upon proof of ownership.  Slept near Henoqual.  Aug. 20th.  Reached Somotillo at 6. p.m.

          Aug. 21st.  Left in afternoon with Cpl. Holton and guide for San Ramon.  Stayed all night at Las Mesas.  Aug. 22nd.  Arrived San Ramon about 9. a.m.  Sent Cpl. Holton and guide back to get a fresh horse to replace one became lame.  Aug. 23rd.  Inspected brands of all mules on San Ramon Ranch.  Aug. 24th.  Inspected all brands of mules at Las Lahas [Las Lajas] and left for Somotillo at 2. p.m.

          Aug. 27th.  Left in afternoon with Cpl. Holton and guide, for Las Pilas.  Captured Rigoberto Sanchez, murderer of Payan in Villa Nueva, and a .44 Colt pistol.  Returned at 6:30 a.m. Aug. 28th.

          Aug. 28th.  Left about 10. a.m. with Cpl. Holton and two Marines to get mules in San Ramon.  Got 5.  Returned 7. p.m.  [ p. 4 ]

          Aug. 29th.  Left about 3. p.m. with Cpl. Holton, one Marine, guide and Rigoberto Sanchez to collect arms.  Got two pistols and two shotguns.  Returned noon Aug. 30th.

          Aug. 30th.  Went with Lieut. and Captain of Guardia to Patoka in evening to inquire for a criminal for murder from Chinandega.  Returned 1. a.m. 31 Aug.  No results.

          Sept. 1st.  Left at noon with Cpl. Holton and guide to investigate case of horse killing.  Caught culprits at 1. a.m.  2. Sept.  Reached Somotillo.  Culprits paid for horse.

          Sept. 6th.  Left about 9.30 a.m. for Villa Nueva to investigate murder of Poncho Huete, killed by rifle 7. a.m. that date.  Had Cpl. Holton, one private, guide, and Comandante of Police at Somotillo.  Slept in Calera.  People accused one named Manuel Garcia who had escaped.  Sept. 7th.  Went to Mayacunda and Portilla.  Returned to Villa Nueva at dark and reached Somotillo at 3. a.m.   8 Sept.  No results.  Got one horse.

          12 Sept.  Left for Villa Nueva with Cpl. Holton, one private, Commandant of Police and guide to investigate telegraphic report that Garcia was in the town.  No results.  Report unfounded.  Reached Somotillo before dark.

          Sept. 14th.  Went with Cpl. Holton, guide, and owner of stolen bulls to catch thief near Canne Fistula.  Caught party who restored all stolen goods.  Got one shotgun and two horses.

          Later reports covered by telegraphic report.

 

 

- - - - - - -- - -  H. N. KENYON  - - - - - - -

RG127/43A/20

Summary & Notes:

   Paints an exceptionally vivid, detailed portrait of borderlands around Somotillo in SW Segovias.
   Merits a very careful read against the grain of its condescending tone.

P C - D O C S :      P A T R O L   &   C O M B A T    R E P O R T S
thru 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 +

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