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PC27.11.07   bellinger

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

27.11.07.   Bellinger, Patrol from Somoto

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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MARINE DETACHMENT, SOMOTO, NICARAGUA
7 November 1927.

From: Second Lieutenant George H. Bellinger
To: Commanding Officer
Subject: Patrol

   1.     According to your instructions, a mounted patrol consisting of myself, ten marines, one navy corpsman, and a native guide departed from SOMOTO at 0200, Thursday, 3 November 1927. We proceeded to the outskirts of SANTA ROSA waiting under cover until dawn at which time we made a surprise search of several houses in that area. No arms or dangerous types of machettes were found. Several men were in the first few houses searched but the remainder were practically void of men and machettes. One native ran into the brush upon our approach but he was unarmed. Some of the natives were hostile, others indifferent, and a very few friendly. A native reported that a bandit leader of a small group of men lived in SANTA ROSA. We found the house of this bandit whose name was given as Riveras. He had from the appearance of his house quickly fled probably to the woods that morning. The houses in SANTA ROSA are scattered helter-skelter in groups of from one to four in an approximate three miles area. Friendly neighbors of bandits quickly warn them of a patrol's approach by animals calls or by runner messengers.
 
   2.     The patrol proceeded to Espino arriving there at 1130. The road enroute there was dry and compact but very rough in some parts near SONIZ. About four miles outside of and on the way to ESPINO the telegraph line was cut in several places, and the houses were nearly all deserted. ESPINO lies on the edge of the top of a high mountain facing the Coco River. About twenty houses and sixty people comprise the pueblo. Two stone piles separated about forth yards apart are supposed to indicate the HONDURAN-NICARAGUAN boundary lines. This line runs through the center of the town. Only one house on the Nicaraguan side of the town is occupied and the majority of the inhabitants living on the Honduran side are Nicaraguan citizens. I was informed there that the town had no alcalde, that a Honduran judge by the name of Mateo Nolasco residing near San Marcos occasionally visited the town to dispense justice (?), that a Honduran Guardia Patrol came to ESPINO at long infrequent intervals, that the boundary line was established in 1915 by a Honduran Commission, and that a bandit leader, Mardardo Ballejo [Medardo Vallejos] with about twenty followers was constantly making raids and depredations on Nicaraguans living near the border. There were several men in the town and supposedly Honduran side who looked suspicious and hostile but made no hostile move. The only indication of the border line was that previously mentioned - the two stone piles - but there was no sign post or flag there. We returned to SONAZ and camped there for the night.
 
   3.     At dawn the next morning, 4 November 1927, the patrol left for MAL PASO. The patrol had to pass over a rough trail. Most all of the few houses we passed were deserted and one of them had only recently been burnt to the ground. Reached MAL PASO at 0930. This town is  [p. 2] 

situated on the side of a mountain half way up and has about 18 houses in fairly close proximity to each other. The place was quiet and very few men were seen. The people voiced anxiety and alarm about the bandit Ballejo [Vallejos].
 
   4.     Continued on to Pataste passing most of the way over potreros which were well stocked with animals running wildly about and shy in their actions. The protrerios [marginal comment: "potreros"] and roads near PATASTE were soggy and bad. Reached PATASTE at 1645. Mr. Mosher told me that there had been a treaty between Nicaragua and Honduras whereby the forces of one country could enter that of another in its patrolling or pursuit of bandits to a distance of one league but that he was uncertain whether the treaty was still in effect. [marginal comment:  "How about this? RWP"] He also informed me that the boundary line around ESPINO had been in dispute for many years and as yet had not been settled. Remained in PATASTE 5 November to rest animals.
 
   5.     Left PATASTE early Sunday morning 6 November, enroute to SOMOTO passing through SANTA ISABEL at 1300. The houses there are practically all occupied occupying an area of approximately one-quarter square mile, the houses grouped in different parts of the town. One man seen to run into the woods upon our approach. The people bore the same attitude toward us at SANTA ROSA. We looked over the town but saw nothing suspicious. We were informed that a bandit group under the leadership of Fidencia Carazo [Fidencio Carazo] had killed seven members of one family on Thursday night and two other people on Saturday night. The bandit group had been last seen headed for the mountains.
 
   6.    Arrived SOMOTO at 1430. We traveled over a rough back trail to SANTA ISABEL from PATASTE. The roads between SANTA ISABEL and SOMOTO are dry and in good shape.
 
   /s/  GEORGE BELLINGER

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1st indorsement OFFICE OF THE DIVISION COMMANDER OCOTAL Nic.
9 Nov 1927

From:    The Division Commander
To:      The Brigade Commander Managua
 
   1.    Forwarded inviting particular attention to paragraph 4, in re treaty permitting patrols to cross into Honduras.
 
    /s/ R. W. PEARD

NA127/43A/2

Summary & Notes:

   Marines extending their influence through small towns & villages dotting Western Segovias, just starting to get a feel for the lay of the land.
   Description of border-straddling town of Espino especially illuminating.
   Glimpses of continuing political gang violence and criminality throughout the zone.
   Conservative gang leaders Medardo Vallejos & Fidencio Carazo associated with notorious Conservative gang leader Anastasio Hernández, active in same zone during same period.

   Capt. Peard especially interested in the situation on the Honduran border & the desire for Marine & Guardia forces to pursue rebels into Honduras — an early expression of what became a chronic headache for the counterinsurgency:  the border's semiporosity, permitting rebels to pass through frictionlessly while stopping the Marines & Guardia cold.
   Unrest & violence caused authorities to cancel local elections throughout Western Segovias, scheduled for first week of Nov.

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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