Idelfonso Molina on
his capture & release by EDSN
Idelfonso Molina and Alejandro Molina were brothers, sons of Blas Miguel
Molina, wealthy landowner and prominent member of the Yali & Jinotega elite.
Alejandro Molina joined with Sandino in late 1927 and rose to the rank of sergeant major.
Idelfonso Molina was captured by Sandinistas in
mid-December 1928, taken to their main camp, kept for
about eight days, and released. This
report summarizes the information that the
Marines & Guardia were able to get from him about what he saw
which was not insubstantial. We learn
about some of their internal conflicts; their
material circumstances and military capabilities; Marine-Guardia efforts to persuade Alejandro Molina to surrender;
about a big EDSN assembly planned
for the end of 1928 at El Chipote, among other very interesting things.
(above, Sandinista rebels, n.d., from the collection
of Walter C. Sandino; left, Alejandro Molina,
Molina's statement is followed by a
letter from Alejandro to his father, explaining
his decision to join the rebellion and asking
for money. Alejandro also protests against
"Humberto" (probably Humberto Torres Molina)
getting the land that Alejandro feels ought to
be his. The documents offer a revealing
glimpse into various aspects of the rebellion,
including how it cut across relations of family
and social class.
3 January, 1929
My Dear Major [Hans Schmidt],
Senor Molina came to me again today and brought
with him another son, Idelfonso Molina, who was
captured by the bandits December 14th and
released by them through the efforts of his
brother Alejandro in his behalf December 22nd.
The information that I received from Idelfonso
Molina today and which I am going to give you in
this letter, I have reason to believe for the
(a) Senor B. Miguel Molina is
a wealthy man, acknowledges that his son is a
follower of Sandino and is not proud of it.
(b) The information comes voluntarily and is not
The information is as
Idelfonso Molina was captured in the vicinity of
San [Jerome] December 14th [and] was taken to
the vicinity of La Rica and held there until
December 22nd the date he was released.
Idelfonso states that Lagos was the one that
captured him, that his brother Alejandro was the
second Jefe and that there were fifty in the
band, all well armed.
At La Rica the following jefes and their men
assembled: Sanchez, Diaz, Lagos, Peralta,
Abraham Centeno and Aponte, a new jefe of
Sandino's that came from Guatemala. The bandits
assembled under these chiefs numbered two
hundred and twenty. They had plenty of
ammunition with the exception of ammunition for
Springfield rifles. The bandits had two
Thompsons, several automatic rifles and quite a
number of some kind of new automatic pistol for
which they have plenty of ammunition.
During their stay at La Rica the jefes disagreed
over Lagos giving permission to the coffee
growers and as a result Lagos left and went to
join Sandino. Alejandro Molina expected to
become first jefe of this band but Sanchez who
was the ranking jefe placed Blandon in charge.
Blandon and Diaz had an argument during which
their bands started fighting among themselves,
but this was stopped.
A letter was sent to Sandino from la Rica by
Sanchez and an answer received from Sandino
within three days to the effect that they would
all assemble in the vicinity of Chipote. This
leads me to believe that Sandino was not more
than a day away from La Rica.
Bandit chiefs had agreed to remain with Sandino
only until the last of December when they will
all assemble in the vicinity of Chipote and
determine whether or not they would carry on.
The followers from Honduras say that since the
Liberal party is now in power here they are
ready to go back to Honduras and see no reason
for their remaining here.
Alfred Danos who was captured some time ago is
being held by Sanchez.
Some of the bandits are very well dressed and
others very poorly dressed. No sick among them.
Pedron Altamirano is with Sandino on his staff
and it is Sandino's intention to keep him there.
Sandino is of the opinion that all the people
throughout the country are against [ p. 2 ]
that San Marcos affair and that they will give
information as to his whereabouts if he moves
about with a band.
I spoke to Senor Molina about trying to get his
son to turn in and after some talk he said that
he would try to do so. After the question of his
son turning in came up I learned that Alejandro
and some ten or twelve men who are tired of the
bandit game are still in the vicinity of La
Rica. Alejandro is working on one of his farms.
Senor Molina requested that he be given pass in
order that he can get to Alejandro through Yali
and in Jinotega an order for him to receive his
constancia and turn in his arms. I believe that
through young Molina's turning in that the ten
or twelve others in that vicinity will be
influenced to do the same thing. I asked Major
Gray about giving this permit to cover
Alejandro's passing through Yali and into
Jinotega and he approved of it. Senor Molina
does not intend to go out where his son is but
to send out and have him meet him just outside
of Yali. Senor Molina does not care to run the
chance of being captured by going out into that
I have a letter dated December 22nd which is an
order signed by Sanchez and Aponte for the
coffee growers not to pick coffee by order of
Sandino. I will forward the translation to you
as soon as possible. Molina wants to keep the
It looks very much like Sandino is either
getting ready to give up or get out of the
Expect to be in Managua soon when I will call at
your office and go over this in more detail with
Brady L. Vogt,
First Lieutenant, USMC
letter from Vogt to Schmidt, 3 Jan 1929
2. Alejandro Molina to father Blas
Miguel Molina, 10 Dec 1928
3 January, 1929
My Dear Major:
I am sending to you in this letter, two
translations of letters received by Senor B.
Miguel Molina. Senor Molina lives in Yali and
Jinotega. He let me have the original letters
long enough to get translations and requested
that they be returned to him.
He states that although the letter from his son
is supposed to come from El Chipoton that he
knows that his son is lying and that he is sure
that the letter originated in the vicinity of
Las Vegas. I had a long talk with Senor Molina
and as I know that from time to time Brigade
tries to get letters through to Sandino, I
questioned him as to whether or not he knew of
any way we could get to Sandino with letters. He
stated that he was sure that if he delivered a
letter to Alejandro Molina's mother that the
letter would get to Alejandro and through to
Later I talked to another son of Senor Molina,
who is a brother of Alejandro, and this son
stated that he has received word from his
brother and also information which leads him to
believe that his brother Alejandro and also
Sandino with many of his followers are in the La
Rica, Las Vegas, La Pavona and San Antonio area
Northeast of Yali. This son has a letter that he
recently received from Alejandro which I am
trying to [ p. 3 ]get and hope to have it in a day or
Information received from Plata's outfit today
also points to Las Vegas as the vicinity in
which the bandits are now staying.
Brady L. Vogt
First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps
Mr. B. M. Molina
My Dear Father: --
I drop these lines with the purpose to greet you
and the whole family and I wish you well.
Father, I have been informed that you despise me
and that you say that you feel ashamed because I
am your son but if you knew what I am doing you
would feel proud to have a hero son who is with
his life in danger for the liberty of Nicaragua,
and it is the duty of all good citizens to
wrestle for the liberty and if there is not
liberty it is better to die.
Father, I have been informed that Humberto
notified my mother to get out of the farm which
was from Ochoas and that you gave Humberto
everything by a signed paper. I think nobody has
a right to that farm but me and you are doing
wrong to give a right to Humberto because he is
in worse conditions than you are by our troops.
I had received guarantees for you but when the
General knew that Humberto was your manager for
your business he ordered that everyone in your
properties be bothered and if Humberto would get
captured he would get the Vest Cut. By this
order and some news I received that he is
preparing a troop to watch for your business, I
have fifty men and my machine gun ready to fight
and I am ordered to burn the farms which Torres
has whenever he begins to work.
Father, I need some money so I sold to Idelfonso
the mule you have so give it to him and if you
need the mule you return to him the fifty
With many remembrances from your son,
El Chipoton, December 10, 1928
Patriotic and Liberty,
/s/ Alejandro Molina
NA127/43A/4 (English only)
Alejandro Molina also mentioned in the following
EDSN 28.01.03 A. C. Sandino to Gen. Manuel
EDSN 28.09.04 A. C. Sandino, Roster and Orders
EDSN 29.03.08 A. C. Sandino to Alejandro A.
Molina (letter of recommendation & safe-conduct
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