INFORMATION RELATIVE TO JOSE LEON DIAZ BY CAPT.
G. F. STOCKES.
Jose Leon Diaz was born at Poloros in El
Salvador in the year 1883. Poloros is a village
situated about eight leagues from La Union. His
parents were of the Mozo class [rural working
class] and Jose Leon received no education.
From reports, the Diaz family moved from Poloros
to La Alianza on the Honduran-Salvador frontier.
It is said Jose Leon engaged in a drunken brawl
at La Alianza in 1902, killed two or three
inhabitants and then fled the country.
Diaz is about five feet six inches in height; a
mulatto, usually clean shaven except for a
flowing mustache. Weight about 145 lbs. of
strong physique and habitually drunk.
His first appearance after the incident at La
Alianza was in the Honduran Army stationed at
Tegucigalpa in 1924. At this time Diaz was known
as Colonel "Caites" [barefoot], apparently one
of the few, if not the only Colonel on duty in
Tegucigalpa who never wore shoes. At some time
during his period of service in the Honduran
Army, Diaz learned to write his name.
In April, 1924, when Tosta and Carias gained
possession of Tegucigalpa, Diaz fled to Somoto,
Nicaragua. Still known as Colonel "Caites" he
worked as a mozo around Somoto for a month or
so, then went to Yaraje (near Santa Emilia)
where he remained working for Marcelino Moncada,
owner of hacienda "Yaraje" for about two years.
About August 10, 1926 Diaz applied to General C.
Lopez Irias [Camilo Lopez Irias] for a
commission in the Liberal Army, then being
formed to take the field against the Nicaraguan
Government. He raised a company in the
Yaraje-Icalupe area, obtained his arms in
Honduras without expense to the Liberal party
and joined the forces of Irias.
It must be admitted that Diaz was one of the
outstanding sub-Jefes fighting for the Liberal
cause in the Somoto-Rio Negro District. A master
thief, cunning, craft, his organization, was
always well-equipped with arms and ammunition.
Being without a machine gun on the occasion he
did not hesitate to steal one from a friendly
When the Liberals laid down their arms, Diaz
returned to Somoto. He now appeared prosperous,
was always well attired and wore boots instead
of Caites. Although seldom stooping to murder,
Diaz would steal from, or rob anyone.
Representing Sandino, Porfirio Sanchez visited
Somoto in May 1927, and invited Jose Leon to
join their forces. Diaz accepted the offer but
after one month found he and Sandino could not
agree on the liquor question so he returned to
In July of the same year, he engaged in a
drunken brawl in the saloon of Teodoro Fuentes
in Somoto, killed one man and then left town
hiding out in the Santa Emilia area.
When Anastasio Hernandez took the field in
August, 1927, declaring he was going to kill
every Liberal in the Somoto District, it seems
Diaz was selected by the Liberals to oppose
Hernandez. The appearance of Marines about this
time caused both groups to make themselves
scarce around Somoto.
Diaz "Caites" (about December 15, 1927) because
[became] once again affiliated with Sandino, who
placed him in charge of procuring arms, etc, and
distributing same to Sandinistas.
In June, 1928, Diaz told a close friend he had
never been in action against the Marines.
IR29.07.18: 10-11. RG127/43A/4