Statement of Calixto González, captured
member of Roque Vargas group, Quilalí area
This statement by captured
rebel soldier Calixto González
identified some of the leading members of the
Defending Army in the Quilalí-San Juan de
Telpaneca area. Many of these names crop up
repeatedly in both EDSN correspondence and
Coronado Maradiaga, Ladislao Palacios, Florencio
Silva, and others. For the Marines &
Guardia, this was some very good "dope."
We also see here a classic case of rebel
deception: when Captain Hunt took custody
of his prisoner from the local Juez de Mesta
(judge) in Buenos Aires near Quilalí (as seen in
the ancillary document), the prisoner called
himself Juan Diaz G., only later admitting his
real name. (Photograph of Sandinista
squadron, n.d., collection of Walter C. Sandino)
The reason he gave for abandoning the
rebel cause are wholly improbable (they had been
"suffering" for several years now), though his
observations on rebel ammunition shortages were
probably accurate. We also get a sense of
the intricacy and effectiveness of the
Sandinista intelligence system: the
comments on the "minute reports on everything"
received by Cruz Flores of Jicarito are
emblematic of the rebels' grapevine system of
communication. Superior intelligence
gathering remained the rebels' single most
important military advantage till the end of the
which in turn demonstrates their enormous
popularity in the sea of campesinos in which
they swam. This report, like most, was
part of a larger effort to redress that
imbalance in intelligence capabilities.
The accompanying patrol report by Lt. Hunt
conveys a good sense of the district's physical
geography, and of the Marine-Guardia's
counterinsurgency tactics that helped to create
such powerful popular opposition to the Marine
QUOTED FROM THE DAILY OPERATIONS REPORT OF THE
#238- 16 October, 1930.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
_ _ _
The following statement from bandit Calixto
Gonzalez, who was captured by Capt Hunt's patrol
from Quilali in Buenos Aires and who belonged to
the group of Roque Vargas:
I have belonged to Roque Vargas group, but I am
determined to stay away from them now, because
the bandits are suffering and I am willing to
tell all I know. The last time that Roque Vargas
passed through Casa Villegas, we were coming
from Milagros. I left them at the Jicaro River
and we were to meet again in the house of Cruz
Flores who lives in Pedriga near the Jicaro
River. On October 15, 1930 I witnessed the death
of a man who was killed because he was a
Moncadista. I was armed with a long bayonet of
the Mauser type, the rest were armed with
shotguns and 15 rifles, but no ammunition. The
men who follow Roque Vargas are the following:
Florencio Silva, Las Posas.
Antonio Espinales, Los Milagros.
Leonidas Centeno, Los Sitios.
Ramon Espinales, Los Milagros.
Simon Espinales, Embocadero.
Perfecto Chavarria, Paredes.
Sebastian Montenegro, Rio del Almorzadro.
Simon Gonzalez, Sambo.
Cruz Flores, Jicarito.
Alejos Martinez, Chipote.
Juan Torres, Jicarito.
Blas Martinez, Chipote.
Juan Flores, Los Milagros.
Simon Lopez, Las Vueltas.
Manuel Basilio, Los Milagros.
Antonio Martinez, Santa Rosa.
Sabas Gonzalez, Santa Rosa.
Coronado Maradiaga, Chipote.
Victoriano Lopez, Rio de Murra.
Maximo Lopez, Chipote.
Florentin Lopez, Rio de Murra.
Sinforoso Pastrana, Monchones.
Cruz Polanco, Las Cruces.
Juan Zamora, Monchones.
Gregorio Polanco, Las Cruces.
Captain Hernandez, Las Canas.
Valentin Muñoz, Ologalpa.
Jose Maria Paz, Rio de Almorzandro.
Everyone dispersed, but the following who stayed
with Roque Vargas: Perfecto Chavarria, Maximo
Lopez, Sinforoso Pastrana, Valentin Muñoz,
Antonio Martinez, Victoriano Lopez, Alejos
Martinez, Jose Maria Paz, Florentin Lopez, Juan
Zamora, Elias Martinez, and Captain Sanchez.
I came with Roque Vargas to Suscallan sometime
ago and from there to Guanacastillo, where we
stayed four days, from there we took a day to
get to Rio del Golfo. Afterward we went to Los
Milagros, where we stayed 6 days and from there
to Chipote. Cruz Flores of Jicarito receives
minute reports of everything that happens to the
different groups, for example he knew of the
battle at Ojoche and at Embocadero. Also he knew
that a Guardia deserter from Jinotega by the
name of Calero took a Thompson Machine Gun with
1 magazine to Ortez.
Luis Ponce of Jicarito also learns of many
He says that he saw Rafael Altamirano pas
Zapotillal about 20 days ago with rifles but
without ammunition. Each one had two or three
shells apiece. These men now have a camp in
Remango near Monchones. This same Cruz Flores of
Jicarito has about 150 shells in clips of 5
each. I saw them and he now has them hidden in
PC30.10.15. Detention of Calixto
González ("Juan Diaz G.") by Lt. Hunt's Patrol
in the District of Quilalí, 15 October 1930.
District of Quilali
19 October, 1930
From: The District
To: The Area Commander, Northern Area Guardia
Subject: Patrol, Report of.
1. On Wednesday, 15 October, 1930 I received
one civil prisoner from the Juez de Mesta of Buenos
Aires by the name of Juan Diaz G. (offense: attempt at
murder). He told us he knew where there was a bandit
camp in the Valley of the San Juan river. (attached is a
list of the group.)
2. Thursday, 16 October, 1930. I cleared at
0700 with fifteen enlisted and civil prisoner to try and
locate the above camp.
Cleared Quilali at 0700. Reached Coco River at 1115 and
crossed. Followed well beaten trail on south side of
Coco, heading Southwest. Trail passed through forest,
could not see the sky at any time until we reached point
estimated as being the point 240.5-358.5. Found a well
beaten trail going north and south which leads to La
Rica (240-351.5). Turned north following trail to the
Coco River arriving at 1545. Chamaste was just across
the river. On the map it is located at 240-359.2. The
river was running high but made a crossing and found one
shack which had not been used / p. 2 / for some time as
the roof was overgrown and no signs inside -- camped
here at 1615. Estimated distance covered six leagues.
Nothing happened during the night.
17 October, 1930.
Cleared at 0730 heading northeast. Arrived at first
house about 0830. This was a large house with mud walls
and shingle roof. Showed signs of having been used. Some
cattle here. There were three trails leading to this
house, all three trails well used. Moved on North East
up mountain - located another shack on banana grove but
not in use although guide said it had been at one time,
it had fallen down. Next found new straw shack on side
of mountain in rice field. Had been used but did not
destroy so as not to inform rest of section. A short
time later found a shack loaded with cane. The guide
said it was a source of supply, also there were no more
houses with people further on so I destroyed this. Two
more containing corn were found. They were destroyed.
Estimate one hundred arrobas were destroyed. There was
no way to bring it in as it was all one could do to get
our animals over the trail, lightly loaded. At 1500 we
arrived at the first house seen that morning. Camped.
Estimated distance covered five leagues. Nothing
happened during the night.
18 October, 1930.
Cleared at 0700 heading east hitting Coco / p. 3 / River
at 0830. Followed the river on the north side, heading
east. Trail was an old trail most of the way so had to
cut our way. Arrived at Sta. Rita (245-360.9) at 1630
and made camp. Estimated distance covered six leagues.
Nothing happened during the night.
19 October, 1930
Cleared at 0720 for Quilali, arrived at 0900. Estimated
distance covered three leagues.
3. Observations during patrol. Trails
covered were, as a while well traveled although over
grown, it was noticed that the trails would fade, then
later appear more traveled. I also noticed that near
these points the brush & grass on the side of the tail
would show signs of having been passed over, as by one
man at a time. This is probably signs of inf----- so as
to throw patrols off. It seems to be a source of corn as
all three store houses had been cased. The crops were
good. Rice, corn and bananas.
/s/ R. H. Hunt, Capt, G.N.
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