Sunday, December 29, 2013

"and where they have used their arms, it has merely been in self-defense..."


   The declaration of the Mexican Consul at El Paso, representing the Mexican Government, that the American refugees from Mexico may return to their homes and possessions there only on condition that they return unarmed, is a cruel mockery. For, first of all, they would then make themselves easy victims of bloodthirsty brigands, and surely there has never been any claim that the Americans in Mexico have used arms in any other War except to protect themselves, and especially have they not used arms against the Mexican Government, save in the possible cases of Americans who may have enlisted under the insurrectionary banner; and as to these, they must look out for themselves; but as to that it is a clear case that far more Americans took part in the Madero insurrection than have ever identified themselves with the Orozco insurrection. It is therefore all the more ungrateful for President Madero to make this restriction against Amercau refugees returning to Mexico only on the condition that, they return unarmed. It is true that most of those who disliked Diaz and have taken any active part in the Mexican fighting did so in behalf of Madero; and second, the American residents in Mexico, almost without exception, have studiously avoided taking part in the war on either side, and where they have used their arms, it has merely been in self-defense, as in the case of the Mormon men that recently were driven out from their homes and who had to defend themselves in getting out, this defense not being, however, against the Mexican forces, but against the forces in insurrection. One might fairly couclude, therefore, that the Madero Government would look upon Americans in arms in Mexico as a friendly reinforcement rather than as a hostile array; so that the mocking restriction put upon their return to their homes and possessions in Mexico is all the more indefensible and unfair.

   It is not a matter, of course, in which our own National Government could intervene, for we have no right to insist that any inhabitants of any foreign country shall be allowed to go into that country with arms in their bands. But the necessity of Americans who return to Mexico in the unsetttled conditions there, having arms with them to protect themselves, is so evident that the Madero insistence against this is both cruel and in effect a prohibition against their return.

[The Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City, Wednesday Morning, August 21, 1912. Vol. LXXXV., No. 129. Pg. 4]

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