Primary Documents - President Carranza on Military Operations in Mexico, 22 May 1916

President Carranza of Mexico From March-June 1916 the United States mounted an armed expedition to Mexico to quell raids initiated by prominent Mexican leader Pancho Villa into the U.S.

Allegedly sponsored by the German government Villa launched a raid into the State of Chihuahua on 11 January 1916, capturing and killing 19 U.S. citizens.  This was followed on 9 March with a raid upon Columbus in New Mexico, killing 11 citizens.

Following U.S. protests Mexico's President Venustiano Carranza undertook to deal with Villa but insisted that the U.S. not interfere.  However with the U.S. rapidly losing patience with Carranza, General Frederick Funston - U.S. commander along the border - was ordered to despatch an armed U.S. column into Mexico in pursuit of Villa (to be taken dead or alive).  To that end Funston placed General John Pershing in command of the expedition.

Pershing led 4,000 U.S. troops into Mexico on 15 March 1916, remaining there until early 1917.  On 29 March 1916 a U.S. force of 400 men defeated a larger number of Villa's followers.  Nevertheless U.S. troops remained to mop up the remnants of Villa's supporters; these troops increasingly came into contact - and armed conflict - with official Mexican troops sent by President Carranza to deal with Villa, the first of which took place on 12 April 1916.

Increasing clashes led to a very real threat of war between the U.S. and Mexico; on 18 June 1916 U.S. President Woodrow Wilson called out the National Guard to deal with the Mexican problem.  As these were gathering along the Mexican border President Carranza backed down, releasing a group of captured U.S. troops and despatching a note of apology on 4 July 1916, in which he suggested convening a conference to prevent future issues.

Reproduced below is President Carranza's official letter of complaint to the U.S. government regarding the presence of U.S. troops in Mexico.

Click here to read the U.S. government's reply to President Carranza's letter (written by Robert Lansing).  Click here to read General Funston's official report regarding operations in Mexico.  Click here to read General Pershing's official report.  Click here to read Newton Baker's statement on the calling up of the U.S. National Guard.

Official Letter of Complaint to the U.S. Government by President Carranza

Mexico, D.F.,
May 22, 1916

1. The Mexican Government has just been informed that a group of American troops, crossing the international boundary, has entered Mexican territory and is at the present time near a place called El Pino, located about sixty miles south of the line.

The crossing of these troops effected again without the consent of the Mexican Government gravely endangers the harmony and good relations which should exist between the Governments of the United States and Mexico.

This Government must consider the above action as a violation of the sovereignty of Mexico, and therefore it requests in a most urgent manner that the Washington Government should consider the case carefully in order to definitely outline the policy it should follow with regard to the Mexican Nation.

In order to afford a clear understanding of the basis of the request involved in this note, it becomes necessary to carefully review the incidents which have occurred up to the present time.

2. On account of the incursion at Columbus, N. M., by a band led by Francisco Villa on the morning of March 9, 1916, the Mexican Government, sincerely deploring the occurrence, and for the purpose of affording efficacious protection to the frontier, advanced its desire that the Governments of the United States and Mexico should enter into an agreement for the pursuit of bandits.

The above proposal was made by the Government of Mexico guided by the precedent established under similar conditions obtaining in the years 1880 to 1884, and requested, in concrete, a permission for Mexican forces to cross into American territory in pursuit of bandits, under a condition of reciprocity which would permit American forces to cross into Mexican territory, if the Columbus incident should be repeated in any other point of the frontier line.

As a consequence of this proposal made in the Mexican note of March 10th the Government of the United States, through error or haste, considered that the good disposition shown by the Mexican Government was sufficient to authorize the crossing of the boundary, and to that effect, without awaiting the conclusion of a formal agreement on the matter, ordered that a column of American forces should cross into Mexican territory in pursuit of Villa and his band.

3. The American Government, on this account, made emphatic declarations, assuring the Mexican Government that it was acting with entire good faith and stating that its only purpose in crossing the frontier was to pursue and capture or destroy the Villa band that had assaulted Columbus; that this action did not mean an invasion of our territory, nor any intention to impair Mexican sovereignty, and that as soon as a practical result should be obtained the American troops would withdraw from Mexican territory.

4. The Mexican Government was not informed that the American troops had crossed the frontier until March 17th, at which time it was unofficially known, through private channels from El Paso, that the American troops had entered into Mexican territory.

This Government then addressed a note to the Government of the United States stating that, inasmuch as the precise terms and conventions of an agreement which should be formally entered into between both countries for the crossing of troops had not been stipulated, the American Government should not consider itself authorized to send the expedition.

The Washington Government explained the sending of such expedition, expressing its regret that a misinterpretation had occurred in regard to the attitude of the Mexican Government concerning the crossing of American troops over the boundary line in pursuit of Villa, but that this had been done under the impression that the previous exchange of messages implied the full consent of the Mexican Government, without the necessity of further formalities.

The American Government explained also that its attitude was due to the necessity of quick action, and stated that it was disposed to receive any suggestions the Mexican Government would wish to make in regard to the terms of a definite agreement covering the operations of troops on either side of the boundary.

5. Both Governments then began to discuss the terms of an agreement in accordance to which the reciprocal crossing of troops should be arranged, and to this end two projects from the Mexican Government and two counter-projects from the American Government were exchanged.

During the discussion of this agreement the Mexican Government constantly insisted that the above-mentioned crossing should be limited within a zone of operations for the troops in foreign territory, that the time the troops should remain within it, the number of soldiers of an expedition and the class of arms they should pertain to should be fixed.

The Government of the United States objected to the above limitations, and when at last the American Government submitted the last counter-draft, accepting them in part, it stated, nevertheless, that while agreeing to sign the agreement, the latter would not apply on the Columbus expedition.

6. This attitude of the American Government brought forth the Mexican note of April 12th, in which, deferring the discussion of the agreement, since the latter was not to apply to the Columbus case, the Mexican Government requested the American Government to withdraw its troops, since the stay of them was not based on any agreement, and the expedition was then unnecessary, inasmuch as the Villa bandits had been dispersed and reduced to impotency.

7. While the American Government was delaying its reply to the aforesaid note of April 12th, and took no action to withdraw its troops, it was considered convenient that military commanders of both countries should meet in some point of the frontier to review the military aspect of the situation and endeavour through this channel to arrive at a satisfactory solution, which on the part of Mexico consisted in the withdrawal of American troops from its territory.

To this end Generals Hugh L. Scott and Frederick Funston, representing the American Government, and General Alvaro Obregon, Secretary of War and Marine, representing Mexico, met, at Ciudad Juarez and El Paso, where they held a series of conferences within an open spirit of cordiality.  During these conferences full explanations and data were exchanged concerning the military situation on the frontier.

As a result of these conferences a draft of a memorandum was submitted to the approval of the Washington and Mexican Governments in accordance with which General Scott declared that the destruction and dispersion of the Villa band had been completed, and, therefore, the American Government has decided to begin the withdrawal of its troops under the promise that the Mexican Government would endeavour to maintain efficacious guard on the frontier against new incursions similar to that at Columbus.

8. The Mexican Government refused to approve that sort of agreement, because it was stated in it, besides, that the American Government could suspend the withdrawal of its troops if any other incident should occur which would serve to change the belief of the Washington Government in the ability of the Mexican Government to protect the frontier.

The Mexican Government could not accept this condition to suspend the withdrawal, because the evacuation of its territory is a matter entirely affecting the sovereignty of the country, which should at no time be subjected to the discretion of the American Government, it being possible on the other hand that another incident might occur which would give the indefinite stay of the American troops in Mexican territory a certain colour of legality.

9. General Scott, General Funston, and General Obregon were discussing this point, when on the 5th of the present month of May a band of outlaws assaulted an American garrison at Glenn Springs, on the American side, crossing tile Rio Grande immediately after to enter into Mexican territory via Boquillas.

10. On this account, and fearing that the American Government would hasten the crossing of new troops into Mexican territory in pursuit of the outlaws, the Mexican Government instructed General Obregon to notify the United States that the crossing of American soldiers on this new account would not be permitted to enter into Mexico, and that orders had already been given to all military commanders on the frontier to prevent it.

11. When the attitude of the Mexican Government became known Generals Scott and Funston assured General Obregon that no movement of American troops had been ordered to cross the frontier on account of the Boquillas incident, and that no more American soldiers would enter into our territory.

This assurance, which was personally made by Generals Scott and Funston to General Obregon when the conferences were about to be adjourned, was reiterated by General Scott himself in a later private conversation he had with Licenciado Juan Neftali Amador, Sub-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, who had had the opportunity to take part in the conferences between the American and the Mexican military commanders.

12. On account of the same incident of Glenn Springs, or Boquillas, fearing that the various bands of outlaws which are organized or armed near the frontier might repeat their incursions, and with a view to procuring an effective military cooperation between American and Mexican forces, this Government suggested through its representative, General Obregon, to Generals Scott and Funston, representing the United States, the convenience of reaching an understanding on a military plan of distribution of troops along the frontier in order that an effective watch could be kept over the whole region, and avoiding in this way, so far as possible, the recurrence of similar assaults.

The Mexican Government showed by this action not only its good faith and good wishes, but also its frank willingness to arrive at an effective cooperation with the Government of the United States to avoid all further sense of friction between the two countries.

This plan for the distribution of American and Mexican forces in their respective territories along the frontier was proposed as a means to prevent immediately any new difficulty, and always with the idea of arriving later at the celebration of an agreement for the reciprocal crossing of troops, as long as the abnormal conditions exist in our territory.

13. The conferences between Generals Scott, Funston, and Obregon adjourned on May 11th without reaching any agreement concerning the unconditional withdrawal of the American troops.

General Scott insisted in the form of the memorandum concerning the conditional withdrawal of the American forces, but did not take into consideration the plan proposed by the Mexican Government for the protection of the frontier by means of detachments along the same.

Under these conditions it was left for the Governments of Washington and Mexico to conclude the arrangements initiated during the conferences of Ciudad Juarez and El Paso.  Up to that time no complication had occurred on account of the new Boquillas incident, and all the assurances given by Generals Scott and Funston led us to suppose that the above incident would not bring about new difficulties.

14. The Mexican Government, however, has just been informed that 400 men of the Eighth Regiment of the American Army are in Mexican territory, having crossed the line in the direction of Boquillas approximately between the 1-th and 11th of May, and are at present near a place called El Pino, about sixty miles south of the frontier.

This fact was brought to the attention of the Mexican authorities by the commander himself of the American troops which crossed the frontier, who gave advice to the Mexican military commander at Esmeraldo, Sierra Mojada, by a communication in which he informed him that he crossed the frontier in pursuit of the band of outlaws which had assaulted Glenn Springs, and in accordance with an agreement existing between the American and the Mexican Governments regarding the crossing of troops, and with the consent of a Mexican Consular official in Del Rio, Texas, to whom the commander alleged he had announced the entry of his expedition.

15. The Mexican Government cannot assume that an error has been committed a second time by the American Government ordering the crossing of its troops without the consent of the Government of Mexico.

It fails to understand also that a commander of troops of the United States Army would enter into Mexican territory without the due authority from his superiors, and believing that he could secure permission for the crossing of his troops from a Consular agent.

The explanation given by the American Government in regard to the crossing of troops at Columbus has never been satisfactory to the Mexican Government; but the new invasion of our territory is no longer an isolated fact and tends to convince the Mexican Government that something more than a mere error is involved.

16. This latter act of the American forces causes new complications for the Mexican Government in the possibility of a satisfactory solution and increases the tenseness of the international situation between both countries.

The Mexican Government cannot consider this last incident except as an invasion of our territory, made by American forces against the expressed will of the Mexican Government, and it is its duty to request, as it does, the American Government to order the immediate withdrawal of these new forces and to abstain completely from sending any other expedition of a similar character.

17. The Mexican Government understands its obligation to protect the frontier; but this obligation is not exclusively its own, and it expects that the American Government, which is subject to an equal obligation, will appreciate the material difficulties with which this task is met, inasmuch as the American troops themselves, notwithstanding their number and in spite of the fact that their attention is not shared by other military operations, are physically unable to effectively protect the frontier on the American side.

The Mexican Government has made every effort on its part to protect the frontier without disregarding, on the other hand, the considerable task of pacification which is being performed in the rest of the country, and the American Government should understand that if now and then any lamentable incursions into American territory committed by irresponsible bands of outlaws might occur, this should be a case of pecuniary reparation and a reason to adopt a combined defence, but never a cause for the American authorities to invade our national territory.

The incursion of bands of outlaws into American territory is a deplorable incident, to say the least, but in no way can the Mexican Government be made responsible for them, inasmuch as it is doing everything possible to prevent them.  The crossing of regular American troops into Mexican territory, against the express will of the Mexican Government, does constitute an act of which the American Government is responsible.

18. The Mexican Government, therefore, believes that the time has come for it to insist with the American Government that in withdrawing at once the new Boquillas expedition it should abstain in the future from sending new troops.

In any case, the Mexican Government after having made clear its unwillingness to permit the crossing of new American troops into Mexican territory, will have to consider the latter as an act of invasion of its territory, and therefore it will be forced to defend itself against any group of American troops which may he found within it.

19. With reference to the troops which are now interned in the State of Chihuahua on account of the Columbus incident, the Mexican Government is compelled to insist on their withdrawal.

The Mexican Government understands that, in the face of the unwillingness of the American Government to withdraw the above forces, it would be left no other recourse than to procure the defence of its territory by means of arms, but it understands at the same time its duty to avoid as far as possible an armed conflict between both countries; and, acting in accordance with Article 21 of the treaty of February 2, 1848, it considers it its duty to resort to all means of a peaceful character to find a solution of the international conflict in which both countries are involved.

20. The Mexican Government considers it necessary to avail itself of this opportunity to request the American Government to give a more categorical explanation of its real intentions toward Mexico.

To this end it hopes that in speaking with entire frankness its words may not be interpreted as tending to wound the sensibility of the American Government; but that it finds itself in the condition to set aside all diplomatic euphemism, in order to express its ideas with entire frankness.

If in the expression of the grievances hereinafter mentioned the Mexican Government makes use of the most perfect frankness, it is because it considers its duty to convey the most perfect clearness to the mind of the Government and the people of the United States concerning the Mexican point of view.

21. The American Government has for some time been making protests of friendship to Latin-American countries, and it has availed itself of all possible efforts to convince the same that it is its desire to respect their sovereignty absolutely.

With respect to Mexico especially, the American Government has stated on various occasions that it has no intention to intervene in any way in its internal affairs and that it wishes to leave our country to decide by itself its difficult problems of political and social transformation.

It is still reasoned when, on account of the Columbus expedition, the American Government, through the voice of its President, has made the declaration that it does not intend to interfere in the affairs of Mexico nor to invade it, that it does not desire to acquire a single inch of its territory, and that it will in no way impair its sovereignty.

The Washington Government and its representatives on the frontier have also expressly declared that it is not the will of the American people to go into war or have an armed conflict with Mexico.

Summing up all of the above, and judging from the official declarations which have been made for some time past by the Washington Government, there should appear to be an honest purpose on the part of the Government and people of the United States not to launch into a conflict with Mexico.

22. The Mexican Government, however, regrets to remark that the acts of the American military authorities are in absolute conflict with the above statements, and therefore finds itself constrained to appeal to the President, the Department of State, the Senate, the American people to the end that once and for all time the true political tendency of the United States toward Mexico be defined.

23. It is equally necessary that on this account the Government of the United States should define in a precise manner its purposes toward Mexico, in order that the other Latin-American nations may be able to judge the sincerity of such purposes and be able to appreciate the proper value of the protests of amity and fraternity which have been made to them during many years.

24. The American Government, through the voice of its own President, stated that the punitive expedition from Columbus would withdraw from Mexican territory as soon as the bands of the Villa outlaws could have been destroyed or dispersed.

More than two months have elapsed since this expedition entered into Mexican territory; Generals Scott and Funston declared in Ciudad Juarez that the Villa band has been entirely dispersed, and, knowing this, the American troops are not withdrawn from the territory of Mexico.

The American Government is convinced and has accepted the fact that no military task is now left for the Columbus expedition, and nevertheless the promise made by President Wilson that the forces would withdraw as soon as the purpose which caused them to go in would have been reached has not been complied with.

The causes of any internal political order which may exist not to withdraw the American troops from Mexican territory, however justified they may appear, cannot justify the above attitude, but on the contrary they accentuate the discrepancy between the protests of respect to the sovereignty of Mexico and the actual fact that on account of reasons of internal policy of the United States a status should be maintained which is utterly unjust with regard to the Mexican Republic.

25. The American Government stated that its purpose in causing the American troops to enter Mexico was only to defend the frontier against probable incursions.

This statement, however, is in conflict with the attitude assumed by the same American Government in discussing the agreement concerning the reciprocal crossing of the frontier, because while the Mexican Government maintained that said agreement should limit the zone of operations of the troops of one and the other country, as well as the time which the expeditions should last, the number of soldiers and the arm to which they should belong, the American Government constantly eluded these limitations.

This attitude of the American Government, which is the one expecting to have frequent occasion to cross the frontier on account of incursions of outlaws, is clearly indicating the purpose of having power to enter Mexican territory beyond the limit which the necessities of defence could require.

26. The Columbus punitive expedition, as it has been called, had not, according to the statements of President Wilson, any other purpose than to reach and punish the band of outlaws which had committed the outrage, and it was organized under the supposition that the Mexican Government had given its consent to it.

Such expedition, however, has had a character of such clear distrust toward Mexico and of such absolute independence, that it cannot justly be considered as anything but an invasion made without the consent, without the knowledge, and without the cooperation of the Mexican authorities.

It was a known fact that the Columbus expedition crossed the frontier without the consent of the Mexican Government.  The American military authorities have carried this expedition into effect without awaiting for the consent of the Government of Mexico, and even after they were officially informed that this Government had not given its consent for it, they nevertheless continued it, causing more troops to cross the line without informing the Mexican authorities of this fact.

The expedition has entered and operated within Mexican territory without procuring the cooperation of the Mexican authorities.  The American military authorities have always maintained complete secrecy regarding their movements without informing the Mexican Government about them, such as they would have done if they really had tried to obtain cooperation.

This lack of advice and agreement was the cause of the clash which occurred in Parral between American forces and Mexican citizens.

In conclusion, the Columbus expedition has been carried into effect without any spirit of harmony, but, on the contrary, under a spirit of distrust with respect to our authorities, as our cooperation was not only unsought, nor were we informed with regard to military operations affected, besides the expedition was organized, carrying artillery and infantry forces.

Now, then, the protests of friendly cooperation made by the American authorities are not in keeping with the use of infantry and artillery exclusively destined to be employed against the regular Mexican forces.

If the Columbus expedition had taken place with the consent of the Mexican Government and its cooperation had been sought, the use of artillery and infantry would have been considered an insult to the Mexican authorities because of the supposition that they might feloniously assault the American forces which would have entered Mexico in pursuit of a common enemy confiding in the friendship of the former.

Nevertheless, it is preferable to interpret this act as a proof that the American forces entered into Mexican territory without the consent of the Mexican Government, and, therefore, ready to repel any aggression on the part of regular Mexican forces who were ignorant of their presence.

All of the above facts demonstrate that there has been a great discrepancy between the protests of sincere friendly cooperation on the part of the American authorities and the actual attitude of the expedition, which, on account of its distrust, its secrecy regarding its movements and the arms at its disposal, clearly indicated that it was a hostile expedition and a real invasion of our territory.

27. The American Government has stated on different occasions that the Columbus expedition had no other object than to pursue and destroy the Villa bandits, and that as soon as this would be accomplished the expedition would be withdrawn.

The facts, however, have shown that the intention of the American Government was not the same during the conference at Ciudad Juarez and El Paso.

It cannot be explained otherwise that General Scott should have insisted so emphatically on the signing of a memorandum stating that the American forces would not finish their withdrawal, if any other incident occurred which would mortify the belief of the American Government in the ability of the Mexican Government to protect the frontier.

The conclusion to be drawn from this insistency of General Scott regarding the signing of this memorandum is that the Columbus expedition entered into Mexico promising to withdraw as soon as it should have destroyed the Villa band, but that it is the purpose to make use of it afterward as an instrument to guarantee the protection of the frontier.

28. The American Government justly desires that the frontier should be protected.  If the frontier should be properly protected against incursions from Mexico there would be no reason then for the existing difficulty.

The American Government knows of the difficulties obtaining in the protection of a frontier line in which there are no natural facilities to aid in its defence, and, notwithstanding its immense resources, the American Government itself has not been able to render an effective protection along a line of more than 2,000 kilometres to be guarded.

The Mexican Government proposed that the military chiefs in charge of the troops in one and the other country should discuss a plan of cantonments along the boundary line, and, notwithstanding the protestations of the American Government of its desire to solve its difficulties with Mexico, General Scott did not approve the above plan of cantonments, which is the only thing rational and the only plan that could be carried into effect without involving the sovereignty or territory of one or the other country.

The American Government prefers to keep its troops inactive and idle within the territory of Mexico, instead of withdrawing them to post them along the frontier in accord with Mexican authorities who would do likewise on their side.

By this action the American Government gives room for the supposition that its true intention is to keep the troops it already has interned in Mexico anticipating that it may make use of them later for future operations.

29. The American Government has on all occasions declared its desire to help the Constitutionalist Government to complete the work of pacification and its desire that this task should be carried into effect within the least time possible.

The true attitude of the American Government in relation with these desires appears to be entirely incongruous, inasmuch as for some time back it has been doing things indicating that it does not only render any assistance to the work of pacification of Mexico, but that, on the contrary, it appears to place all possible obstacles to the execution of this task.

As a matter of fact, without considering the great number of diplomatic representations made under the pretext of protection to American interests in Mexico, which are constantly embarrassing the task of the new Government, whose intention it is to reorganize the political, economic, and social conditions of the country on a new basis, there is a great number of facts which cause the influence of the American Government to be felt against the consolidation of the present Government of Mexico.

The decided support given at one time to Villa by General Scott and the Department of State itself was the principal cause for the prolongation of civil war in Mexico for many months.

Later on the continuous aid which the American Catholic clergy has rendered to the Mexican Catholic clergy, which is incessantly working against the Constitutionalist Government, and the constant activities of the American interventionist press and business men of that country, are, to say the least, an indication that the present American Government does not wish or is unable to prevent all the works of conspiracy against the Constitutionalist Government carried into effect in the United States.

30. The American Government claims constantly from the Mexican Government an effective protection of the frontiers, and, nevertheless, the greater number of the bands which take the name of rebels against this Government is provided and armed, and perhaps also organized, on the American side under the tolerance of the authorities of the State of Texas, and, it may be said, even of the Federal authorities of the United States.

The leniency of the American authorities toward such bands is such that in the majority of cases the conspirators, who are well known, and wherever they have been discovered and imprisoned, are released under insignificant bonds, permitting them to continue in their efforts.

Mexican emigrants, who are plotting and organizing incursions on the American side, have now more facilities to cause injury than before, because knowing that any new difficulty between Mexico and the United States will prolong the stay of American troops, they endeavour to increase the occasions for a conflict and friction.

31. The American Government claims to help the Constitutionalist Government in its task of pacification and urges that such a work be done within the least time possible, and that the protection of the frontiers be effected in the most efficacious way.

And nevertheless, on various occasions, the American Government has detained shipments of arms and ammunition purchased by the Mexican Government in the United States, which should be employed to hasten the task of pacification and to more efficaciously protect the frontier.

The pretexts given to detain the shipment of munitions consigned to this Government have always been futile and never have we been given a frank reason; it has been said, for example, that the munitions were embargoed because it was not known who the owner might be, or because of the fear that they might fall into the hands of Villista bands.

The embargo of war material consigned to the Mexican Government can have no other interpretation than that the Government of the United States wishes to protect itself against the emergency of a future conflict, and therefore it is endeavouring to prevent arms and ammunition which might be used against American troops from reaching the hands of the Mexican Government.

The American Government would have the right to take this precaution against such emergency, but in that case it ought not to say that it is endeavouring to cooperate with the Mexican Government, and it would be preferable to give out a more frank statement concerning its procedure.

The American Government either desires to decidedly and frankly help the Mexican Government to re-establish peace, and in this case it ought not to prevent the exportation of arms, or the true purposes of the American Government are to get ready so that in the case of future war with Mexico the latter may find itself less provided with arms and ammunition.  If this is the case, it would be preferable to say so.

In any case, the embargo on arms and ammunition consigned to the Mexican authorities, under the frivolous pretext of preventing these arms and ammunition from falling into the hands of Villista bands, is an indication that the actual acts of the American military authorities are entirely in conflict with the purposes of peace of the American Government.

The Mexican Government cannot wish war with the United States, and if this should occur it would undoubtedly be as a consequence of a deliberate purpose of the United States.

For the time being the above precautionary acts of the American Government indicate that there is a purpose of preparedness for such emergency, or that, which is the same, the beginning of hostility on the part of the United States toward Mexico.

32. In conclusion, the New York American authorities, alleging that they act at the suggestion of a neutral peaceful society, have ordered the detention of several parts of machinery which the Mexican Government was forwarding to Mexico for its ammunition factory.

It could not be conceived that this machinery could be used before several months after it had reached its destination.

This action of the American Government, tending to prevent the manufacturing of munitions in a remote future, is another clear indication that its true purposes toward Mexico are not peaceful, because while millions and millions of dollars' worth of arms and ammunition are being daily exported for the European war without peace societies becoming impressed by the spectacle of that war, the New York authorities are showing exceedingly marked interest in seconding the purposes of the above-mentioned humanitarian societies whenever it is a matter of exporting to Mexico any machinery for the manufacture of arms and ammunition.

Mexico has the indisputable right just like the United States and all other nations in the world to provide for its military necessities, especially so when it is confronting so vast a task as that of insuring the pacification of the interior of this country; and the action of the Government of the United States in detaining machinery destined for the manufacture of ammunitions is indicative either that the United States wishes to place obstacles to its complete pacification, or that this action is one of the series carried into effect by the American authorities as a matter of precaution in case of a projected war with Mexico.

33. All of the above-mentioned circumstances indicate that the true purpose of the military authorities of the United States are in absolute contradiction with the continuous protestations of amity of the American Government toward Mexico.

34. The Mexican people and Government are absolutely sure that the American people do not wish war with Mexico.  There are, nevertheless, strong American interests and strong Mexican interests labouring to secure a conflict between the two countries.

The Mexican Government firmly desires to preserve peace with the American Government, but to that effect it is indispensable that the American Government should frankly explain its true purposes toward Mexico.

The Mexican Government, therefore, formally invites the Government of the United States to cause the situation of uncertainty between the two countries to cease and to support its declarations and protests of amity with real and affective action which will convince the Mexican people of the sincerity of its purposes.

This action, in the present situation, cannot be other than the immediate withdrawal of the American troops which are now in Mexican territory.

Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. IV, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923

Flak was a term used to describe anti-aircraft fire.

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