Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Agua Prieta Recaptured as Modero Deny Peace Rumors

Agua Prieta was recaptured by Mexican Federal Forces yesterday morning after a battle on Monday that left 200 rebels dead.  The Insurrectos abandoned Agua Prieta after the battle and after the desertion of one of their commanders, Balasario Garcia, before the Federals could attack the town once more.  The commander-in-chief of the Rebel forces, Col. Juan Medina, attributed the retreat to an overindulgence in whiskey by the rebel troops that put them in no condition to withstand another assault by Federal troops.  Medina also escaped into U.S. custody.

In an official statement to the Mexican ambassador from Nogales, Arizona, the Diaz government said:
I beg to advise you of the complete triumph of the federal army in taking Agua Prieta from the rebels, who where completely routed.  The federals displayed great heroism and abnegation in spite of the tremendous odds and the disadvantages they had to surmount in order to capture the town without doing damage to persons and property in Douglas, Arizona.  I am unable to state as yet the number of dead [a later statement said that 200 rebels were killed with 200 horses, 200 saddles, 200 rifles, and 60,000 cartridges captured; 200 rebels crossed the US border; 15 Federal troops were killed with 23 injured].  Those of the rebels are very heavy. Many of the latter, including the leaders, Balasario Garcia and Medina, surrendered to the American officers.  The federals captured a great number of guns and ammunition.  The public has not been allowed to enter, and the services of the Red Cross have been gracefully declined as the Mexican troops have all the necessary equipment to attend to all the wounded.
There was no rest for Lieut. Col. Reynaldo Diaz and the Federals holding Agua Prieta yesterday evening however, as the Rebel leader of Sonora, Juan Cabral, marched on the town.  According to an account by a rebel scout who was captured on the American side of the line, the 500-man strong band were headed for the border town to reinforce the insurrectos who, unbeknown to Cabral, had abandoned the area a day earlier.  When they advanced within range of the forward gun emplacements of the Federal troops, they were fired upon, forcing Cabral's group to retreat.  At press time for the Bisbee Daily Review, spectators on the American side of the line in Douglas are awaiting a rebel attack on Agua Prieta which may result in more casualties from stray fire.

It is this stray fire that has been experienced in U.S. border towns in recent days that has result in a diplomatic row between the government in Washington and the Diaz government in Mexico City.  Hope sprang up early today from reports that Modero may cease military operations pending peace negotiations, though no formal response on what the Diaz government planned to do regarding the protection of US property near the border has been received by the White House as of this afternoon.  However, Vasquez Gomez, head of the Insurrecto contingent in Washington, and Francisco Madero, leader of the rebels, both deny the reports.  Dr. Gomez told the Washington Times:
There have been no suggestions from the revolutionists that an armistice be arranged pending peace negotiations.  Neither have there been any such proposals received from either Senor Limantour [Mexican Finance Minister] or Senor de la Berra [Mexican Ambassador to the U.S.].  No armistice will be thought of by the revolutionists at this time unless the Diaz government and the Cientifico party agree to treat with us on the terms which we laid down several weeks ago.  President Diaz has to go.  The Cient√≠fico party must give up its unlawful control of the government.  The people of Mexico must be given a free and general election, not only for the executive, but also the legislative positions.  Only on those terms will the revolutionary party treat for peace.
The rumors that an armistice has been agreed upon between the Mexican government and leaders of the revolution is but a trick of Limantour's as a last but futile effort to reassure the people and make them think that the present government officials will give them what they want.
Gomez also stated that the revolutionary junta may bring a suit against U.S. Calvary Lieutenant Colonel Shunk who seized ammunition in Douglas, possibly bound for rebel hands.  Gomez stated that such a seizure is a violation of the laws of the United States.  He further stated that the rebels continued to plans to attack the border towns of Ciudad Juarez, just across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, and Ojinaga, which is just across from Presidio, Texas.

Link: JUAN CABRAL APPEARS [The Bisbee Daily Review]
Link: Maderists Seek Peace in Plea for Armistice [The Washington Herald]
Link: No Pledges Come from Mexicans to White House [The Washington Times]

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