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MEXICO'S DILEMMA
CARL W. AGKERMAN




A MEXICAN' CAKTOOMST'S VIEW OK SKXHK t ALIREKA,

ONE OK THE MOST HOMI.VANT CIVIIJAX OKKJCIAI.S



MEXICO'S
DILEMMA



BY

CARL W. ACKERMAN

AUTHOR OF "GERMANY, THE NEXT REPUBLIC? "




ILLUSTRATED



\






NEW YORK
GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY



COPYRIGHT. 1918,
BY GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY



COPYRIGHT, 1917.
BY THE CURTIS PUBLISHING COMPANY

COPYRIGHT. 1917,
BY AMERICAN ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE



PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA



INTRODUCTION

Mexico's Dilemma has three horns.

They are: 1. Financial ruin of Mexico and
internal disorders unless a loan is obtained. 2.
The possibility of subjugation to German influ-
ence with all of its liability for external strife.
3. Co-operation with the United States, England,
France and America.

What will Mexico do?

The answer is one which future events will de-
termine. In this book the author has tried to tell
what forces and influences are sharpening each of
the three horns. There are bandits, disloyal Mex-
icans, ambitious officials, patriotic citizens, honest
business men, Teutonic intriguers, spies, propa-
gandists, diplomats, millionaires, army officers
and I. W. W. firebrands at work. Is it any won-
der, then, that Mexico finds herself in such a
Dilemma?

Mexico has always been a home and workshop
for foreigners. Several thousand years ago the
Chinese settled in that country and, judging from
the relics which are found to-day, in and about
Mexico City, Chinese civilisation flourished there
for a few hundred years. Terra cotta relics are
found showing an unmistakable Mongolian type



vi INTRODUCTION

of face, and, because a large number of art ob-
jects similar to those found in China have been
unearthed, archeologists conclude that Mexico was
once the foreign colony of the Chinese.

After the Chinese civilisation disappeared the
Aztec and pre- Aztec Indians dominated the land.
A few hundred years ago the Spaniards landed
and Mexico passed through a period of conquest
which ended with the execution of the Austrian,
Emperor Maximilian. And to-day, in Monterey
is preserved the rifle which was used at this ex-
ecution, preserved even by the Rebels during the
revolutions.

A few decades ago English, French and Ameri-
can capitalists went to Mexico to develop the
wonderfully rich resources, and Mexico under
President Porfirio Diaz became a great, inter-
nationally respected nation.

The revolution which overthrew Diaz drove
thousands of these foreigners from the country,
and the immigration of Germans and Austrians,
which had started earlier, increased until to-day
the Teuton strength is so great that Mexican
politics is interwoven with German intrigue.
Where a few years ago The Mexican Herald, an
English language newspaper, had a wide circula-
tion and commanded the respect and attention of
all foreigners, there is to-day a Deutsche Zeitung
von Mexico.

Germany is active in Mexico, honestly and dis-
honestly. The character of many of the German



INTRODUCTION vii

citizens there cannot be attacked and their hon-
esty cannot be questioned, but, as is the case in
the United States and in all countries where the
German Government intriguers have worked, all
Germans in Mexico are bearing the burdens of a
corrupt, dishonest, deceitful government in Ber-
lin. Most of the things which the Germans are
doing there, both against the United States and
against Mexico itself, are done at the direction
of Berlin. "Who would have expected Mexico to
think of invading the United States to "get
back" American territory until it was suggested
to the German Minister in Mexico City by Dr.
Alfred Zimmermann, former Secretary of State?
What honest, intelligent Mexican favours war
with the United States when there is nothing to
gain for Mexico except flattery from Berlin?
What capable Mexican business man, or govern-
ment official, favours labour riots at Tampico to
cut off the oil supply which is bringing millions
of dollars to the Mexican Treasury? What is
there for Mexico to gain if the oil wells and
mines are destroyed? Mexico loses by such things
and Berlin gains.

When I returned from Germany to America in
March, 1917, 1 found so many people asking what
the Germans were doing in Mexico that I pro-
posed to the Editor of The Saturday Evening
Post that I go to that country for the purpose of
making an investigation. It seemed to me that
public opinion in the United States was divided;



viii INTRODUCTION

that some people thought the German activity in
Mexico was no greater than, if as great as, that in
the United States, while others believed it much
more portentous.

In July, having my two passports in order, as
both an American and a Mexican passport were
needed, I left New York City for San Antonio,
Texas, where I met and talked with a large num-
ber of Mexicans, including Mr. Sam Belden, the
attorney for the Mexican Consul; Senor don
Manuel Amaya, Official Introducer of Ambassa-
dors in President Carranza's cabinet; General
Salinas and a Mexican physician from Monterey.
I remained at San Antonio until Ambassador
Henry Prather Fletcher and Mrs. Fletcher ar-
rived en route to Mexico City. Upon the invita-
tion of Seiior Amaya I travelled on the special
train which took Mr. Fletcher to the Mexican
capital.

I crossed the International Bridge with the
official party and drove through the dusty streets
of Nuevo Laredo to the railway siding where the
train was waiting. That evening, after consider-
able delay bandits had destroyed a bridge just
outside the city reached Monterey, in company
with Mr. Randolph Robertson, Acting Consul-
General for the United States, and several Mex-
icans, including a Captain attached to the National
Palace.

The next day the train stopped at San Luis
Potosi. Ambassador and Mrs. Fletcher were en-



INTRODUCTION ix

tertained by General Barragan, the Governor of
the state, and his staff. At the banquet I sat be-
side Senor Montezuma, a direct descendant of the
famous Indian chief. From San Luis Potosi to
Mexico City we passed through a beautiful
stretch of country under armed escort.

In Mexico City I met members of the cabinet,
Mexican Generals, members of the Chamber of
Deputies, American and English business men,
bankers, newspapermen and others. I employed
a young Mexican student from the University of
Texas as an interpreter, journeyed about the city
and the suburbs, and studied, in every way possi-
ble for me, the social and political conditions in
the capital of the Republic.

Before I left the United States I had encoun-
tered two classes of citizens, those who had faith
in the possibilities for good of the Carranza Gov-
ernment and those who violently opposed this
government. In Mexico I found quite the same
situation. Not only were the foreigners divided
in opinion but the Mexicans themselves, though
here those opposing the government were not as
pronounced in the expression of their judgment
for fear of Article 33 in the Mexican Constitution.
This article reads :

" Foreigners are those who do not possess the
qualifications prescribed in Article 30. They
shall be entitled to the rights granted by Chapter
I, Title I of the present constitution; but the ex-



x INTRODUCTION

ceutive shall liare the exclusive right to expel
from the Republic forthwith and without judicial
process, any foreigner whose presence he may
deem inexpedient.

"No foreigner shall meddle in any way what-
soever in the political affairs of the country."

From this section developed the phrase "to be
Thirty-threed, " meaning to be exiled without
trial or hearing, from Mexico.

From Monterey I travelled to Tampico on the
regular morning train which was crowded with
Mexicans, Indians and Germans long before the
hour of departure. Most of the Germans left at
towns along the line, but a few continued to the
great oil port.

In Tampico I had the assistance and the same
cordial co-operation from the Americans, espe-
cially the representatives of the oil companies,
that I had had in Mexico City. As I look back
now upon my contact with the Americans in Mex-
ico they appear to me to be, with only one excep-
tion that I can recall, all active, energetic business
men, who, far from being in that country to * l rob"
it are there working and striving for the same
things that business men, bankers, clerks and
labourers honestly strive for in the United States.

Early one September morning I boarded a large
oil tanker in Tampico harbour, crossed the Gulf
of Mexico to Sabine Pass, Texas, when that great
body of water was as quiet and smooth as a small



INTRODUCTION xi

lake. Arriving in Texas, and looking back upon
my experiences in Mexico, I felt that I had had an
opportunity of studying conditions at first hand,
not, indeed, as they were during the revolution,
but as they were then. Nothing, though, that I
know of changes like Mexico. What one day is
the situation the next day may not exist at all.

In the first article which I wrote for The Satur-
day Evening Post I spoke of the two policies
which faced Mexico : either Mexico could join the
United States and the Allies, at least to the ex-
tent of breaking diplomatic relations with Berlin,
or Mexico might stay out of this league of nations
and by so doing give the German propagandists
further opportunity of creating hatred, suspicion
and fear between Mexico and the United States.
In case of the latter event, should it continue
long enough, no one can be sure that Mexico, under
German influence, may not some day be an enemy
of the United States.

That is what I wrote in July, 1917. By mid-
November, the former Associated Press corre-
spondent in Mexico City had reached New York.
A letter from Mexico stated that he was exiled
because he wrote a series of articles for the
1 'A. P.," telling of the campaign which the Ger-
mans were conducting, in co-operation with the
bandit leaders, to prevent the Carranza govern-
ment from breaking with Berlin. The letter,
which I received, said the correspondent, whom I
had met while I was there, was tapped on the



xii INTRODUCTION

shoulder one night by a secret service agent and
told to leave the next morning for the United
States.

So it is in Mexico. Zimmennann is not alone
in his intrigues.

With the sincere hope that this book will help
Americans to understand Mexico as it is I sub-
mit it to the reading public. Everything, includ-
ing future peace between the two nations, Mexico
and the United States, and their mutual pros-
perity, depends upon our having a full under-
standing of the situation. This book does not pre-
tend to contain all there is to be known about
Mexico to-day but the author believes it to pre-
sent a true account of conditions and politics in
Mexico at the time of its writing.

I have employed in this book the major portion
of five articles written for The Saturday Evening
Post to which I have added considerable new ma-
terial. I am indebted to so many Americans and
Mexicans for assistance and information, some
whose names might be mentioned, others whose
names cannot be given, that I welcome this oppor-
tunity to thank them all.

C. W. A.



CONTENTS

PAGE

INTRODUCTION v

THE ZIMMERMANN NOTE xviii

CHAPTER

I. A BIRD'S-EYE VIEW 19

II. THE MEXICAN PUZZLE 24

III. REBELS AND REVOLUTIONS 48

IV. GERMANY'S ALLY AT TAMPICO .... 68
V. THE LAST SPY OFFENSIVE 98

VI. RISING OR SETTING SUN IN MEXICO . . . 117

VII. THE FUTURE 136

APPENDIX 141

A. FINANCIAL BILLS 143

B. THE NEW MEXICAN CONSTITUTION . . . 153

C. MEXICAN RAILWAYS 264

D. THE AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE . 273

E. THE LAST MEXICAN ELECTION 279



nil



ILLUSTRATIONS

A MEXICAN CARTOONIST'S VIEW OF SENOR CABRERA

Frontispiece

PAGE

MEXICAN VILLAGERS WHO TURNED OUT TO SEE

SENOR FLETCHER 28

AMBASSADOR FLETCHER'S MILITARY ESCORT . . 28

COVER FOR THE GERMAN NEWSPAPER OF MEXICO 36

THIS WAS AT ONE TIME A BEAUTIFUL RESIDENCE 52

THE FAMOUS "SADDLE MOUNTAIN" OF MONTEREY 52
THE U. S. WARSHIPS AT ANCHOR IN TAMPICO HARBOR 70

AN OIL GUSHER AT TAMPICO 70

THE GUSHER OF THE CERRO AZUL OIL WELL 600

FEET HIGH 80

ANOTHER VIEW OF GERMANY'S LEADERS . . . 100

COVER CARTOON OF AMBASSADOR FLETCHER . . 112

TERRA COTTA HEADS FOUND BY PROF. NIVEN . . 122

AN AZTEC FAMILY TREE 122

PROFESSOR WILLIAM NIVEN 132

LIST OF THE PRESIDENTS OF MEXICO, GEN. PORFIRIO

DIAZ TO Lie. FRANCISCO GARBAJAL 162




xvi ILLUSTRATIONS

LIST OF PRESIDENTS OF MEXICO, EULALIO GUTIER-
REZ TO C. VENUSTIANO CARRANZA 178

THE RUINED RAILWAY DEPOT AND FREIGHT CARS
AT MONTEREY 266

A TYPICAL MEXICAN RAILWAY TRAIN 266



MEXICO'S DILEMMA



THE ZIMMEEMANN NOTE

BERLIN, JANUARY 19, 1917.

To His EXCELLENCY, THE IMPERIAL
GERMAN MINISTER TO MEXICO.

On the first of February we intend to begin unre-
stricted submarine warfare. In spite of this, it is our in-
tention to endeavour to keep the United States of Amer-
ica neutral.

If this attempt is not successful, we propose an alli-
ance on the following basis with Mexico: That we shall
make war together and together make peace. We shall
give general financial support, and it is understood that
Mexico is to reconquer the lost territory in New Mex-
ico, Texas and Arizona. The details are left to you for
settlement.

You are instructed to inform the President of Mex-
ico of the above in the greatest confidence as soon as it
is certain that there will be an outbreak of war with the
United States, and suggest that the President of Mexico,
on his own initiative, should communicate with Japan
suggesting adherence at once to this plan. At the same
time offer to mediate between Germany and Japan.

Please call to the attention of the President of Mexico
that the employment of ruthless submarine warfare now
promises to compel England to make peace within a few
months.

ZlMMERMANN.



MEXICO'S DILEMMA

CHAPTER I
A BIRD'S-EYE VIEW

PRESIDENT LINCOLN'S words on Mexico,
sent in the form of instructions to the
United States Minister in Mexico City, true
as they must have been more than fifty years ago,
are just as true to-day. "For a few years past the
condition of Mexico has been so unsettled as to
raise the question on both sides of the Atlantic
whether the time has not come when some foreign
power ought, in the general interest of society,
to intervene, to establish a protectorate or some
other form of government in that country and
guarantee its continuance there," wrote the Presi-
dent. He continued:

"You will not fail to assure the Government of
Mexico that the President neither has, nor can
ever have, any sympathy with such designs, in
whatever quarter they may arise or whatever
character they may take on. , . .

1 1 The President never for a moment doubts that

19



20 MEXICO'S DILEMMA

the republican system is to pass safely through
all ordeals and prove a permanent success in our
own country, and so to be recommended to adop-
tion by all other nations.

''But he thinks, also, that the system every-
where has to make its way painfully through diffi-
culties and embarrassments which result from
the action of antagonistical elements which are a
legacy of former times and very different institu-
tions.

"The President is hopeful of the ultimate tri-
umph of this system over all obstacles, as well in
regard to Mexico as in regard to every other
American State ; but he feels that those States are
nevertheless justly entitled to a greater forbear-
ance and more generous sympathies from the
Government and people of the United States
than they are likely to receive in any other
quarter. . . .

"The President trusts that your mission, mani-
festing these sentiments, will reassure the Gov-
ernment of Mexico of his best disposition to
favour their commerce and their internal im-
provements.

"I find the archives here full of complaints
against the Mexican Government for violation of
contracts and spoliation and cruelties practiced
against American citizens. It is not the Presi-
dent's intention to send forward such claims at
the present moment. He willingly defers the per-
formance of a duty, which at any time would



A BIRD'S-EYE VIEW 21

seem ungracious, until the incoming administra-
tion in Mexico shall have had time, if possible,
to cement its authority."

How many Americans there are to-day who feel
as apprehensive as did President Lincoln! How
many Americans ask to-day whether the United
States may not have to intervene in Mexico, after
all, to help establish peace and order!

In his International Law Digest, Professor
John Bassett Moore, former Counsellor of the
State Department in Washington, writes:

"On November 28, 1876, General Porfirio Diaz
issued a proclamation announcing himself pro-
visional president of the Republic of Mexico,
under the Plan of Tuxtepec. On January 19,
1877, intelligence having been received at Wash-
ington of the defeat of the forces of the rival
claimants Secretary of State Fish suggested that
if this should be confirmed by similar tidings re-
ceived at the City of Mexico, General Diaz 'would
have no important adversary in arms and might
be regarded as the actual ruler of the country.'
The question of recognising his government was
under the circumstances left to the discretion of
the American Minister. In view, however, of the
unsettled state of affairs in Mexico, and especially
of the existence of controversies between the two
countries growing out of troubles on the Bio
Grande frontier, it was afterwards determined



that the Government of the United States, al-
though it was 'accustomed to accept and recognise
the results of a popular choice in Mexico,' would
in this particular instance 'wait before recognis-
ing President Diaz as President of Mexico until
it shall be assured that his election is approved
by the Mexican people, and that his administra-
tion is possessed of stability to endure and of dis-
position to comply with the rules of international
comity and the obligations of treaties. ' The Diaz
Government was officially recognised by Germany
May 30, 1877, by Salvador and Guatemala June 7,
by Spain June 16 and soon afterwards similar
action was taken by Italy. These were all the
powers then represented in Mexico, except the
United States. In his annual message of Decem-
ber 3, 1877, President Hayes stated that it had
been 'the custom of the United States when such
(revolutionary) changes of government have here-
tofore occurred in Mexico, to recognise and enter
into official relations with the de facto government
as soon as it shall appear to have the approval of
the Mexican people and should manifest a disposi-
tion to adhere to the obligations of treaties and
international friendship,' but that 'in the present
case such official recognition had been deferred
by the occurrences on the Rio Grande border.'

"Official recognition was given in May, 1878,
when a formal reception was tendered to a new
minister from Mexico and the President formally



A BIRD'S-EYE VIEW 23

replied to the letter of General Diaz announcing
the recall of the provisional representative."

The events which followed the recognition of
President Diaz are familiar enough. The story
of events from 1910, from the overthrow of Diaz
to the recognition of the de facto government of
President Carranza, has been told in many ver-
sions. The past I shall leave to the reader's judg-
ment. My concern is with the present.



CHAPTER n

THE MEXICAN PUZZLE

TROUBLE and revolutions are two things
which can be started without money. It
doesn't require money to start a street
fight nor does it require gold to upset a nation.

This is not more true of any place than of Mex-
ico. The seven years of strife which the people
south of the Rio Grande have had are not due to
a fat treasury. But Mexico has reached the place
now where it knows that money is necessary to
end a revolution.

More than a century ago when France was ex-
periencing the internal disorders which infest
Mexico a revolutionist remarked that "Revolu-
tions are not made with rosewater." To-day the
Mexicans will tell you that the evils of a revolu-
tion are not washed away with perfume, either.
This requires money.

Early in the summer of 1917 the Mexican Gov-
ernment invited Mr. Henry Breure, former City
Chamberlain of New York, and two expert ac-
countants, including Mr. Thomas W. Lill, who
spent nine years helping to reorganise the Philip-
pine Government, to establish business methods in

24



THE MEXICAN PUZZLE 33

the governmental departments. One day in July
the American commission went to Guadalajara,
the centre of the ranch section, with an official
escort of Mexicans. After dinner one evening an
American asked a representative of the Carranza
Government what the revolution had accomplished
for the Mexican people. The officer explained
what he thought the results of the revolution
would be, but the American pressed him for an


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