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13 July 1908









El Salvador



BEFORE: JUDGES: Josť Astķa Аguilar; Salv. Gallegos; Angel M. Bocanegra; Alberto Ucles; Josť Madriz.
Applicant(s): Honduras, Nicaragua
Respondent(s): Guatemala, El Salvador
Perma Link:
Citation: Honduras v. Guatemala, CACJ, Order of 13 July 1908, 2 Am. J. Intíl L. 838 (1908)
Editor's Note: Reproduced with permission from ASIL/AJIL. The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 3, No. 2 (Apr., 1909), 434-436; Vol. 3, No. 3 (Jul., 1909), 729-736. © 1909 The American Society of International Law


Central American Court of Justice,

Cartago, July 13, 1908, at 1 p. m.

Whereas, in a formal complaint addressed to this court by His Excellency the Minister of Foreign Relations of the Republic of Honduras in a telegram sent from Tegucigalpa at 6 p. m. of the 10th instant, and delivered to the clerk's office at 5 p. m. of the following day, the Government of said Republic, after reciting the facts which warrant its action, asserts that the Governments of El Salvador and Guatemala have protected and fomented the revolutionary move¨ment which is now astir against the constituted authorities of the nation; and it files against both the charges that they have not fulfilled " the duty imposed on them by article 17 of the treaty of peace and amity signed at Washington, to 'concentrate' and proceed against discontented Hondurans who are preparing to carry civil war into their country," and that they have violated "the neutrality which they ought to have observed in accordance with article 2 of the additional agreement annexed to the said treaty." The complaining Government adds that "Honduras declines (and charges) to the Governments of El Salvador and Guatemala the responsibility for the damage to lives and property resulting from the present armed conflict, for the unwarranted scandal it will cause before other nations, and for the breach of public faith and of the promise given to the United States and Mexican Governments at the Washington Conference;" that "it has sufficient evidence to prove the guilt of the Governments which it accuses, and places right now at the disposal of the court the documents which [839] it possesses in this connection, to be transmitted by telegraph or sent by mail, at the discretion of the court." It asks, finally, that the court "determine at once the status in which the Governments of El Salvador and Guatemala are to remain, in order to prevent greater mischief, until the court pronounces the sentence condemning these Governments as is due."

Whereas, the complaint of the Hondurean Government should be supplemented by indicating the proofs on which it is based before it is communicated or transmitted to the Governments against which it is filed (article 14 of the convention for the establishment of a Central American court of justice).

Whereas, notwithstanding the foregoing, immediate attention should be given to the request of the high plaintiff that this court determine the status in which the contending parties are to remain during the litigation.

Therefore, in accordance with what has been said, with the provisions of the treaty cited, and with articles 1, 2, 3, 16, and 17 of the general treaty of peace and amity of December 20, 1907, as well as article 2 of the additional agreement, it is resolved:

(1) To acknowledge the presentation of the complaint of the Honduran Government (which is asked to indicate by telegraph the proofs on which it bases its complaint, without prejudice to the subsequent presentation thereof in the proper manner), and to wait until the said proofs are indicated before serving notice of the complaint on the high parties who are to answer it.
(2) In order to fix the status in which the high interested parties are to remain pending the final decision of the case, the court resolves to establish the following rules, which may be subsequently modified or supplemented, according to necessities and circumstances arising during the course of events: The Governments of El Salvador and Guatemala must

(a) refrain from any military measure or movement, naval or land, and from all acts of whatsoever nature which might directly or indirectly imply interference in the Republic of Honduras;
(b) confine in one place all emigrants suspected of being interested in the Honduran revolution or of being hostile toward the Honduran Government;
(c) prevent preparations from being made, or any kind of requisites intended to help or foment the conflict from being solicited, within their territories;
(d) rigorously prosecute any person who abets the struggle in any manner;
(e) disarm and confine in one place any revolutionary force entering their territory;
(f) discharge any Central American emigrants holding positions as officers in their service and compel them to reside in their respective capitals, subject to strict vigilance;
(g) reduce their military forces to the proportion necessary for their ordinary service, plus the detachments required at suitable places along the frontiers for the sake of preventing assistance being afforded the revolutionists in the shape of men, war stores or subsistence supplies. On its part, the Honduran Government shall refrain from any act of hostility against the aforementioned Republics. Let this resolution be communicated to the Central American Governments.

Josť Astķa Аguilar.
Salv. Gallegos.
Angel M. Bocanegra.
Alberto Ucles.
Josť Madriz.

Ernesto Martin, Clerk.

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