Gainza, Gabino, 1760-1824, Havitantes de la provincial de Guatemala, 10 de abril 1821 (Guatemala, April 10, 1821)
In charge of the Superior Political and Military command and responsible for the security of the country, my first responsibility is the just and well-deserved credit of our nature and conduct: always loyal to the King, always united under the Monarchy, and always obedient and respectful of the laws and the authorities, you have been an exemplary model of virtue in America, the emulation of other peoples, and the envy of the Heads [of State] who were unlucky enough to rule over unfortunate countries. I am aware of this fortune and that of working in your favor; I cannot disregard the just considerations that you deserve. A firm and experienced loyalty, despite the dangers which have circled round you for a long time, cannot be altered now in your happiest moments, when you are experiencing a frank and liberal system of administration, and when you can expect bigger exemptions and just liberties from the political Constitution that governs us, through our own influence, and through our cooperation with our Deputies. Since you are accustomed to despising seduction and intrigue, and triumphing over traps, there is nothing in a day that can fool you or separate you from our duties and stain your pure honor.
Guatemalans, Iturvide’s [Illegible: sic. Iturbide’s] revolutionary shout on the Acapulco Coasts, within New Spain’s confines, is unimportant. The disloyal, ungrateful Colonel Iturvide [Illegible: sic., Iturbide], is rebelling against his King and against his mother country; his first experiment was the robbery of more than one million pesos of the former’s commerce and wealth of Philippine ships which had been entrusted to him; this single step reveals his misconduct and the perversity of his intentions. Both news and the plans of his rebellion and machinations have extended from this previous mail, and they all envelop the most atrocious perfidy, [...] respect of a Religion that offends, love for a King who dispossesses, union with a Nation that harasses, and affection toward despised authorities. This unexpected incident, though in its first moment it could have filled the Heads [of States], Corporations, and the peaceful peoples of New Spain with bitterness for the renovation of war and its disasters, instead, far from inspiring fear, irritated everyone in such a way that they made their most firm resolution against the perfidious proposal of independence and its authors and bodies of troops streamed out, capable of drowning this new rebellion at its place of origin,
Happily, we received the most plausible news regarding this event in yesterday’s mail, and the Government has found the risk vanished and the new rebellion almost extinguished at its very origins: almost all the troops with which they had counted on for the uprising deserted [the cause], they abandoned Iturvide’s [Illegible: sic., Iturbide] rebel flags; this leader escaped with only one hundred men, who followed him across the Mescala River and burned their life rafts; he lost the million pesos, the fruit of his robbery and the great help for his new enterprise, denying it to the other ring leader, Guerrero who had guarded him; Acapulco Port, the place that supported the operations of this rebel in a very brief and decided manner, was finally recovered on March 15 by the King’s troops and the two war frigates, Proof and Vengeance, the horizon of security and peace was once again discovered in New Spain, only altered for a few moments, and it was revealed to all of us that God visibly protects the just cause against the perfidy of men; the Government is frank in its conduct, and presents all the news that it has regarding these events to the public.
Guatemalans, let nothing be capable of altering your present peace and tranquility: [united] with a Government that loves and protects you, remain firm in your loyalty, and resolute to resist the shots of perfidy and deception. Stop worrying and desist those factions, although the irritate you without malice or sinister objectives, they disunite you, they make you enemies, and they can drive you to an abuse, which up to now you have not fallen into. The Government, with corresponding circumspectness, is fed up with experiencing these types of divisions, which, once degenerated, have afflicted the happy countries of America; it feels your disunion, and in its same silence it condemns it: it is a warning, that in all divided peoples, corruption is born with time, and with it come considerable wrongs, inevitable in other days; and perhaps you are all unwary, outlining our harm and ruin. The government urges you to [see] peace and harmony as your primary duty and as the most efficient manner in which to ensure our well-being and future happiness: the Government warns that similar dissentions (domestic or individual, so to speak) must not overstep their boundaries, they must not touch the public order, they must not reach the point at which they can produce fatal abuse, that they obligate the authority to be deployed in such a case. The Government, in sum, expects conviction and open eyes from you, and that, for your own good, you dissipate in good faith, what he can dissipate in a simple manner.
This is the language of frankness and of sincerity, one which can be used by a Head [of State] who, placed in the loyal balance of impartiality and the law, detests all arbitrariness and injustice, who does not hear the voice of seduction and the influence; who, imbued with his duties and by all you deserve because of your virtues, would sacrifice for your well-being his own tranquility and rest; he will value rectitude and honor, will honor the classes, will project the honest people, will defend the Constitution and the laws, and will not consent to an abuse of privilege and liberty in attempts against the Government of the Monarchy, against the respect of the authorities, or against the order or hierarchy of the citizens, who form the foundation of the state.
Guatemalans, if you understand how practicing these maxims you guarantee your self-preservation and happiness, you will only find in me a passive Head [of State], a father, your compatriot that takes care of you, who directs and defends you, if anyone is ignorant of them and declares himself against them, you will see me as a decided and firm military man, that will proceed against the aggressor until extermination: I am in charge of conserving your peace: these are my duties: I must fulfill them. Guatemala April 10, 1821.