CHAPTER XXX
THE PEDRAZA PLOT

At the time of the revolution of September 4, 1933, José Eleuterio Pedraza was the First Sergeant of an infantry company. When I invited him to join the movement I headed, he accepted and acted with great decisiveness. By successive promotions he moved from Captain to Colonel. He carried out his duties capably, and though he sometimes acted too hastily, he was always faithful . . . until one day. . . .

I had retired from the Army in 1939. When I assumed the Presidency on October 10, 1940, I appointed Pedraza as Chief of the Army General Staff and Col. Angel Aurelio González as Chief of the Navy.

At Col. Pedraza's request Col. Bernardo García was made Chief of the National Police. For administrative reasons I had had to dismiss the former Chief of Police, his conduct having hurt the Government's reputation.

My Administration had hardly been four months in office, when the three Chiefs, with Col. Pedraza as the ringleader, became involved in a plot to overthrow the regime. As a pretext they claimed that the Government could not fulfill the economic obligations or balance the national budget. But the real reasons lay in unnecessary acts of violence and in the shady transactions of the Chief of Police.

To avoid speaking in the first person, I turn again to Edmund Chester's book A Sergeant Named Batista.

"At the beginning of 1941, a competent observer might have

-212-

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