When 1,000 Bahamian negro labourers were imported into Mexico, to help build the railroad, everyone knew there would be trouble. No one wanted them there. The company who had imported the labourers were told to send them back to the Bahamas. The company refused citing the schedule of construction and the labour contract agreements already in place.
On 20th July 1900, an article appeared in the El Paso, Texas Daily Herald. The article warned of trouble.
Imported From Bahama Islands
CITY OF MEXICO, July 20.– There is considerable fault being found here with the officials of the Mexican Central railroad on account of that corporation having imported negro labourers to the number of nearly 1000 from the Bahama Islands.
Trouble is liable to result from the action of the railroad officials refusing to discharge the imported workers.
On July 31st, 1900, America, the Bahamas and Mexico would awake to hear about the riot that would claim several lives. Some would call it a race war. Others would call it driving the foreigners out. In the end, four Bahamians and two soldiers lay dead. Several hundred gunshots had been exchanged. More Bahamians were severely wounded in the riot and were expected to die in Mexico.
RACE RIOT IN MEXICO.
Negroes, Police and Soldiers Clash With Serious Results.
TAMPICO, Mexico July 31. —- As as result of the encounter of Dona Cecilia, a fashionable suburb of this city, yesterday between sixty imported Bahama negro labourers and a force of Tampico police, aided by a company of soldiers from the Government barracks here, four negroes and two soldiers have died from their wounds, and twenty-one negroes are suffering from severe injuries. Several will die.
The Bahama and Jamaica negroes brought here to work on the Mexican Central Railroad have been a disturbing element since their arrival, and several conflicts between them and native Mexicans have been narrowing averted. The battle yesterday caused great excitement among the lower classes of Mexicans and it looked for a time as if all the negroes would be killed. Several hundred shots were exchanged between the negroes and the police and soldiers who sought to effect their capture. The riot grew out of one of the negroes being arrested.
The Washington Times, Wednesday August 1, 1900