|General Treaty of Peace and Amity, 1923|
|Type||Regional peace treaty|
|Context||End of the 1907 Treaty|
|Signed||7 February 1923|
|Location||Washington D.C., United States|
The 1923 Central American Treaty of Peace and Amity, officially known as the General Treaty of Peace and Amity, 1923, was a treaty signed by the five nations of Central America in 1923 which established that all nations would denounce and not recognize any government which arose in any of the five signatory nations through illegal means (ie: coup d'état, revolution). The treaty remained effective from its signing on 7 February 1923 until it was denounced by the Central American Court of Justice in 1934.
The five nations of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua agreed to draft a new treaty with a similar function and were invited by United States President Warren G. Harding on 4 December 1922 to draft and sign the treaty in Washington D.C. The treaty outlined that no signatory nation would recognize any government which arose in any other signatory nation which rose to power via a revolution or a coup d'état. The treaty also outlawed the signing of any secret treaties between nations, outlawed radical changing of Constitutions, banned nations from intervening in civil wars, and reaffirming the legitimacy of the Central American Court of Justice. The treaty also placed limitations of military and naval armaments.
The United States did not sign the treaty but did follow its terms as displayed when the United States refused to recognize the government of General Maximiliano Hernández Martínez who overthrew democratically elected President Arturo Araujo on 2 December 1931. The United States' initial refusal to recognize Hernández Martínez's government, however, lead to the eventual collapse of the treaty since in 1932, both Costa Rica and El Salvador denounced the treaty on 23 December and 26 December, respectively. Although El Salvador never ratified the treaty, Costa Rica did, leaving the treaty with only Guatemala and Nicaragua as its only legal adherents, since Honduras never ratified it either.
The governments of the high contracting parties shall not recognize any other governments which may come into power in any of the five Republics as a consequence of a coup d'état, or of a revolution against the recognized government, so long as the freely elected representatives of the people thereof, have not constitutionally reorganized the country.
Desiring to make secure in the Republics of Central America the benefits which are derived from the maintenance of free institutions and to contribute at the same time toward strengthening their stability and the prestige with which they should be surrounded, they declare that every act, disposition or measure which alters the constitutional organization in any of them is to be deemed a menace to the peace of said Republics, whether it proceeded from any public power of from the private citizens.
Consequently, the governments of the contracting parties will not recognize any other governments which may come into power in any of the five Republics through a coup d'état or a revolution against a recognized government, so long as the freely elected representatives of the people thereof, have not constitutionally reorganized the country. And even in such a case they obligate themselves not to acknowledge the recognition of any of the persons elected as President, Vice President or Chief of State designate should fall under any of the following heads:
(1) If he should be the leader or one of the leaders of a coup d'état or revolution, or through blood relationship or marriage, be an ascendent or descendant or brother of such leader or leaders.
(2) If he should have been a Secretary of State or should have held some high military command during the accomplishment of the coup d'état, the revolution, or while the election was being carried on, or if he should have held this office or command within the six months proceeding the coup d'état, revolution, or the election.
Furthermore, in no case shall recognition be accorded to a government which arises from election to power of a citizen expressly and unquestionably disqualified by the Constitution of his country as eligible to election as President, Vice President or State designate.
The following five nations signed the treaty.