20 Nov 1945, Chronology of Events Related to Stanley Civilian Internment Camp
A report on page 2 of today's China Mail throws some light on a little-known aspect of the occupation.
Alfonso Castro Valle, the Secretary of the Mexican Embassy in Chungking, has been on a trip around southern China and Hong Kong to register and relieve Mexican nationals. In Hong Kong he interviewed 'hundreds' who had suffered years of malnutrition and neglect - costing 15 deaths - where, for some reason, Mexicans were not interned but imprisoned. The majority were Chinese who were born in Mexico and the ages ranged from 15 to 20, many being women and children. He'd found many being cared for by British relief organisations, although a few had jobs and were eking out a living. In Macao about 100 lived in a Mexican 'colony'.
In Hong Kong Castro Valle interviewed a scattering of Chileans, Colombians, Panamanians, Guatemanians and more than 100 Cubans. Macao had relatively more Latin Americans and the biggest concentration of Peruvians.
This is interesting and the experiences of Latin Americans in Hong Kong could certainly do with some further study, but I'm suspicious of the narrow age range cited, which might be due to a misprint, and also note that one claim directly contradicts the testimony of Dr. Selwyn-Clarke, who was sent to take charge of the medical arrangements at Kowloon's Ma Tau-wai camp in December 1944:
The internees at Ma Tau-wai were mostly Chinese of South American nationality, a few Americans and British, Eurasians and one Indonesian girl. (Footprints, 1975, 94).
A number of people of Latin American origin (and probably Chinese ethnicity) are known to have been arrested for resistance work, and I wonder if anyone connected with these was imprisoned, while the others were interned in Ma Tau-wai?