The times of the early 1900s for Guam were an era of cultural transition, to say the least. It was also a period in the world where many topics were sensitive and censored from public display or discourse.
In 1907, Island Attorney Tomas Calvo filed a charge against Atanasio Blaz y Cruz (Atanasio Cruz Blaz), a teacher in Guam’s public school system. The charge against Blaz was for bringing in and circulating a book, titled “True Love” among a group of young male and female teachers. Calvo contended that the book was “extremely immodest or indecent or immoral,” which violated Article 571 paragraph 2 of the Penal Code.
Witnesses for the prosecution included:
- Rafaela Saiz
- Juanita Saiz
- Conchita Martinez
- Francisco Taitano
- Gregorio Perez
- Jose Roberto
Blaz was arrested and brought before the court where the complaint was read to him. The Honorable Judge Luis de Torres y Diaz(Luis Diaz Torres) presided and advised Blaz of his rights and asked him how he pleads: guilty or not guilty to the misdemeanor as charged. Without a debate, Blaz pleaded guilty and was fined seven dollars and ten cents and three dollars for costs. In the event he was unable to pay fine and cost he would have to work for “public purpose” until the fine and cost was deemed to have been satisfied. Blaz paid the fine and cost.