Mr. Romero to Mr. Gresham.


Mr. Secretary: I have the honor to forward to you a copy of a report of the special boundary commission (Mesa especial), of the department of foreign relations of Mexico, from which it appears that the authorities of Texas are performing acts of jurisdiction on the Banco Yela, in violation of the agreement concluded between the Government of Mexico and that of the United States to submit this incident, for examination, to the International Boundary Commission organized under the convention of March 1, 1889, and in contravention of the express stipulations of the said convention.

The annexed copy contains all the data relative to this matter, and in view of them the Government of Mexico has instructed me to present a complaint to that of the United States, and to request it to obtain from the authorities of Texas the release of Rómulo Sanchez, the exercise of jurisdiction over that Banco which led to his arrest having been unwarranted, pending the adoption of a proper decision by the International Boundary Commission, and by both Governments in turn, in conformity with the aforesaid convention of March 1, 1889.

Accept, etc.,

M. Romero.

[Department of state and office of foreign relations, section of America, Asia, and Oceanica. Special boundary commission. No. 540. Question of Banco Vela.]

Notwithstanding the fact that no decision has yet been pronounced concerning the right of jurisdiction over the Banco Cuauhtemoc, in the municipality of Reynosa, on the River Bravo, which, because of a change in the current, has passed to the American side, the authorities of Texas have again appropriated it, as stated by the governor of the State of Tamaulipas in his note of November 29, 1893, which occasions this report.

By a letter from the auxiliary judge of Reynosa, the governor of that State was informed that the American citizen Miller had, on the 24th of September, crossed to the Mexican bank and entered by force the dwelling of Vela, notifying the person in charge of it, Rómulo Sanchez, to vacate it at once, leaving there the fourth part of the crops as the price of the rent of the land, threatening, if he disobeyed these orders, to imprison him in the jail at Hidalgo, which threat was carried out on the 21st of October, the apprehending parties refusing to take an inventory of the goods which, under summons, Sanchez had to deliver, as he had been notified by the Mexican authority.

Rómulo Sanchez has been sentenced to pay a fine of $100 and to remain in prison until he and his employer wholly relinquish possession of the Banco Cuauhtemotzin to the Salinas, as is shown by the inclosnres to the note of the governor of Tamaulipas, a résumé of which I give below for the elucidation of this report.

From these documents it appears that the district court of the county of Hidalgo [Page 392]commenced its regular sessions on the 2d of October of this year, and that in several successive sessions the following points were decided:

To declare (October 4) that the claimants, Patricio Pérez and Martina Salinas de Pérez, had a right to be heard, and to institute proceedings against the defendant, Antonio H. Vela, for the possession of a lot which is said to belong to the county of Hidalgo, Tex., and for a part of the concession of lands by the vice-royal Government to José Maria Tijerina, the declaration of the said court determining the limits of the lot of the former jurisdiction of Reynosa, and to adjudge the lands and their appurtenances to Pérez and his wife, to which end the issuance was granted of the necessary orders for taking possession and its confirmation, prohibiting Vela and his associates from any interference on said lands that might disturb or molest the claimants or their agents, employés, tenants, and servants, either in the possession or use or enjoyment of them, and finally sentencing said Vela to pay the costs of the suit.
To decree, the same day, that the British-American mortgage company might recover from the accused, Antonio H. Vela, a piece of land situated 22 miles north of the county of Hidalgo, which is the ground disputed and described in the petition of the claimant, known by the name of section 45, originally conceded to Miguel Cano by the Spanish Government. It appears that this land has formed the subject of another dispute, which has been submitted to the jurisdictional action of the government of Texas, and which will, in due time, be decided by the international commission.
To order the arrest (October 17) and to sentence Rómulo Sanchez, an employé of Vela, to pay a fine of $100 for having disobeyed the order of the court, and to remain in the public jail at Hidalgo until he and his employer relinquish to the plaintiff absolute and entire possession and control of the Banco.

Washington, January 15, 1894.

A copy.

M. Covarrubias.