Mr. Romero to Mr. Gresham.


Mr. Secretary: I have the honor to forward to you, with reference to my note of the 2d instant, in regard to marking the boundary line on the bridges over the River Bravo between Paso del Norte, Mexico, and El Paso, Tex., a copy of a communication that Señor Mariscal, secretary of foreign relations of the Mexican United States, addressed on the 29th June last to Señor Don Francisco Javier Osorno, Mexican commissioner on the Mexican and United States International Boundary Commission, which contains the grounds of the disapproval by the Government of Mexico of the provisional designation by both commissioners of the boundary line on those bridges.

As this communication fully states these grounds, which to me appear unanswerable and which determined the Government of Mexico to adopt the decision stated, I do not think it necessary to say more on this subject.

Accept etc.,

M. Romero.

Señor Mariscal to Señor Osorno.

I reported to the President of the Republic your note No. 16, dated the 22d instant, with the proceeding of the International Boundary Commission which temporarily fixes the dividing line on the three bridges which cross the River Bravo del Norte, called international bridges of El Paso, pending the approval of the two Governments. In order to decide this matter, it has been considered—

  • First. That the treaty of March 1, 1889, does not confer upon the commission the power to make temporary regulations, as, in accordance with its articles 1, 4, and 5, it has only the power to adjust questions which arise respecting the dividing line on account of the change in the channel of the rivers Bravo and Colorado, when duly submitted to it.
  • Second. That although it was proposed on the part of the United States that the commission should be authorized to mark the line across the middle of the said bridges, the Government of Mexico did not accept the proposition, confining itself to authorizing its commissioner to mark the dividing line between Juarez City and El Paso, Tex., in strict accordance with the treaty of March 1, 1889, it having first to be decided [Page 415] if the bridges are upon the dividing line recognized in the treaties? and thus it was made known to the Government of the United States, to avoid all future misunderstanding whatever in the matter.
  • Third. That article 4 of the first of the mentioned treaties on which it has been erroneously desired to base the tracing of said line is inapplicable to the case, through not authorizing a temporary but a definitive demarcation, in the opinion that the bridges are truly international, they having been constructed on the true boundaries determined by the rivers.
  • Fourth. That citizen Pedro Y. Garcia, having formally presented a claim, alleging that land called “El Chainisal,” belonging to Juarez City, became joined to lands of the United States through a violent change in the course of the River Bravo, in order that it may be declared to belong still to Mexico, the commission must examine and decide that case, and, consequent upon the decision, not before, to settle the dividing line between Juarez City and El Paso, Tex.

For the reasons set forth, the President of the Republic has decreed that the temporary designation of the boundary line which has been made on the bridges referred to is not approved, and that this decision be notified to the International Boundary Commission by you and to the Government of the United States of America, through our legation at Washington, in order that it may consider null and void the demarcation referred to.

I renew to you, etc.,