The Mexican Chargé ( Padilla-Nervo ) to the Acting Secretary of State

No. 001

Mr. Under Secretary: I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that the Mexican Commissioner on the International Commission on Boundaries and Waters between Mexico and the United States, after having inspected the work that is being done at present on the left bank of the Rio Grande in front of the town of Presidio, Texas, came to the conclusion that part of the said work may be considered as violating the Treaties in force and that almost all of it is being executed in territory claimed by Mexico under the avulsive change of Ojinaga and the Machuca Islands.

On that ground the Mexican Commissioner, Engineer Armando Santacruz, addressed a communication to Engineer L. M. Lawson, United States Commissioner, on December 11th last, invoking Article 3 of the Convention of November 12, 1884,8 which prohibits the construction [Page 478] of “obstructions tending to shift the current or produce deposits of alluvium”, and stated in that communication (referring to the territory in which almost all the work is being performed) that the riparian lands on the left bank of the Rio Grande, from the confluence of the Rio Conchos to a little below the bridge at Presidio, are included under the avulsive changes of Ojinaga and the Machuca Islands, which were cut off from Mexico, and which, in accordance with the Conventions between the two countries, are to remain under the dominion and jurisdiction of Mexico until the International Boundary Commission makes a decision with regard to them.

In view of the above circumstances and in conformity with Article 5 of the Convention of March 1, 1889,9 the Mexican Commissioner has requested the United States Commissioner to take the steps necessary for having the Commission order the suspension of the work in question until the said International Boundary Commission looks into the matter and makes such decisions as may be proper.

By instructions from my Government, I now have the honor to repeat to Your Excellency the request which the Mexican Commissioner made to the United States Commissioner, asking you to be kind enough to have the necessary steps taken to have the International Boundary Commission consider this matter in its various aspects and make the proper decisions.

I thank Your Excellency in advance for the attention which you may be kind enough to give this matter and I avail myself [etc.]

L. Padilla-Nervo
  1. William M. Malloy (ed.), Treaties, Conventions, etc., Between the United States of America and Other Powers, 1776–1909 (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1910), vol. i, p. 1159.
  2. Malloy, Treaties, 1776–1909, vol. i, p. 1167.