The Mexican Ambassador (González Roa) to the Secretary of State

No. 2063

Mr. Secretary: Under date of January 20 [2], last, this Embassy had the honor to address a note to Your Excellency in which, by express instructions of the Mexican Chancellery, the request was renewed which the Mexican Boundary Commissioner, Engineer Armando Santacruz, presented to the United States Commissioner, Mr. L. M. Lawson, for the suspension of the works that were being carried out on the left bank of the Rio Grande, opposite the town of Presidio, in the State of Texas. The step taken by Engineer Santacruz, was based on the fact that the said works were being carried out on the land situated within the avulsive changes of Ojinaga and the Islands of Machuca, which were separated from Mexico.

Your Excellency, in a note dated February 1 last, was good enongh to inform me that the said works had been suspended.

The request first made by the Mexican Commissioner, and later by this Embassy, was based, principally, not on the legality or illegality of the works with regard to their form and conditions, but on the fact of their being situated on the land comprised in the said [Page 481] avulsive changes, and which, in accordance with the conventions now in force between the two countries, remain under the dominion and jurisdiction of Mexico, until the International Boundary Commission makes the necessary decision.

In this connection my Government has given me instructions to request Your Excellency to instruct the United States Commissioner, Mr. Lawson, to proceed with examination of this case and to render the appropriate decision.

The Mexican Commissioner, Mr. Santacruz, is prepared to undertake this study.

Of the cases in which the avulsion took place some time ago, this is the only one which is awaiting the decision of the International Boundary Commission, and there appears to be no reason for delaying consideration thereof. According to information which this Embassy has, the investigation based on testimony and documents, which is necessary in order to enable the Commission to make a decision determining in a definitive manner to what sovereignty and jurisdiction the land in question is to be subject, has now been completed.

Trusting that Your Excellency’s Government agrees with that of Mexico that it is highly expedient, in order to avoid the complications that might result from the uncertain status of that land, that the International Boundary Commission should render the respective decision, I take [etc.]

Fernando González Roa
  1. File translation revised by the editors.