190. Despatch 1347 from Mexico City, April 27, transmitting April 26 memorandum of conversation between Foreign Minister Tello and Ambassador Mann1

[Facsimile Page 1]


  • Mexican Proposals re Chamizal and Ojinaga Dispute

On April 26, 1962, Ambassador Mann was called to the Foreign Office regarding the Chamizal and Ojinaga questions. These two areas are tracts in dispute on the U.S.-Mexican frontier.

Attached as Enclosure No. 1 is a memorandum of conversation. The map and memorandum referred to are being forwarded to the Department under separate cover.

For the Ambassador:

Eugene V. McAuliffe
First Secretary of Embassy

Department: Please pouch IBWC/Mr. Friedkin, El Paso.



[Facsimile Page 2]


  • Chamizal and Ojinaga


  • Foreign Minister Manuel Tello
  • Ambassador Thomas C. Mann
  • Mr. Frank V. Ortiz, Second Secretary of Embassy

During the course of Ambassador Mann’s call on the Foreign Minister on April 26, the Minister referred to the suggestion which he had made previously in proposing an agenda, that the visit of President Kennedy to Mexico be used as an opportunity to resolve the long-standing Chamizal dispute (a disputed tract on the U.S.-Mexican boundary at El Paso, Texas). The Minister said that purely as a provisional, personal and non-official suggestion he was giving the Ambassador a map and a memorandum which he thought could serve as a [Typeset Page 454] basis for resolving this problem. After studying the map, Ambassador Mann told the Minister that although engineering requirements might dictate some modifications of the Minister’s proposal he now believed that there was a basis for exploration with the appropriate U.S. officials. The Ambassador said that at the earliest opportunity he would discuss the Foreign Minister’s proposal with the appropriate U.S. officials. Ambassador Mann made it clear to the Minister that in his view it was necessary for both governments to decide precisely on the details of the settlement of the Chamizal dispute before any public announcement could be made.

The Minister then turned to the Ojinaga problem which also relates to a disputed area on the U.S.-Mexican border. The Minister hoped it would be possible for the Presidents to agree to a settlement of this question. He acknowledged that the Ojinaga dispute had been sent to the International Boundary and Water Commission for resolution twice previously and that the Commissioners were unable to reach agreement. He, therefore, thought it might be possible for the two Governments to give the IBWC guidance toward a solution. The Minister asked the Ambassador for an unofficial and provisional map showing a line in the Ojinaga area upon which the United States would be willing to negotiate. The Ambassador told the Minister he would attempt to do so but would have to rely on the experts for this. The Minister agreed with the Ambassador that if the Ojinaga dispute was settled, the Boundary Commissioners would be instructed to determine an equitable settlement of other areas along the Rio Grande that are in dispute.

  1. Mexican proposals re Chamizal and Ojinaga dispute. Secret. 2 pp. DOS, CF, 611.1232/4–2762.