456. Telegram 5988 From the Embassy in Mexico to the Department of State1 2

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When I was discussing his forthcoming visit to Key Biscayne with President-elect Echeverria (see separate telegrams), he mentioned a few opinions on subjects of current interest which I am repeating:

1) With regard to salinity, Echeverria firmly favored one-year extension of 1965 agreement in order to have time to try to get inhabitants of Mexicali Valley to adopt a rational approach on this issue along lines of our July 1970 proposal. He indicated he had conveyed his views to President Diaz Ordaz on this subject.

2) When I outlined to Echeverria the state of play on the boundary treaty, he immediately concluded there would not be time for Diaz Ordaz to conclude action for a signing prior to his departure from office. President-elect indicated he would be delighted to sign the treaty in December or January.

3) On the subject of ex-Presidents, Echeverria indicated Diaz Ordaz had assured him he would play no repeat no role in government affairs after December 1. Echeverria said ex-Presidents Portes Gil, Ruiz Cortines and Aleman had all been meticulous in keeping out of politics but he said same had unfortunately not been true of ex-President Cardenas who until his recent death had continued to interfere to a considerable degree even after he was stricken with cancer a year ago. Echeverria gave the impression that he was glad he would no longer have this particular ex-President to cope with though he concluded “we, of course, all went to the funeral”.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 7 MEX. Confidential; Limdis. In a November 14 memorandum to Irwin, Meyer recommended a 1-year extension of the 5-year agreement with Mexico on the Colorado River salinity problem to allow President-elect Echeverría sufficient time to consider the U.S. proposal for a new 5-year agreement. Irwin approved the recommendation. (Ibid., POL 33–1 MEX–US) In telegram 6342 from Mexico City, November 23, the Embassy reported that McBride and Carrillo Flores had signed the boundary treaty. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 32–1 MEX–US)
  2. Ambassador McBride reported on a discussion with President-elect Luis Echeverría, which dealt with the Colorado River salinity issue and finalization of the boundary treaty.