Mexico News Daily, May 4, 2017
An engineer’s report confirming that 85,000 hectares of United States territory actually belongs to Mexico has renewed calls to reclaim the lost land.
Chihuahua Senator Patricio Martínez, who has long asserted that the border was incorrectly marked too far to the south, lodged the report with the Senate this week.
The report was authored by Chihuahua engineering firm Portillo y Young, whose study of the issue found that the border was incorrectly marked along 436 kilometers of the shared boundary.
The border near Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, and El Paso, Texas, is cited as having a 1.5-kilometer discrepancy over a distance of 50 kilometers, adding up to 8,000 lost hectares. In other words, land in New Mexico should actually be in Chihuahua.
Similar irregularities were identified between Sonora and Arizona.
Martínez condemned a statement by the president of the International Boundary and Water Commission that the border was correct, despite contrary evidence in the report.
“With this expert report we are demonstrating that the border is incorrect. There is an absurd attempt to hide or ignore the existence of these differences and the worst thing is it comes from the commission charged with caring for and protecting national territory limits so that they are not moved, changed or relocated,” he argued.
The former Chihuahua governor urged the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs to continue diplomatic steps initiated by former president Porfirio Díaz in 1897, saying that it’s time for the federal government to demand that the United States comply with territorial treaties to the letter of the law.
Mexico ceded half of its territory under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 in exchange for US $15 million and gave up further territory — parts of current day Arizona and New Mexico — as a consequence of the Gadsden Purchase in 1853.
Martínez stressed that Mexico must send a diplomatic note to Washington in order for border limits to be rectified according to the treaties.
If U.S. President Donald Trump refuses, he favors seeking intervention in the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
He also told Senate President Pablo Escudero that whether the building of President Trump’s promised border wall is imminent or not, it is essential that the border be in the right place.
“We can’t declare the lands lost, they’re stolen, taken away from our national territory and we have to take them back now.”