THE MARINE MAMMAL COMMISSION COMPENDIUM
BILATERAL / MEXICO
Volume(s) 1-3; pages 3345-3346
Convention Between the United States of America and the United States of Mexico, Touching the Boundary-line Between the Two Countries Where It Follows the Bed of the Rio Grande and the Rio Colorado, Washington, 1884 Done at Washington 12 November 1884
*( This Convention was terminated on 18 April 1972. )*
Primary source citation: 9 Bevans 865, TS 226
CONVENTION BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE UNITED STATES OF MEXICO, TOUCHING THE BOUNDARY-LINE BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES WHERE IT FOLLOWS THE BED OF THE RIO GRANDE AND THE RIO COLORADO
Whereas, in virtue of the 5th article of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo between the United States of America and the United States of Mexico, concluded February 2, 1848, and of the first article of that of December 30, 1853, certain parts of the dividing line between the two countries follow the middle of the channel of the Rio Grande and the Rio Colorado, to avoid difficulties which may arise through the changes of channel to which those rivers are subject through the operation of natural forces, the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the United States of Mexico have resolved to conclude a convention which shall lay down rules for the determination of such questions, and have appointed as their Plenipotentiaries:
The President of the United States of America, Frederick T. Frelinghuysen, Secretary of State of the United States; and the President of the United States of Mexico, Matias Romero, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the United Mexican States;
Who, after exhibiting their respective Full Powers, found in good and due form, have agreed upon the following articles:
The dividing line shall forever be that described in the aforesaid Treaty and follow the centre of the normal channel of the rivers named, notwithstanding any alterations in the banks or in the course of those rivers, provided that such alterations be effected by natural causes through the slow and gradual erosion and deposit of alluvium and not by the abandonment of an existing river bed and the opening of a new one.
Any other change, wrought by the force of the current, whether by the cutting of a new bed, or when there is more than one channel by the deepening of another channel than that which marked the boundary at the time of the survey made under the aforesaid Treaty, shall produce no change in the dividing line as fixed by the surveys of the International Boundary Commissions in 1852; but the line then fixed shall continue to follow the middle of the original channel bed, even though this should become wholly dry or be obstructed by deposits.
No artificial change in the navigable course of the river, by building jetties, piers, or obstructions which may tend to deflect the current or produce deposits of alluvium, or by dredging to deepen another than the original channel under the Treaty when there is more than one channel, or by cutting waterways to shorten the navigable distance, shall be permitted to affect or alter the dividing line as determined by the aforesaid commissions in 1852 or as determined by Article I. hereof and under the reservation therein contained; but the protection of the banks on either side from erosion by revetments of stone or other material not unduly projecting into the current of the river shall not be deemed an artificial change.
If any international bridge have been or shall be built across either of the rivers named, the point on such bridge exactly over the middle of the main channel as herein determined shall be marked by a suitable monument, which shall denote the dividing line for all the purposes of such bridge, notwithstanding any change in the channel which may thereafter supervene. But any rights other than in the bridge itself and in the ground on which it is built shall in event of any such subsequent change be determined in accordance with the general provisions of this convention.
Rights of property in respect of lands which may have become separated through the creation of new channels as defined in Article II. hereof, shall not be affected thereby, but such lands shall continue to be under the jurisdiction of the country to which they previously belonged.
In no case, however, shall this retained jurisdictional right affect or control the right of navigation common to the two countries under the stipulations of Article VII. of the aforesaid Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo; and such common right shall continue without prejudice throughout the actually navigable main channels of the said rivers, from the mouth of the Rio Grande to the point where the Rio Colorado ceases to be the international boundary, even though any part of the channel of said rivers, through the changes herein provided against, may be comprised within the territory of one of the two nations.
This convention shall be ratified by both parties in accordance with their respective constitutional procedure, and the ratifications exchanged in the city of Washington as soon as possible.
In witness whereof the undersigned Plenipotentiaries have hereunto set their hands and seals.
Done at the city of Washington, in duplicate, in the English and Spanish languages, this twelfth day of November, A.D. 1884. FREDK. T. FRELINGHUYSEN [SEAL]
M. ROMERO [SEAL]