THE MARINE MAMMAL COMMISSION COMPENDIUM
BILATERAL / MEXICO
Volume(s) 1-3; pages 3347-3349
Convention Between the United States of America and the United States of Mexico on Boundary Waters, Washington, 1889
Done at Washington 1 March 1889
Entered into force 24 December 1890
Primary source citation: 9 Bevans 877, TS 232
The United States of America and the United States of Mexico, desiring to facilitate the carrying out of the principles contained in the treaty of November 12, 1884, and to avoid the difficulties occasioned by reason of the changes which take place in the bed of the Rio Grande and that of the Colorado river, in that portion thereof where they serve as a boundary between the two Republics, have resolved to conclude a treaty for the attainment of these objects, and have appointed as their respective Plenipotentiaries:
The President of the United States of America, Thomas F. Bayard, Secretary of State of the United States of America; and
The President of the United States of Mexico, Matias Romero, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of Mexico, at Washington;
Who, after having exhibited their respective full powers, and having found the same to be in good and due form, have agreed upon the following articles:
All differences or questions that may arise on that portion of the frontier between the United States of America and the United States of Mexico where the Rio Grande and the Colorado rivers form the boundary line, whether such differences or questions grow out of alterations or changes in the bed of the aforesaid Rio Grande and that of the aforesaid Colorado River, or of works that may be constructed in said rivers, or of any other cause affecting the boundary line, shall be submitted for examination and decision to an International Boundary Commission, which shall have exclusive jurisdiction in the case of said differences or questions.
The International Boundary Commission shall be composed of a Commissioner appointed by the President of the United States of America, and of another appointed by the President of the United States of Mexico, in accordance with the constitutional provisions of each country, of a Consulting Engineer, appointed in the same manner by each Government, and of such Secretaries and Interpreters as either Government may see fit to add to its Commission. Each Government separately shall fix the salaries and emoluments of the members of its Commission.
The International Boundary Commission shall not transact any business unless both Commissioners are present. It shall sit on the frontier of the two contracting countries, and shall establish itself at such places as it may determine upon; it shall, however, repair to places at which any of the difficulties or questions mentioned in this convention may arise, as soon as it shall have been duly notified thereof.
When, owing to natural causes, any change shall take place in the bed of the Rio Grande or in that of the Colorado River, in that portion thereof wherein those rivers form the boundary line between the two countries, which may affect the boundary line, notice of that fact shall be given by the proper local authorities on both sides to their respective Commissioners of the International Boundary Commission, on receiving which notice it shall be the duty of the said Commission to repair to the place where the change has taken place or the question has arisen, to make a personal examination of such change, to compare it with the bed of the river as it was before the change took place, as shown by the surveys, and to decide whether it has occurred through avulsion or erosion, for the effects of articles I and II of the convention of November 12, 1884; having done this, it shall make suitable annotations on the surveys of the boundary line.
Whenever the local authorities on any point of the frontier between the United States of America and the United States of Mexico, in that portion in which the Rio Grande and the Colorado River form the boundary between the two countries, shall think that works are being constructed, in either of those rivers, such as are prohibited by article III of the convention of November 12, 1884, or by article VII of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of February 2, 1848, they shall so notify their respective Commissioners, in order that the latter may at once submit the matter to the International Boundary Commission, and that said Commission may proceed, in accordance with the provisions of the foregoing article, to examine the case, and that it may decide whether the work is among the number of those which are permitted, or of those which are prohibited by the stipulations of those treaties.
The Commission may provisionally suspend the construction of the works in question pending the investigation of the matter, and if it shall fall to agree on this point, the works shall be suspended, at the instance of one of the two Governments.
In either of these cases, the Commission shall make a personal examination of the matter which occasions the change, the question or the complaint, and shall give its decision in regard to the same, in doing which it shall comply with the requirements established by a body of regulations to be prepared by the said Commission and approved by both Governments.
The International Boundary Commission shall have power to call for papers and information, and it shall be the duty of the authorities of each of the two countries to send it any papers that it may call for, relating to any boundary question in which it may have jurisdiction in pursuance of this convention.
The said Commission shall have power to summon any witnesses whose testimony it may think proper to take, and it shall be the duty of all persons thus summoned to appear before the same and to give their testimony, which shall be taken in accordance with such by-laws and regulations as may be adopted by the Commission and approved by both Governments. In case of the refusal of a witness to appear, he shall be compelled to do so, and to this end the Commission may make use of the same means that are used by the courts of the respective countries to compel the attendance of witnesses, in conformity with their respective laws.
If both Commissioners shall agree to a decision, their judgment shall be considered binding upon both Governments, unless one of them shall disapprove it within one month reckoned from the day on which it shall have been pronounced. In the latter case, both Governments shall take cognizance of the matter, and shall decide it amicably, bearing constantly in mind the stipulation of Article XXI of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of February 2, 1848. The same shall be the case when the Commissioners shall fail to agree concerning the point which occasions the question, the complaint or the change, in which case each Commissioner shall prepare a report, in writing, which he shall lay before his Government.
This convention shall be ratified by both parties, in accordance with the provisions of their respective constitutions, and the ratifications thereof shall be exchanged at Washington as speedily as possibleand shall be in force from the date of the exchange of ratification for a period of five years.
In testimony whereof the undersigned Plenipotentiaries have signed and sealed it.
Done in duplicate, in the city of Washington, in the English and Spanish languages, on the 1st day of March one thousand eight hundred and eighty-nine.
T. F. BAYARD [SEAL]
M. ROMERO [SEAL]