Chamizal Agreement

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The court recommended this year that part of the controversial section, which would lie between the riverbed, as in 1852, and the center of the river in 1864, would become us territory and the rest of the wing would become part of Mexico. The United States rejected the proposal on the grounds that it was not in accordance with the arbitration agreements, but that it fuelled a persistent dispute between the two governments and encouraged malevolence. Thaddeus Amat, Transscript of Record of Proceedings before the Mexican and American Mixed Claims Commission with Relation to The Pious Fund of the Californias (Washington: GPO, 1902). Austin American Statesman, October 29, 1967. Alan C. Lamborn, Statecraft, Domestic Politics, and Foreign Policy Making: The El Chamizal Dispute (Boulder: Westview Press, 1988). Sheldon B. Liss, A Century of Disagrement: The Chamizal Conflict, 1864-1964 (University Press of Washington, D.C, 1965). César Sepúlveda, La Frontera Norte de México, historia, conflictos, 1762-1982 (Mexico: Editorial Porrúa, 1983). After the signing of the Chamizal Treaty in August 1963, President John F. Kennedy and Mexican President Adolfo Lopez Mateos agreed to find a solution at the border.

It was only in the government of President Lyndon B. Johnson that the agreement was reached with President Lopez Mateos. Despite a contemporary conception of the border as a geopolitical and urban area, the chamizal ceremony used an anachronistic object – the border monument – to symbolize the binational arrangement. Historically, border monuments have been positioned to correspond to precise coordination on the international survey line. Commissioned, labeled, and placed by both the United States and Mexico, they were unique bilateral objects operating and reflecting on territories and philosophies distinct from the nation. The original monuments were designed in heavy cast iron, continuously numbered and intervisable from one side view to another along the entire length of the U.S.-Mexico border west of the Rio Grande.25 These visual reference artifacts functioned as a series of standardized points, constructed, placed with geographical accuracy and objective finitude.26 Constitution of sovereign borders. with the international sewing linked to its exact location. The Chamizal ceremony celebrated the signing of the Treaty of Chamizal, an international agreement honoring the 1852 survey line and which launched a major landscaping project to bring the Rio Grande back to its historic trajectory. The venue of this ceremony, including the handshake of Presidents Johnson and Mateos, is central. It is a sense of place and not the place itself that supports the occurrence of the event on many fronts.