Mexico made a new claim to the United States because of Texas. This time it’s because of buoys the border state installed this week in the Rio Grande. But the neighbor had already demanded the removal of other barriers, such as a barbed-wire fence along the Texas River, by the end of June.
In all cases, Mexico ensures that international agreements are violated, professor Stephen Mumme, an expert on bilateral relations and the border, explained to Univision News in a video for this story.
In a diplomatic memo sent to the United States on Friday, Mexico says the 1970 border agreement has been violated, with the river’s main channel and adjacent lands. “Each Contracting State shall prohibit the construction of works in its territory which, in the opinion of the Commission, may divert or obstruct the normal flow of the river or its channels.”
They explain that installed buoys and other barriers can cause these effects and can be exacerbated by “drags that get caught in the fence, especially if it is washed downstream.”
The International Boundary and Water Commission is a bilateral body that jointly decides on any desired changes to the common boundary. It is federal in nature and its decisions must be followed by all border states, including Texas.
Mexico also claims it violated the 1944 Water Treaty, which establishes “free use of international river basins for the discharge of flood waters or other surpluses.” This legal instrument regulates the distribution and use of all shared water.
In a video of the memo, Mamme explains that the Texas decisions could jeopardize relations between Mexico and the United States. He says a chain of buoys installed in the river at Eagle Pass will add to the dangers for migrants trying to cross the border at that time.
Texas already faces a lawsuit after installing the floats. It was introduced by Jesse Fuentes, who runs a river kayaking business at this location in Eagle Pass. In his complaint, he argued that the ban would not only affect his business but also the environment of the area. State governor Greg Abbott responded, however, that Texas has the right to defend its border.
The floats are part of a move Abbott says will protect his border from the flow of migrants crossing his state in the face of federal government inaction. They have already implemented other measures like barbed wire fencing, drones flying at different points, hundreds of National Guard officers.
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