Mexico Up In Arms After Gov. Greg Abbott’s Latest Move To Secure The Southern Border
Mexico’s Foreign Relations Secretary Alicia Bárcena has issued a formal diplomatic protest after the state of Texas under Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX) announced the installation of a floating net and buoy system in the Rio Grande River to deter illegal immigrants from crossing.
As previously reported by the DC Enquirer, the system of underwater netting, secured by riverbed anchors and held in place by large spherical orange buoys, is set to be completed within the next week or so after starting on July 7th.
According to a report from The Associated Presson Monday, Bárcena, Mexico’s most senior diplomat, said that the Mexican government has sent a diplomatic message to Washington, D.C. expressing concern regarding the floating barriers in Eagle Pass. The Mexican government claims that they violate treaties between the two nations from 1944 and 1970 regarding boundaries and waters.
Mexican publication EL PAÍS México reported that the note read in part (translated by Google), “[These facilities] can cause [effects] on the normal runoff and floods of the Rio Grande, which are aggravated by the dragging that remains trapped in the fence, especially if it is dragged downstream by any flood,” adding, “The extension of the buoys] contravenes article 17 of the International Waters Treaty of 1944, which establishes that ‘The use of the international riverbed for the discharge of floodwaters or other surpluses will be free'”
“We have sent a diplomatic letter (to the U.S.) on 26 June because in reality what it is violating is the water treaty of 1944,” Bárcena announced to the press in Mexico City, according to Reuters.
“We are sending a mission, a territorial inspection,” she added, “to see where the buoys are located… to carry out this topographical survey to verify that they do not cross into Mexican territory.”
Bárcena failed to cite precisely what portion of the 1944 Waters Treaty her government claims Texas has violated, however, Mexico may argue the barrier is a violation under Article Three, which states, “All of the foregoing uses shall be subject to any sanitary measures or works which may be mutually agreed upon by the two Governments, which hereby agree to give preferential attention to the solution of all border sanitation problems,” under the premise that Texas acted unilaterally.
The AP reported that Bárcena stated if the buoys and netting impede the flow of water, it would violate the treaties, which require the river to remain unobstructed.
The government of Mexico has already requested that the barriers be removed and also complained about a barbed wire fence that was installed on a low-lying island in the river.