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CHAPTER 91

INTERNATIONAL BOUNDARY COMMISSION, UNITED STATES

AND MEXICO 1. Mission

This commission was created to carry out the provisions of certain conventions or treaties 1 between the United States and Mexico, and has exclusive jurisdiction of all differences or questions arising on boundary between the two countries from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean, about 1,300 miles along the Rio Grande, 25 miles along the Colorado river, and about 680 miles overland between El Paso and the Pacific. The commission has authority to suspend the construction of any works along the portions of the Rio Grande and Colorado rivers that form the boundary between the two countries, which construction may be deemed, by the commission, such as is prohibited by treaty stipulations ;2 to make surveys; to define and eliminate certain “bancos”; 3 to erect monuments to mark the boundary; 8 to mark the mid-channel point by monuments on international bridges.

In pursuance of these powers the commission may call for papers of information in regard to boundary matters from either country; hold meetings at any point questions may arise; summon witnesses and take testimony in accordance with the rules of the courts of the respective countries. Agreements of the commissioners upon a decision are binding upon both governments, unless one of them disapproves it within one month from the date the decision is pronounced.

2. Organization

The commission consists of an American Section and a Mexican Section.

(1) American Section, with offices in First National Bank Building, El Paso, Texas, is composed of:

(a) Commissioner.
(b) Consulting Engineer.
(c) Secretary and Disbursing Officer.
(d) Assistant Secretary and Translator.
(e) Assistant Engineer.
(f) Surveyor.

(g) Draftsman. (2) Mexican Section, with offices in Sauer Building, Juarez, Mexico (address P. O. Box 14, El Paso, Tex.), is composed of:

(a) Commissioner.
(b) Consulting Engineer.

1 Treaties of 1848 (9 Stat. 922); 1853 (10 Stat. 1031); 1882 (22 Stat. 986); 1884 (23 Stat. 806); 1889 (26 Stat. 1493); and 1905 (35 Stat. 1863).

2 Article V, Convention of March 1, 1889 (26 Stat. 1493).
3 Article III, Convention of March 20, 1905 (35 Stat. 1863).
4 Article IV, Convention of November 12, 1884 (23 Stat. 806).

(c) First Engineer.
(d) Secretary
(e) Assistant Secretary and Translator.
(f) Two Surveyors.
(g) Draftsman.
(h) Stenographer.

3. Rules and Regulations

Article I.—Neither the Engineers nor the Secretaries shall have the right to vote on any question at issue, but the Engineers, when requested by their respective Commissioners, shall furnish any information or report, either verbally or in writing regarding any question at issue, which reports shall be recorded in the journal, either briefly or in detail. But where their reports are too extended, or comprise maps and plans, they will be submitted in duplicate for filing and reference in the journal, in which case the report shall bear the number of the case to which it refers.

Article II.—The Joint Commission shall keep a journal of all its proceedings in duplicate (one copy for each Commission), each copy in both English and Spanish, and the proceedings of each meeting or session shall be duly signed by both Commissioners and attested by their Secretaries, each Secretary keeping one of the two journals.

Article III.-The record shall embrace everything material that occurs at each meeting.

Article IV.—The final decision in each case shall be made in duplicate and in both languages, duly signed by both Commissioners, and attested by their Secretaries, one copy to be forwarded to each government within three days after signing

Article V.—The cases will be presented alternately by both Commissioners, except when one side only has cases to submit.

Article VI.-If the examination made by the Commissioners, or by their Engineers, is not considered sufficient to come to an intelligent decision, the Commissioners may ask testimonial or documentary evidence, appointing sufficient time in each case, taking distance into consideration.

Article VII.— The testimony of witnesses shall be taken according to the laws of their respective countries.

Article VIII.-The witness may be examined, not only by the Commissioner who brings him, but by the other one, on all matters pertinent to the general investigation.

Article IX.—The evidence furnished by the witnesses shall be included in the journal of the day on which they are examined, briefly or in detail, if either of the Commissioners so desire, according to article III of these Regulations.

Article X.-In each case, where it shall be determined that the river has separated from the true boundary line, the two points of separation and a sufficient number of intermediate points shall be marked by suitable monuments to identify said boundary line.

Article XI.—The annotations on the maps as indicated in article IV of the Convention of March 1, 1889, shall be authorized by the Commissioners of both countries.

Article XII.-After approval of these regulations by both governments, the Commissioners shall notify the proper local authorities of their respective nations of the organization of the Commission, calling their attention to articles IV and V of the Convention of March 1, 1889.

824

PART XIV

INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENT UNDER CONGRESS

825

THORPE DEPT.PRAO.

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