(Editor’s note: Well, as the headline states: So much for President Trump’s wall. I found this piece at Sol Mexico News, an e-publication owned by dear friends Bill and Dorothy Bell. I recommend their site … it is the go-to web portal for the essential Mexican experience. Down here, the idea that Mexico has a financial claim on California, Arizona and other border states is indeed rich.)
Mexico News Daily – The deterioration in relations between Mexico and the United States has triggered a couple of claims over the countries’ common border, one of which would put into question the ownership of five U.S. states and parts of four others.
A prominent Mexican politician and a lawyer has proposed a legal claim that would invalidate the treaty with which Mexico surrendered half its territory to the United States.
Former Mexico City mayor and three-time presidential candidate Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas and lawyer Guillermo Hamdan Castro argue that the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo fails several tests as to its validity.
The treaty gave the U.S. what is now California, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and Utah and parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas and Oklahoma.
Hamdan said during a presentation in Cuernavaca, Morelos, yesterday that the most important element is in the accord’s first sentence, which contains an admission that the U.S. army invaded Mexico. Signing an agreement in that context renders it null, he said.
Another legal factor is that the agreement ceding Mexico’s territory was signed under pressure. Hamdan conceded it would be impossible for Mexico to recover the lost territory should the legal claim be upheld, but suggested instead the U.S. should pay compensation for the use of the land over the last 168 years.
But given that the dollar “has meant nothing since the 1970s,” he observed, payment should be in gold or pesos. No amount was stated.
The second claim is that 430 kilometers of the border was incorrectly marked, meaning that about 85,000 hectares now in Arizona and New Mexico actually belong to Mexico.
The claim has been made by Senator Patricio Martínez, a former governor of Chihuahua, who discovered the mistake in the 1990s. In the mid-19th century, he said, piles of stones were used to mark the border.
But towards the end of the century Mexico found the cairns had been destroyed and parts of the border marked too far south, according to a report by the Financial Times.