Mexico and the United States have finally settled the disputed boundary between El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico; or have they? Although the senates of both countries have approved the 1963 treaty, Dr. Gregory’s short, legal, and historical study indicates that anything can happen, or has in the past.
Instability of the Rio Grande River, which periodically flooded and changed courses, is at the root of the Chamizal controversy. This monograph traces boundary surveys, litigation, and diplomacy from 1848 to mid-1963. A high point was reached in 1911 when the parties agreed on arbitration. An international commission headed by a Canadian divided the territory between the litigants, but the United States refused to accept the decision.
Future books on Mexican-American relations will list this as the best work on the Chamizal dispute. With the assistance of an excellent map, good organization, and documentary footnotes, the reader is conducted through the legalistic and geographic Chamizal jungle without getting lost in the “avulsion of alluvial valleys.” However, it does seem strange that a book printed in Texas and written by a Texan should state that “Texas was voted into the Union on March 1, 1945…,” when most of us recognize a much earlier date.