Alicia Bárcena, Mexico’s incoming secretary of foreign affairs, recently accused Texas of violating water treaties between the United States and Mexico with its implementation of buoys that are designed to prevent illegal immigrants from crossing the Rio Grande along the southern border.
“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 stated, referencing the Mexican Water Treaty between the United States and Mexico. The treaty includes the usage of water from the Rio Grande, Colorado and Tijuana rivers, according to Reuters.
Bárcena said the Mexican government is “sending a mission, a territorial inspection” in order to determine “where the buoys are located.” According to Bárcena, the territorial inspection will complete a “topographical survey to verify that the do not cross into Mexican territory.”
According to NPR, Bárcena indicated that if the buoys obstruct the flow of the Rio Grande, the United States would be in violation of the treaty, since the Mexican Water Treaty mandates that the Rio Grande flow without obstructions. The Mexican government has requested that the buoys be removed from the water.
Bárcena also complained about efforts to install barbed wire on an island in the river, which is located near Eagle Pass, Texas.
Bárcena’s statements come after Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas) announced that the state would begin using chains of buoys in the Rio Grande to prevent illegal immigrants from crossing the southern border in June.
At the time, Abbot said, “We’re securing the border at the border. What these buoys will allow us to do is prevent people from getting to the border.”
According to Reuters, the Texan government released a statement Friday providing an update on the buoy installation project. The government noted that the “new floating marine barriers along the Rio Grande River in Eagle Pass” were being installed.
The Texan government also explained that the installation of the buoys will “help deter illegal immigrants attempting to make the dangerous river crossing into Texas.”