Mexico: Bending the River

Mexico has never forgiven the U.S. for a little piece of Yanqui land chiseling. Back in the mid-1800s, the unpredictable course of the Rio Grande shifted southward at El Paso, leaving a 600-acre wedge of flat, sandy Mexican land stranded on the Texas side (see map). Mexico still claimed the land, known as El Chamizal, but the U.S. said no: the border runs where the Rio Grande runs. In 1911, the angry Chamizal dispute was put to international arbitration. The arbitrators sided with

Mexico; the U.S. rejected the decision, and Texans went on building homes and businesses in the area....

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