News & Politics

Mexican Lawmaker Proposes Lawsuit To Annex U.S. Territory

“Aztlan” is often used by activists to refer to present-day Mexico plus the land lost by Mexico to the United States in 1848. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended hostilities, and resulted in the U.S. gaining territory primarily in Arizona, New Mexico, and California.

Apparently in response to President Trump’s policy about illegal immigration and violent criminal activity on the border, an effort is afoot in Mexico to nullify the treaty:

To confront this fake history, some Mexicans are proposing to remind Mr. Trump exactly what country was the first victim of American imperialism. They are calling for a lawsuit that would aim to nullify the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (signed on Feb. 2, 1848), in which Mexico — invaded by American soldiers, its capital occupied, its ports and customs stations seized — was forced to accept the American annexation of Texas and concede more than half the rest of Mexican territory, now including most of the states of Arizona, New Mexico and California.

This effort is being led by Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, the elder statesman of the Mexican left. Mr. Cárdenas is convinced that the Mexican government — especially given the need to confront Mr. Trump’s aggression — has a solid legal case. In his opinion, the 1848 treaty violates essential international legal norms and a case can be brought before the International Court of Justice, proposing reparations and indemnification. And even if one admits the legal validity of much of the treaty, there are a number of crucial articles — such as those dealing with citizenship, property and the security of 100,000 Mexicans who remained on what became American territory — that have been ignored from the beginning.

Such an effort faces formidable obstacles, though.


Pardon me. Continue:

A former Mexican secretary of foreign relations, Bernardo Sepúlveda Amor, the leading Mexican expert in international law, believes — “much to his regret,” he said — that Mr. Cárdenas’s initiative is not feasible.


“In previous times, wars of conquest did not find the same moral and legal condemnation that is nowadays part and parcel of our system of law,” he told me. The treaty would have to be challenged under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, “for which it must be shown that the state did not expressly agree that the treaty is a valid instrument or that, by reasons of its own conduct, that state must be considered as not having acquiesced to the validity of the treaty.”

Since both governments agreed to it, there’s not a hope in Hades of it going anywhere. This is political grandstanding as a feeble response to Donald Trump choosing to enforce his own nation’s immigration law — perhaps to the tougher standard that Mexico employs for itself.

Opponents are trying to take aim at a war from over 250 years ago and claim it was nothing more than a war of expansion, rather than admit the truth: Texas was an independent republic since shortly after the events of the Alamo and San Jacinto, and was free to join the union if it so desired. No amount of revisionist history will undo that reality, though Senor Cárdenas can pretend otherwise.

His rhetoric inflames the radical separatist movement (which exists, by the way), which should be expected to mimic the violent political riots we’ve seen lately in places like Berkeley. And I’m sure future violence will be labeled Trump’s fault as well.