Negotiation

Black-and-white photo of two men in suits seated at table signing documents. Six men stand behind them.
US Ambassador Thomas C. Mann and Mexico's Secretary for Foreign Relations Manuel Tello sign the Chamizal Convention in Mexico City on August 29, 1963.

INTERNATIONAL BOUNDARY AND WATER COMMISSION

 

Presidents Kennedy and López Mateos directed their governments to solve the Chamizal problem. After negotiating the details for over a year, US Ambassador Thomas C. Mann and Mexico’s Foreign Secretary Manuel Tello, signed the Chamizal Convention on August 29, 1963. The treaty built on a century of diplomatic efforts to resolve the dispute.

 
 
Part of old-looking, color street map of El Paso. Penciled writing and colored, hand-drawn lines indicates a possible resolution to the Chamizal dispute.
Portion of Standard Oil Company of Texas (ESSO) Map dated 1958 used by negotiators to resolve the Chamizal Issue. Map includes hand-drawn lines of a potential new boundary and writing indicating hectares of lands potentially to be exchanged.

NPS

 
Black-and-white photo of a group of people in discussion as they stand around a slide projector.
Ambassador Thomas C. Mann meets with residents of the Chamizal Zone. Image from U.S. Department of State publication "Hands Across the Border: The Story of Chamizal," October, 1967. (Page 6)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

“To keep the negotiations confidential and unofficial I used ESSO gas station maps of El Paso on which lines were drawn by both sides showing various possible solutions.”

—Frank V. Ortiz, Jr., Special Assistant to US Ambassador Thomas C. Mann


“We worked quietly . . . without any publicity—otherwise I don’t think it would have been possible to reach any settlement. . . . I went to the El Paso Chamber of Commerce. I went to the county officials, the city officials . . . . Of course we even talked with the people who resided in the Chamizal area.”

—Thomas C. Mann, US Ambassador to Mexico

 

The Negotiators

These men are identified as key negotiators of the Chamizal Convention in the U.S. Department of State publication Hands Across the Border: The Story of Chamizal, October, 1967.

 
Black and white portrait of a man from the neck up

Thomas C. Mann

US Ambassador to Mexico

 
Black and white portrait of a man from the neck up

Manuel Tello

Mexican Secretary for Foreign Relations

 
Black and white portrait of a man from the neck up

Robert M. Sayre

US Director of Mexican Affairs

 
Black and white portrait of a man from the neck up

J.F. Friedkin

US Commissioner, IBWC

 
Black and white portrait of a man from the neck up

David Herrera Jordan

Mexican Commissioner, IBWC

 
Black and white portrait of man from neck up

Frank V. Ortiz, Jr.

Special Assistant to Ambassador Mann

 
 
Black and white portrait of a man from the neck up

Vicente Sanchez Gavito

Mexican Ambassador to the OAS

 
Black and white portrait of a man from the neck up

Frederick Smith, Jr.

Legal Counsel

 
Black and white portrait of a man from the neck up

T.R. Martin

Special Assistant for Boundary and Water Affairs

 

Last updated: October 20, 2020

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