Will they also admit that many Mexican Nationals abandoned the land grants they were granted by either Spain or Mexico at the time due to Indian raids on their lands?? At this point in time, abandoned land grants were auctioned off by the Government of Mexico and sold for mere pennies on the dollar.
By 1840 most of the grants had been abandoned. The most blatant land grab occurred in 1844. Far to the south, in the port of the Guaymas, the Mexican government declared that the mission lands of Tumacacori had been abandoned and auctioned them off for five hundred pesos to Francisco Alejandro Aguilar.This is where Aminta Zárate comes in, please read the entire article linked here.
She is 86, a widow of prodigious memory and unswerving will. Over the past 27 years, she has gone to court, spoken with senators, met with ambassadors, petitioned presidents. And now the former elementary school cafeteria manager has joined forces with a San Diego law professor, demanding more than $2 billion from Mexico on behalf of her group, the Asociación de Reclamantes, or Association of Land Claimants.But wait, there's more:
"It's more than money," Zárate said on a recent Saturday morning, seated inside a small office attached to her beige brick house in this quiet town of 45,000 residents. "I want justice for what they've done to our ancestors, that's what I want."
The story is an odd historical footnote, overlooked in textbooks and unspoken in the classrooms of south Texas. But it has been passed down, like a burning torch, from generation to generation among the descendants of the original European settlers of this harsh, flat region on the U.S.-Mexico border – land that belonged to Spain, then Mexico, then the United States. The Cárdenas and the Cantus and the Ballis, the Longorias and the Cavazos and the Zárates, families whose ancestors never crossed the border. Rather, they like to say, the border crossed them, in 1848, after the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.(emphasis is mine)
Their petition boils down to this: In 1941, Mexico signed a treaty with the United States, agreeing to compensate 433 south Texas families for the loss of 12 million acres between the Rio Grande and Nueces rivers. The land once belonged to their ancestors and was part of Mexico, then became U.S. territory when the 1848 treaty was signed. But Mexico never did pay – and it shows no signs it will.
In 1923, the United States and Mexico established a General Claims Commission to settle outstanding claims between the two countries rising from the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.It seems Mexico owes some money and those who insist that this land was 'Stolen' had better re-evaluate their argument to reflect the Government in which they should be arguing.
Mexican government officials reached out in south Texas among the population of Mexican origin, soliciting claims for loss of property and other injuries, and presented them as Mexican claims to the commission. It was a tactic, some say, to offset U.S. claims.
The United States presented 2,781 claims against Mexico, worth $513 million, on behalf of its citizens, many of whom had lost oil wells in Mexico. Mexico presented 836 claims against the United States, for $245 million; of those, 433 were in south Texas, representing 12 million acres valued $193.6 million. San Juan Carricitos, Zárate's ancestral land, was among the claims.
For the next 16 years, nothing was done. Then, in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, anxious to prevent Mexico from joining the Axis powers, proposed an arrangement: The two countries would swap claims, and each would treat the claims as a domestic issue.
It was a good deal for Mexico, given the difference in sums. The United States asked for an additional $40 million from Mexico, but agreed to pay all the outstanding claims lodged by U.S. citizens against Mexico.
Mexico, in turn, agreed to pay the claims that had originally been aimed at the United States, including the Texas land grant claims.
By 1948, the United States had paid off its claims. Mexican President Manuel Ávila Camacho had signed a decree in 1941 calling for legislation to provide compensation for its claimants. But the law was never passed.
"The decree was enacted, and nothing happened after that," said Vargas, of the University of San Diego. "That is certainly a constitutional violation."