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Mexico Says Gov. Abbott Is Volating Treaties

Texas Tribune: Mexico’s incoming secretary of foreign affairs, Alicia Bárcena, said Friday that Texas’ deployment of buoys on the Texas-Mexico border to prevent migrants from crossing the Rio Grande violates water treaties between the U.S. and Mexico.

Reuters reported that Bárcena told reporters that the Mexican government sent a diplomatic letter to the U.S. on June 26 stating the barriers violate a 1944 water treaty. The Associated Press reported Friday that Bárcena plans to send an inspection team to the Rio Grande to see if the wall extends into Mexico’s side of the border and if it impedes the flow of water, which would violate the treaty.

Texas has installed the buoys over the past week and razor wire on the Rio Grande River near Eagle Pass.

Those measures are the latest in Gov. Greg Abbott’s aggressive border security initiative Operation Lone Star, launched in March of 2021. Abbott has also deployed the Texas National Guard, built new sections of the border wall, and bused more than 20,000 migrants from Texas to big cities led by Democrats.

Abbott’s office didn’t immediately respond to an email from The Texas Tribune seeking comment on the diplomatic complaint. But in previous statements, he has touted the buoys as an effective way of preventing illegal border crossings.

“We’re securing the border at the border,” he said in June when he announced the approach. “These buoys will allow us to prevent people from getting to the border.”

The new barriers haven’t just ruffled diplomatic feathers. Jessie Fuentes, owner of Epi’s Canoe & Kayak Team, an Eagle Pass-based Kayak rental business, filed a lawsuit against Abbott and the Texas Department of Public Safety. The lawsuit alleges installing a buoy system had harmed his business and that Abbott did not have the authority to regulate cross-border traffic.