The U.S. and Mexican Commissioners of the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) inaugurated an exhibit, Maps, Minutes and Monuments: History of the Boundary Line, 1848-2011, depicting the IBWC’s history and accomplishments at the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, May 9, 2012. The exhibit will be on display at the headquarters of the OAS, located on the corner of 17th Street and Constitution Avenue, weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. through Friday, May 18.
This display is drawn from an earlier exhibit prepared for the IBWC’s Border Sanitation and Water Quality Summit held in San Antonio, Texas, in March 2011. The portion of Maps, Minutes, and Monuments currently on display at the OAS offers illustrative examples of the IBWC’s history and the breadth of its activities through maps and technical drawings created by cartographers and engineers; treaties and “minutes” (the term for agreements intended to implement the treaties) crafted by diplomats and administrators; and the boundary monuments, dams, and levees built and maintained by the IBWC. The items on display come mainly from IBWC holdings, but some are from other public and private sources.
The IBWC is an international body comprising United States and Mexican Sections that have responsibility for applying various boundary and water treaties between the two countries that date from the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of 1848 and for settling differences that may arise out of these treaties. The U.S. Section receives foreign policy guidance from the U.S. Department of State, and the Mexican Section similarly operates under the foreign policy direction of Mexico’s Secretariat of Foreign Relations. The IBWC is widely recognized as a model of effective international cooperation. The two sections maintain headquarters in El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, on opposite sides of the Rio Grande.
Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
U.S. Department of State