The Mariscal-Spencer Treaty between Mexico and England in 1893
In 1893, Mexico and England renewed their talks on the Mariscal-Spencer Treaty. It says that the Treaty between the Mexican Republic and your Brittanic Majesty is that the limits between the Mexican Republic and British Honduras is as follows: Beginning from the mouth of Bacalar Chico, the straits that separate the State of Yucatan from Ambergris Caye and its annexed Islands. The division line runs in the middle of the canal between the said Caye and the continent with direction to the Southwest up to parallel 18 degree 9’ north, turning then towards the west, it continues first to the nearby bay in the same direction as far as the meridian of 88 degree 2’ west, then it goes up north up to the parallel 18 degree 25’north, once more it goes towards the west up to the meridian 88 degree 18’ west, following the same meridian up to Latitude 18 degree 28’ north, point in which is the mouth of the Rio Hondo, in which it continues in the most profound part of the canal passing to the west of the Island Albion and overcoming Blue Creek up to where this crosses the meridian of Garbutt Falls in a point North of the intersection of the division lines of Mexico, Guatemala and British Honduras and from this point continuing the meridian of Garbutt Falls it goes towards the south up to Latitude 17 degree 49’ north. The division lies between the Republic of Mexico and Guatemala leaving in the north in Mexican Territory the Snosha or Xnohha river.
This treaty was for the British to stop selling weapons to the Santa Cruz Maya of the Caste War. The inhabitants from different parts of Yucatan manifested their discontent towards the Treaty that was signed on the 8th of July 1893 (Mariscal-Spencer) where Mexico gave away part of their territory to the British claiming that they, the British, had never put a foot on such places as San Pedro Ambergris Caye. At the time in San Pedro alone there were 500 Yucatecos living there. The Yucatecos saw it as a mutilation of their national sovereignty. The inhabitants of Merida also manifested their opposition towards the diplomatic agreement. An official document was sent to the Senate (Federal Government) in which it states that they supported the Treaty concluded with England and Spain in 1786 and with Mexico in 1826 and it also stated that instead of transferring Mexican territory to the British, these, the British, should compensate Yucatan for the damages caused because of the Caste War which was encouraged by feeding the war with weapons from Belize. The official document concluded saying that no major forces could compel Mexico to give away land which were occupied by their same citizens.
On the other hand, the inhabitants of Belize continued with their labour of cutting logwood and selling weapons to the Cruzob. The news concerning the Treaty between Mexico and England meant an increment in the activities, and on the ending of 1893, providing the limitations that the new times would impose, they obtained permissions which would secure access to the Mexican forest and immediately extended the unloading of power and guns for the Maya.
The visits of the Maya leaders to Belize were not suspended, and in 1894, General Jose Crescencio Puc was received by Bernard Cramer to conclude various businesses. The utilities for the cutting of wood for Puc increased to $4,000, and Puc acquired guns and ammunitions which were sent to Bacalar. After that, General Jose Crescensio Puc gave out new permissions for the exploitation of the forest.
The above information was gotten from the book, “Quintana Roo Entre Tiempos,” written by Antonio Higuera Bonfil, financed by CONACYT and developed by the University of Quintana Roo.
Mexico had grounds to void the Mariscal-Spencer Treaty.
August 20th 2008