Save the Monuments
The boundary markers between the U.S. and Mexico are the most important manifestations of the past, present and future of the two nations.
In the years that followed the end of the 1846-48 war between the two nations, the markers were sometimes destroyed by Indians, used by settlers as building materials, or simply shifted by people who saw resources they desired on the other side of the line.
With the passage of time, many monuments became damaged by weather or lightning strikes, and destabilized when their foundations were eroded by natural forces.
Today, human abuse most threatens the monuments. They have been deliberately toppled, plastered by graffiti, buried by construction of irrigation channels, and even stolen!
By longstanding treaty convention, the present-day boundary monuments are regularly inspected, repaired and maintained cooperatively by Mexico’s Comisión de Límites y Aguas (CILA) and the U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC). Their work is now more difficult because of the new fortifications on the U.S. side of the border. Many of the markers are hidden from public view behind walls, caged behind fences, or boxed in by massive steel barriers.
The 258 official boundary monuments and the hundreds of smaller markers are remarkably varied in style and location. They stand like silent sentinels commemorating past conflicts, but also symbolizing the connections and friendships that have developed between peoples on both sides of the line. They deserve our support not simply as part of our national memories, but also as a promise of our collaborative futures together.