Bucareli Conferences

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Bucareli Conferences

Bucareli Conferences, a series of meetings between representatives of Mexico and the United States in 1923 that reduced tensions between the two nations through largely tentative agreements. Named for the street in Mexico City where they took place, these conferences addressed the impact of Article 27 of the Mexican Constitution of 1917 on property ownership. U.S. owners of Mexican agricultural and petroleum lands feared their loss. The meetings also had an urgency for Mexican President Álvaro Obregón. The United States had not extended diplomatic recognition to his three-year-old regime, which undercut its legitimacy internationally and limited its ability to handle domestic opposition.

The results of these meetings were ambiguous. Obregón reaffirmed the basic intent of Article 27, but the United States extracted two concessions in return for the opening of diplomatic relations: Mexico could take large estates for the purpose of land reform only if the owners received immediate compensation at market value, and oil concessions would not be affected by Article 27 if the owner had taken positive acts to develop this resource before 1917. Most important, these arrangements were not formal treaties. Enforcement depended on the goodwill of both nations.

The meetings also produced two official treaties. One involved claims against the Mexican government as a result of disruptions of the revolution from 1910 to 1920. The other concerned civil disputes between nationals of the two countries since 1868. The treaties set up two claims commissions to settle these cases.


Robert Freeman Smith, The United States and Revolutionary Nationalism in Mexico, 1916–1932 (1972), esp. pp. 213-223.

Josefina Zoraida Vázquez and Lorenzo Meyer, The United States and Mexico (1985), esp. pp. 126-132.

Additional Bibliography

Spenser, Daniela. The Impossible Triangle: Mexico, Soviet Russia, and the United States in the 1920s. Durham: Duke University Press, 1999.

Zebadúa, Emilio. Banqueros y revolucionarios: La soberanía financiera de México. México, D.F.: Colegio de México: Fideicomiso Historia de las Américas: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1994.

                                          John A. Britton