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In London, Britain, France, and Spain agree to a military intervention in Mexico to force payment of debts

Mexico, 1857, zoomable map
Mexico had suspended interest payments on the nation's giant foreign debt in July 1861. The main European debtors, Britain, France, and Spain, signed a convention in London for an occupation of Mexican customs houses, beginning with Vera Cruz, to force continued payments.  A combined fleet sailed in December 1861. When the agreement broke down, France took the opportunity for a full scale intervention in Mexico in early 1862.  (By John Osborne)   
Source Citation: 
Brian R. Hamnett, A Concise History of Mexico (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 163-164.