Political map of North America & the Caribbean 22 March 1863 (French Intervention in Mexico): Bankrupt after its Reform War, Mexico had suspended its debt repayments in 1861, prompting Spain, France and Britain to occupy Veracruz. However when it became apparent that the French Emperor Napoleon III was really using the intervention as an excuse to conquer Mexico (French intervention in Mexico), the Spanish and British withdrew, leaving the French to continue the invasion on their own.