Nogales Residents Say US is Building Border Wall on Mexico's Land

NOGALES, Mexico – Residents here say the U.S. border wall construction has intruded twenty meters onto Mexico’s land and are urging a halt to the construction of the U.S. Apartheid Border Wall, being fought by Indigenous Peoples all along the US/Mexico border.

The Nogales site is located west of the Mariposas international border crossing at Nogales, which is south of Tucson.

“A serious problem has resulted from the all powerful program to construct the 'Wall of Shame' by the U.S. government in this border,” said concerned residents Teresa Leal and Alejandro Castro in a statement.

The news comes as Homeland Security Michael Chertoff plans to view the SBInet spy towers on the Arizona border on Thursday. Boeing's spy towers still are not functioning.

Calling it an invasion of Mexico, Leal and Castro said, “In Nogales, Sonora, they have flagrantly moved the International Boundary obelisk, which marks the boundary of our national geography in the area of Las Mariposas, about 3 kilometers west of the Gate No. 3."
Castro said, "We believe that the United States is invading the private and public land on the Mexico side of the International Boundary, to build this horrible steel wall. This is an unlawful act and an act of hostility toward a sovereign nation and the Mexican people as a whole."

Speaking to a delegation of observers, he said, "The landowners of Sonora, Mexico need you to carry this message to the people of the U.S., so that they will hear the truth about the aggressive acts of their government and the breakage of international laws.”

Contacted for a response, the Tucson sector of Homeland Security/US Border Patrol said that a response would be forthcoming.

Meanwhile, ranchers in the area said the traditional barbed wire fence which has existed in the rural area of the international border for generations was eliminated and replaced by a new fence, approximately 20 meters south of the former Mexico-U.S. fenceline.

“The border marker obelisks, put in place after the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, were also removed and painted white when the rest of the obelisks are a silver color. There are signs of fresh cement and next to that is the deep trench dug to position and erect the thick, steel wall,” Leal and Castro said. On January 27, 2008, Leal and Castro took a delegation to the International Boundary site. This delegation included Margo Tamez, Lipan Apache, Jumano Apache, Hawk Tamez Mendoza, Lipan Apache, Jumano Apache, Michael Paul Hill, San Carlos Apache and Dr. Joni Adamson from Mesa.

The delegation reported the testimony from indigenous workers employed by local ranchers. They said their lands are currently under occupation by the US Department of Homeland Security. "Indigenous workers gave testimonials which affirmed the analysis of local residents of Nogales, Sonora. This testimony is now shedding light on eminent domain procedures occurring in Mexico, providing illegitimate occupancy to the Department of Homeland Security, and displacing local land-owners without their consent or prior knowledge," the delegation said.

"Why is the United States taking this land from the people of Mexico?” asked Hawk Tamez Mendoza, 13, a student at St. John's Public School in the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, North Dakota community.

Leal and Castro said, “No Mexican official has met with the International authorities or commented on the situation at this writing. It is expected to change when the International Boundary and Water Commission provides information regarding this matter and grave concern regarding the U.S. entry into Mexican soil by 20 meters, an act which is, according to the plaques on the obelisks, ‘a severe penalty’ of international law."

They said ranchers were obviously upset because the company began work without any notice or information and continued with "an invasion of Mexico."

Earlier, a similar situation occurred east of here on the US/Mexico border, when the US constructed a portion of the border wall on Mexico's soil. The US relocated the border wall in a multi-million dollar project.

“It is hoped that in this situation they will act in the same way, because otherwise one could say that that it is an expropriation of several square kilometers of Mexican space," Leal and Castro said.

In another breaking news story nearby, Boeing's border spy towers still are not working, according to Alice Lipowicz, “SBInet hits software snag.”

Although recent reports said the border spy towers are now functioning, those reports were  not accurate.

Homeland Security Department has determined that it needs to develop better software and perform additional tests on the initial 28-mile segment of the SBInet border surveillance system, a department spokeswoman said.

“The additional round of testing is the most recent glitch in getting the potentially $30 billion U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada border surveillance system up and running. Boeing was awarded the prime contract in September 2006 and began work on the $20 million initial task order for Project 28, installing towers, cameras, sensors and communications equipment," Lipowicz.

”On Monday, Secretary Michael Chertoff said he is requesting $775 million for SBInet in fiscal 2009.

"The department also recently awarded a $64 million task order to Boeing to develop a common operational picture for SBInet. A common operational picture is a single, relevant display of information that can be used by more than one group.”

In related news, the Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen was in court this week, facing a lawsuit over its role in secret renditions, torture flights. Photo at: http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com

About Brenda Norrell

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 32 years. She is publisher of Censored News, focusing on Indigenous Peoples, human rights and the US border. Censored News was created after Norrell was censored, then terminated, by Indian Country Today after serving as a longtime staff reporter. Now censored by the mainstream media, she previously was a staff reporter at numerous American Indian newspapers and a stringer for AP, USA Today and others. She lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, and then traveled with the Zapatistas. She covered the climate summits in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Cancun, Mexico, in 2010.

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About Brenda Norrell

Personal Website
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com/

Biography

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 32 years. She is publisher of Censored News, focusing on Indigenous Peoples, human rights and the US border. Censored News was created after Norrell was censored, then terminated, by Indian Country Today after serving as a longtime staff reporter. Now censored by the mainstream media, she previously was a staff reporter at numerous American Indian newspapers and a stringer for AP, USA Today and others. She lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, and then traveled with the Zapatistas. She covered the climate summits in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Cancun, Mexico, in 2010.