Help us stop the construction of the border wall!

For many years we have been struggling against the atrocity being built by Bush at the US-Mexico border. Now, we are in a crucial stage of our efforts to stop the wall.

About a month ago, the government started to build the wall in our border region: El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua; the rural area of El Paso and Hudspeth counties and the Valley of Juárez (from Ciudad Juárez to El Porvenir); and Sunland Park, New Mexico and Anapra, Juárez, México. This wall of death that they are planning to construct will be more than 18 ft. high and almost 60 miles long at a cost of 7.5 million dollars per mile. We, the border people, despite being divided by an international boundary, continue to share a social, cultural, human and family relationship born of a common history. In addition, we also inhabit and share the Desert of Chihuahua, whose ecosystem, already badly deteriorated as a result of the maquiladora model of economic development, will be further destroyed by the wall. For us, this wall constitutes a barbaric act of aggression against us, the border people.

We refuse to experience what the German people went through when they were divided by a wall and which took 28 years of struggle to bring down. We urgently need to stop the construction of this wall.

We have carried out marches and protests. The most recent march lasted four days. We walked for almost 70 miles following the trajectory of the proposed extension of this wall. This march took us from Fort Hancock, Texas to Sunland Park, New Mexico, passing by many rural communities which will be deeply affected by this wall.

Currently, we have a permanent protest at the site where construction of the wall started on September 12. We are protesting at this place daily during the mornings and evenings and are committed to intensify our protests if they intensify their construction.

We have been leading this struggle in our border region and we firmly believe that we have the support of the community.

We understand that the government has increased the budget which has created serious concerns in the US Congress. The companies involved in the construction are Kiewit from Omaha, Nebraska, Jobe Concrete Co. from El Paso (the main competitor of Jobe, Cemex refused to provide the concrete to build the wall), Hertz Equipment Rental and other companies. The CEO and President of Kiewit, Bruce Grewcock, was a very generous donor of the Bush-Cheney electoral campaigns.

Although we have the support and the sympathy of  the border community, the media from both sides of the border have ignored our efforts. The recent floods in Texas and the violence in the Mexican side have overshadowed our struggle. The local English media continues to ignore us. Only a few Spanish stations have been willing to give us a space for our voice to be heard.

The public institutions have remained silent. Apparently, the flow of funds under the Merida Plan have been enough to gain the silence of the Mexican Government. The City of El Paso has shown itself as two faced. In resolutions they oppose the wall but in real life they are leasing land to the contractors of the wall.

We are confident that the construction of the wall can be stopped if we continue pressuring. But we need broader support as well as constant diffusion of our efforts at the national and international level.

We intend to begin a campaign designated as “Enough! Everybody against the wall!” beginning October 1 and lasting until January 17, 2009, three days before Presidential Inauguration. During the campaign we will carryout protests, inter-faith and cultural acts, fasts, boycotts against the wall contractors, actions of resistance and civil disobedience. We are still working on the specifics but have designated potential dates for these activities. We will keep you informed of the details and developments of this campaign.

In this critical part of our battle against the wall, we need the moral and material support of all our sister organizations, allies and friends. We need your support! Help us stop the construction of the wall!

In solidarity, we send you fraternal greetings from the US-Mexico border.

Carlos Marentes

Border Agricultural Workers Project
201 East Ninth Avenue
El Paso, Texas 79901
Tel. (915) 532-0921
Cell (915) 873-8933