News From the Border

Providing the news from a different front but from a war that we must win as well! I recognize the poverty and desperate conditions that many Latinos live in. We, as the USA, have a responsibility to do as much as we can to reach out to aid and assist spiritually with the Gospel and naturally with training, technology and resources. But poverty gives no one the right to break the laws of another sovereign nation.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mexico ties flooding in Nogales to U.S. Border Patrol-built wall

By Brady McCombs

ARIZONA DAILY STAR

Mexican officials say a concrete barrier constructed by the U.S. Border Patrol in a storm-water tunnel beneath Nogales appears to be on Mexican soil and was the main cause of serious flooding July 12 in Nogales, Sonora.

The flooding caused about $8 million in damage in Nogales, Sonora, the officials say.

The 5-foot-high wall on the floor of the tunnel in front of a gate was put in without notifying the International Boundary and Water Commission, said Sally Spener, spokeswoman for the U.S. section of the commission. The commission requests that any agency doing work on the border that could affect storm drainage send it plans.

"We do have concerns about structures that are placed on the international boundary that could affect storm-water flow," Spener said.

The U.S. side of the commission hasn't yet determined if the barrier caused the flooding, Spener said. It's important to remember the Mexican side of the tunnel was old and in poor condition, she said.

A delegation from the commission, including Commissioner Carlos Marin, was en route to Nogales on Tuesday.

While in Arizona, the delegation will be analyzing whether the structure is in Mexico, what role it played in the flood and what should be done to remedy the situation, she said.

Officials with the Mexican section of the commission say the barrier reduced the flow of storm water through the tunnel by 40 percent, said Jesús Quintanar, a representative in Nogales of the Mexican side of the commission. The barrier was put up in January by the Border Patrol without letting anyone else know, he said.

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