Saturday, June 7, 2008

Update on Construction; Run-ins with border Patrol, private security and Kiwis

Here's a video I took today inside Smuggler's thinking I'd get some good footage on a Sunday when there aren't any construction vehicles at work.

I didn't get any shots or audio of it but private security guards asked me to leave the staging area where all the vehicles are set up about a half mile east of Smuggler's behind the water treatment plant. There were also private security guys inside Smuggler's gulch.

Here's my attempt to get into the same area while construction was going on on Thursday 5th of June. I managed to get a picture of the mound of fill dirt.

These are before and after pics that show that they have just started filling in Smuggler's this past week. This is the same area in the above videos, about halfway up Smuggler's Gulch, about 200-200 yds from the fence. Right where they have blocked it off with No tresspassing signs (also recent over the last 2-3 weeks).

May 29th:

June 5th (same spot with fill dirt in place):

June 8th:

These are boulders that were there are in the Southeast corner of Smuggler's Gulch. Close to the fence right next to the trail that goes up on the mesa on the east side of the Gulch. I assume they are prep for filling in the gulch. I took these pictures on May 29th:

Here's an audio clip of me trying to get permission from Kiewit Construction company, the company that was awarded the contract to do the triple fence project, at their main offices to see the construction site.

Border Patrol presence is MUCH higher over the last month or so and lately I've noticed new types of vehicles like this one that I saw while walking out to the entrance to Smuggler's Gulch on Thurs June 5th.

I took this shot on the way out to Smuggler's Gulch on Thurs. June 5th. I felt their presence even more as I entered Smuggler's Gulch.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The High Speed Corridor is nearly to Smuggler's Gulch

John and I went out to the border yesterday morning. He had been wanting to see the area and I had been wanting to show him. There were a few interesting/alarming things that happened. One, there were more vehicles in the hills working than I 've ever seen. Usually about half the 20 or so vehicles that park in the construction area stay parked, yesterday there were only two parked and the rest in the hills. The second and definitely most alarming was the amount they had advanced on the road! They are now only about 200-300 yds from Smuggler's Gulch. The amount of native vegetation that has been destroyed in the last two weeks is almost incomprehensible. Probably close to an acre of these plants which have been there for centuries and whose root systems take decades to form was uprooted in two weeks. The filling of Smuggler's is imminent! More evidence to this effect was demonstrated by the third interesting ocurence. On our way walking out of smuggler's we were stopped by BP. This, in itself, isn't that unusual. I often get asked what I'm doing there and sometimes asked for ID. But the comments and scare tactics of this BP agent were things like "You really shouldn't be in here", "There's a lot of 'activity' and it's dangerous". He asked for our IDs, ran John's liscence plate, and asked to see the video clips that I had taken on my computer. When we asked if what he meant by 'activity' was construction he said "No, other ativity". I think this is more of the same scare tactics that is in the news and everywhere else that the border is some violent dangerous area overrun with drugs, arms, and dangerous aliens running around. I've never seen anything but peaceful bushes and birds and destructive bulldozers since I've been going out there. I've been there easily 100 times. John and I came to the conclusion that despite the insinuations, the 'activity' that is really going on there is people like us trying to keep up with the pace of the destruction. I suspect they are nervous about us being there because the strength of their progress on this fence has been the secrecy that they've been able to keep it under and now that it's just barely to starting to break into mainstream news, they are worried about people like us getting word and somehow holding up their progress on the fence.

Here's a video taken about a 1/2 mile east of Smuggler's Gulch which is about two miles from the Pacific Ocean right along the US/Mex border. The original audio was barely audible so I spent a lot of time doing a crappy editing job in order make the it audible. If anyone has any video editing tips for me, I'll take 'em.

La Paz Agreement - US/Mex Environmental Cooperation

The unilateralism of the US government in building the triple barrier clearly violates this treaty.

Link to web page that shows agreement

Border Program Home
Information provided for informational purposes only

Note: This information is provided for reference purposes only. Although the information provided here was accurate and current when first created, it is now outdated.



Agreement Between the


Signed at La Paz August 14, 1983


Pursuant to Public Law 89-497, approved July 8, 1966 (80 Stat. 271; 1 U.S.C. 113)-

". . . the Treaties and Other International Acts Series issued under the authority of the Secretary of State shall be competent evidence . . . of the treaties, international agreements other than treaties, and proclamations by the President of such treaties and international agree-ments other than treaties, as the case may be, therein contained, in all the courts of law and equity and of maritime jurisdiction, and in all the tribunals and public offices of the United States, and of the several States, without any further proof or authentication thereof."

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, US Government Printing Office
Washington, DC 20402

Environmental Cooperation

Agreement signed at La Paz August 14, 1983;
Entered into force February 16, 1984.


    The United States of America and the United Mexican States,

RECOGNIZING the importance of a healthful environment to the long-term economic and social well-being of present and future generations of each country as well as of the global community;

RECALLING that the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, proclaimed in Stockholm in 1972,['] called upon nations to collaborate to resolve environmental problems of common concern;

    NOTING previous agreements and programs providing for environmental cooperation between the two countries;

    BELIEVING that such cooperation is of mutual benefit in coping with
similar environmental problems in each country;

ACKNOWLEDGING the important work of the International Boundary and Water Commission and the contribution of the agreements concluded between the two countries relating to environmental affairs;

REAFFIRMING their political will to further strengthen and demonstrate the importance attached by both Governments to cooperation on environmental protection and in furtherance of the principle of good neighborliness;

Have agreed as follows:

1 Department of state Bulletin July 24,1972, P. 116.

The United States of America and the United Mexican States, here inafter referred to as the Parties, agree to cooperate in the field of environmental protection in the border area on the basis of equality, reciprocity and mutual benefit. The objectives of the present Agreement are to establish the basis for cooperation between the Parties for the protection, improvement and conservation of the environment and the problems which affect it, as well as to agree on necessary measures to prevent and control pollution in the border area, and to provide the framework for development of a system of notification for emergency situations. Such objectives shall be pursued without prejudice to the cooperation which the Parties may agree to undertake outside the border area.

The Parties undertake, to the fullest extent practical, to adopt the appropriate measures to prevent, reduce and eliminate sources of pollution in their respective territory which affect the border area of the other.

Additionally, the Parties shall cooperate in the solution of the environmental problems of mutual concern in the border area, in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement.

Pursuant to this Agreement, the Parties may conclude specific ar-rangements for the solution of common problems in the border area, which may be annexed thereto. Similarly, the Parties may also agree upon annexes to this Agreement on technical matters.

For the purposes of this Agreement, it shall be understood that the "border area" refers to the area situated 100 kilometers on either side of the inland and maritime boundaries between the Parties.

The Parties agree to coordinate their efforts, in conformity with their own national legislation and existing bilateral agreements to Address problems of air, land and water pollution in the border area.

To implement this Agreement, the Parties shall consider and, as appropriate, pursue in a coordinated manner practical, legal, institutional and technical measures for protecting the quality of the envi-ronment in the border area. Forms of cooperation may include: coordination of national programs; scientific and educational exchanges; environmental monitoring; environmental impact assessment; and periodic exchanges of information and data on likely sources of pollution in their respective territory which may produce environmentally polluting incidents, as defined in an annex to this Agreement.
The Parties shall assess, as appropriate in accordance with their

respective national laws, regulations and policies, projects that have significant impacts on the environment of the border area, that appropriate measures may be considered to avoid or mitigate adverse environmental effects.

Each Party designates a national coordinator whose principal functions will be to coordinate and monitor implementation of this Agreement, make recommendations to the Parties, and organize the annual meetings referred to in Article 10, and the meetings of the experts referred to in Article 11. Additional responsibilities of the national coordinators may be agreed to in an annex to this Agreement.

In the case of the United States of America the national coordinator shall be the Environmental Protection Agency, and in the case of Mexico it shall be the Secretaría de Desarrollo Urbano y Ecología, through the Subsecretaría de Ecología.

Taking into account the subjects to be examined jointly, the na-tional coordinators may invite, as appropriate, representatives of federal, state and municipal governments to participate in the meetings provided for in this Agreement. By mutual agreement they may also in-vite representatives of international governmental or non-governmental organizations who may be able to contribute some element of expertise on problems to be solved.

    The national coordinators will determine by mutual agreement the form and manner of participation of non-governmental entities.

The Parties shall hold at a minimum an annual high level meeting to review the manner in which this Agreement is being implemented. These meetings shall take place alternately in the border area of Mexico and the United States of America.

The composition of the delegations which represent each Party, both in these annual meetings as well as in the meetings of experts referred to in Article 11, will be communicated to the other Party through diplomatic channels.

The Parties may, as they deem necessary, convoke meetings of ex-perts for the purposes of coordinating their national programs referred to in Article 6, and of preparing the drafts of the specific arrange-ments and technical annexes referred to in Article 3.

    These meetings of experts may review technical subjects. The opinions of the experts in such meetings shall be communicated by them to on the national coordinators, and will serve to advise the Parties technical matters.

Each Party shall ensure that its national coordinator is informed of activities of its cooperating agencies carried out under this Agreement. Each Party shall also ensure that its national coordinator is informed of the implementation of other agreements concluded between the two Governments concerning matters related to this Agreement. The national coordinators of both Parties will present to the annual meet-ings a report on the environmental aspects of all joint work conducted under this Agreement and on implementation of other relevant agree-ments between the Parties, both bilateral and multilateral.

Nothing in this Agreement shall prejudice or otherwise affect the functions entrusted to the International Boundary and Water Commission, in accordance with the Water Treaty of 1944.[']

1 Treaty relating to the utilization of waters of the Colorado and Tijuana Rivers and of the Rio Grande. Signed at Washington Feb. 3, 1944 and supplementary protocol signed Nov. 14, 1944. TS 994; 59 Stat. 1219.

Each Party shall be responsible for informing its border states and for consulting them in accordance with their respective constitu-tional systems, in relation to matters covered by this Agreement.

Unless otherwise agreed, each Party shall bear the cost of its participation in the implementation of this Agreement, including the expenses of personnel who participate in any activity undertaken on the basis of it.

For the training of personnel, the transfer of equipment and the construction of installations related to the implementation of this Agreement, the Parties may agree on a special modality of financing, taking into account the objectives defined in this Agreement.
The Parties shall facilitate the entry of equipment and personnel related to this Agreement, subject to the laws and regulations of the receiving country.

In order to undertake the monitoring of polluting activities in the border area, the Parties shall undertake consultations relating to the measurement and analysis of polluting elements in the border area.

All technical information obtained through the implementation of this Agreement will be available to both Parties. Such information may be made available to third parties by the mutual agreement of the Parties to this Agreement.

Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed to prejudice other existing or future agreements concluded between the two Parties, or affect the rights and obligations of the Parties under international agreements to which they are a party.
Activities under this Agreement shall be subject to the availability of funds and other resources to each Party and to the applicable laws and regulations in each country.

The present Agreement shall enter into force upon an exchange of Notes stating that each Party has completed its necessary internal procedures.[']

The present Agreement shall remain in force indefinitely unless one of the Parties notifies the other, through diplomatic channels, of its desire to denounce it, in which case the Agreement will terminate six months after the date of such written notification. Unless otherwise agreed, such termination shall not affect the validity of any arrange-ments made under this Agreement.

This Agreement may be amended by the agreement of the Parties.

The adoption of the annexes and of the specific arrangements provided for in Article 3, and the amendments thereto, will be effected by an exchange of Notes.[1]

This Agreement supersedes the exchange of Notes, concluded on June 19, 1978 with the attached Memorandum of Understanding between the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States and the Subsecretariat for Environmental Improvement of Mexico for Coopera-tion on Environmental Programs and Transboundary Problems.[2]
DONE in duplicate, in the city of La Paz, Baja California, Mexi-co, on the 14th of August of 1983, in the English and Spanish lan-guages, both texts being equally authentic.

1 Annexes subsequently agreed to by the parties are on file in the Office of Treaty Affairs, Department of State.
2 TIAS 9264; 30 UST 1574.
3 Ronald Reagan.
4 George P. Shultz.
5 De la Madrid.
6 B. Sepulveda.
This document has been last updated on: 11/03/1998 12:59:26 PM

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Log from visit on Mon 4_21

I went to the area where they are building behind Monument Rd about 1 mile west of the I5, behind the water treatment plant. I audio recorded some of it. Some of the log below is transcribed and some is summarized. My main goal for this trip was to see if they have change the hours that they start working.

The taxi driver dropped me off about 100 yds from the breakfast truck at about 6:50am where all the workers were eating breakfast. I walked up and the breakfast truck lady recognized me.
“Hola, Buenos Días Cómo está?” She was very friendly and we chatted a bit. I said good morning to the workers as well. One of them said good morning back. Quite a few recognized me, I could tell.
Señora: Tenemos el Breakfast Burrito el Breakfast Torta con Chorizo, el Breakfast Sandwich on Wheat bread
Me: El Breakfast Sandwich.
Señora: Trabajas aquí ahora?
Me: No, Estoy aqui observando nada más. ¿Siempre entran ellos a la misma hora?
Señora: Si, tengo que llegar antes de las 7 porque entran a las 7.
There was a short conversation between the Señora and one of the workers in Spanish. He was obviously Latino. I couldn't hear what they said.

I walked away to go eat my sandwich. Sitting on a rock on the road and started reporting by voice what I was seeing.

“Some of them said Good morning. That was cool...Looks like it’s pretty much the same as when me and Nathan came here and when I came last week [see video below taken 3 weeks ago for reference] . I’m thinking, I don’t know, I might be a little annoyed if were them too I think. Somebody observing them doing their job. It’s nothing personal against them but...”

truck drives by makes my voice inaudible. Silence for a bit and then you can hear the PA system in the background for a school in Tijuana. Me talking but hard to hear. Something about how I felt a little like an annoying nosy guy and how I wouldn’t mind being honest with them. Felt uncomfortable because it was so difficult to be friendly.

“7:54 the first vehicle headed out. Darn thing keeps dying on me [talking about audio software]... Now a couple more have pulled out.”

After that the recording didn’t work. I stayed around til about 8:15 and by the time I left there were three vehicles headed up the hill and a couple more started up. from 7-8, they were all working/preping their vehicles and chatting a bit, couldn’t hear the conversation and the part I did record, my own voice was barely audible due to the loud machinery. There were around 15 operation vehicles. There seemed to be parked without a worker. There were around 20 to 25 military personel/construction workers. There were three B&B rental equipment water trucks, and one B&B utility truck. There 13 POVs parked. I saw 3 SUVs driving in and out of the area with DHS plates. One went up into the hills before the construction vehicles. I assume to survey the area. There was one civilian truck that drove up just when they were starting to go out. He just drove right in. There were two guys in the truck and one was pointing out the window like he was showing the other the area or something about it. They went right through the access gate and one of the tractors actually had to stop to let him go by. They drove around like they owned the place. Made me think they were contractors. Fits with what Jim said that contractors will be taking over in June.
One of the SUVs stopped and asked me what I was doing there. I told him I was just observing. He kept asking me who I was with and I kept telling him no one. I told him, to be honest, I’m against the fence and I’m observing what’s going on. I wanted to be honest, I didn’t feel there was any reason to hide it. I already know what the plan is. He told me to leave the area.
“Why? isn’t this a public road?”
“Yes, but you just told me you’re against the fence”
“Well, that’s just an opinion. I don’t plan on doing anything except observing.”
“Alright. No problem then.”
I guess I can understand why he wanted me to leave if I’m against the fence. I might do something to interrupt the operation or something, he was probably thinking.
I observed a little longer and then went to another area near there where a lot of the vehicles were going. It was another parking area. Maybe kind of a base. There a great deal of old vehicles with windows broken out that looked abandoned, a few nicer looking ones and a couple civilian type vehicles with DHS plates. While I was standing on the public road, a van full of Army guys drove by and went in there. I also saw some of them picking up trash in the fenced off area later on.

As I was leaving a Navy guy asked me if he could do anything for me. I told I was just observing. He said "ok just checking have a nice day."

I was filming the water treatment plant on my way out and five BP guys on quads drove up and questioned me a bit and asked me for ID. Said they didn’t see me come in. That happens a lot where they don’t see me come in and then question me on the way out. I think maybe it doesn't get relayed from one shift to the next.

Video 4/10 form Tijuana side. The only difference I've noticed today and last week from the video 3 weeks ago, is that there has been a cement culvert completed on the side of the approximately 200 ft wide road that is emphasized here in the video.