Conference 2010: Program / Programa

Conferencia Binacional sobre Asuntos Fronterizos
Binational Conference on Border Issues

San Diego City College
December 1, 2010
1o. de diciembre, 2010

9 am - 4 pm
Room/salón  D 121A

Border art exhibition
Exhibición: arte y frontera
Nov 22 - Dec 2
Centro Cultural de la Raza

Conference Reception
Recepción de la conferencia
November 30, Tuesday, 6-8 pm
Centro Cultural de la Raza

Conference / Conferencia
December 1st, Wednesday, 8 am – 4 pm
1o. de diciembre, miércoles, 8 am -- 4 pm

Para registrarse:
8:00 am--9:30 am

Keynote speakers
Presentaciones magistrales
9:35 am --11 am

Director of the Binational Center for Human Rights in Tijuana and a lecturer in the Latin American Studies Department at San Diego State University
Director del Centro Binacional por los Derechos Humanos (Tijuana) y profesor adjunto en el Departamento de Estudios Lationamericanos de la San Diego State

DAVID BACON, California-based writer and photographer, author of Illegal People and The Children of NAFTA
Escritor y fotógrafo de California—autor de Los hijos del TLCAN y de Illegal people

Panel 1
Border and Media / Frontera y media
11:10 am-12:15 pm

Laura Castañeda-- Radio and TV, San Diego City College (Panel coordinator),
Vicente Calderon –,
Amy Isakson - KPBS,
Sandra Dibble-- San Diego Union Tribune,
Chris Acedo-- FOX5,

Panel 2
Friends of the Friendship Park
Amistades del Parque de la Amistad
11:10 am-12:15 pm

Friends of Friendship Park would like to give a recent history of what has happened in the Southwestern most 3.5 miles of the US/Mexico border. We’d like to inform about how the newly constructed tactical infrastructure was allowed to be built, and give our perspective as to the cultural, historical, environmental, and humanitarian consequences it has created backed up by academic and statistical analysis. We’ll give an historical background of what the space has been used for and what it has represented and the actions that Friends of Friendship Park has taken to try to preserve and enhance cross-border friendship, collaboration, and union. We will close with a video presentation of the proposal we currently have on the table for a redesign of the park.

Daniel Watman Principal organizer of Border encuentro Program and part of Friends of Friendship Park leadership Circle

Jill Holslin, Border activist and teacher, Department of Rhetoric & Writing Studies, San Diego State University -- Mapping the history of our political activism to restore public access to the park

James Brown Principal Architect for Public Architecture and Planning in San Diego
Architect of New Design Proposal for Friendship Park
Part of Friends of Friendship Park Leadership Circle

Panel 3
Asserting Human Rights in Border Communities through Collective Organizing
Afirmando los derechos humanos en las comunidades fronterizas con la organización comunitaria
11:10 am-12:15 pm

Raza Right Coalition / Coalición pro Derechos de la Raza
Increased border enforcement measures over the years have led to a human rights nightmare along the US/Mexico borderlands, where the systematic violation of human rights have become part of the landscape along border communities. Despite this “normalization of violence,” a community-organizing model employed in San Diego that uses human rights as a framework for collective participation, offers a refreshing change for asserting collective agency. This methodology for organizing also offers a challenge for how citizenship and membership to the state gets defined, since many who participate in these processes are undocumented. Participation in this process seeks to overturn the culture of violence that permeates through border communities, with one where human dignity and respect are valued as a basis for developing social, cultural, and political relationships. With the assistance of the American Friends Service Committee, the proposed panel will be comprised of representatives of three San Diego-based Human Rights Committees. They will discuss how the Human Rights Committee framework allows for its members to engage in a participatory democracy model. They will also describe current campaigns as examples of how their members participate in their organizations. The purpose of this panel presentation format will be to provide concrete examples of how community-driven organizations in border communities create social theory through their actions and campaigns. An essay with theoretical arguments in support of the human rights committee model will accompany the presentation.

Lunch / Almuerzo
Border: art and representation
Frontera: Arte y representación
12:15 – 1 pm

Panel 4
Workshop on Immigration, Free Trade and Alternative Economies
Reunión de trabajo sobre migración, libre comercio y economías alternativas
1 pm - 2:10 pm

CAFE: Creating Alternatives and Fair Enterprise
CAFÉ: Creando Alternativas y Empresas con Justicia

In this collective strategizing session, CAFÉ, is inviting collectives from San Diego and Tijuana who advocate against the policies of free trade and work on building nucleus of an alternative, fair trade economy. The panel will discuss the connection between US Trade Policy and poverty in Mexico and other Latin American countries, and alternative economies and local fair trade projects. The panel will focus on:

1. Identifying what aspects of US trade policy have negatively affected the poor in Mexico and Latin America

2. What economic progress needs to be made so that the working poor in Mexico and Latin America no longer have the necessity to migrate

3. How the US can help promote economic progress and upward mobility among the working poor in Mexico and Latin America through changes to our trade policy

4. How to promote such policies as part of the political discourse and policies on the border and immigration reform.

5. How to promote alternative economies and fair trade projects

Groups that have confirmed their attendance: Cooperativa Ollin Calli, Tijuana; San Diego Maquiladora Workers Solidarity Network; Café Virtuoso, San Diego; Fair Trade San Diego; City College CAFE

Panel 5
Border: Historical approaches
Frontera: aproximaciones históricas
1 pm - 2:10 pm

Humberto Navarro, Ethnic studies student, UCSD. Law, Raciality and the Impossibility of Civil Rights in U.S. Immigration Doctrine
While the second decade of the implementation of NAFTA is fast approaching, border and racial violence continues to be the horizon of existence for the thousands of individual brown bodies who face/d the productive power of violence. Thus, rather than assuming that the violence that is produced in the U.S.-Mexico border is the byproduct of “failed,” “misguided” or the “unintended consequence” of U.S. immigration policy and security measures, racial and border violence should prompt us to consider violence as a possibility of existence.

Maria Curry, ICOMOS Mexicano Baja California Representative and San Diego's Historical Resources Board Member. Historical Preservation in the Borderlands at the Grassroots Level
English: This paper addresses the work of historic preservation organizations and activists in the Southern California-Baja California border region from 1994 to 2004. I include my personal involvement as an academic, social activist and professional in historic preservation with dual citizenship and residence. The paper cites case studies of binational, regional and local efforts to preserve historic buildings, sites and landscapes with historic and cultural meaning for both California and Baja California. These include Friendship Park, the San Diego and Arizona Railroad, the Tecate Depot, the SS Catalina, the Bullring in Tijuana, and Bodegas de Santo Tomas in Ensenada. I discuss the influence of NAFTA, 9/11, the border fence, and the 2006 Merida Plan on the preservation of cultural resources in the Californias. Lastly, I reflect on my experience as an immigrant and describe how moving to San Diego and becoming a US citizen affected my views and work on historic preservation. This paper explores the questions of what is the history we should preserve, who should do it and how it should be done, in order to have a better future through a better understanding of this region's History.
Español: En este articulo analizo el trabajo de organizaciones de preservación y de activistas en la región fronteriza del sur de California y Baja California de 1994 a 2004.  Incluyo mi involucramiento como académica, activista social y profesional en preservación historica con doble ciudadania y residencia.  El artículo cita estudios de casos de esfuerzos  binacionales, regionales y locales, para preservar edificios, sitios y paisajes con significado histórico y cultural para California y Baja California.  Se incluyen el Parque de la Amistad, el ferrocarril San Diego y Arizona, la estación Tecate, el barco SS Catalina, el Toreo de Tijuana y Bodegas de Santo Tomás en Ensenada.   Discuto la influencia del Tratado de Libre Comercio,  Septiembre 11, la barda fronteriza y el Plan Mérida en la preservacion de recursos  culturales en las Californias.  Finalmente, reflexiono sobre mi experiencia como immigrante y describo cómo el mudarme a San Diego y convertirme en ciudadana estadounidense afectó mi visión y trabajo en preservacion. Este artículo explora respuestas a las preguntas sobre  qué es la historia  y cuál es la historia que debemos preservar,  asi como quién debe hacerlo y cómo debe hacerse, con el fin de lograr un mayor entendimiento de la historia regional.

Michael Cash, San Diego City College and Mesa College--Discrimination Against Latinos in US Immigration
On July 4th , 1776, the United States of America formally declared its independence from Great Britain. It was on this day that the nation officially recognized “certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” (US Declaration of Independence). Regrettably, within less than four years of this enlightenment, in its second session, the United States Congress began to reveal its biased agenda on immigration—only an “alien, being a free white person” may become a citizen of the fledgling republic (Rule of Naturalization Act). Since the beginning of the United States as an independent entity, the immigration rights of Latinos and peoples indigenous to the Americas have been discriminated against. With centuries of constant and persistent militarization of borders, aggressive expansion tactics and prejudiced policies governing basic rights, the United States continues to perpetuate the idea that immigration reform is essentially restricting the acceptance of cultures and persons of non-white descent.

Raúl Rodríguez González, Library director, CETYS Universidad-Tijuana campus; Lecturer, Chicana/Chicano Studies Department, SDSU-- Tripartite North America: A Case for Comparative History
The paper proposes the need to foster teaching and research with a comparative approach the histories of Canada, United States and Mexico. They are three countries sharing a commonality of a border and its implications. It addresses what seems to have been a neglected absence among history teachers and historians in teaching and researching a comparative approach to North America’s historical development. To extol the benefits of utilizing a comparative focus as a medium or tool fostering awareness of North America’s similarities, diversities and parallels in history’s flow and discourse.

Panel 6
Border, health and resistance
Frontera, salud y resistencia
1 pm - 2:10 pm

April Fernandez, California Office of Binational Border Health--Border experiences dynamic public health challenges and issues
Michael Welton, MPH, MA, Epidemiologist, California Department of Public Health, Office of Binational Border Health—“Public Health Challenges and Issues in the California-Baja California Border Region”
The border experiences dynamic public health challenges and issues that are distinctive to the region. In order to address any public health challenge in the California/Baja California Border Region, it is necessary to look beyond the apparent challenge and identify factors that may be confounding. The binational population, the environment, communication, and health and sociodemographic disparities all interact with each other making resolution more difficult. In order to be successful in addressing these challenges, it is necessary to consider each of these factors. The California Department of Public Health, Office of Binational Border Health (COBBH) was created to help identify health successes and problems that are specific to the border region and its population. In order to do this, COBBH works in partnership with state and local agencies to address the public health challenges along the border region. COBBH will present, “Public Health Challenges at the Border” ,addressing the challenges that affect the health of our binational populations. This presentation will include current demographic and health status information of the public health challenges with conclusions and current projects addressing those challenges.

Heriberto Escamilla, Ph.D. Anthropologist and Don Marcelino, Wixarika Healer-- Wixarika resistance vs. Canadian Mine Corporation
The Wixarika of the Sierra Madre Occidental have made their sacred pilgrimage to Wirikuta, their ancestral homeland in San Luis Potosi, Mexico since time immemorial. They understand that without this continuing sacrifice, the world will stop. “Modern” thinkers often dismiss these “superstitions” as not only illogical, but maladaptive or even harmful. In this dismissal, we overlook a treasure; an attitude of living in a life supporting relationship with the natural world around us. While we probably cannot return to “Eden” and perhaps we cannot easily force meaning out of traditions that we have forgotten, we can recognize the values that are embedded in this tradition; appreciation, respect and responsibility. Doing so is no longer wishful thinking, but imperative. Over time, the Wixarika have adapted to fences, railroad tracks and other obstacles created by our progress. They have stayed faithful. Today, they face what might be their biggest challenge, one that threatens to eradicate the pilgrimage. The Mexican government has sold mining concessions to Wirikuta to a trans-national company based in Canada. This encroachment is not an isolated incident, but a continuation of the exploitation of all indigenous people and the Earth that supports us. It is an attack on the values that truly make our world turn. We are also fortunate to have with us Don Marcelino, a respected tribal elder that has made the pilgrimage many times and can speak to its significance.

Pedro Francisco Quijada, CSU Los Angeles-- Environmental History on the Western U.S.-Mexico Border: The Story of Tijuana's Ejido Chilpancingo and the Alamar River, 1938-2008
This study explores the history of Tijuana's Alamar River and one of the communities through which the river stream crosses: the Colonia Ejido Chilpancingo, a humble neighborhood located just steps below the Mesa de Otay, one of the largest industrial parks in Tijuana. The time frame of this account begins when there were no maquiladoras (late 1930s, when the Ejido Chilpancingo was created) until the present. This paper argues that the manufacturing plants had a devastating impact on the river and on the Chilpancingo community. The study looks at how the chemical waste disposed of by the maquiladoras polluted the river and affected the health of the people living in that neighborhood as well as how it affected the U.S. side of the border. In addition, this study examines the consequences of the rapid increase in population in the Colonia Ejido Chilpancingo as a result of the labor demand coming from the maquiladoras, and how that increase in population transformed the natural environment and thus the life of the people who were already living in that area since before the maquiladoras arrived. Finally, this study also looks at the activism of the Chilpancingo residents and how, along with transnational organizations, they organized and fought for a clean environment. The study employs a bottom up approach: a significant amount of it is based on oral histories. Its intention is to enrich the body of local histories that deal with environmental issues on the borderlands and to center the experiences of the residents in the region.

Alan Lechusza Aquallo, Palomar College--“You call that Indian music?” Post-colonial resistance in Southern California Bird Songs
California Native music is outside of the Plains powwow tradition. Native music from California incorporates mostly rattles, gourds and clap-sticks. The Bird Songs of Southern California are a highly stylized form of music making that includes the jamal (gourd rattle). These songs carry oral traditions in their text, but also cultural tradition in their rhythms and accompanying dance styles. My paper will discuss how Bird Songs from the Southern California region (San Diego, Baja California and Colorado River area) defied cultural devastation and homogenization during the Mission School era and persist as a methodology to transmit culture and language for a younger Native generation both on the reservation and in the urban center. My paper will also include a look at some of the current trends in Bird Singing that continue to shape this fluid form of Southern California Native identity.

Panel 7
Policies of detention and deportation
Políticas de detención y deportación
2:20 pm – 3:20 pm

Alberto Pulido and Olivia Ruiz Marrujo, University of San Diego-- Dismantling Borders of Violence: Migration and Deportation Along the US-Mex Border
Today most accounts about the Mexico-United States border, of Tijuana, for example, talk about violence. The association has galvanized national and international attention and all but erased any semblance of normality in the region. To be sure, the media, both in Mexico and United States, has done much to create and spread this image of border life. Still, while the media has played a central role, others have contributed to this portrayal of life along the international line. After declaring war on drug traffikers throughout his campaign and only days into his presidency, Felipe Calderón sent troops to Ciudad Juárez and Tijuana, announcing he planned to spearhead in these two border cities some of his most ambitious assaults on organized crime in those two border cities. The effort did not live up to expectations, and in 2010, Tijuana’s mayor issued a plea to the federal government to send even more soldiers to the city. The United States government, likewise, has advised its citizens to exercise caution when traveling to Tijuana or to avoid the city altogether if possible. The messsage has not been lost on academia. Research on the region has begun to frame the border as a place at once critical to national security and torn apart by bloodshed. Whether one ascribes or not to the reality portrayed -- that Tijuana is a violent place-- the association merits discussion. The purpose of our presentation is to begin a dialogue that focuses on a different type of violence, namely violence against migrants in Tijuana, Mexico. It privileges the voices of the most vulnerable populations in the city of Tijuana, namely undocumented migrants and the impact of violence in their daily lives. We report the results of our conversations (platicas) and interviews with male deportees during the months of April and May in 2009 at La Casa Del Migrante in Tijuana, Mexico regarding migration, deportation and violence.

Jasmine Herrera, UCSD-- Queering Our Notions of Reform: Concepts of Improvement and Alternative in Immigration Detention Reform
Crucial to the current reform logic is the relation of “reform” to the language of “improve(ing)” immigration detention. This present conversation is imbued in recent considerations to increase immigration detention away from containment characteristic of prison settings, to a move to increase “alternatives.” Harbored in the language of “improvement,” Alternatives to Detention (ATDs) include but are not limited to fingerprinting systems, ankle bracelets, GPS electronic monitoring, and converting nursing homes and hotels into locations of containment. Furthermore, this recent call for “civil detention” in the current administration of President Barack Obama, seeks the increase of ATDs framed as “cost effective” and “less restrictive.” The task of deconstructing immigration detention reform is to situate its language as a site that (re)produces the legal discourse to justify the normalizing and naturalizing of detention and immigration policy in the U.S. Significant to the current discussion, I explore the memory of the prevalent blending of the 1996 anti-terrorism/anti-immigration acts under President Bill Clinton. The inattention given to democratic eras concerning immigration reform erases how the interaction during this era can produce an expansion of surveillance and violence integrated in immigration detention reform deemed as “improvements.” Using a queer reading of “reform” through ATDs, I argue, ATDs expose the instability of the notion of “immigrant,” illustrated in this reform “in progress” as a legitimizing and delegitimizing force in imagining boundaries (i.e. nation) in legal discourse.

Martha Escobar, Cuyamaca College-- Irrecuperable Border Subjects: Imprisoned Latina Migrants and the Added Difficulties of Accessing Parole
In the last twenty years Latina/o migrants have increasingly felt the impact of the “law and order” regime established in response to the social rebelliousness of the 1960s and 1970s, evidenced in the fact that they are currently the largest ethnic group in federal prisons. Imprisoned migrants, whether legal residents or undocumented, overwhelmingly face the challenge of being deported at the end of their sentence. However, for migrants imprisoned for life with the opportunity for parole, there are particular obstacles they confront. An especially significant barrier is that they must present two parole plans that include a secured job and housing, one plan for the U.S. and another one from their country of origin. This makes it especially difficult since many migrants do not have the adequate connections to their country of origin to create such a plan. This paper examines the experiences of imprisoned Latina migrants in California’s Valley State Prison for Women and draws from these experiences to highlight the additional factors that make it difficult to access parole. Rather than argue for a need to reform parole board hearings to address the unevenness of the impact on imprisoned migrants, this paper draws from these experiences to underscore the limitations of the immigrant rights movement and the discourse employed, especially the notion “immigrants are hard workers, immigrants are not criminals.” The argument is made that the distancing of migrants from criminality forecloses the possibility of examining the situation of migrants in prison, making their particular concerns invisible and relegating them to the status of irrecuperable border subjects.

Maura I. Toro-Morn and Nilda Flores-Gonzalez, Illinois State University and University of Illinois-Chicago, Undocumented Immigrant Women in the Midwest: The Struggles of Elvira Arellano and Flor Crisóstomo
Drawing on the work of anthropologist, Gilberto Rosas, this paper extends the notion of “the treacherous geographies of the borderlands” to studying the experiences of undocumented immigrant women in the Midwest. The U.S. Mexico border has become a political and economic war zone of global proportions. As Rosas (2006:402) writes “mounting public anxiety about Latin American migration…recent border patrol shootings of immigrants, galvanized vigilante movements and the thousands of corpses found in a treacherous geography of the southwestern deserts provide an entrée from which to explore such notions from the context of the borderlands.” Border enforcement and deportation policies enforced by a neoliberal state shaped the experiences of immigrants around the nation in profound ways. This paper seeks to analyze how border policies shaped the lives of undocumented immigrant women in the Midwest by focusing on the lives of Elvira Arellano and Flor Crisóstomo. Elvira and Flor have emerged as important figures in the more recent struggle to seek justice and stop the deportation of undocumented men, women, and families. These two women’s lives exemplify the gendered dimensions of the “treacherous geography of the border.” They also exemplify the differential impact of border and enforcement policies for working mothers with children. For them, the persecution and deportation policies enforced alongside the Border, and beyond, has led to a new wave of immigrant activism. Both women demonstrate how immigrant women become political agents and part of a new era of immigrant women activism that is unprecedented and significant. Our paper seeks to trace the lives and struggles of Elvira Arellano and Flor Crisóstomo, two undocumented immigrant women, whose lives and activism have catapulted them into national and international attention.

Panel 8
Border, media, communication and representation
Frontera, media, comunicación y representaciones
2:20 pm – 3:20 pm

Jason Thomas Fritz, SDSU-- Tijuanlandia: Visual Dispatches From the World’s Most Misunderstood City
Jason Thomas Fritz, a journalist and graduate student at San Diego State University living in Tijuana, will present a collection of the photographs, slideshows, and writings from his blog, Acknowledging that Tijuana defies any attempt at defining it, Tijuanalandia aims to explore this most misunderstood of cities through visual dispatches. The outsider’s portrait of the city that emerges is an effort to challenge the narratives of crime, violence and vice that dominate popular conceptions of Tijuana.

Jill Holslin, Border activist and teacher, Department of Rhetoric & Writing Studies, San Diego State University -- Imagining new forms of justice in the borderlands: the border in American film
On May 25, 2010, President Obama ordered 1200 national guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, in response to a public perception consistent with a long history of American cinematic representation of the U.S.-Mexico border: the border as a site of danger and illicit activity becomes a staging ground for the self-actualization of American individualism. In particular, the cinematic tradition of the western, in which American justice is meted out by “outlaw outsiders,” animates a wide range of vigilante actions along the border today. Such a representation of the border region, together with a myopic government strategy of militarization of the border, isolates the challenges of the U.S.-Mexico border region from the complex binational realities of globalization of which it is an integral part, and works against binational solidarity. In this paper, I will examine several new independent films in the “border wall” genre: the Sierra Club production Wild versus Wall, Rory Kennedy’s La Barda, Ricardo Martinez’s The Wall, and Greg Rainoff’s El Muro. To the extent that these films raise the issue of justice in the southwest borderlands, they draw upon old familiar themes and iconography. Thus, it is worth considering how narrative structure and new ways of framing the issues might challenge notions of American individualism which undermine binational solidarity and our common struggle for human rights.

Sharon L. Allen, PhD, Palomar College— Voices From Juarez
Voices From Juarez (English): The number of deaths along the US-Mexican border is a devil’s triangle of torture, corruption and violence between the Mexican drug cartels, and the United States and Mexican governments. According to several research sources, over 28,000 people have been killed in Mexico due to drug violence since a crackdown against cartels began in 2006.  In addition, Mexico’s intelligence director reports confiscation figures during this time that are staggering: 84,000 weapons seized, $411 million in United States currency confiscated, and over 330 million pesos.  In July of 2010 alone, there were 1,234 murders committed in Mexico. More than 5,000 of those deaths occurred in Juarez, and of those murdered, 43 were between the ages of 12 and 15, and more than 200 between 16 and 18 years of age.  As a result, 10,000 of Juarez’s 500,000 children under age 14 have been orphaned. These statistics are staggering, but they really can’t communicate the devastation within communities like Ciudad Juarez.  I believe the real story is revealed in the narratives of individual women and children. These stories will put a personal face on the death tolls that are traumatizing and destabilizing Mexico. What do personal stories reveal about the daily impact on the human spirit? What do women and children in Juarez hope for: a better life, a more peaceful future? Or do their days and nights seek justice, revenge, or mere survival? Through personal narratives, the stories of the women and children in Juarez will reveal the daily horrors of violence, vengeance, and neglect.
Voces de Juárez (Español): El número de muertes en la frontera México-EE. UU. es un triángulo diabólico de tortura, corrupción y violencia entre los carteles narcotraficantes y los gobiernos de EE. UU. y de México. Según varias búsquedas a fondo, más de 28.000 personas han sido matadas en México debido a la violencia del narcotráfico desde el comienzo de medidas severas contra los carteles en 2006.  Además, el director mexicano de inteligencia reporta datos relativos a la confiscación, durante este período, que son asombradores: 84.000 armes confiscadas, 400 millones de dólares norteamericanos confiscados, y más de 330 millones de pesos. No más en el mes de julio, 2010, hubo 1.234 asesinatos en México. Más de 500 de estes asesinatos se comitieron en Ciudad Juárez, y de las víctimas, 43 tenían entre 12 y 15 años de edad, y más de 200 tenían de 16 a 18 años de edad. Como resultado, 10.000 de los 500.000 jóvenes de Ciudad Juárez se han hallado huérfanos.  Sin embargo, por chocante que sean estes números, no bastan para comunicar la devastación dentro de comunidades como Ciudad Juárez. Creo que la verdadera historia se revela mediante las narraciones de cada mujer y niño. Estas narraciones ponen una cara individua a las estadísticas de muertes que traumatizan y desestabilizan a México.  ¿Qué revelan las historias personales por lo del impacto diario sobre el espíritu humano? ¿Qué esperan las mujeres y los niños de Ciudad Juárez? ¿Una vida mejor?  ¿Un futuro más tranquilo? O, día y noche, ¿buscan justicia, revancha, o no más sobrevivir? Por narraciones personales, las historias de mujeres y niños de Juárez revelarán los horrores diarios de la violencia, de la venganza, y del abandono.

Evan Rubin, Director of Instructional Technology, Language Acquisition Resource Center (LARC), San Diego State University-- Broadcasting from the Border: Utilizing Web Conferencing Technology in a Border Studies Class
Last March cross-border classes to Tijuana were shut down by the Cal State system’s chancellor and it was unknown how border classes, like Professor Victor Clark-Alfaro’s US-Mexican Border class, would continue. In prior semesters, Professor Clark brought SDSU students to Tijuana and introduced them to the alternative version of the border by participating in round-table discussions and listening to the stories of the people from Tijuana one would not meet in any other circumstance; people such as human traffickers, sex workers, business leaders, gay rights activists, and Grupo Beta (Mexican Border Patrol). For the Fall 2010 semester, Professor Clark had to adjust his curriculum so that it would fit within the new CSU rules, but still maintain the dynamic interactive atmosphere that has impacted so many SDSU students over the years. Evan Rubin, the Director of Instructional Technology at the Language Acquisition Resource Center (LARC) at SDSU, and ex-student of Professor Clark, saw an opportunity to integrate web conferencing technology to provide face-to-face interactions.

María Dolores Bolívar, San Diego Mesa
Tale and Testimony: The Textual Value of Photographs and the Photographic Eloquence of Text Tale and Testimony features a digitalized selection of photographs, taken while travelling from San Diego to Brownsville, in July of 2010.  I wanted to witness the current state of the Region; to gather testimonies, and catch the undercurrents of the Río Bravo/Río Grande, water source and border mark between two nations. I juggled travelling alone, with a flashy camera, at a time many view as the most violent in border history. I was there through the enactment of SB 1070, and the campaign of John McCain in Arizona; the heavy rains and floods of July; the accidental death of the Mayor of Piedras Negras, and the assassination of the gubernatorial candidate of Tamaulipas; the unprecedented collapse of Monterrey, due to hurricane Alex, and the flood releases of the Amistad and Falcon Dams, isolating the region, and cutting off trade crossings, throughout the month. I set off by land, via Greyhound, over the 2066 mi/3326 km. route that cuts across three US states and five Mexican states. I was fortunate that my friend, the journalist and photographer Manuel Rodríguez Muro, from the daily Zócalo, based in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, was ready to meet me at his end. My mission: to portray the diverse and grandiloquent geographies framing the migration drama that politicians and interest groups manipulate. I purposely avoided marches, banners, or slogans. I wanted to let myself be one amidst those going about their normal business, look at the places unseen by the media, and accurately depict an unmasked and unfiltered border.
Cuento y testimonio. Valor textual de las fotografías o elocuencia fotográfica de los textos. Cuento y testimonio presenta una muestra fotográfica de mi recorrido, de San Diego a Brownsville, en julio de 2010. El objetivo del viaje era presenciar el estado actual de la region; reunir testimonios y captar las corrientes profundas del Río Bravo/Río Grande, recurso y marca entre dos naciones. Este recorrido me puso ante la dificultad de viajar sola y con una cámara llamativa, en un momento que muchos consideran el más violento de la historia fronteriza. Y estuve ahí durante la puesta en marcha de la SB 1070 y la campaña de John McCain en Arizona; las intensas lluvias e inundaciones de julio; el accidente trágico que cobró la vida del alcalde de Piedras Negras; el asesinato del candidato a gobernador de Tamaulipas; la caída, sin precedents, de la ciudad de Monterrey, debido al huracán Alex y los derramamientos de las presas Falcón y La Amistad que mantuvieron a la region aislada, sin cruces, por todo un mes. Partí, por tierra, vía Grayhound, a lo largo de esa ruta de 2066 mi/3326 km. que atraviesa tres estados de EEUU y cinco de México. Afortunadamente mi amigo Manuel Rodríguez Muro, periodista y fotógrafo del diario Zócalo, basado en Piedras Negras, Coahuila, estuvo dispuesto a encontrase conmigo en el otro extremo para ayudarme a mostrar la diversidad grandilocuente de las geografías que enmarcan el drama migratorio, manipulado tanto por politicos como por grupos de interés. Deliberadamente, evité marchas, pancartas o lemas. Quería confundirme entre quienes viven esa rutina y observar, ahí donde los medios de comunicación no ven, para imprimir, con veracidad esa frontera, sin máscaras ni filtros.

Panel 9
Border and Neoliberalism
Frontera y neoliberalismo

2:20 pm – 3:20 pm

Abraham Uribe, Licenciatura en Historia, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California-- Desarrollo del modelo neoliberal en México durante 1982-1994: Antecedentes históricos, desde una perspectiva social, política y econó
En este ensayo pretendo exponer bajo una perspectiva teórica-histórica acerca del modelo neoliberal en México. Se desea abordar desde sus orígenes, la ineficacia con la que se ha venido manejando tanto en países de vanguardia, como asentado durante las décadas de los 60´s y 70´s en América Latina, así como también, las desincorporaciones de las paraestatales que se venían trabajando desde el modelo de bienestar en México. Siendo así, analizaremos el problema de fondo y algunas alternativas más viables. Por otro lado, para el caso mexicano, pensé en hacer este corte temporal para dar a conocer algunos puntos importantes sobre la dinámica social, política y económica durante el periodo 1982-1994, dentro de esta división pretendo abordar desde los impulsos de instituciones financieras internacionales como el Fondo Monetario Internacional y el Banco Mundial por intervenir en la política económica de México, así como diversos planes de desarrollo puestos en práctica durante los siguientes sexenios, elecciones a la presidencia con débil transparencia y prácticas monopolizadoras que han mermado la situación del mexicano, lo que ha originado está dinámica a lo largo y ancho de la frontera Norte de México.

Michelle Aceves, SDSU-- Fighting for the same cause, yet to ignorant to fight
This presentation will discuss the life on the frontier; it will focus on individuals who live on either side of the U.S. / Mexican border. Throughout the presentation the theme of racism will be explored; how does it grow on each human being, how was instilled into society, and the consequences it has. I, as a U.S. citizen from Mexican parents have lived the feeling in many phases of life. From being born in the U.S. and raised in Tijuana B.C., Mexico, to crossing the  U.S/ Mexican border every day in the morning during a year, to finally adapting myself to a new living style in the U.S. On every stage of life I have gained knowledge about racism and have grown to become someone who is interested in fighting this feeling. Racism and discrimination are a worldwide issue but its effect and influence is most noticeable at the border where two neighboring cities are immensely distant. In order to support my argument and presentation, I will support it with interviews from individuals who live on both sides of the border, and explore this societal issue in depth.

Patricia Barba Avila, Director General of the National Council of Civic Communicators (CONACC), Commentator in the show From the Roots broadcast by Radio La Nueva República; Member of the International Tribunal of Conscience (ITC) World Social Forum—Negative Impact of NAFTA on Migration: Impoverishment and Human Rights Violations of Migrants and Displaced People
Since the implementation of NAFTA in January 1, 1994, Mexico has permanently suffered many negative economic effects as a result. Sharp cuts in governmental farm subsidy programs combined with the elimination of import restrictions on corn and other commodities resulted in U.S. corn and other products flooding the Mexican market, forcing off their land millions of peasant farmers whose livelihoods were based on small-scale farming. Furthermore, many multinationals also used NAFTA investment and service sector rules to buy corn-processing and tortilla factories in Mexico. However, instead of dropping --as “free” trade theory sustains--, retail prices for many food products increased sharply. The cost of tortillas rose by more than 70 percent in Mexico City and more in the countryside, even as prices paid to Mexican farmers for corn became ridiculously low. At the same time, the purchasing power of the average Mexican worker has also diminished. Since NAFTA, a combination of factors – including the migration of thousands of farmers to the cities – has caused Mexican industrial wages to ostensibly decline. The economic fallout from NAFTA has also had particularly harsh consequences for Mexican women. According to a recent study, poverty rate for female-headed households in Mexico has increased by 80 percent since NAFTA went into effect. Two other negative outcomes for Mexican economy have been the more than 80,000 million dollars spent by the Mexican government in the importation of food, when approximately 20 years ago, Mexico was a great exporter of sugar, beans, corn, etc., on one side and, on the other, the huge increase in the rate of migration of Mexicans to the United States.
Both, the USA and Mexico are signatories of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which articles 13 and 14 stipulate on the inalienable right of all people to move freely, to leave their homeland and to return at their convenience. However, none of these nations have adhered to the spirit and articles of this important document.

Tom Reifer, Sociology, Affiliated Faculty, Ethnic Studies, University of San Diego, Associate Fellow, Transnational Institute--Immigrant Workers, Alternative Regionalisms, & the Struggle for Global Justice
Some 15 years ago, NAFTA was touted by its proponents as the solution to problems of Mexican underdevelopment and mass migration from Mexico to the US. Instead, the neoliberal project embedded in NAFTA has been revealed as a total failure, with poverty and the drugs wars in Mexico deepening and mass migration increasing or persisting. In addition, the unstable financial foundations of the neoliberal model have caused a global economic crisis, further hurting the poor and resulting in titanic battles between movements for social justice in Mexico and for immigrant rights in the US. This paper examines possibilities for combining alternative development strategies in North America in light of the birth of alternative regionalisms across Latin America and the rising tide of social justice movements – notably the struggle for immigrant rights in the US, viewed as part of a more fundamental recomposition of the U.S. and transnational working class in the age of “globalization.”

Unión de la Juventud Revolucionaria de México, Frente Popular Revolucionario, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California—El capitalismo en la actualidad
El capitalismo en la actualidad cada vez agudiza las contradicciones de clase y las necesidades básicas se hacen más difíciles de satisfacer como la Salud, la vivienda y la educación. En el estado de Baja california así como en el resto del país (México) la política de Felipe Calderón representa los intereses de la burguesía al cambiar las reformas de salud mediante la ley del ISSSTE del 2007 que privatiza legalmente los servicios de asistencia, limita el pago de la pensión de los trabajadores y refuerza la baja calidad en la salud pública. La vivienda quedan en manos de constructoras privadas que edifican en asentamientos irregulares, que además se venden en altos costos; en la educación los aspirantes a entrar a las secundarias, preparatorias y universidades son rechazados por no aprobar el examen de nuevo ingreso, violando el derecho a una educación gratuita y para todos. La Unión de la Juventud Revolucionaria de México – Frente Popular Revolucionario proponemos la construcción de organismos que de verdad representen al estudiantado, obreros, campesinos, colonos, maestros; a todos los explotados por el yugo capitalista, organizarnos por mejores condiciones de vivienda, salud y educación, forjando el Frente Único de todo el pueblo.

Closing Ceremony Ceremonia de clausura
3:30 pm – 4:00 pm

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