A leading source for news and analysis about Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican border.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Governor, federal transportation minister say Puerta México will not close in October when new El Chaparral port of entry opens

jose guadalupe osuna millandionisio perez-jacomeBaja California Gov. José Guadalupe Osuna Millán, who met with President Felipe Calderón on Wednesday, announced with federal transportation minister Dionisio Pérez-Jácome (left) Friscione on Thursday that the Puerta México southbound port of entry just south of Interstate 5 at San Ysidro would remain open this fall, Frontera newspaper reported.
Tijuana business leaders and officials had opposed the proposed closure because they feared a jury-rigged connection from I-5 to the new El Chaparral port of entry a few blocks to the west combined with a closure of Puerta México would have dramatically slowed traffic and caused people to curtail their visits to Baja California. The United States does not plan to move Interstate 5 to the El Chaparral port for several years.
Perhaps significantly, the Foreign Ministry, the prime mover behind the plan to close Puerta México and open El Chaparral, was not quoted in the story.
Osuna said more details about the Puerto México will be explained in the coming days.
Story, Frontera (PDF). Osuna Millán meets with Calderón (PDF).
Update, May 5: Tijuana business and government officials to press U.S. to re-route Interstate 5 earlier than planned. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).
Update, May 8: Tijuana Mayor Carlos Bustamante, appearing at at a "Tequila Talk" at the Institute of the Americas in San Diego with San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, makes clear that it was President Calderón who has made the decision not to close Puerta México. "Sometimes the problem with Tijuana is Mexico City and maybe with San Diego it's Washington," he said. Sanders lamented that the Mexican port of entry project is fully funded by its federal government, while the U.S. federal government funding for its side has lagged behind. Bustamante said: "We have to push our federal governments to undertand, mostly on my side, that it's a different world at the border than in the center of Mexico."
Update, May 10: Federal Deputy Oscar Arce of Tijuana joins the cause to keep Puerta México open. Story, Frontera (PDF). Story, El Mexicano (PDF).
Update, May 11: Canaco President Karim Chalita seems impressed by plans to send traffic to El Chaparral. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).

Overview of the El Chaparral project.
San Ysidro group urgently seeks new border crossing to El Chaparral.
Calderón wants El Chaparral open before he leaves office.
Osuna Millán, Foreign Ministry at odds over port of entry plans.
Osuna Millán says Puerta México will remain open.