A leading source for news and analysis about Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican border.
Pedro Canabal Hermida, spokesman for Mexico's Tax Administration Service, says the new El Chaparrl port of entry in Tijuana will be ready for business in October. He said a temporary connection to be built between the end of Interstate 5 and the new port of entry should not cause delays greater than 15 to 25 minutes.
He was in Tijuana as part of a process to hire 150 people to staff the facility as part of the Mexican Customs agency, which falls under the Tax Administration Service (SAT).
"The SAT no longer could continue to have an open-door policy at its ports of entry, we have been greatly criticized us for allowing illegal products and weapons to enter the country," Canabal Hermida said.
Worries that the new jury-rigged connection could cause a major southbound bottleneck at the border have prompted local authorities to call for the current Puerta México port of entry to remain open until thepermanent U.S. rerouting of I-5 is completed, but Mexico's Foreign Ministry has said the government cannot afford to keep two ports of entry open. Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Photo shows curve U.S. General Services Administration has been considering building to help Mexico connect I-5 traffic to El Chaparral.
Update, July 31: Mexican Customs leader Gerardo Perdomo Sanciprián says 60% of work is done at El Chaparral during tour of facility with Gov. José Guadalupe Osuna
Millán. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Tijuana Economic Development Council President Humberto Jaramillo laments that despite Osuna Millán's statement earlier this year that Puerta México will not close this year, it appears that there is a big possibility that it will. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, Aug. 1: Mayor Carlos Bustamante tells U-T San Diego that he thinks Puerta México will not be closed when El Chaparral opens.
Earlier this year, President Calderón said Mexico needed greater inspection of southbound vehicles.
June 9: Foreign Ministry official tells U-T San Diego that Puerta México will close when El Chaparral opens.
May 31: GSA official Ramon Riesgo says agency may try to speed up construction of permanent I-5 connection to El Chaparral port of entry in Tijuana