All American Canal’s Concrete Lining affects Mexicali Valley Wetlands (La Voz de la Frontera, 1/31/13)

Mexicali, BC - Officials of the Secretariat of Protection to the Environment (SPA) have recognized wetlands that were created by nature, are drying-out due to the cement of the All American Canal built by the United States. Before the channel was built, the Alamo Andrade Mesa was for decades a resting area for migratory birds coming from Canada.

At a press conference announcing the celebration of the World Wetland Day on February 2, the SPA said they are working on the implementation of a program to regenerate these wetlands through the use of treated wastewater.

They noted that since 2010, there were warnings about how the Alamo Andrade Mesa wetlands were beginning to lose water quantity, although they recognized that on some occasions when rainy seasons occurred, liquid stores returned again for a short time.

The elimination of these wetlands was caused when the Imperial Valley Irrigation District began the process of casting the concrete channels and Mexico lost about 80 million cubic meters of water caused by the All American Canal. http://www.oem.com.mx/lavozdelafrontera/notas/n2863413.htm

BC Education Report considered Suspicious (La Voz de la Frontera, 1/31/13 by Laura Elena Aguayo)

Mexicali, BC - The Secretary of Education in the State, Javier Santillán Pérez, said the 1st Mexican Civil Association released data with inconsistencies about Baja California primary and secondary education levels school performance saying Baja California is in last place. In this regard, the head of education in the State said that a couple of months ago the Institute of Educational Innovation of the ITESM unveiled that Baja California was in first place in their index of educational progress.

He said the data referred to by the 1st Mexican is based on arbitrary concepts and that some of the same Association’s members agree that they are estimated values where States with a better position in the data do not necessarily have higher rates of educational quality or inclusion according to their positioning on the list. Santillán Pérez said this is evident on pages 11 and 14 of the data.

He added that the Organization has taken four years to issue the report during which Baja California has become positioned in a place favorable as an entity. The Tec de Monterrey data has positioned Baja California at first place of educational quality. "We do not share this way of evaluating by using criteria in a subjective manner when hard data can be considered in an objective way to determine which States have major advances in education that has been recognized by the Secretary of Public Education", he said.

Santillán Pérez stated that there will be a review of the data and he invites trade unions and civil society organizations to carry out their own analysis and continue working on behalf of educational improvements in the State.

Also addressed were parental efforts needed to improve the school performance of children and become more involved in activities at schools; asking teachers to work full-time, and for the teachers Union to make the proper selection of teachers hired at schools.

The Secretary said that the entity maintains high levels of quality educational, citing references from institutions such as the Tec de Monterrey, which unveiled Baja California is the State with the most progress in education during the past three years in the country. This reference is the result of serious and objective parameters because their studies were done with absolute, actual data on quantities, not as those used against subjective mechanisms by a civil society organization, he explained.

"Is it possible that States with a high illiteracy rate, a low level of schooling within the population, less educational coverage where people migrate from, to places like Baja California to seek better opportunities are in positions above this entity?", he questioned. Therefore, he said education coverage here is at 100%, ranging from pre-school to upper secondary education and places Baja California at third in the country with the lowest rate of illiteracy.

In this sense, he pointed out that the State Educational System should take hard data into account such as that used from institutions like the Tec de Monterrey, which carries out proper investigation methodologies and is an institution that is always in the top five places for progress in the country. http://www.oem.com.mx/lavozdelafrontera/notas/n2863440.htm

Migrant Dining Room Reopens in Huehuetoca (El Sol de Toluca, 1/28/13)

Huehuetoca, Mex - For the third time in seven months, they reopened the "San José" migrant dining room in Huehuetoca, which will be in charge of civil society groups who previously administered providing food, clothing and healthcare to South Americans coming into this town.

On November 5, 2012, the facility acted as a hostel, but it was remembered had closed its doors due to insecurity from the alleged presence of organized crime bands and placed at risk, the migrants, volunteers and staff - known as “defenders of the human rights of migrants” who worked there.

In a press conference, Andrea Paula González of Ustedes Somos Nosotros, said the facility will resume activity, but only as a dining room. He said they still will not have sufficient security in place to operate as a hostel again.

He said that they have held meetings with municipal and state authorities of the Secretariat of Citizen Safety (SSC), and the State and National Human Rights Commissions in order to have the necessary security measures to continue providing assistance to South Americans who come to the area of Huehuetoca. The "San Jose" dining room reopened in a house located a few meters from where the hostel was located. It will provide care from 7:30 to 17:00 hours on Monday to Sunday and will be watched over by a municipal patrol, said Gonzalez.

During the five days that it has reopened, it has served an average of 50 migrants a day, coming mainly from El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. They are provided with food, clothing, medical attention, a rest area and a bathroom. http://www.oem.com.mx/lavozdelafrontera/notas/n2860086.htm

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