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All is not wonderful where Amazon set up in Tijuana

La Nueva Esperanza dwellers expect evictions, property taxes

La Nueva Esperanza is next to the Tijuana River canalization, known as a place for drug sales and other illegal activities. - Image by Crisstian Villicana
La Nueva Esperanza is next to the Tijuana River canalization, known as a place for drug sales and other illegal activities.

Last week, photos of the new Amazon warehouse built in Tijuana reached national news. The controversy of Amazon’s new facility in the city came from its location in one of the poorest neighborhoods in town, La Nueva Esperanza, a slum ten miles away from the border east of downtown. The contrast between the humble huts made up from recycling materials and the brand new building of the richest multinational company in the world brought out several critics against Amazon.

"Who’s not afraid (of being evicted)? I think we all are."

La Nueva Esperanza is next to the Tijuana River canalization, known as a place for drug sales and other illegal activities. The neighborhood has a significant lack of public services, welfare, and security. Some inhabitants are concerned about the arrival of Amazon because they think it could led to their eviction.

Laura has been living in La Nueva Esperanza for the last 17 years. She believes that there are no benefits from Amazon for most of the neighbors since the company could try to buy more land. Families who were settled in the current plot were Amazon storage is right now had to move out of it.

"Many people tried to fight for their place, but they couldn't do anything because Amazon bought everything, now they are living somewhere else. Who’s not afraid (of being evicted)? I think we all are. But if they look to take us out of here, we’ll fight back. I have been here 17 years, and there are people who have been here longer.”

There is a contrast between the huts made up from recycling materials and the new building of the richest multinational company in the world.

In a press release addressed to the national news outlet Aristegui Noticias, Amazon Mexico highlighted the more than 15,000 jobs they have created throughout Mexico and its “commitment to the development of the country and the communities where we live and operate..... In our shipping hub in Tijuana 250 jobs will be created, with which we hope to contribute the social welfare and continue to benefit thousands of Mexican families”.

Neighbors from La Nueva Esperanza are doubtful about the benefits. Rigoberto Conde, who has been living 11 years in the neighborhood, said that those jobs are given to persons outside the neighborhood, and currently most of the companies in Tijuana use outsourcing to get employees.

Amazon Mexico highlighted the more than 15,000 jobs they have created throughout Mexico.

“I went to ask for job, and though I have all my documentation to work, they denied me the job. They don't want people from the neighborhood, people are hired from other places. There have been evictions before here. So we are afraid. Now we’re paying taxes on water and electricity, so it won’t be so easy to kick us out, they will need to re-locate us. If Amazon doesn’t want us here, they will arrange something with the government, and that’s how they can harm our patrimony”.

Despite the irregular conditions over the ownership of the land, about a hundred families are getting organized to begin paying their property taxes to the government. According to Mr. Tirso, a neighbor who has lived 20 years in La Nueva Esperanza, it was not until the current state administration that they started getting rights on the land. The land used to be used for raising of livestock when he arrived.

“I’m part of those families that are legalizing their plots, we are currently getting organized with the state governor Jaime Bonilla, but most of the families are not paying the property tax.” The most serious problem for those trying to get property ownership is that next month another governor will take power, so their advances with the state could get them in a type of jurisdictional limbo.

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La Nueva Esperanza is next to the Tijuana River canalization, known as a place for drug sales and other illegal activities. - Image by Crisstian Villicana
La Nueva Esperanza is next to the Tijuana River canalization, known as a place for drug sales and other illegal activities.

Last week, photos of the new Amazon warehouse built in Tijuana reached national news. The controversy of Amazon’s new facility in the city came from its location in one of the poorest neighborhoods in town, La Nueva Esperanza, a slum ten miles away from the border east of downtown. The contrast between the humble huts made up from recycling materials and the brand new building of the richest multinational company in the world brought out several critics against Amazon.

"Who’s not afraid (of being evicted)? I think we all are."

La Nueva Esperanza is next to the Tijuana River canalization, known as a place for drug sales and other illegal activities. The neighborhood has a significant lack of public services, welfare, and security. Some inhabitants are concerned about the arrival of Amazon because they think it could led to their eviction.

Laura has been living in La Nueva Esperanza for the last 17 years. She believes that there are no benefits from Amazon for most of the neighbors since the company could try to buy more land. Families who were settled in the current plot were Amazon storage is right now had to move out of it.

"Many people tried to fight for their place, but they couldn't do anything because Amazon bought everything, now they are living somewhere else. Who’s not afraid (of being evicted)? I think we all are. But if they look to take us out of here, we’ll fight back. I have been here 17 years, and there are people who have been here longer.”

There is a contrast between the huts made up from recycling materials and the new building of the richest multinational company in the world.

In a press release addressed to the national news outlet Aristegui Noticias, Amazon Mexico highlighted the more than 15,000 jobs they have created throughout Mexico and its “commitment to the development of the country and the communities where we live and operate..... In our shipping hub in Tijuana 250 jobs will be created, with which we hope to contribute the social welfare and continue to benefit thousands of Mexican families”.

Neighbors from La Nueva Esperanza are doubtful about the benefits. Rigoberto Conde, who has been living 11 years in the neighborhood, said that those jobs are given to persons outside the neighborhood, and currently most of the companies in Tijuana use outsourcing to get employees.

Amazon Mexico highlighted the more than 15,000 jobs they have created throughout Mexico.

“I went to ask for job, and though I have all my documentation to work, they denied me the job. They don't want people from the neighborhood, people are hired from other places. There have been evictions before here. So we are afraid. Now we’re paying taxes on water and electricity, so it won’t be so easy to kick us out, they will need to re-locate us. If Amazon doesn’t want us here, they will arrange something with the government, and that’s how they can harm our patrimony”.

Despite the irregular conditions over the ownership of the land, about a hundred families are getting organized to begin paying their property taxes to the government. According to Mr. Tirso, a neighbor who has lived 20 years in La Nueva Esperanza, it was not until the current state administration that they started getting rights on the land. The land used to be used for raising of livestock when he arrived.

“I’m part of those families that are legalizing their plots, we are currently getting organized with the state governor Jaime Bonilla, but most of the families are not paying the property tax.” The most serious problem for those trying to get property ownership is that next month another governor will take power, so their advances with the state could get them in a type of jurisdictional limbo.

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