FNS: Squatters' Homes Torn Down in Cd . Juárez's Lote Bravo
- FNS: Squatters' Homes Torn Down in Cd. Juárez's Lote Bravo
Date: 11/12/2002 11:46:11 AM Pacific Standard Time
On November 11, 2002, in the Ciudad Juárez neighborhood of Lote Bravo, more than 50 houses made of wooden pallets and cardboard were torn down by city employees using pipes and crowbars. The city workers engaged in razing the homes were from the Departamento de Regulación de Asentamientos Humanos (Department for the Regulation of Human Settlements) and were backed up by local police agents.
Reactions varied as the destruction of the homes took place. At least one man was arrested by police and other people complained about the loss of their investments.
Edel Alberto Arroyo, one of the Lote Bravo squatters, told the Cd. Juárez newspaper El Diario that residents should have been given the opportunity to save their pallets. El Diario estimated that each dwelling was worth approximately 1,000 pesos (nearly US$100) because wooden pallets sell for 15 pesos (US$1.50) each.
"We've been looking for land to buy for five years," said Silvia Santos Contreras, whose home was demolished, " . . . but I don't have the 9,000 pesos [US$900] that it would cost."
Santos also explained why she tried to appropriate land on the edge of Cd. Juárez, "I have six children, because of them I invaded, and because the government does not help us, it doesn't defend us, so I took the land."
Oscar Luis Flores, head of the Departamento de Regulación de Asentamientos Humanos, told El Diario that the city government does not have land that it can provide to the poor. However, Cd. Juárez is looking for 50 hectares where it can relocate 3,000 families, he said.
Flores also said that the city and state government are looking for land that they can buy or that might be donated to them.
Source: El Diario, November 12, 2002. Article by Araly Castañon.
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