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Frontera norte

On-line version ISSN 2594-0260Print version ISSN 0187-7372


WARD, Evan. Salt of the River, Salt of the Earth: Politics, Science and Ecological Diplomacy in the Mexicali Valley (1961-1965). Frontera norte [online]. 2001, vol.13, n.26, pp.105-139. ISSN 2594-0260.

This article examines the salinity crisis in Mexicali Valley. National and state officials from both countries saw Mexicali Valley as a ground where their theories on the causation of the crisis would be vindicated by scientific testing of water and land conditions there. Those that viewed Mexicali Valley as an international political landscape did not live there, but recognized the importance of the region in resolving the crisis. Those who lived in Mexicali Valley viewed their home as a local political landscape. For them the salinity crisis was not an abstract issue that could be reduced to statistics or policy positions, but instead represented a profound ecological transformation that affected the taste of drinking water, the fertility of land, and the bounty of the harvest The concerns of local political organizers, such as Alfonzo Garzón, founder of the State Agrarian league of Baja California (LAE), often worked at cross-purposes to those of national officials. In fact, one of the turning points in the salinity crisis occurred around 1964, when the diplomacy-driven perspective subsumed the agenda of many local officials in Mexicali Valley.

Keywords : Environment; Binational Relations; Salinity; Borderlands; Mexicali.

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