Baja's Guadalupe Valley in danger

Permits are being requested to develop tourist areas and living complexes

Baja's Guadalupe Valley in dangerImages courtesy of Valle de Guadalupe, por un Valle de verdad.
Images courtesy of Valle de Guadalupe, por un Valle de verdad.

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During the past few days, the public was made aware of the intent to sell sections of the Guadalupe Valley to construct living complexes and tourist areas, a fact that would transform what is currently known as a treasure to the State of Baja California, affecting local producers as well as the region itself.

Through citizen reports, it was informed that the Mayor of Ensenada, Enrique Pelayo, pretended to modify the law of the use of land in order to grant a real estate agency, led by Carlos Lagos, permission to build more than 2500 houses and tourist complex in the region known as the wine route.

Article 15 of the Urban Law of Baja California states that in order for there to be a change like this, there should be a city meeting with all of the towns people present, a meeting which did not take place. The Mayor held an almost clandestine meeting in order to obtain the votes with people who know and would all vote in favor of this measure. However, thanks to leaks inside the government, word spread quickly all the way to the producers in the valley, who showed up in the secret meeting, and demonstrated their opposition to the proposal.

Since then, citizens and inhabitants of the Guadalupe Valley, have opted to continue their reports against those who are threatening the valley's well being. If the legislation is changed, over 48% of the farming areas will disappear, and the damage will be irreversible. It should be pointed out that although the Guadalupe Valley has plenty of resources, they would be insufficient to supply the needs these new complexes would create. Besides being a project, which is not viable, it also threatens the local production of wine and foods. Groups of producers have created measures to develop an agreement that would help the region without threatening the environment.

Ensenada is one of the biggest counties in Mexico, which is why there is plenty of space to construct living complexes and it is not necessary to hurt the region of the Valley.

As a way of continuing to denounce this threat, the community “Por un Valle de Verdad” (for a real valley), was created to provide information through social media, regarding how people can help the cause. One of it's manifestos expresses the following: “One region, One city, One Valley, is capable of harboring one of the most progressive wine cultures in the history of Mexico. This fact is not a coincidence, the history of the region proves that it's has taken many years of hard work, a special natural environment and activities which make part of our culture and tradition of all of us who live here. The stability of the valley has rested on its farming origin, which through its people, not only have they improved on this activity, they have become a symbol of regional identity”.

This past October 9th, over 70 winemakers of the Guadalupe Valley, went to a meeting which was programmed at 5pm where they would speak about the issue, the cities authorities were absent. This does not imply a triumph, but that the fight for the Guadalupe Valley will continue.

The producers of the region and the citizens will continue to inform about the situation, given that Pelayo and Lagos will likely change their strategy in order to achieve their objective. It should be noted that Enrique Pelayo will end his term as mayor of Ensenada this coming December 1st, which is why these actions are being done as quickly as possible, making it vital that citizens keep a close watch to avoid any arbitrary actions.

Brenda.Colon@sandiegored.com

Daniel.Aguilar@sandiegored.com

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