Separatist Group seeks independence for Baja California Mexico

The petition is circulating the social networks, but how feasible is it?

Separatist Group seeks independence for Baja California MexicoImage courtesy of the group República de Baja California
Image courtesy of the group República de Baja California

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Because of the uncertainty generated by the possible approval of the Tax Reform and the consequent discontent of the people, it was proposed through social media that the state Baja California becomes an independent country. The Facebook group “Republic of Baja California” which was created this past October 14 made the suggestion and today it counts with over 26,000 followers.

The first time Baja California tried to become independent was in the mid 1800’s with William Walker, journalist and leader of a freebooter movement, which sought power and recognition beyond the expansion of their country, the United States.

Their dream was to colonize Baja California as well as Sonora and turn them into a Nation. They even had a flag designed that represented these 2 states, although finally it was not able to be finished. In 1853, Walker declared the independence of Baja California and self-proclaimed himself as it's first President and established Ensenada as the capital city, although none of this was recognized as such.

Both Mexico and the United States signed an agreement to persecute him, which is why he finally ended up turning himself in to the American authorities.

Gilberto Lavenant Sifuentes, Journalist of the Agencia Fronteriza de Noticias, pointed out the controversy started by this Facebook group indicating that “It's not as easy as it looks” recommending that professionals be consulted, with knowledge of history and constitutionalism.

During Felipe Calderon's term as president, in 2010, they spoke about this initiative but only for a brief period of time. They talked about making Baja California independent from the rest of the country and making it into an Independent nation due to the law controlling dollars, which was a modification to article 115 of the Credit Institutions Law, imposed by the Treasury Department which intended to have a better control (and reduce) the dollar currency in the country as well as way to fight money laundering.

The decision was very criticized by campaigns which attacked the centralist politics in the country, arguing that these decisions didn’t meet the needs of the republic, especially the border:

We are now living a similar situation, although the problem is different, the citizens are dealing with a proposal coming from the country's interior, a decision that northerners despise: The VAT standardization.

Since the details about the Tax Reform proposed by President Enrique Peña Nieto were presented to the citizens, there has been plenty of discontent for many of its points. In Baja California the one that worries the population the most is the increase of the VAT by 5%.

1) By increasing the taxes from 11% to 16%, the price of products would rise, and this would cause an increase of capital leaks from consumers who go to the Untied States to purchase these items at a lower price, the increase would be about 30%, which would represent a net annual loss of 8k Million Dollars.

2) The industrial sector threatens to leave the region, leaving thousands of people without a job

Fearing an economic coup for Baja California, Internet users have joined together in the social networks, some are just jokes, some are just outraged by the possibility of this law being approved, but they all seem to agree on the development of Baja California becoming independent.

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