To understand the battles to protect Segundo Barrio and Duranguito from eradication to make way for the proposed multipurpose arena, it is important that readers understand the history of the decades of attempts at gentrification in El Paso’s poorer Hispanic neighborhoods. Eradicating the Duranguito neighborhood did not rise from the proposed multipurpose arena. It has been a battle that has been fought since South El Paso suddenly became commercially lucrative in the 1960’s. It is the business interests that again threatened to uproot the poor El Paso Hispanics out of their homes for economic development.

The Segundo Barrio and surrounding areas were settled by poor members of the community because they had been displaced out of downtown El Paso as the city grew. They had no other place to go, other than the Segundo Barrio where their meager resources would allow them to live in housing that was often substandard. Housing was affordable and substandard because the neighborhoods had little to no economic value at the time. In a December 27, 1979 article, the El Paso Times described the Segundo Barrio as “filthy, stinking dangerous conditions where El Paso’s poorest had to live.” [10] Barrio residents were not satisfied with the conditions they lived in, but they also felt at home in the community they had carved out for themselves. According to the newspaper, “the activists demanded something better [in the 1970’s], just as they had in the ‘60s.” [10]

It was the 1964 Chamizal Treaty that suddenly made the Segundo Barrio valuable for commercial development because of the border. Cross border trade has been one of El Paso’s economic engines for decades. The Chamizal Treaty made the land valuable to investors, but to profit from it they needed to expel the residents living there.

This led to stagnant investment in residential properties, the more substandard they became, the easier it was to bring the power of the government to displace those living there. Thus, the poor communities south of El Paso downtown were now faced with substandard housing and decades of displacement through gentrification for economic reasons.

It is important to note that the living conditions in the Segundo Barrio community were one of the worst in the country. In 1977, the El Paso Times described the Segundo Barrio as “the brimstone standard against which all desperate urban life is measured.” According to the newspaper, a “prominent real estate agent” pointed out that “the majority of southside housing is unfit for human habitation.” [2] Although living in one of the worst conditions in the country, barrio residents wanted to continue living there because they were tired of being uprooted every time economic interests took interest in the community they had built for themselves.

The central issue with gentrification is that the poor are expelled from their homes under the guise that they are being offered better living conditions elsewhere. The problem lies in that better conditions translates into a higher cost of living that many of those displaced cannot afford. In the end, many face homelessness or housing far away from the center of the city – far away from their communities.

Between 1968 and 1974, the population in Segundo Barrio dropped from 20,000 to somewhere between 8,000 and 13,000. [10] Because of the fluidity of the transient community, population numbers were difficult to count. Segundo Barrio had “sheltered Mexican newcomers to El Paso” since housing in the Barrio was first “built at the turn of the century to house refugees from the Mexican Revolution.” [18] The drop in population can be correlated to the years of forced displacement by government officials.

The Segundo Barrio neighborhood has a rich history of defending itself from interlopers. As far back as the late 1970’s, Segundo Barrio activists formed around one important goal, “preservation” with better housing. [2] At the center of their fight was preserving their community. However, it is a mistake to assume that the interlopers would be Anglos. Displacement from the neighborhood was economic and not ethnically driven. In 1977, Barrio protestors protested the conditions of their apartments in the neighborhood. The two property owners they were protesting were Hispanic. [1]

The Latino Slum Lords

The slumlords identified by the Segundo Barrio activists were Hispanics in 1977. They were Esteban Alba, Antonio de la Torre and then county commissioner Richard Telles. In addition, there were two companies: Perez Real Estate and a California company that wanted to tear down a ten-unit complex to make way for a poultry freezing warehouse. The California company was the Moor Park Joint Venture, Inc. [3]

The city used building codes to try to force the building owners to bring the housing up to code. Many of the units shared one toilet among ten families, had no indoor plumbing and dangerous electrical, if power was available, created a hazardous living environment. [10] But it was not effective.

As the newspaper reported, “many loud, bitter complaints charged that buildings owned by politicians and friends of politicians somehow managed to be spared” the building code enforcements. [10] It was Hispanics protecting other Hispanics from the city’s enforcement actions making the plight of the barrio dwellers even worse as buildings continued to deteriorate.

In 1986, Henry Neill, who was then-director of the city Community Development Department and had worked on housing issues in eight other states told the newspaper that “I have never in my careers in this country seen housing units which are so far out of line with minimal standards.” He added, “El Paso is the only place I’ve been where, in 1986, you still have to go outside to use the toilet.” [18]

As late as the late 1980’s out house toilets were common in El Paso’s barrios. This was extremely uncommon in the United States by this time. They existed because the Hispanic building owners were working together to eradicate the poor residents out of Segundo Barrio to make their properties more valuable. By allowing their buildings to remain substandard and dangerous it made them easier to use the power of the government to expel the residents.

La Campaña Por La Preservación del Barrio

La Campaña Por La Preservación del Barrio was formed to preserve the Segundo Barrio. The Campaña was created as the result of the city’s 1973 Tenement Eradication Program. City officials created the Tenement Eradication Program in September 1973 after an Easter morning explosion at Piedras and San Antonio killed seven and 14 others were injured. The explosion left 29 people homeless. The eradication program left “1,201 fewer housing units and about 850 fewer families” in Segundo. [10] What the activists wanted was new housing, but in their existing community and not elsewhere in El Paso away from the neighborhoods they had created for themselves. At issue was the improvement of housing in the community while preserving its character. The Campaña activists were “dedicated to improving the quality of life on El Paso’s southside without allowing its ethnic character to change.” [3]

The group argued that the reason people were being thrown out of their apartments was because of the “commercial and industrial expansion” of Segundo Barrio. [10] The Campaña was led by Carmen Felix, Daniel Solis and Juan Montez in 1977. The activists called themselves “the conscious of the barrio,” according to a 1977 newspaper article. However not all Hispanics were behind the preservation of Segundo Barrio. A nearby priest, Rev. Jesse Muñoz of Our Lady of the Light labeled them “communist activists.” [2] Competing against those trying to preserve the barrios were special interest groups trying to leverage public monies for their own causes. This, in addition to commercial interests eyeing lucrative properties.

The Campaña was suspicious when city officials tried to get building owners to bring their units up to code. In 1985, three bathrooms served the 15 apartments in one building. The units did not have any heating and the roofs leaked. Each unit cost $110 a month in rent. When city officials tried to get the owners to fix up their properties, Carmen Felix told the newspaper that she was suspicions of the city’s intendent, saying; “I think they (city officials) are serious about tearing down buildings, but not for the right motives.” [17]

For the Segundo Barrio activists, the problem was not that attempts were being made to bring the housing up to code, but the motives behind the attempts. Felix said, “anything done in the barrio has always been to bring profits for somebody.” [17]

City officials, for their part, were not interested in preserving the community. Instead, they wanted everyone out. Don Henderson, a former mayor, irritated by the activists demanding better housing at city council meetings told them that he would “not be intimidated by any minority, forgetting” as the newspaper reports, “that Mexican Americans comprise at least 60 percent of El Paso’s population.” Henderson went on to add that if the Latinos did not like city council, they should “vote them out.” On April 19, 1977 “an astonishingly heavy barrio turnout helped Ray Salazar trounce” Henderson out of office. [2]

Ray Salazar was the vanguard of rising Hispanic engagement in El Paso politics and it emanated from the Segundo Barrio. As readers will learn, Salazar was elected with the help of barrio residents, but he was not interested in preserving the character of the community.

What the Campaña members wanted was “autonomy for the Segundo Barro: neighborhood control of schools, clinics, housing and services.” Opposing them were Project Bravo and priests like Muñoz who labeled them “communists”. [3] Gentrification was being driven by economic interests – land speculators and special interest groups looking to benefit from public money.

Harassment To Quiet Dissention

Judicial harassment was used to thwart the activities of the Segundo Barrio activists. On April 6, 1978, Juan Montes, Oscar Lozano and Carmen Felix were arrested on charges of “terrorist threats and criminal trespass.” Montes and Lozano were also charged with hindering arrest. After police found Montes and Lozano drinking beer on the sidewalk, all three were arrested. Both refused to identify themselves to the police arguing that it wasn’t against the law to drink beer on the sidewalk. The charges were dropped a few days later by then-county attorney George Rodriguez. [5] This was one of other arrests Felix endured.

On April 11, 1978, La Campaña filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against then-mayor Ray Salazar, the police and others that the activists claimed were harassing them. [5]

On December 18, 1980, then-mayor Tom Westfall announced that “the law will prevail in El Paso,” adding that the “property is going to be demolished.” Westfall was telling the families at 430 Durango, one block west of the current proposed footprint for the 2012 Quality of Life multi-purpose arena, that they were going to forcefully be removed if they refused to leave the condemned building. Westfall told the newspaper that any undocumented immigrants living in the building would not be assisted by the city. Westfall said the city “cannot take care of the masses of the poor Mexican peons.” He added that “if they’re living illegally, that happens to be their problem.” Westfall was reacting to Maria Fernandez, a Project Bravo worker who stated that she “knows for a fact that there are undocumented aliens living” in the condemned building. [12]

Six years later, the property on Durango remained dilapidated and is “officially is condemned.” In 1981, a group of Hispanic businessmen bought the building but did nothing to update it, although they promised to fix it. The city building inspector told the newspaper that he “won’t touch it” because the building is still “a political hot potato.” When the city tried to demolish it in 1981, protestors held a sit in to protest the demolition of the building they deemed a “historic South El Paso Hispanic community at the expense of industrial and tourist development.” [18]

Project Bravo continued to consistently oppose the efforts of the Segundo Barrio activists who wanted better housing while protecting the character of their neighborhood.

Project Bravo

On March 30, 1965, a “war on poverty” was unveiled in El Paso. The program, called Project Bravo, was funded with $521,559.92 from the 1964 Economic Opportunity Act. [13] Project Bravo was several projects working towards resolving poverty in El Paso. The projects included housing, the Head Start Program, access to jobs, vaccines and vocational training. One of the projects was to recruit “leaders” in the poor neighborhoods. The neighborhood leaders were to be trained and “be paid $50 a week to work as motivators and referral agents” for the program. [14]

The start of Project Bravo was difficult with several controversies in 1966 reported in several newspaper articles. Among them included that the African-American community was arguing that they were being discriminated against by Project Bravo. The director was also accused of improperly using a $1,900 automobile. Others accused the director, Joseph MacDougall who was formerly the Canutillo school superintendent of directing larger shares of the anti-poverty help to Canutillo residents.

However, by 1970, Project Bravo was a multi-million operation [16] and it worked against preserving the barrio.

When Felix’ South Side Low Income Housing Corp. was attempting to buy a building ordered condemned by the city, Project Bravo stepped in and moved 17 out of the 23 families living there out, leaving an empty building for Felix. [23] Project Bravo, in many instances, worked against the preservation of the barrio by moving families to other parts of town through the El Paso Housing Authority.

Today, Project Bravo continues to operate as a non-profit in El Paso. It grew from an initial five members to employing more than 200 individuals. [15] One of the projects that Bravo created was the Barrio Program with almost half-a-million dollars. The Barrio Program was later renamed the Community Development Program. The Barrio Program setup 24 barrio centers in neighborhoods “to acquaint the poor with programs” available to them. “Organizing the poor, combating their ignorance of what the government has to offer them, and teaching them democratic principles” is what the center did, according to Leonicio Sharpe, a center coordinator. [16]

Project Bravo consistently worked against Carmen Felix and her group’s attempt to revitalize the barrio to help keep residents living there. Project Bravo was the pipeline to moving residents out of South El Paso to other parts of the city. The more residents they moved the more they benefit from taxpayer dollars. There was, however, another important driver for the gentrification of the barrio – land speculation.

Commercializing Segundo Barrio

Campaña activists from the Segundo Barrio in the 1970’s fought against, what they described, as an attempt to remove the residents of the community to make way for commercial development in the area. In the spring of 1975, the activists erected a tent city on a vacant lot. Tent City II, the first tent city had been in 1971 to protest a landlord, was in response to the City Plan Commission adopting a “master plan” for Segundo Barrio. The city’s new master plan called for keeping the area zoned “commercial industrial”. [10]

The city’s economists were arguing “that expansion of light industry south of Paisano to the international bridge was inevitable” because the area was “a major corridor between El Paso and Juarez.” The city added that the land is “too valuable to be used as residential properties.” [10]

The barrio activists responded that they “want to preserve the barrio, not its poverty.” [10]

The Campaña activists organized rent strikes in 1976, resisted evictions and supported squatters preventing building demolitions. The activists proclaimed, “human rights versus property rights.” They also occupied U.S. Representative Richard White’s office. [10]

Their resistance, including the willingness by leaders like Carmen Felix to be jailed, proved effective.

Moore Park was stopped from developing its poultry plant by seven families who refused to leave their housing. [3] In 1978, Carmen Felix announced that Moore Park had agreed to sell the complex to her activist group. Six unnamed individuals pledged $6,000 as the down payment to buy the complex. [4]

Felix’ group not only resisted the gentrification through effective grassroots organizing but were also effective in providing solutions, including leveraging money to keep residents in the barrio. By the mid-1980’s they were forcing public policy changes.

On November 11, 1986, on a 4-2 vote, city council rezoned 93 acres in South El Paso away from manufacturing and heavy commercial use to a more restrictive residential and light commercial use. In the 1930, the less restrictive zoning had been applied to promote manufacturing and “wipe out the tenements.” However, almost 50 years later, the manufacturing had not materialized and the substandard housing remained. Jimmy Goldman and Ed Esley sided with the businessowners protesting the change in zoning and voted against it. [19] But the Campaña had effectively forced public policy in favor of the barrio. More was on the horizon.

On August 20, 1991, the Segundo Barrio won a respite from encroaching businesses into the neighborhood when city council voted to prohibit landowners from displacing residents from renovated Segundo Barrio homes and turning the apartments into “lucrative stores and restaurants.” Because of the activists’ efforts to renovate housing in the Segundo Barrio over the years, property values had gone up and building owners became reluctant to renovate the remaining substandard properties “unless they can use some space to profit from the booming retail business.” Under the news rules imposed by city council, owners would have to get permission for retail space on their properties. To do so they needed to renovate the whole property and begin renting apartments before opening a store in the building. [21]

But problems remained. Hispanic landowners continued to work against the preservation of the community by raising rents after using public monies to renovate their buildings.

The property owners who were applying for the Community Development funds in 1987 were raising their rents “as much as 400 percent to 500 percent” to “replace the poor tenants with those able to pay significantly higher rents once the buildings were fixed up.” [22] One such owner was Richard Telles, Sr., who owned one of the last properties without indoor plumbing in 1991. Telles, who was an El Paso Independent School District (EPISD) trustee at the time, told city council that he had purchased the property in 1985 so that he could “depopulate the area.” [25]

By 1988, El Paso had received $100 million in federal funds for neighborhood revitalization. Carmen Felix and an activist from Washington D.C. argued that the city officials had directed the federal funds away from blighted communities. [20] One of the requirements for the use of eminent domain, as a tool for gentrifying a community like Segundo Barrio was to designate the target neighborhood as blighted. By not using the federal funds for revitalization, as the money was intended for, the barrios in South El Paso would be left open to the use of gentrification as blighted communities.

The Community Development Block Grant money “must benefit low and moderate-income” people and “must be used to upgrade slums or blighted areas.” El Paso spent $225,000 of the grant money to “improve South El Paso Street, and promote it as a gateway to and from Mexico.” But Felix argued that the use of the money was “being used to displace families and destabilize the community.” Felix added that the $225,000 seemed “that it helps the merchants more than it does the poor.” [20]

The zoning restrictions against commercializing Segundo Barrio were not enough to keep businesses from setting up shop. By 2005, the area had become commercialized, especially around the 12-block around Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Father Rahm. In 1986, city council had created a special residential revitalization designation limiting commercial development in the area. [27] However, in 1991, the neighborhood was again rezoned from residential to commercial at the behest of Telles. [25]

Tanny Berg, a downtown business owner wanted the limiting commercial designation lifted around the Sacred Heart area. Berg argued that development around the “twelve blocks of Downtown have stagnated,” blaming the zone restriction. Berg added that “not one housing project had been built since the restriction was added. [27]

Although the city’s restriction allowed light-commercial activity, Carmen Felix argued that business owners were ignoring the restrictions. Felix pointed to Casa de Zapato that had encroached on the sidewalks with displays while storing boxed products in the store itself. The storing of boxed products required the manufacturing zoning. Felix argued that was an example of a business that was “not a mom-and-pop store” that the restrictions allowed. In another store, owned by Carmen Farah, Felix pointed out how a “mayoreo” (wholesale) sign was draped over the front of renovated apartments. The building had been renovated with $694,000 of Community Development Grant money in the 1990’s. It was granted the money for residential use. [27]

The Southside Low Income Housing Corporation

One of the biggest issues faced by the Segundo Barrio was the lack of adequate housing in the neighborhood. Many of the apartments had no running water or bathrooms. The residents faced frequent problems with the buildings and many times refused to pay rent to the landowners until the issue were resolved. Although the landowners, almost all of them Hispanics, at first refused to capitulate, frequent protests and rent withholding forced them to agree to fix the problems.

But the threat of gentrification was ever present. The Campaña membership consistently argued that they wanted more control over their properties. On December 4, 1978, on a 14-1 vote, the federally funded Community Development program administered by the city allocated $50,000 for the planning and buying of properties in Segundo Barrio. The adopted plan called for $1 million in federal dollars the first year to purchasing land to build on and buying and renovating two apartment buildings. [6]

The entity approved to administer the federal funds and buy the properties was the Southside Low Income Housing Corporation, incorporated by Carmen Felix’ La Campaña Por La Preservación del Barrio.

The city had earlier tried to apply the Urban Development Action Grant money to commercially develop the Segundo Barrio. Felix and her fellow activists opposed the “creeping commercialism” that threatened the Segundo Barrio. Instead of awarding the city’s plan, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded a $2.3 million “seed money” grant for housing only. [6]

The Campaña’s plan was to use the federal funds to help the El Segundo Barrio Housing Cooperative to revitalize existing housing and to allow the families already living there to eventually own their apartments. [6]

Even though it looked like the Segundo Barrio residents would take control of their housing requirements with the federal funds in 1978, the city would not relent. As the fiduciary of the federal funds, the city held public hearings about the plans for the federal funds. Added to the project was a Stanton Street Mall. Carmen Felix objected to the lack of proper notices for the meetings and the lead that Project Bravo had taken over the project supporting commercializing parts of the community with the federal monies. [8]

On April 1, 1980, city council voted to shift $587,651 federal dollars away from housing and build a Chihuahuita swimming pool and a lower valley medical clinic instead. The Segundo Barrio activists were angry about the shift of federal dollars. Felix said that Community Development projects like the Old Town redevelopment was “for the benefit of the rich, for the benefit of the white people.” Juan Montes, another Campaña member added that the Old Town project was “where Chicanos would get jobs ‘carrying suitcases for gabachos’ (Anglos).” [emphasis in original] [11]

On December 11, 1979, city council held a contentious meeting over the use of the federal funds. On a vote of four to two, city council approved $500,000 in community development funds for Felix’ group to revitalize housing in Segundo Barrio. Voting against the housing project was E. W. “Joe” Divis and Pat Haggerty. In favor were Polly Harris, David Escobar, Jim Scherr and Tom Westfall. Readers should note that during the debate, David Escobar explained that Felix’ group had “shown good faith by spending only $8,500 of the initial $50,000 allocated for a feasibility study” on the project. Escobar added if it had been developer “Joe Foster or (businessman) Dick Azar asking us for money,” there would have been “no questions.” [9]

The Campaña activists also faced another hurdle in their attempts to revitalize their neighborhoods, a 1970’s federal policy to make low-income housing available everywhere in the city instead of clustering them in poor neighborhoods. The local housing authority built 3,200 low-income units during this time. Between 1971 and 1975, the federal government built new public housing with $65 million in federal funds. But the federal government ordered that “no new units could be built in areas where the poor and minority ethnic groups were concentrated.” [10]

Almost $3 million in projects were approved for the southside of El Paso. Nearly all the new housing “was built far” from Segundo Barrio. The almost $2.7 million approved for the Southside Low Income Housing Development Corp. “came too late in the decade” to help Segundo Barrio. The money was planned for building 115 units to be open by the Spring of 1981. [10]

The Drive Towards Urban Renewal

Before the controversy of the Glass Beach Study that denigrated the Segundo Barrio as a blight on El Paso, another movement for urban renewal was attempted in 1979 through an April 7, 1979 referendum asking El Paso voters to vote on whether El Paso should embrace urban development. Then mayor Ray Salazar told the El Paso Times that El Paso needs urban renewal because the city needs “to bring people back downtown.” [7] Voters were being asked to allow city officials to use eminent domain.

Unlike the two previous attempts in 1956 and 1972, the latest vote on urban renewal targeted only Segundo Barrio and the surrounding areas. The previous two allowed for the use of eminent domain all over the city. [7]

Salazar added that as he looked around the Civic Center and the new city hall he saw “better than 300 families living in tenements.” What Salazar wanted was to move the families out because the Segundo Barrio was “prime-land to commercial investors.” The city saw a revitalized Segundo Barrio in 1979 as “condominiums,” and maybe “some single-family housing rimming the business district” that the investors would build on. [7]

Urban renewal provided the city with a new power, the power to take property away from the owners. One elected official explained to the El Paso Times, that in the way “for another downtown hotel at the corner of San Francisco and El Paso Streets” stood “an old raggedy building,” that was “owned by some people from Mexico who don’t want to sell.” They added, “if the city had the power of urban renewal, it could force the owners to sell the land at fair market price, then turn around and sell that land to the hotel developer.” [7]

Urban renewal would give authorities to power of eminent domain to take private land and transfer it to private developers.

Among the “urban renewal” projects that the proponents envisioned in 1979 was a “mercado” of boutiques and restaurants and corporate headquarters for out-of-town companies in downtown El Paso. The community targeted for urban renewal by city officials was “south of Interstate 10, east of the Union Depot, south of the Mexican border,” and “west of Boon Street (near the Spaghetti Bowl).” [7]

Normally Opposed Groups Rally Together Against Eminent Domain

In 2005, the city was working on a new master plan. It was launched with the much-maligned Glass Beach Study the next year. [27] The term “new urbanism” become the definition of the 2006 Paso del Norte Group (PDNG) downtown revitalization. Interestingly, in 1978 city planners had said that the care that property owners put into the rental property communities “says a lot about South El Paso, a cohesive community” that is a “near perfect example of what new urbanism should look like: traditional urbanism.” [32] Government officials both condemned the standard of living in Segundo Barrio while acknowledging that Segundo Barrio was the litmus test to effective renewal.

In 2006, when the Glass Beach project codified the city’s newest push to drive Segundo Barrio residents out of their homes with the plan put in motion by the Paso del Norte Group, the El Paso Times editorialized that Carmen Felix’ activism to save the community “30 years ago” was “cultural destruction” and that “it’s time El Paso cleared away those problems.” [21]

However, business owners and housing activists like Carmen Felix now faced a common foe in the form of downtown redevelopment through the taking of private property. At issue was the threat of eminent domain. Felix and the Segundo Barrio business owners rallied to stop the plan from eradicating them out of their properties.

Sixty-one business barrio owners and residents joined forces on May 3, 2006 under the umbrella group name, Unified Downtown Revitalization Coalition. The group was in favor of downtown revitalization but not at the expense of residents and existing businesses. Although the business owners and housing activists were traditionally on opposite ends, the threat of eminent domain united them. [28] Another business group, Land Grab Opponents, also rallied in opposition to the threat of eminent domain. [29]

Carmen Felix initiated a recall petition against Beto O’Rourke on May 23, 2006 [31] because of O’Rourke’s support of the PDNG’s downtown redevelopment plan. Although Felix had said that her group, Centro Chicano, [31] had collected 978 signatures, the recall petition was not turned into the city. [26]

Although Myrna Deckert, the face of the PDNG minimized the opposition to the PDNG’s downtown plan; “I believe with all my heart that the opposition is not as great” as was believed, she and other PDNG members were surprised that business owners were also opposed to their plans. [29]

Carmen Felix was a housing activist from the 1970’s through the early 1990’s. [27] Today, the gentrification of the Duranguito and Segundo Barrio communities remains on the table decades after attempts to preserve it were started.


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We are on a mission to deliver the news and information important to you. Information that no one else is covering. We believe that public policy is grounded on an informed citizenry. We provide information based on analytical analysis that is well-sourced to allow readers to understand the policy decisions that affects their lives. We keep our reporting open to give everyone access to our reports. We are self-funded. This allows us to be independent and we are not influenced by stakeholders on how and what we report.

Help us to keep this resource available to everyone. Your support allows us to fund the site and pay for the research we use to bring important topics to your attention. Support our project by making a small donation today.

Help Us To Continue Bringing You Important Information Like This

We are on a mission to deliver the news and information important to you. Information that no one else is covering. We believe that public policy is grounded on an informed citizenry. We provide information based on analytical analysis that is well-sourced to allow readers to understand the policy decisions that affects their lives. We keep our reporting open to give everyone access to our reports. We are self-funded. This allows us to be independent and we are not influenced by stakeholders on how and what we report.

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  1. Tom Butler, “Tenement Residents Picket For Repairs,” El Paso Times, March 26, 1977.
  2. Tom Butler, “Southside EP: Dark Quarter Housed In Squalor,” El Paso Times, April 24, 1977.
  3. Tom Butler, “Barrio: Community Control Would end ‘Poverty Pimps’,” El Paso Times, April 27, 1977.
  4. “Activists Offer To Buy Tenement,” El Paso Times, January 28, 1978.
  5. “La Campana Won’t Be Prosecuted,” El Paso Times, April 13, 1978.
  6. Ed Curda, “La Campana Housing Plan Praised,” El Paso Times, December 5, 1978.
  7. Carey Gelernter, “Is Urban Renewal Right For El Paso Now?,” El Paso Times, February 18, 1979.
  8. “City public housing program criticized at the consumer forum,” El Paso Times, July 30, 1979.
  9. Sam Rennick, “La Campana wins debate; project OK’s,” El Paso Times, December 12, 1979.
  10. Ed Curda, “Abundance of talk covered housing ills in South Side,” El Paso Times, December 27, 1979.
  11. John Stark, “Housing cut angers Southsiders, El Paso Times, April 3, 1980.
  12. Ramon Renteria, “Durango dwellers get relocation offer,” El Paso Times, December 19, 1980.
  13. “EP’s Poverty War Plan Announced,” El Paso Times, April 1, 1965.
  14. Tom Bryan, “EP Poverty War Proposal To Be Presented In Parcels TO OEO,” El Paso Times, April 21, 1965.
  15. Bob Ybarra, “BRAVO Grows to Multi-million Agency,” El Paso Herald-Post, September 21, 1970.
  16. Bob Ybarra, “Barrio Centers Tackle Many Problems,” El Paso Herald-Post, September 22, 1970.
  17. David Landis, “South Side suspicious of city plan,” El Paso Times, November 28, 1985.
  18. Debbie Nathan, “El Paso struggles to clean up persistent tenements,” El Paso Times, April 13, 1986.
  19. David Crowder, “South El Paso zoning scaled down,” El Paso Times, November 12, 1986.
  20. Joe Olvera, “Where is all that money for housing,” El Paso Times, January 29, 1988.
  21. El Paso Times Editorial, “Downtown rumors,” El Paso Times, May 7, 2006.
  22. Jim Conley, “City Council asked to stop skyrocketing tenement rent,” El Paso Times, June 3, 1987.
  23. David Crowder, “city to pay tenants forced out from condemned buildings,” El Paso Times, April 27, 1988.
  24. Denise Bezick, “Neighborhood wins business limits,” El Paso Times, August 21, 1991.
  25. Joe Olvera, “Rezoning could force residents from home,” El Paso Times, November 9, 1991.
  26. David Crowder, “Recall petition not submitted,” El Paso Times, July 25, 2006.
  27. David Crowder, “Some barrio ignore zoning rules,” El Paso Times, August 14, 2005.
  28. David Crowder, “South Side activist leads protest of revitalization plan,” El Paso Times, May 4, 2006.
  29. Vic Kolenc, “Backers defend Downtown plan,” El Paso Times, May 6, 2006.
  30. Ramon Bracamontes, “Groups disagree on best way to revitalize,” El Paso Times, May 9, 2006.
  31. David Crowder, “Group looks for recall of city representative,” El Paso Times, May 26, 2006.
  32. David Crowder, “South Side is example of new urbanism,” El Paso Times, October 24, 2005.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

2 replies on “Segundo Barrio: Decades Of Gentrification”

  1. Much of this was fermenting in my first tour of duty in City Hall as HFC Director. I had some first hand experience with how it works when an agency wants to evict a homeowner and pays them “fair market value” for a Barrio home. So someone gives you $30K for the house you were born in, lived all you life in, and now you’re in your 70s, retired and sick and they are kicking you out on the street with $30K. Where do you go with that? You were a homeowner, poor but independent. Now you’re homeless.

    This shit happens.

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