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Video+Story: ‘Water Protectors’ Chained to Equipment to Protest Pipeline in San Eli

Water protectors against the building of the Comanche Trail Pipeline took more than a stand early Thursday morning.

At 5 a.m., several members of the El Paso Water Protectors locked themselves onto construction equipment, stopping construction for the early morning hours.

At around 7:30 a.m., the El Paso County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived, after the manager of the construction site requested that the water protectors be arrested, said Clavo Martinez.

Photo by Clavo Martinez
Photo by Clavo Martinez
Photo by Clavo Martinez
Photo by Clavo Martinez

Martinez, the police liaison for the group, negotiated with the police this morning.

The Comanche Trail Pipeline, developed by Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), is a 195-mile pipeline that begins outside of Fort Stockton and ends at San Elizario.

The pipeline’s purpose – to supply natural gas to Mexico.

Photo by Clavo Martinez
Photo by Clavo Martinez

In October, the El Paso County Water Improvement District joined the U.S. government in a lawsuit against ETP to stop the project.

According to the lawsuit, ETP had failed to inform the Department of Homeland security of their project and how it would affect the Border fence:

“Upon information and belief, some agencies of the federal government conducted a limited review of the pipeline’s proposed project prior to issuance of the Permit; however, the agency or section within the Department of Homeland Security that is responsible for the maintenance of the border fence was not among them. As a result, the Government has not had an opportunity to assess the pipeline’s impact to the structural integrity of the border fence.

Accordingly, the undersigned is seeking from Comanche information regarding the land at issue for the pipeline’s placement as well as its impact, if any, to the structural integrity of the border fence. Once that review has been completed, the United States will be in a position to determine its property interests and to determine what, if any, remedy it seeks.”

U.S. District Judge Frank Montalvo issued a temporary restraining order in November, halting the project. The order was extended twice through December. Then, just before the Christmas Holidays, the order was released and construction could restart.

To read our previous story on the pipeline, click HERE

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About Alexandra Hinojosa

“Once journalism is in your system, it’s hard to get it out… and then you realize, it’s there to stay.” – Alex Hinojosa is a full time instructor at El Paso Community College and a former El Paso Times journalist. FULL BIO

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5 comments

  1. Who is Clavo Martinez?

    • “Martinez, the police liaison for the group, negotiated with the police this morning.” I see it now… thank you for the clarification. 🙂

    • Clavo Martinez is an Iragui war vet. He and his wife, Rosemary, arel longtime champions for civil and human rights on the border. Rosemary recently returned from standing rock from a two week stay. These longtime friends of mine need to be honored and followed by the Chicano community in the area. This pipeline is an atrocity and a monument to County Comnmissioner Vince Perez’s abject failure to take any steps to protet the conmunity in San Eliizario.

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