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Pamela Dodds

Original English texts for the prints in the 13th BIECTR, continued

5/ USA-Mexico Border Barrier

Length of Barrier:    segments totalling 1126 km  /  700 mi  
Length of Border:    3145 km  /  1954 mi  

Date Started:    1993
Phases:             1990s; 2000s, 2010s, 2020s

Built By:             USA; in 2020s some funding from state of Texas and private funders

Approximately 1/3 of the border is barricaded, primarily in the West: the borders of California/Baja, Arizona/Sonora and New Mexico/Chihuahua as far as El Paso/Juarez, and parts of the Eastern end including at Brownsville/Matamoros. Central, rugged areas are unfenced, including most of the Texas border that follows the Rio Grande (USA) / Rio Bravo (Mexico). Treaty and private property restrictions, and terrain, thwart government efforts to build in most of Texas.

Fortified anti-pedestrian barrier of different types. Barriers built in the 21st c. are steel barricades: concrete-filled steel posts, 10 cm/4 in apart topped with 1.5 M/5 ft anti-climb plates, extending 2.4 M/8ft underground. Height ranges 5.5 to 8 M / 18 to 27 ft. Many areas have second parallel fence. Surveillance includes laser-enhanced long distance cameras, motion sensors, flood lights, drones, helicoper and ground patrols. Older barriers are vertical placements of Vietnam War-era surplus helicopter landing pads. The high-tech ‘floating fence’ in the Imperial Sand Dunes, California, is made of 4.5 M / 15-ft sections of steel posts that sit atop the dunes and shift with the sands. In remote areas, low, anti-vehicle barriers are made from criss-crossed welded segments of railroad tracks and other surplus materials.

Purpose & Context:     
Anti-migration. The expanding barrier, along with restrictive border policies, results in many people taking extreme, often lethal risks to cross through hostile desert terrain. Thousands of migrants remain camped or detained at the border.

6/ Israel-West Bank, Palestine Barrier

Length of Barrier:         709 km  /  440 mi
Length of de facto Border:     320 km  /  199 mi  
Date Started:     2003
Phases:             2004, 2006, 2012 and ongoing
Built by:             Israel
The barrier roughly follows the 1949 Armistice Line/Green Line. 85% of the barrier is built within the West Bank Occupied Palestinian Territories, at times extending as far as 20 km / 12 mi into Palestinian lands, running circuitously to encircle many of the more than 250 settlements Israel has build within the West Bank, all of which are illegal under international law.
42 km / 26 mi of the barrier is a solid concrete wall standing 8 M / 26 ft, fortified with cement watchtowers. The rest of the barrier is a high-tech, multi-layered fence system, much of it electrified, topped with barbed wire, flanked on either side with additional fences of tall barbed wire stacks, as well as ditches, combed sand fields for detecting footprints, exclusion areas averaging 60 M / 200 ft, underground and long-range sensors, cameras, drones and military patrols. A complex system of checkpoints, designated and exclusive roads, and ID cards severely restricts and complicates movement of Palestinians.
Purpose and Context: 
Israel began building the barrier at the time of the 2nd Intifada in 2000, to control suicide bombings in Israel. However, the peculiar route of the barrier suggests the ulterior purpose of land grab. The barrier has excluded numerous farmers from their own farmlands and olive groves. Thousands of homes and farmers’ mature olive trees have been destroyed on the pretext of  building the barrier. In 2004 the UN International Court of Justice declared the barrier illegal under international law. 

7/ Uzbekistan-Afghanistan Border Barrier

Length of Barrier:        144 km / 89 mi
Length of Border:        144 km / 89 mi

Date Started:        2001
Date Completed:  2001

Built by:        Uzbekistan

the length of the border

Barbed wire fence and a second, taller, electrified barbed-wire fence, land mines, armed patrols.

Purpose & Context:
Anti-migration. With the start of the US military invasion in Afghanistan in 2001, Uzbekistan immediately built the barrier to prevent Afghan refugees from crossing the border.

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