Mexico may file complaint over U.S. border fence plans

Mexican environmental officials are the latest to get peeved over the U.S. government’s plan to build a 700-mile fence along the countries’ shared border. The barrier, intended to stem illegal immigration, would “place at risk the various ecosystems that we share,” says Environment Minister Juan Rafael Elvira — including the Sonora Desert. A report prepared for Mexican officials by experts in both countries said the fence could isolate animals including jaguars, black bears, and the Sonora pronghorn; it said the accompanying radar and lights could also harm nocturnal species. Mexican officials say they may file a complaint with the International Court of Justice, but are exploring their options; Argentine President Nestor Kirchner stoked the fire yesterday by calling the project “an insult … to all the nations of Latin America and all the nations of the world.” Suggested alternatives to the fence include roadless wilderness corridors, permeable fences, and “live” cactus barriers. Ouch.