Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Time To Clean Mountains of All Lettering

Image courtesy of Valerie Provencio
As of this morning, the news media was reporting that the new massive lettering on the Juarez Mountains has been put on hold. KVIA's story with news video is HERE. El Diario's report is HERE. Even if you do not speak nor read Spanish, watch the video. You will be stunned by the huge urns of paint and the assembly line of workers up and down the mountain to create this latest graffiti. The El Paso Times story is HERE.

What is disgusting and stunning and a judgment on our anti-environmental culture is the lack of outrage by those interviewed on KVIA. One man thought that it was a good way to get a message out. Another thought the earlier message about reading the Bible was good and that this one honoring a specific person was not. One person stated that Mexico can do what it wants. One gringo on the USA side of the border also didn't seem to care about flora, fauna, or geology. 

Both sets of graffiti on the Juarez Mountains is the work of a sect, La Luz del Mundo. In a nutshell they believe that the true Christian Church created by Jesus himself abruptly ended when the last Apostle of the 1st Century died - supposedly John in 95 BCE. The true church was reestablished in Mexico last century with a new Apostle. Between the end of the first century and the 19th century, no soul was saved because the true church wasn't around. The current Apostle is Samuel Joaquín Flores, whose 50th Anniversary on the job is being "celebrated" by these yahoos in Juarez. 

La Luz del Mundo has a "temple" here in El Paso at 3130 Idalia Avenue

Let us hope that officials in Juarez will succeed in forcing the removal of the lettering. Elpasonaturally suggests that, until all lettering on the Juarez mountains is removed including the "message" about the Bible, Juarez and all of its commerce should be boycotted and shunned. Pressure must be put on this City to do the right thing. With what seemed to be the waning of a long and violent drug war, some El Pasoans have ventured across the border again. There has been interest expressed in once again opening up hikes in the Juarez Mountains under the banner of the yearly Celebration of Our Mountains. The Coordinator of COM now says, "Hell NO!"

But Juarez is not alone. For many years, several letters symbolizing local schools scarred the Franklin Mountains. Most have just about disappeared except for the "A" - once a fixture for Austin High School. The mountain (believe it or not) is privately owned and the owner now rents the lighting of the letter. As it is a "business", the letter is well-maintained. Nevertheless, public outrage and pressure should be brought to bear on the owner to get rid of the letter and do environmental remediation. I'm a graduate of Austin High School and I don't need a letter feel proud of my old alma mater. In fact, I would be prouder if AHS would repudiate this particular piece of graffiti.

Paint and gas cans left behind when the A is freshly painted or lit.

There is no excuse for graffiti scarring the Juarez Mountains or the Franklin Mountains. Sadly we seem to live in a culture that doesn't give a damn. Or not. And that is what we need to find out. Time to put pressure on those who destroy our mountains with their "messages".

1 comment:

  1. One reason we were happy with our home is that Sierra Crest obscures any view of the the ghastly "Lea La Biblia" on the Juárez mountains. Really is incredible that this has been allowed to stay there all that time. Sadly, it is perfectly true that it is up to Mexican authorities and citizens to change this - and there's been way too much intervention in Mexico by the US over the decades. But indeed, let the commercial interests in Juárez know how you feel!