‘They’re going to kick us all out’: Tijuana shantytown residents fear new Amazon facility will push them away


TIJUANA (Border Report) — Amazon is about to open a 344,000 square foot fulfillment center next to a field of purslane and alfalfa in Colonia Nueva Esperanza in Tijuana’s east side.

The area where the building has been constructed is in one of Tijuana’s poorest neighborhoods that some have described as a shantytown where most homes are built out of plywood with tarps for roofs.

But city officials, including the outgoing mayor, have said Amazon’s facility will generate more than 250 jobs when it opens in a few weeks.

“You think they’re going to help us,” asked a resident named Lucia. “They’re going to kick us all out.”

Lucia is one of many neighbors who see Amazon’s arrival as the beginning of the end for their neighborhood.

“Some people have been told they’re going to have to leave, that the land belongs to the government,” said Silvia, another resident. “At the very least they should fix the main road in the area.”

Amazon did not comment specifically on the residents’ concerns, but through a statement, it said it continues to be an asset in Mexico.

“Since our arrival in Mexico, Amazon has created more than 15,000 jobs throughout the country and now we are adding 250 in Tijuana, creating employment opportunities with competitive salaries and benefits for all of our employees. Our wages and benefits strengthen local communities, and these investments help these areas to grow and to build better futures,”

Not all residents are unhappy with Amazon. Some have said they have landed jobs with the company and are excited about working there.

Oscar runs a food cart near the new Amazon facility in Tijuana. (Jorge Nieto/Special for Border Report)

Others, like Oscar, who operates a food cart selling birria, a stew made out of goat meat, said his business has taken off with the arrival of Amazon.

“For us, since Amazon got here, it’s meant more clientele with the construction workers coming over,” he said.

Oscar expects his business to flourish even more once the warehouse becomes fully operational.

The facility will allow Amazon to provide same-day delivery in the city of Tijuana and throughout Northern Baja California.

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The mission of BorderReport.com is to provide real-time delivery of the untold local stories about people living, working and migrating along the U.S. border with Mexico. The information is gathered by experienced and trusted Nexstar Media Group journalists hired specifically to cover the border.