Health & Safety, Housing

Feces & Urine Problem In Downtown El Paso

From KTSM.com, NewsChannel 9, Staff, 25 May 2011.

EL PASO, TX – It’s disgusting, unsanitary and it’s going to leave you shaking your head. Migrant workers have turned a Downtown El Paso alley into a gigantic toilet.

Human urine stains the walls and feces is piled up in an alley that’s just blocks away from the Convention Center and other tourist hotspots.

“If they don’t let you go inside, you have to go anywhere. That’s why El Paso is like that,” Roberto Miranda said.

Miranda is a migrant worker. He sleeps outside of the Farm Workers Center, like at-least one-hundred other people, and he waits for work in the early morning hours. The disgusting alley is around the corner from the center. Miranda admits the migrant workers us it as their personal toilet.

“No, nobody thinks this is sanitary,” Miranda said.

He told us the migrant workers have no choice but to use the restroom outside.

“We don’t want to do that, but all the time when we want to go inside they say ‘no,'” he said.

We questioned the Director of the Farm Workers Center. He told us the people that urinate and defecate in the alleys are not migrant workers.

“Most of the people in the street are homeless people,” Carlos Marentes said.

Marentes told us the alley isn’t his problem.

“That’s a problem by the city. That’s a social problem the city needs to address,” he said.

We also spoke to neighbors.

“Hepatitis A, B and C can be in any of those mounds of feces, and they’re all over the place,” Randy French said.

Despite being concerned for his family’s health, French doesn’t think the problem is the migrant workers.

“Parts of me blame them, especially the ones who get really drunk. The biggest part no, because they have no facilities,” he said.

French says he’s reported the problem to the city, but he says the city has ignored his pleas for help.

“I think somebody through the city should be responsible for cleaning up all the mess, and the quick fix is porta potties,” he said.

Today Mayor John Cook told us he’s been well aware of the problem, but he said he doesn’t know how to fix it. He said he’s already sent Code Enforcement out, but he says they need to catch the people in the act. He says that hasn’t happened.

Tonight we’re still waiting for the City of El Paso to tell us who is responsible for the cleanup.

Source and view video report: KTSM.com, NewsChannel 9, “Feces & Urine Problem In Downtown El Paso” by Staff, 25 May 2011.

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