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Same as it Ever was: the Tijuana River Sewage Crisis, Non-State Actors, and the State

By: James M. Cooper

Sewage- a scary mixture of human waste and industrial toxins- flows into the Tijuana River Valley, a waterway that has long been an environmentally sensitive area. The Tijuana River Watershed covers a 1,735-square-mile area that straddles the United Mexican States ("Mexico") and the United States of America, with seventy percent of its area in Mexico. Millions of gallons of raw sewage have polluted the area for years. So much sewage has made its way into the Tijuana River that in September of 202, CBS TV's 60 Minutes investigative team broadcasted a special report on the binational environmental disaster.

This Article first looks at what has traditionally been the sole subject of international law and relations: sovereign States. The State remains the primary actor in international law, international relations and along the U.S.-Mexico border, but it is not the only actor. The State- centricity of international law dominates when it comes to the provision of resources for solving binational problems like the sewage coming from the Tijuana River.

This documentary is a supplement to Professor Cooper's article published in Volume 5 Issue 2. It details the Tijuana River sewage crisis and is co-directed and co-produced by James Cooper and Sebastián Vives del Solar. It is also written and narrated by James Cooper.


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