Statement regarding BLAC and HEPAC

May 4, 2015

Dear Friends,

The BorderLinks United States (BLUS) Board of Directors is pleased to announce a transition in leadership of the BorderLinks AsociaciónCivíl (BLAC) Board of Directors. BLAC is the bi-national board that was formedin the year of 1997 in order to oversee the property on which the good work of Hogar de Esparanza y Paz Associación (HEPAC) has taken place over the past 5 years. The BLAC structure is similar to a US non-profit board of directors.

In order to reflect our shared values of dignity, autonomy and mutually respectful relationship in international partnership, on April 21, 2015, three new associates and three new members of the BLAC board were elected, creating a board of seven, which includes HEPAC Program Director Jeannette Pazos. All but one member of the new BLAC Board are Mexican citizens. BLUS feels strongly that this action represents the very best of our efforts to put into practice our values of dignity, fairness, equality and integrity on the border.

To clarify some questions we have received from concerned individuals in the U.S., Neither BLUS or BLAC has taken any action to evict HEPAC from the BLAC property. The new BLAC Board of Directors has asked two non-staff individuals who were living on the BLAC property without legal agreement or rent to leave by May 1, 2015.

Members of the BLAC Board of Directors have informed BLUSthat they are excited to continue  supporting the  work and needs that the local community have identified as a priority in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, which includes the Food Security Program for Children. BLAC has expressed interest in working with the most vulnerable communities:  children, women, men, migrants, youth and families. The BLUS Board anticipates ongoing partnership and service with HEPAC and BLAC in Nogales, Sonora.

Should you have additional questions about BLAC and HEPAC, please contact the president of the BLAC Board of Directors Alma Angelina (Lika) Macias Mejia, The BLAC board members are:

Alma Angelina (Lika) MaciasMejia, President
Luz Irene ChavarinDominguez, Vice-President
Ana Delia ChavarinDominguez, Treasurer
Rosa Maria Robles Tasabia, Secretary
Jeannette Pazos
Maria Esther Torres Robles

Both boards would like to thank the three long-time Associate/Trustees who resigned from the BLAC board this month after many years of service. They are Ken Kennon, Delle McCormick, and Cecilia Guzman. The four Associate/Trustees on the BLAC board are now: Alma Angelina (Lika) Macias Mejia, Luz Irene Chavarin Dominguez, Rosa Maria Robles Tasabia and Ana Delia Chavarin.

BLUS approaches this new chapter in our bi-national partnership with BLAC with humility, anticipation and great hope.

Thank you for your support of BLUS, BLAC and HEPAC and most of all, thank you for your passion for justice in the borderlands.



Josefina Ahumada                             Fernanda Morillon
BorderLinks US                                 BorderLinks US
Board Co-President                          Executive Director


Laura Folkwein                        Board Co-President
Maria Cabrera-Ochoa           Vice-President
David Coatsworth                  Treasurer
Kenneth Kennon                     Secretary
Emrys Staton                           Board member
Miriam Davidson                    Board member
Pat Manning                             Board member
Dan Millis                                   Board member




Please join us for  Women on the Border! 
Sunday, April 12 at 5:00pm 
Most Holy Trinity Parish
1300 North Greasewood Road
Tucson, AZ 85745.


BorderLinks is celebrating 27 years of providing educational programs that bring people to the US-Mexico border (and beyond), to listen, learn, and strategize for positive social change.  Our annual Women on the Border event will honor Laurie Melrood, who exemplifies the mission and spirit of BorderLinks, and we are pleased to have the leadership ofLupe Castillo and Margo Cowan as honorary chairpersons of the 2015 Benefit Committee.


Laurie Melrood, this year’s Women on the Border awardee, received her MSSW from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is licensed with the State of Kansas.  Her career with diverse children and families spans over 30 years.  She was founding director ofthe KARE Family Center for relatives raising children, and served as adoptions examiner and CASA coordinator of the Court Appointed Special Advocates program at the Pima County Juvenile Court.  Laurie participated in US sanctuary work in South Texas from 1982-1987, was a founding member of the Rio Grande Defense committee and coordinator of the Rio Grande Border Witness program, hosting scores of delegations from around the country. Laurie is currently a family services consultant to local immigrant support organizations, among other activities.


Lupe and Margo have been involved in civil rights and immigration struggles since the1960’s.   Lupe Castillo has worked side by side with the Chicano Movement, el Concilio Manzo, Sanctuary Movement, Pueblo Por La Paz, BorderLands Theater, Derechos Humanos, Samaritans, No More Deaths, BorderLinks, and other organizing groups.  Lupe also taught  history and Chicano Studies at Pima Community College.  Margo Cowan began her social activism in high school under the mentorship of Father Fowler at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, a center of civil rights activities.  She  was trained as an organizer by Cesar Chavez and worked with the farm worker movement organizing in the San Diego/Tijuana area.  Since 1976, she has practiced law in defense of the undocumented community.  Margo is a public defender, representing non-citizens charged with serious felonies. Margo and Lupe are married, and together have shared a love for justice.


The Reverend Alison J. Harrington will be our keynote speaker of the evening.  Alison became Southside’s Pastor in January, 2009 bringing with her a passion for Christ and for social justice. In 2010 Alison was named one of Tucson’s 40 under 40, and in 2011 she was awarded the Beatitudes Society Brave Preacher Award. She was a Beatitudes Society Fellow in 2013-2014 and The Center for American Progress recently named her one of the 15 Faith Leaders to watch in 2015.