Access to border monument sometimes denied by private property owners

Monument One

EL PASO, Texas - ABC-7 viewers say they have had difficulties accessing Monument One, a historical marker near private property at the spot where Texas, New Mexico and Mexico meet.

Monument One is the first in a series of obelisks and markings that go all the way from El Paso to Tijuana, but to visit Monument One you have to go through private property, and the owners of the road don't want people going through.

The International Boundary and Water Commission owns parts of Brickland Road, the other parts are owned by the American Eagle Brick Company, which has cut off access to the public.

ABC-7 spoke with one of the company's co-owners, who said he doesn't mind people visiting the monument, but is afraid of possible criminal activity along the border.

"I don't know who's up to no good and who's not, so like I said, I'm gonna put my safety first," said Jeff Allen, one of the property co-owners, "The fewer people we allow down here, which is our right, the safer we are."

Allen said he and his dog, Athena, have been attacked by people on the Mexican side of the border who have thrown rocks at them. He said one person even came to the American side and was chasing Athena and hitting her with a pipe.

Allen said it goes beyond keeping himself physically safe by restricting access. He also hopes not allowing people through will work on the larger scale. "If I can stop one drug trafficker from passing package off, I may have saved somebody's life," Allen said.

The Boundary Commission explained the portion of the road owned by the federal government is open for the public to use. That federally-owned portion of the road begins at Anapra Road and continues south for nearly half a mile. At that point, you reach the portion of the road owned by the brick company.That portion runs south to the Mexican border. In that area, the federal government owns the final portion of Brickland Road leading up to the monument at the border. However, that portion of the road is adjacent to the brick company and access is sometimes denied by the owners.

Allen explained he's open to people visiting the monument if he knows who will be attending. He will allow people to go through as long as they call ahead.

If you or a group would like to schedule a visit to Monument One you can call the American Eagle Brick Company to schedule a visit at (915) 545-2221.

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