• UCL Twitter account
  • UCL YouTube channel
  • UCL Facebook page
  • UCL SoundCloud channel
  • UCL iTunes store

Information for Staff


Select dates to view past and future events

18:00 - 19:30 14 November 2017

Trump's Wall at Nixon's Border: How Richard Nixon's 'Operation Intercept' of 1969 laid foundations for the Hemispheric Drug War and the Border Wall


Lecture Room 103 | UCL – Institute of the Americas (link Map)
51 Gordon Square | London | WC1H 0PQ | United Kingdom

Open to: Alumni | Public | Academic | Student
Admission: Free
Ticketing: Pre-booking essential

Speaker information

Patrick Timmons, Patrick Timmons lives in Mexico City, and is a translator, freelance human rights investigator and lawyer, journalist and historian of modern Mexico and the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. Timmons has an M.Phil. in Latin American Studies from Cambridge (1998), a Ph.D. in History from the University of Texas at Austin (2004) and an LL.M. in International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex (2013). He is an Americas specialist working in the following subject areas around politics, law, culture and society: freedom of expression, enforced disappearances, right to life and the death penalty, rights of children and right to a family life, migration, and the U.S.-Mexico border. Timmons's research on the transfrontier metropolis of Ciudad Ju

Patrick Timmons - In September 1969 the Nixon Administration launched Operation Intercept along the U.S.-Mexico border and at each of its crossing points. Intercept's stated aims were to end trafficking of marijuana and pills from Mexico to the United States. Intercept brought more than 2,000 federal agents to the border, most of whom were involved in searching every single person, vehicle or plane as they crossed northwards. With Intercept, the border bottleneck was born, and the people who waited in the long lines of cars -- and people in cities and towns along the Mexican border -- began to experience a new found separation that created a new border-crossing people.

This paper discusses the chaos Intercept sowed, and argues that it created the modern conception of the U.S.-Mexico border. Intercept made good on an election campaign promise Nixon made at a rally in Southern California.


Oscar Martinez
+44 (0)2031089721 | ucl-ia@ucl.ac.uk


More information