Border Militarization Sparks The Interest Of Some Tourists

By Kendal Blust
Published: Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 9:03am
Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 9:40am

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Letter to Trump border wall
Kendal Blust/KJZZ
A local resident posted a letter addressed to President Trump saying the "gruesome barbed wire" on the border demeans U.S: citizens who have to live with the new view.

The deployment of troops to the border and rows of concertina wire strung up on the border fence in Nogales, Arizona can be intimidating to local residents and visitors, said Manuel Corral, economic development director in Nogales, Sonora.

Nogales is a safe place for tourists to visit, he said, and border militarization can make it harder to share that message.

"The wire, everything, it affects us. To say it doesn't would be like lying," he said.

But, he added, it’s also strengthened cross-border relationships, and increased national attention to the border region in the U.S. has also sparked some people’s curiosity.

"In that way, it doesn't stop tourism," he said. "Tourists want to come and see."

Rather then scaring them away it’s made some tourists want to come to the border and see what's happening for themselves.

And while Sonoran officials can't control what the U.S. does on the north side of the border, Corral said, they can control how they respond to the situation by taking advantage of the interest that militarization has created.

Last week, the city council in Nogales, Arizona passed a resolution condemning the installation of concertina wire on the border fence.

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