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“Amistad” connects Del Rio and Ciudad Real Madrid in the migrant crisis | Nationwide

Del Rio, Texas (AP) — Amistad — Spanish for Friendship — connects Del Rio, Texas with the sister cities of Ciudad Akunya, Mexico.

Each year, border communities across the Rio Grande meet to celebrate the bond during the Fiesta de la Amistad. Leaders on both sides of the border gather at the festival to commemorate their common history and the agreement between the United States and Mexico to build the Amistad Dam and Reservoir in the 1960s, sharing an Abrazo, or hug. ..

Relationships are shown in many ways, with workers and families usually going back and forth between Acuña and Del Rio every day. However, that traffic was interrupted for more than a week by the closure of the bridge that connects them and acts as a conduit for commerce, culture and community.Authorities closed the intersection on September 17, after being composed of camps Mainly Haiti immigrants Formed around the Completely cleared As the number of immigrants increased on Friday, US officials announced that the bridge would partially reopen to passenger traffic late Saturday afternoon and cargo traffic on Monday morning.

Some locals are keenly aware of the closure.

Gerald Hernandez, 51, who lives in Acuña, was told that the salary will be reduced by 50% from Wednesday until further notice due to the closure. The materials used at the border assembly plant where he is working on car seat installation are from the US side.

“We were just starting to work again (due to a pandemic) and now this is it, but not because of immigrants. It’s a closure.”

Bruno Rosano, mayor of Del Rio, said Friday that the closure of the bridge brought city tolls to $ 17,000 a day, affecting trade and the daily flow of goods.

In Acuña, dental clinics, cosmetologists and bars were empty, said Luis Angel Uraza, president of the local chamber of commerce. His popular restaurant, Lucia, was inevitable.

However, the sense of peace that pervaded Del Rio, where about 35,000 people are Latin, and Acuña, where about 163,000 people live, has been frayed in recent months due to the frustration of COVID-19’s pandemic between cities. increase. The number of migrants passing through this area continues to grow. The Del Rio Sector is the second area where the US Border Guard has been arrested along the southern border of the United States.

Acuña is known for its generosity and hospitality. Along the violent northern border of Mexico, this relatively safe city grew with the construction of a US-owned border assembly plant known as Maquiladora in the 1980s and 1990s.

Manuel Casillas, owner of Abbey Road, a popular Beatles-themed restaurant and bar, knows what it’s like to live on both sides. He was born in Del Rio and raised in Acuña. He worked in a department store for 35 years in Del Rio. When he retired, he returned to Mexico and opened his dream bar.

Casillas, 65, said he was sad that some of the migrants had been detained.

“I can’t help them and give them a job,” said Casillas, who hired a Cuban dishwasher during the previous surge in migration.

Judge Luis Owens County, an official elected in the highest elections in Val Verde County, including Del Rio, said the two cities are helping each other despite recent challenges. Del Rio officials recently administered more than 2,000 COVID-19 vaccines to Acuña residents, including maquiladora workers, at the border bridge.

However, the presence of camps, which at one time swelled to about 15,000 immigrants, and additional law enforcement agencies on either side of the border made the area turbulent.

According to Owens, residents called him about finding immigrants in their yard. In response, he said, some residents began watering trees and feeding dogs waist pistols.

“People are scared. I think it’s always in our hearts that it can happen again,” Owens said.

Some Del Rio residents criticize the existence of camps and the release of some immigrants to the United States while claiming to stay in the United States for asylum law or other legal reasons in front of an immigration judge. Did.

“You can’t fly anywhere or go to school on a plane. They aren’t vaccinated and go where they want to go. It’s very frustrating for everyone,” the drilling company told Del Rio. Roger Bollinger, who owns the, says.

At the Del Rio Community Center, a non-governmental organization, the Val Verde Border Humanitarian Coalition, helped immigrants throughout the week. release, Providing them with basic necessities and helping them reach American families

“Our focus is on helping our neighbors,” said Tiffany Burrow, Group Operations Director.

Larisa Sanchez, who lives in Del Rio, is familiar with the struggle of immigrants and acknowledged the difficulties facing Haitians while watching her 10-year-old son Leo’s football practice. Her mother was deported as a child, and they spent seven years apart while she lived in Del Rio and her mother lived in Acuña. Her mother is now a legal resident of the United States.

“I’m really sick of them. I’ll do it, but I think they have to go through the process because my mother experienced it,” Sanchez said. “I think I have mixed feelings about it.”


Verza reported from Ciudad Acuña, Mexico.


Follow Juan A. Lozano on Twitter.

“Amistad” connects Del Rio and Ciudad Real Madrid in the migrant crisis | Nationwide

Source link “Amistad” connects Del Rio and Ciudad Real Madrid in the migrant crisis | Nationwide

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