FNS: Twin Cities Post-September 11: San Luis, Arizona and San Luis, Sonora
- October 11, 2001
Twin Cities Post-September 11: San Luis, Arizona and San Luis, Sonora
Life in San Luis, Arizona, a border town of approximately 15,000 people, has changed since September 11 and residents now have fears and concerns that were simply inconceivable prior to last month's attack on the US. Alex Joe Harper, mayor of San Luis, Arizona, told the San Luis, Sonora newspaper La Crónica that the city has taken extraordinary steps to protect its drinking water from terrorist attack.
As per instructions from the federal government, the mayor also said that the city has taken measures to protect its fire trucks so that they may not be hijacked and loaded with explosives to be used against a federal building.
Harper told the San Luis, Sonora newspaper La Crónica that, in general, his community is calm but he recognized that economic activity in the city has been negatively affected by lengthy inspection procedures that are now in place at the border. He also stated that he did not know how long the heightened border security measures would last and recognized that long waits at the border have especially affected people that come to work in San Luis, Arizona from Mexico.
In an editorial for La Crónica, entitled "War Psychosis," writer Manuel Angulo said that inspections at the international port of entry are so intense that they make a person feel as if any gesture, word or movement could be taken the wrong way.
Following the recent anthrax case in Florida, Angulo said an atmosphere exists in which everyone thinks that a stray bag could be an explosive, that a person who us gives a strange look could be a terrorist and that if someone sneezes it must be because someone set off a biological weapon.
Despite theses worries, Angulo believes that fear most manifests itself in the economy. Because it is now more difficult for Sonora shoppers to go to Arizona, the importance of Mexicans to the US economy has been revealed yet again.
Angulo argues against the US attitude that Mexicans should be grateful for being able to come to the US to shop and work. It should be the reverse, he writes. "Who buys every type of item in San Luis, Arizona during the Christmas season? Who harvests Yuma's fields? Whose effort is it that advances transnational companies that operate in the most important cities?"
Angulo believes that now is not the time for Mexico to take on servile or submissive attitudes. Instead, Mexico should demand what belongs to it in the field of international relations, he says.
He concludes by writing, "The economies of the two San Luis are intimately related and a scare in one city affects the other. Let's hope that, for the good of the two communities that live together in this border region, that the tension and psychosis of the war do not end up drowning us all."
Source: La Crónica (San Luis), October 11, 2001. Articles by Manuel Angulo. --
On-line news coverage of the US-Mexico border
To see our site or subscribe for free to our daily news service go to: