News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. July 6, 2018: As Mexico prepares for a government transition, diplomatic efforts with its northern neighbor, the United States, are on hold, however one innovative company in the city of Tijuana, where the two countries meet, has turned the breakdown of international relations into an attraction.
While Mexico has chosen its new leader, President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the future of its rocky relationship with the United States remains in doubt.
In a move that many saw as political provocation, President Donald Trump had eight border wall prototypes erected in the desert, facing Mexico.
Javier Reyna, a recent deportee from California, sees these prototypes every day since he now works as a security guard on the Mexican side.
“It makes me very angry. I don’t like them, they should be removed. I’ve been deported, my family’s over there and I’m here staring at that. I’d love to blow them up, the walls,” said Javier.
But the structures have turned into objects of fascination for the American side since they can’t be seen from any public perch in the U.S. It’s a fascination that a Tijuana tour company has turned into a money maker. Founded by Derek Chinn, Turista Libre Mexico now offers to take tourists to visit the prototypes.
“The tours started because as a resident of Tijuana now for eleven years, something as an outside, who moved here, what was always fascinating to me was the proximity of the border, and the way that the border has shaped this local reality here. This concept of human concept of lines in the dirt that separate realities, so to get folks into the city and they can learn more about the current state of the border and then also its history and where we’re coming from,” said Derek.
Derek says in all he’s taken more than ten thousand people to see the wall that separates the two countries.
“Everybody has a different reaction. I think most people that come on the experience with us, given that they are U.S. citizens, the majority, I think the first thing they feel is shame, disgust, rage, anger and people are sometimes moved to tears. From what I’m seeing, I’m just seeing a huge waste of money. There’s an old saying that good fences make good neighbors, but I think this is going a bit too far,” Derek added.
Only a small fraction of the 25-billion dollars President Trump has requested for the border wall has been approved by the U.S. Congress, and right now that’s being spent to fix existing portions.
Whether any of these prototypes will see large-scale production will depend on whether Trump can win that broader funding.
As Mexico’s new administration prepares for government, the hope here is that these prototypes will stand as monuments to a low-point in the Mexican-American relationship, rather than a greater barrier between the two countries. (SOURCE: CCTV)