Mexico - Nogales crossroads
Photos: Alessandro Gandolfi
Paul Theroux describes the fence in Nogales as "the oddest frontier I have ever seen". A metal fence divides the city into two: on one side boring Arizona with villas and shopping centers, on the other side extravagant Mexico with mariachi, night clubs and low-cost dental clinics. After years of shooting and murders in the street, the drug cartels have stopped fighting and Nogales is again a rich crossroads where the world's North and South meet. Americans who want to have fun and save on their dental surgery come here (prices are 70 percent lower than in the USA). Desperate immigrants from Central America come here to enter the States illegally. Here southern Mexicans, too, come looking for a job, attracted by a fast growing economy. "We have a university, hospitals and hundreds of businesses, it is like a happy island in the middle of the desert" says Nogales's mayor. "We are the new Tijuana, but there is no danger here".