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1 Introduction The line in the middle of the US-Mexico border region is defined in the east by the Rio Grande known as the Ro Bravo in Mexico and in the west by the notorious wire strung Nothing much marks it as the most dramatic international border on earth from San Diego-Tijuana to Brownsville-Matamoros Illustrat1 Here people live on each side without feeling especially divided Here the contrast between poor and rich is omnipresent but on the same time seen as normal The desert is just as dry the horizon just as long the weather just as unreliable no matter where one stands Here daily life takes on a quality that is different from the life in either country the region is said to divide There are people on the US side who speak no English read no US newspapers watch no US television On the Mexican side consumer tastes and social trends reflect those of the land to the north The US-Mexico border is a region where the social dynamics of integration are clearly evident The border provides a prime opportunity to examine the benefits and problems associated with the current project of social and economic restructuring For all of its specials and mysteries the border region could become the biggest asset of both countries Many believe that the last developments like NAFTA have already served for the creation of a region that goes its own way in joining culture traditions and economy without sticking to old nationalist beliefs This paper gives a brief overview of the historical facts which created this unique area and deals with the remaining economic social and cultural problems for the next millenium on the line between developed and developing 2 The Border in History Mexico and the USA settled the border with the signing of the Guadalupe Hidalgo Treaty in 1848 and the Gadsden Purchase in 1853 But long before there was a
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