The Michigan Daily - Weekend, etc. Mam~
8B - The Michigan Daily - Weekend, etc. Magazine - Thursday, March 15, 2001
Workers in the Maquiladora industry walk along a dirt road of the Las Torres colonia in Nogales, Mexico.
left is used three times daily to transport workers of the community to and from the Maquiladoras.
onco sits on the American side of the U.S.-Mexican border monitoring to prevent "illegals" from entering the United States.
On the United States side of the border, men
agents wait in a holding cell before being ret
increasingly militarized in recent years.
wall of metal created from scraps of retired Gulf War military
machinery snakes through the desert of the southwest dividing the
United States from Mexico. While it is a wall designed to curb the
movement of human beings, it is a wall with holes that are open to the flow
of goods and services from the "third world" to the "first."
Although the implementation of the North American Free Trade
Agreement in 1994 was expected to decrease internal migration of people to
the border region of Mexico, border cities have continue to expand rapidly.
The population of many border towns like Nogales, Mexico has.grown by
nearl 1,000 percent during the last 30 years. This unsustainable rate of
growth has had devastating effects on the people who live in these areas.
Almost daily, new colonias - shanty communities of corrugated metal and
cement - pop up on the hills surrounding these cities. Many of these colo-
nias exist without government infrastructure, causing the citizens there to
endure without proper sanitation, water and electricity.
In addition to the harsh conditions in the colonias, workers living in
these communities struggle to survive on Mexican wages of approximately
five dollars a day while they are compelled to pay higher prices than most
Americans for basic food and domestic supplies. The average Maquiladora
worker needs to labor 4.5 hours just to purchase a gallon of milk. For a U.S.
worker making minimum wage, this would be like spending $22 to buy milk.
The U.S.-Mexican border is a region of the world that highlights the
disparities of globalization. While NAFTA was hailed as a solution to many
of Mexico's economic problems, in border cities like Nogales, it is difficult
to see how this trade agreement has benefited the people there.
Afbrmer employee of the Quality Art Maquiladora in Nogales, Mexico uses candle light to see insidet
the factory in which she once'worked. She is one of 12 people'currently occupying the factory in a
fight to receive back wages.
A young boy from the Flores-Magon colonia plays
one of the newest colonias in Nogales, Mexico.