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Military, Barbed Wire Could Spell Trouble For Nogales Business

As Arizonans went to the polls in record numbers Tuesday, the U.S. military was stringing razor wire along the border in downtown Nogales, Arizona. Some are worried that more hostile look could impact business in Arizona and Sonora.

“These actions have a strong impact,” said Juan Carlos Ruiz, head of the Nogales, Sonora branch of Canaco, Mexico’s chamber of commerce.

He pointed to the importance of Arizona tourists to the economy in Nogales, and said razor wire does not send a welcoming message. He also said that it could impact Sonoran visitation of Nogales, Arizona, which depends heavily on Mexican shoppers.

A similar plan to add razor wire was abandoned in 2013 after local opposition, according to the Nogales International.

But wire or no wire, Ruiz says, the two cities are still neighbors.

Murphy Woodhouse was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2018 to 2023.