El Paso and Ciudad Juárez lie together uncomfortably like an estranged couple, surrounded on all sides by mountains and desert. The cities are separated by the thin trickle of the Rio Grande, which flows through concrete channels, built to put an end to the river’s natural habit of changing course and muddying boundaries. One side is Texas; the other, Mexico. The border’s way of life — its business, legitimate and otherwise — has always relied upon the circumvention of this dividing line.
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