n a few months, the skyline of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez is set for a dramatic transformation. For generations the smokestacks of the American Smelting and Refining Company (Asarco) have towered hundreds of feet over the Rio Grande, first exemplifying and then symbolizing a bygone industrial economy powered by mineral and metals production. Still flashing into the night, the big stack’s red lights serve as a reminder to borderlanders of a history that goes back to the late 19th century.
But according to US and Mexican authorities, as well as citizen activists in the two nations, Asarco left behind a legacy of pollution and sick residents in El Paso, Ciudad Juarez and Anapra/ Sunland Park, New Mexico.
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