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On the sidewalk outside La Mina. the waiters keep a lonely v 11859

On the sidewalk outside La Mina. the waiters keep a lonely vigil, scanning the horizon for anyone they might coax inside to buy a drink. U.S. visitors to Mexico used to make this bar one of the busiest gathering places in the border city of Nuevo Laredo. That was before September 11, 2001. These days La Mina is just about empty. Business is down 70 percent, says the owner, Juan  Miguel Anzaldúa, 48. Most of his regular patrons are staying home in Texas, and Anzaldúa is worried. "I haven't fired anybody yet", he says. "But I don't know how much longer I can avoid it."            Business are teetering alI along the U.S. - Mexico frontier. Employees and customers used to cross the border as easily as crossing the street. Now every port of entry in both directions is on a maximum alert. Cops and Customs officials from Tijuana to Matamoros have tightend security. At some checkpoints the new procedures are forcing drivers to wait three hours or more to cross. In Nuevo Laredo, the gateway for 40 percent of Mexico's exports to the U.S., officials say the volume of traffic has shrunk 35 percent. The disruption only worsens the pain already inflicted on the region by the U.S. economic slowdown. Businessmen in Tijuana say their sales have dropped by half. Trucking firms in Ciudad Juárez say they are losing $100,000 a day. Many local residents are wondering if things will ever be the same.(Adaptado de Newsweek, novembro de 2001)De acordo com o texto:

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