Arts & Entertainment

Protest painting on US-Mexico border shows Biden, Trump kissing

Tijuana, Mexico, Mar 29 (EFE).- A kiss between former US President Donald Trump and the current one, Joe Biden, can be seen in a painting on a portion of the US-Mexico border wall, a protest by activists denouncing immigration restrictions and the rebuilding of the barrier that Washington is carrying out in Friendship Park, which sits on both sides of the border in San Diego, California, and Tijuana, Mexico.

Because of the construction under way in the park, activists created the large painting on the Tijuana side of the border wall.

Mexican artists Chris Cuauhtli and Javier Salazar Rojas are the authors of the work showing Trump and Biden getting cozy, an image that is accompanies by the caption in English and Spanish saying: “My God, help me to survive this deadly love.”

Activist Tania Mendoza said that the painting is “a representation of the iconic image from the 1990s, when the fall of the Berlin Wall occurred.”

“(It’s) a way for us to demonstrate against these absurd decisions that are being made and are harming the migrant community,” she told reporters.

The Friends of Binational Friendship Park organization for several months has been asking that the construction work be halted, and the group also opposes the rebuilding of the wall, which US authorities are thinking of renovating and raising another 10 meters (33 feet).

They have also pointed to the damage to the site, which has been a key location for family reunification.

Moreover, the wall acquired further relevance after about 40 migrants died in a fire this week at a National Immigration Institute (INM) facility in Ciudad Juarez, which borders on El Paso, Texas.

Mendoza told reporters that with the rebuilding of the wall “the migrants seeking to cross into the United States are being put at risk and, above all, the flora and fauna that exist in the binational region are being harmed.”

Daniel Watman, the coordinator of the organization, told the media that the workers contracted to carry out the construction work “are here destroying the park.”

Despite the insistence on preserving a space that “has signified that cordial and bilateral relationship that for many years has been maintained between the two countries,” Watman said, the US government has taken no notice of the protests and for several months contractors have been seen working at the site.

Watman said that, for him, it’s important to document the process “because in this way (the news) can get to many more people about what’s being done and the effects it can have,” mainly on the separated families – some of them living in the US and others in Mexico – who can no longer meet there and chat through the former border fence.

“It makes me feel sad, but by documentinig it in general I feel that it’s possible to stop it. There’s a lot of support for halting it and perhaps we’ll achieve that in this way,” he said.

US Customs and Border Protection announced in February the start of the construction work, which had been pushed by Trump during his administration but has now been resumed by the Biden administration, something that activists see as a betrayal.

“It’s sad to see how Biden, in the end, lied to us, since he told us that not another foot of the wall would be built. But Biden broke his promises and how sad it is that, in all this, this very symbolic space that allowed family members to see one another, albeit from a distance, may be lost,” Mendoza said.

Mexico is currently experiencing a record migration wave, with 2.76 million undocumented migrants having been detained on the border with the US during Fiscal Year 2022 and, according to figures provided by the International Organization for Migration last Tuesday, the migrant flow in Mexico has increased by 8 percent.

EFE –/bp

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