Institutional Shrouds: National Sovereignty and Environmental NGOs

  • Kathleen Staudt
  • Irasema Coronado


The bad blood and distrust that President Fox mentions are indeed obstacles to cross-border cooperation. In border communities, where there is interaction every day of the week, the words of Vicente Fox resonate differently to borderlanders, who in many instances have deep-rooted trusting (and untrusting) relationships with people on the other side of the border. Unlike people at the respective centers of power who deal with bilateral issues from a distance, border people are actively engaged in the binational arena in all aspects of daily life, whether it is for good or bad. Examples of trusting and non-trusting relationships abound on the border. For example, maids from Ciudad Juárez who cross to clean houses and take care of young children or others’ elderly parents and enter people’s homes and lives obviously have trusting relationships with those who employ them. There are people in El Paso who avoid going to Ciudad Juárez because they are afraid of crime and distrustful of authorities. There are El Pasoans who, despite the fact that they were born in Ciudad Juárez, now report that they “haven’t been there in years.” Some El Pasoans report going to doctors in Ciudad Juárez “porque le tengo más confianza a los doctores” (I trust the doctors more). Cultural affinities and the ability to speak to someone who speaks your language are important factors for deepening trust and understanding.


Wastewater Treatment Plant United States Environmental Protection Agency Border Region Waste Water Treatment Plant Environmental Defense 
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Copyright information

© Kathleen Staudt and Irasema Coronado 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathleen Staudt
  • Irasema Coronado

There are no affiliations available

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