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A World of Border Walls
Introduction Since the 7th century people has build walls to divide or separate possessions, people and land from unwelcome individuals. Today, many centuries after the Great Wall of China initiated its construction, we are still building walls to separate possessions, people and land from those individuals located outside the walls. Building walls is part of the human history; almost every nation at some point has built walls of different nature and characteristics and for may different reasons. For the most part, many of these walls were built to protect cities against the aggression of tribes, rebel groups or the organized crime like in the case of not long ago pirates in search of treasure and pleasure. We still can see many of the fortified cities in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Today’s political and economic environment has dramatically changed since those days; today the nations of the world speak about Globalization, common markets, trade agreements and borderless transit of citizens to propel commerce, education, exchange of knowledge and progress in all fronts of the human activity. In the middle of all these human activities not all nations have accumulated comparable growth, development and stability, both economic and political. Today, there are some very rich nations and many extremely poor ones. As a direct result of this inequality, two ill-conceived phenomena have emerged as a direct consequence of this fact: Human Trafficking and Human Displacement. Although the subject is vast and complex, Human Trafficking finds its roots at the center of the most economically devastated environments. Nations with a high index of poverty have the highest incidence of Human Trafficking numbers. The promise of a far away job well paid is the most intense and profound factor of attraction for any person with a wage of $2.50 per week and in some cases not even every two weeks. Human Displacement is the new human catastrophe. In recent years according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 4.8 million have fled to Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq, and 6.6 million are internally displaced within Syria. Meanwhile about one million have requested asylum to Europe. With this and other points of human displacement around the world, the key word ILEGAL MIGRATION, has taken a new tone and many nations have embarked in the construction of border walls to protect their nationals by keeping the needy individuals off their national walls. Globalization Globalization was supposed to tear down barriers, but security fears and a widespread refusal to help migrants and refugees have fuelled a new spate of wall-building across the world, with a third of the world's countries constructing them along their borders. When the Berlin Wall was torn down a quarter-century ago, there were 16 border fences around the world. Today, there are 65 either completed or under construction, according to Quebec University expert Elisabeth Vallet. World of walls How 65 countries have erected fences on their borders – four times as many as when the Berlin Wall was toppled – as governments try to hold back the tide of migrants? Security fears and a widespread refusal to help refugees have fuelled a new spate of wall-building around the world A third of the world's countries have completed or are building barriers – compared to 16 at the fall of the Berlin Wall They include Israel's 'apartheid wall', India's 2,500- mile fence around Bangladesh and Morocco's huge sand 'berm' Experts are dismissive, saying: 'Their main function is theatre. They provide the sense of security, not real security'  From Israel's separation barrier (or 'apartheid wall' as it is known by the Palestinians), to the 2,500-mile barbed-wire fence India is building around Bangladesh, to the enormous sand 'berm' that separates Morocco from rebel-held parts of the Western Sahara – walls and fences are ever-more popular with politicians wanting to look tough on migration and security. US president Donald Trump has made plans for a wall along the border with Mexico – to keep out what he called 'criminals, drug dealers, rapists' – central to his inflammatory campaign. Yet experts say there is little proof of their effectiveness in stopping people crossing borders. In July, Hungary's right-wing government began building a four-metre- high (13 feet) fence along its border with Serbia to stanch the flow of refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. 'We have only recently taken down walls in Europe; we should not be putting them up,' was one EU spokesperson's exasperated response. Three other countries – Kenya, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – are all constructing border fences in a bid to keep out jihadist groups next door in Somalia, Iraq and Syria. Seven miles of barrier have already been erected along the border at Reyhanli town in Hatay province - a main point for smuggling and border-crossing from Syria - the private Dogan news agency said. The fence in Turkey will eventually stretch for 28 miles along a key stretch of its border with Syria.  But the Turkish wall pales into insignificance when compared to the multi-layered fence which will one day stretch 600 miles from Jordan to Kuwait along Saudi's border with Iraq - a line of defense against ISIS. But in spite of the aggressive symbolism, it is not clear that walls are truly effective. 'The one thing all these walls have in common is that their main function is theatre,' said Marcello Di Cintio, author of 'Walls: Travels Along the Barricades'. 'You can't dismiss that illusion, it's important to people, but they provide the sense of security, not real security.' The limits of their effectiveness are visible everywhere - not least, with the migrants and refugees sitting on top of the fence along the border with Morocco and the small Spanish enclave of Mellila, on the North African coast. Even the fearsome Berlin Wall with its trigger-happy sentries still leaked thousands of refugees even in its most forbidding years. Supporters of walls say a few leaks are better than a flood. But, Di Cintio argues we must also consider the psychological price they exact. He cites the Native American Tohono O'odham tribe, whose elders started to die off in apparent grief when the Mexican border fence cut them off from their ceremonial sites. Their story carries shades of the 'wall disease' diagnosed by Berlin psychologist Dietfried Muller-Hegemann in the 1970s after he found heightened levels of depression, alcoholism and domestic abuse among those living in the shadow of the barricade. Di Cintio also talked to Bangladeshi farmers suddenly cut off from their neighbours when India erected the simple barbed-wire fence between them in the last decade. Within a few months, he said, they had started expressing distrust and dislike for 'those people' on the other side. 'I was struck every time at how a structure so simple as a wall or fence can have these profound psychological effects,' says Di Cintio. At a localised level, a wall offers more security than no wall. But they do little to address the roots of insecurity and migration – global asylum applications and terrorist attacks have risen hugely despite the flurry of wall-building. Rather, they just force groups to adapt. They are mostly effective against the poorest and most desperate, says Reece Jones, a University of Hawaii professor and author of 'Border Walls: Security and the War on Terror in the United States, India and Israel'. 'Well-funded drug cartels and terrorist groups are not affected by walls at all because they have the resources to enter by safer methods, most likely using fake documents,' he said.   Shutting down border crossings only 'funnels immigrants to more dangerous routes through the deserts of the US southwest or on rickety boats across the Mediterranean. 'The substantial increase in deaths at borders is the predictable result,' said Jones. More than 40,000 people have died trying to migrate since 2000, the International Organization for Migration said last year. Real border control comes only through the slow, exhaustive work of building ties and sharing information with other countries, says Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly, from Canada's University of Victoria. 'But with the intense flows of people we see today, walls are perhaps necessary for politicians. 'They tap into old myths about what borders should be – the line in the sand – which humans relate to,' he said. 'It's a lot more difficult for people to accept that diplomatic cooperation and sharing databases are much more effective in the long term.' How much will President Trump’s Wall cost? Based on a previous PVC article titled: Could the Wall Between Mexico and United States Stop Illegal Immigration? The amount of components needed to cover the entire border between the United States and Mexico (blocks, concrete columns, foundation, labor and constructors markup) may produce a total cost of about 125 billion dollars. If history repeats, this new wall will not stop the passing of drugs to the interior of the United States. The ONLY ONE THING that could totally stop the smuggling of drugs is the stopping of drugs-consumption.
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