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US Unveils New Mexican Consulate Building In Juarez

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (AP) – U.S. State Department officials unveiled a massive new consulate Monday in Ciudad Juarez, which is the world’s busiest cityfor immigrant visas.

The $66 million consulate building, under construction since early 2006, will open to the public on Wednesday.

Consulate official Laura Dogu said the building has doubled capacity with more than 100 service windows and has made security improvements.

The Juarez consulate is the world’s busiest, handling the most immigrant visas of any such facility. It is the only site in Mexico to apply for a U.S. immigrant visa.

The new gray building is several miles from the existing consulate, which sits in a busy part of central Ciudad Juarez. It is well away from crowded neighborhoods plagued by violence amid a bloody power struggle between drug cartels.

Ciudad Juarez, with a population of 1.3 million, sees near daily shootouts and gruesome killings. Seven people were killed Monday, including a man whose burned and headless body was found dumped in front of a police station.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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