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Statue of Benito Juárez unveiled at Chamizal National Memorial

El Paso, Texas -- A special day years in the making. Sunday a bronze statue of Mexican President Benito Juarez was unveiled at Chamizal National Memorial.

The statue of Benito unveiled in El Paso is a gesture of unity to Mexico. Back in 1964, a bronze Abraham Lincoln statue was placed near Parque Chamizal in Juárez. The two statues unite two cities across the border. 

"I was 9 years old when the monument was put on the Mexico side and now I'm much older,' said Carmen Venzor, an El Pasoan.

58 years ago U.S President Lyndon B. Johnson and Mexico President Adolfo Lopez Mateos, met at the top of the Stanton street bridge. They shook hands and officially ended a century-long border conflict.

"To be able to have this monument placed here at the Chamizal. It symbolizes the friendship between the two countries,' said Kenna Ramirez President XII Travelers Memorial of the Southwest series.

That friendship is represented in monuments initiated by both countries’ presidents at that time. El Paso finally fulfilled its commitment.

Benito Juárez was selected as the muse because of his accomplishments in Mexico.

"Benito Juarez as a boy- he was illiterate Zapotec Indian kid and then what he became- great governor president statesman icon," said Ethan Taliesin Houser, the artist.

The gesture ended a 100-year-old boundary dispute between Mexico and the United States.

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Sarah Coria

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