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Border Crossing in National Park to Reopen

WASHINGTON (CN) - United States Customs and Border Protection and the National Park Service plan to reopen the Boquillas border crossing and customs station between the United States and Mexico in the Big Bend National Park.

Prior to 2002, visitors to the park could follow its uninterrupted ecosystems across the Rio Grande River into Mexico's Parque Nacional Canon de Santa Elena. The crossing was closed in May of that year due to increased security concerns after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

In May 2010, President Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderón issued a joint statement pledging to protect wild areas on both sides of the Rio Grande, and encouraged agencies of both nations to cooperate to improve the physical and ecological security of the region. Customs and Border Patrol said reopening of the Boquillas crossing is a direct result of the joint statement.

Big Bend is named for the bend where the course of the Rio Grande River - which serves as part of the border between the U.S. and Mexico - turns north after following a southeasterly course from Ciudad Juarezs before switching back on its long journey to the Gulf of Mexico.

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