La Equis (The X) – Ciudad Juárez, Mexico - Atlas Obscura

La Equis (The X)

A giant "X" symbolizes the blood spilled from the brutal Juárez drug wars. 

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Situated along the troubled border between Ciudad Juárez and El Paso, the scene of many drug-related fatalities, is a sculpture symbolizing a more hopeful cause. 

The X, or La Equis is located in Juarez on the south bank of the Rio Grande. Designed by Mexican sculptor Enrique Carbajal González, also known as Sebastián, the two towers intersecting in an “X” shape represents the merging of two cultures in Mexico: the indigenous Aztecs and the Spanish.

The sculpture symbolizes the “Nahui Ollin,” the fifth age of creation, according to Aztec mythology. It’s a tribute to the first Mexican president with Aztec roots, Benito Juárez, who helped integrate the two cultures and who the city of Juárez is named after.

The nearly 200-foot-tall public art piece is located in the Plaza de la Mexicanidad, a public square that includes grassy areas, an acoustical shell, and an outdoor theater. At the middle of the “X,” a viewing area is planned to look out over El Paso and Juárez.

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