Diana Vallejo

Oscar winner Benicio Del Toro dedicated his award to Ambos Nogales during his acceptance speech at the 73rd Annual Academy Awards held Sunday night. "We filmed this movie from Washington, D.C., to San Diego, California and Id like to dedicate this to the cities of Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Mexico," Del Toro said holding up his Oscar for best supporting actor in the movie, "Traffic." Nogales is a stand-in for Tijuana in the movie. Backstage, Del Toro explained to reporters why he dedicated his Oscar to Nogales. "When you go on location, you go into peoples neighborhoods all over the country, all over the world," Del Toro said. "As an actor, the location is so important. The people are so humble and so beautiful that it made it easy for me to get into it. I think it helped the film. So thats what I meant." An estimated 80 million viewers tuned in to watch the Academy Awards and city administrators are ecstatic with the publicity it has given the city. "I thought it was fantastic," said Nogales City Mayor Marco Lopez Jr. "Because it is giving the City of Nogales the positive light it deserves. Lately weve had negative remarks because of the drug tunnels and by dedicating his award to our city, its putting the city in good light, and letting everyone know that we are a growing community and we have good people." "Traffic" starring Del Toro, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones, was filmed in Nogales last Summer. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards: best supporting actor, best adapted screenplay, best director and best film editing and went on to win all four. The movie depicts the lives of three individuals touched by drugs. A federal drug czar, played by Michael Douglas, faces his daughters addiction. Another character, played by Douglas real-life wife, Catherine Zeta Jones, is pursued by two DEA agents after her husband is jailed for smuggling drugs. Meanwhile, a Mexican policeman with morals, played by Del Toro, walks a fine line through a web of corruption. "The character was trying to do the right thing, so it shows there are people across the border that are honestly trying to do the right thing," Del Toro said. "Traffic" is playing at theaters in Green Valley and Tucson.

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