The border between Catalonia and the neighboring region of Valencia cuts right through the small town of San Rafael del Rio.
Now the town's 500 residents fear the conflict between Catalan and Spanish authorities will literally split the town in two. Guadalupe Espinosa, a 47-year-old psychologist who lives on the Catalan side of the river, "people are nervous and scared because they feel this is a free-fall. I don't like armies or borders, but maybe we will have one here. Who knows?"
Catalan leaders have said they will declare independence for the northeastern region after a weekend referendum that Spain declared illegal and tried to stop by force. That could have particular implications for San Rafael, where the border cutting through the town until now has been a mere curiosity.
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