Ambassador Garza Visits Ciudad Juarez and El Paso
Mexico City, Mexico, August 14, 2006. – Ambassador Garza visited the El Paso-Ciudad Juarez border region today. In El Paso, the Ambassador attended the Third Annual Border Security Conference at the University of Texas at El Paso. Conference participants examined current efforts by the public and private sectors of the U.S. and Mexico to safeguard the border and its economy. Congressman Silvestre Reyes, D-El Paso, University of Texas at El Paso President Diana Natalicio, Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. Carlos de Icaza, and Chief David Aguilar of the U.S. Border Patrol also attended the conference.
“We are on the right path, but if we focus the creative talents, technologies, and resources available to us, we can vastly improve security in our border region,” said Ambassador Garza. “With the continued cooperation of our Mexican colleagues and comprehensive immigration reform from our U.S. Congress, I know we can make trade, travel and immigration in our border region safe, fair, transparent and efficient.”
Messrs. Cook, Garza and Murguía hear an explanation from Maria del Rosario Diaz Arellano, Director of the Juarez Municipal Investigation and Planning Institute.
While in Ciudad Juarez, the Ambassador, accompanied by Mayor Hector Murguia Lardizabal of Ciudad Juarez and Mayor John Cook of El Paso, surveyed the area surrounding the Montada Dam. In early August, this border area was the site of severe flooding. When the 30-year old earthen dam overfilled as a result of unprecedented rainfall, experts predicted that a wall of water could also flood El Paso and then deluge Ciudad Juarez neighborhoods. El Paso and Ciudad Juarez cooperated, with El Paso providing emergency pumps and technical assistance, to lower the dam’s dangerously high level.
“In an extraordinary demonstration of international cooperation these two cities worked quickly together to avert a catastrophe,” said the Ambassador. “I’m honored to stand here with these two men who are true leaders in their communities and good neighbors. By sharing information, personnel, and resources they safeguarded their communities.”
While at the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez, Ambassador Garza also held private meetings with family members of five women who were murdered in the area. “I am deeply troubled by the brutal murders of women in Ciudad Juarez, and the U.S. Embassy and the Consulate continue to emphasize to the Mexican government the urgency and necessity of investigating and preventing these heinous crimes,” stated Ambassador Garza. Just last week, Ambassador Garza met again with Chihuahua Governor Jose Reyes Baeza to offer whatever support the United States can provide to the Mexican government in assisting in the investigation and prevention of violence against women in the region.