PHARR, Texas – Ciudad Acuña is a relatively remote border city to folks from the Rio Grande Valley some six hours down river from Del Río, Texas’ sister city.
Yes, some relatively obscure B-movies such as “el Mariachi” were filmed there because of its architecture and Wild West look. But if your not into the venues of such artistic efforts you’ll probably look down at such a largely insignificant and out-of-the-way, dusty little border town.
That would be a mistake according to Acuña Mayor, Roberto De los Santos Vásquez.
“Acuña is a border city in full development, with a great relationship with our sister city of Del Rio because at the present we are managing the construction of a new international bridge, which is an important axis in the Ports to Plains International Highway,” said the mayor in reference to the planned Mazatlan to Canada superhighway.
The Port to Plains initiative by passing through Acuña would put the city on the map and effectively cut into the traffic, revenues and transnational production of cities like Pharr, Reynosa, and Matamoros, and could even see some movement of production to Acuña, at the expense of the Rio Grande Valley region.
De los Santos was not shy when asked by this reporter if that was the intention of the new bridge and visible highway and maquiladora and infrastructural build up in the city of Acuña over the last ten years.
“Definitely. It is important that all border cities develop in our country, so that all border areas have the opportunity to grow, to do business, and obviously to provide a higher level of life to the inhabitants,” said De los Santos.
When asked how long he thought it would take to complete the bridge and highway infrastructure to create a Mazatlán to Canada highway passing through Acuña, the mayor had this to say:
“We have determined that within five years this highway could be functioning, and we want to be part of it We are making a great effort so that our city develops and that we don’t fall behind. We are working together, very united with the City of Del Rio, Texas.”
Acuña’s population was officially listed at 219,066 as of 2019. The comments were made to the Rio Grande Guardian during the recent meeting of the United States-Mexico BiNational Bridges and Border Crossings Group East Region, which took place at the Pharr Events Center.
The presentation on the Ciudad Acuña-Del Rio II project was made by Bruno Lozanom, the mayor of Del Rio, De los Santos, representing Acuña, and Gerardo Berlanga, representing the State of Coahuila.
Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above news story shows Acuña Mayor Roberto De los Santos Vásquez speaking at the the United States-Mexico BiNational Bridges and Border Crossings Group East Region meeting.