HARLINGEN, RGV – Just over a week ago, Tamaulipas Governor Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca made an informal invitation to Presidents Donald Trump and Enrique Peña Nieto to meet on the border.

Cabeza de Vaca said he wanted to see the U.S. and Mexican presidents start to have a serious conversation about the relationship between the two nations.

Jesús de la Garza

Now, the Municipal President of Matamoros, Jesús de la Garza, said he and Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez will send a joint letter officially inviting Trump and Peña Nieto to their cities.

“The idea is to type a joint letter and request President Peña Nieto and President Trump to celebrate a binational meeting in our Brownsville-Matamoros area,” De la Garza told the Rio Grande Guardian. “I think the invitation the Governor of Tamaulipas made to host a meeting between both presidents in this border region will be welcomed by Mayor Martinez.”

While touring the Valley, García Cabeza de Vaca said border communities are allies and that the economies on both sides of the Rio Grande complement each other. The governor said it is important the two presidents meet because they need to have develop a greater understanding of how the border economies work.

“Meet here in the Texas-Tamaulipas border. I can assure you that you will find we have more in common than what you think. And I know that working together, with a mutual respect and comprehension, we can grow together, more than we can imagine,” Cabeza de Vaca said during a speech at a luncheon hosted by UT-Rio Grande Valley’s Center for Border Economic Studies.

“We complement each other, we are not a threat to the other one, and between both countries we can strengthen ourselves even more, and those who think our country’s financial situation was the cause of lost jobs, I think they are wrong. Our real competition is with other countries.”

The meeting between Mayor De la Garza and Martinez will be next week, the mayor of Matamoros said. De la Garza said he and Martinez could create a draft for a Peña Nieto-Trump agenda and potential policy proposals.

“(Brownsville) is at the lower part of the U.S., and (Matamoros) is the closest part to the central zone of the country. I think this is a very important point, we have a lot of our story together. Two centuries living together, and that is important because Brownsville and Matamoros are an iconic region that really speaks to what this relationship is about,” De la Garza said during the interview.

In his speech at the UTRGV event, García Cabeza de Vaca said he will work with officials in the Valley to help the border region’s commercial activity.

“If we work together (Tamaulipas and Texas), we will be more competitive, we will have a better quality of life in both sides of the border,” he added.

De la Garza said that even though the Rio Grande separates Matamoros and Brownsville, they should be considered one metro area, to which the cities of Harlingen and San Benito can be added.

“As never before, we see the reflection of our friendship, with solidarity and a desire to work as one,” De la Garza said.

He concluded by saying Matamoros and Brownsville leaders share the same spirit – to make things bigger and better for the region.