HIDALGO, RGV – The Tamaulipas governor says he is instigating the largest ever binational effort against criminal groups operating in the Tamaulipas-Texas border.

The aim is to bring more criminal charges in Mexico and/or the United States for extortion, money laundering, homicide, kidnapping, extortion and drug trafficking, among others.

Gov. Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca said his administration is collaborating with seven U.S. federal agencies under a program called the “Safety and Prosperity Campaign.”

Speaking at a news conference held at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge, García Cabeza de Vaca said he started working on the program last year with the aim of collaborating on intelligence and the exchange of information “to facilitate detection of key criminals in the fight against crime.”

The Tamaulipas government entities involved in the program are the Attorney General’s Office and the Public Security Office. Through the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. agencies involved are the Air Marine Office, Customs and Border Protection, Homeland Security Investigations and Border Patrol; Department of State, Drug Enforcement Agency, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Cabeza de Vaca said the U.S. agencies participate through the joint Joint Task Force-West group, a group originally created to combat crime on the Texas corridor. Its commander is Manuel Padilla, Jr.

At a news conference at the Hidalgo International Bridge, García Cabeza de Vaca pointed out that human trafficking and drug smuggling that runs through his state originates south of the Mexican border – as far south as South America in many cases – while bulk cash and the majority of weapons flow into his state via Texas.

“We are smart enough to know that these are not issues that we can work on alone,” García Cabeza de Vaca said. “We need partners and partnerships, between the private sector, the government of U.S. and Mexico and most important the citizens on both sides of this border. They need to get involved. ”

García Cabeza de Vaca said the Campaign for Security and Prosperity can prosper through the creation of a working group composed of several agencies. He said these agencies will work together with the intention of improving safety and quality of life throughout the Tamaulipas-South Texas region. “Our main pillars are respect, trust, security and prosperity,” he said.

In addition to promoting the exchange of information, the program encourages anonymous reporting, García Cabeza de Vaca said. 

“The exchange of information and the empowerment of the people who live and work in Texas and Tamaulipas will ensure that citizens have a voice and that they are heard,” García Cabeza de Vaca said. “We also intend to have periodic updates as this campaign develops to show the results of our collaborative efforts.”

Any anonymous tip can be made to free toll number 1-800-863-9382 or through a Whatsapp text message to 956-295-0887.