MCALLEN, RGV – One of Germany’s most respected news sources has produced an in-depth story on border security and international trade in the Rio Grande Valley.

Washington-based reporter Claudia Buckenmaier reported for Channel 1 and its 10 o’clock news program, Tagesthemen.

Claudia Buckenmaier

Among those interviewed for the story were Granjeno resident Reynaldo Anzaldua, who has property near the Rio Grande, businessman Joaquin Spamer, Keith Patridge, president of the McAllen Economic Development Corporation, and Sam Vale, owner of the Starr-Camargo International Bridge.

Matt Ruszczak, executive director of Rio South Texas Economic Council, analyzed the news segment for the Rio Grande Guardian.

“Channel 1 is one of the main channel’s in Germany and the Tagesthemen show is one of the most watched and trusted news sources in that country,” Ruszczak said. “The depth of the story shows that security and trade on the U.S.-Mexico is being followed just as much outside the U.S. as inside the U.S.”

The Valley story starts nine minutes into the 30-minute show and is just under four minutes long:

Ruszczak said Buckenmaier did a really good job tying trade into the border security discussion. 

“This piece specifically refers to the realities of the border region. I think it was great they highlighted the McAllen-Reynosa metropolitan area, talking about the interconnections, talking about how, while there are already some barriers in place, and while some folks are in support of more border security and living in a secure community, there are also many in-depth connections that we have on both sides.”

Ruszczak was pleased to see Valley residents who have interesting things to say were interviewed for the news story.

Matt Ruszczak

“Folks who own property on the river describe their peaceful life right on the river. It looked at the close commercial ties we have with Mexico, highlighting the Pharr International Bridge, highlighting successful bi-national business people like Mr. Spamer, speaking to economic development leaders like Keith Patridge, talking about the realities of the border, and specifically how trade is being done.”

In the case of Vale, Ruszczak said: “Sam is not only a bridge owner who lives and breaths international trade, he points out how raw products go back and forth across the river as part of the supply chain.”

Ruszczak added: “Overall it was a very balanced, very informative and very insightful news story. Definitely not a drop in, drop out report, looking for a headline, but a news crew who took their time to do an in-depth story. People all around the world get caught up in the headlines. This story avoided that.

“It ties in with what we (RSTEC) are trying to do. We put people on airlines to to come down and see with their own eyes what the realities are. It is very encouraging that others are hopping on airlines, coming to the Valley and telling that story as well. I am encouraged by this very insightful perspective.”