RIO GRANDE CITY, RGV – While the U.S. federal government promotes the separation of the border with a wall, here entrepreneurs and elected officials from Mexico and the United States, seek to connect each other through a highway to grow commercially and touristically.

“Tamaulipas has just declared the sixth economic zone in the ribereña region and also Nuevo Leon is one of the strongest states industrially and economically speaking,” said Gustavo Gómez, representative of the Chamber of Commerce of Rio Grande City.

International and local representatives from Starr County, said they are looking for the shortest proximity between the Nuevo Leon and Texas, connecting Ruta 58 from Mexico with Highway 83 from Texas.

Security was an issue that was addressed in the 6th Meeting of Mayors and Industry Leaders of the Northeast Region of Nuevo Leon and the Border Region of Tamaulipas and South Texas took place in the South Texas Collage in Rio Grande City.

“The biggest concern that our residents have is the security in the Mexican side,” said Roberto Salinas, Mayor of Roma, Texas.

A Rio Grande Guardian reporter asked a representative from the State of Nuevo Leon if the insecurity in Mexico would be a problem to consolidate the objectives of these meetings, but he said that his state does not have that issue.

“Particularly in the case of Nuevo Leon we have no problem in that sense and we are supporting all the municipalities in our area and particularly we have two (policing) operations. We have an interstate police with an agreement with the state of Tamaulipas and we have a militarized police, as well as a rural force, so we are not worried about that issue,” said Ricardo Silva, representative of the government of the state of Nuevo León.

The Rio Grande City Economic Development Corporation EDC said through a media advisory that they want to promote commercial and tourism traffic in Mexico and increase trade through Rio Grande City’s port of entry.

“There have been different goals and strategies that have been identified during previous meetings and today we will present the advances,” said Dalinda Guillen, executive director Rio Grande City EDC.

However, Silva said that its largest commercial flow is still maintained by the border of Laredo Texas, but said they remain open to other options.

“Traditionally, the metropolitan area takes out all its industrial trade on the Laredo side. It is an interesting approach and we will continue to support them in this matter,” said Silva.

Nevertheless, in a border region where the separation of families has been top of mind, Ruta 54 not only seeks to be the shortest route from Monterrey to the Rio Grande Valley, but also a way to reunite generations.

“The generations of young people are getting lost because the relatives are already dying, the big families that were the original families of this region. So we need to rebuild through human tourism, through family tourism, our region,” Gómez said.

The participants said that Route 54 is a very ambitious project because they want to reunite the whole region.

“(We are all about) Creating a route to strengthen a road that brings us a cultural, historical, social, touristic, and commercial exchange in all aspects,” said Gómez.