VIPs including Reynosa Mayor Maki Ortiz Domínguez visit the Unimex booth at Foro Internacional 2017 conference.

REYNOSA, Tamaulipas – Reynosa Mayor Maki Ortiz Domínguez says the residents of her city are resilient and hardworking despite the escalating violence taking place there.

Ortiz acknowledged the difficult times in a speech at the Foro Internacional 2017 conference hosted by INDEX Reynosa on Tuesday. The event was held at Centro Cultural and attended by Tamaulipas Economic Development Secretary Carlos Talancón Ostos. Attendance was down this year, most likely because many people fear to travel in the city.

“Reynosa is the most important city in our state, as our secretary (Talancón) said, we have generated 18,000 jobs this year, which is more than half of the jobs throughout the state. Do you know why? Because we have the best human resource in the state, a human resource that wants to be trained every day and that wants to give its best. A human resource that adapts to the needs in this municipality,” Ortiz said.

Elected officials in the Rio Grande Valley often say that the federal government in Washington, D.C., do not understand the border region. Ortiz said Mexico City does not under the border either. “They do not understand we are bordering a different economy.”

In a reference to the multi-national companies that invest in maquiladora operations, Ortiz said Reynosa is a community that “opens its arms to those who want to generate wealth.” She said Reynosa “appreciates what each culture brings to the table to improve the life of the city.” And she acknowledged the city has “difficulties” with criminal elements.

“We have a people who, despite the difficulties, gets up every day to work, to study and take their families forward,” Ortiz said. “We are brave people, people who do not stop going to work for a drizzle, people who do not stop going to work for a shootout. That is the size of the value and the quality of the workers and administrators and executives and housewives and parents and rulers that we have in this city.”

Ortiz said Reynosa is interested in generating wealth in order to help vulnerable groups, to help make peace and to be a city with decent public services. “This city must be one of the most important in the whole country because it has everything,” Ortiz said. “I hope we the Reynosenses realize what everyone realizes because we feel that pride… and we are eager to prove ourselves.”

Ortiz ran through some of the economic numbers that show Reynosa to be an economic powerhouse and she promised that the investments made in Reynosa will not stop. “Everyone sees this talent. It is no accident that more than 120,000 jobs are generated in this city by the maquiladora industry that we have more than 153 such companies here, that we have more than 40 percent of the maquiladora companies in this state.”

Addressing an audience of mostly maquiladora managers and workers, Ortiz added: “We are a productive force, the most important in the state and one of the most important of the country. I ask you to be proud of all that you have done for our history since the 1960s. You gave strength to the border. We unite as a border and identify ourselves as border, la frontera, because we like tacos and hamburgers.

“We are part of a globalized world that nobody can stop. We are interested in building bridges not walls. So, I ask all of you to continue playing in the same team that is called Reynosa, that is called Mexico. Above all, that team is a border, a border that we share with our neighbors whom we respect, whom we appreciate, and with whom we share family, business, and tradition.”