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Incoming Tamaulipas Governor Francisco Javier García Cabeza de Vaca (second from left) was guest of honor at a breakfast event hosted by the City of Brownsville at the historic Alonso Building in Brownsville, Texas, on Monday, September 12, 2016.

BROWNSVILLE, RGV – The City of Brownsville hosted a breakfast Sept. 12, 2016 honoring Tamaulipas Governor-Elect Francisco Javier García Cabeza de Vaca.

Cabeza de Vaca, a McAllen native, said his election gives South Texas and Northeastern Mexico a great opportunity to work together.

“I have [a] goal to make sure that the people from Mexico City, as well as the people from Washington, understand one thing,” Cabeza de Vaca said. “First of all, we’re not only neighbors. The people that live on both sides of the border–we’re also friends. We’re allies. But most important, we’re family.”

Harlingen Mayor Christopher Boswell said the industry has long realized that northern Mexico is a great place to do business and a great place to work. There has been progress with trade between South Texas and Mexico such as the southbound lane for empty trucks at the Anzalduas International Bridge.

“Tamaulipas is one of the largest trading blocs in the world and it behooves us as local governments, state governments and federal governments to continue to break down barriers so that business can truly succeed and that we can use the best resources of … both Mexico and the United States to grow our economies and give opportunities to people on both sides of that streak that we call the Rio Grande,” Boswell said.

State Senator Eduardo Andres “Eddie” Lucio Jr., representing the 27th district of Texas, was also in attendance and said the presence of Rio Grande Valley officials as well as Cabeza de Vaca enforces the opportunity to really stop for a moment and reflect who we really are as a state and as a nation.

“I think it’s important for us to tell everyone that we realize that we are one people in this area of the state, of the country and in Mexico, we’re one people joined by an incredible river-the Rio Grande River,” Lucio said. “Governor-elect’s presence here today sends us a strong message that he is already reaching out to come to this community and to offer himself, roll up his sleeves, work with our officials, make it understood that he’s interested in collaboration and cooperation and making things better for all of us.”

In a press release from the City of Brownsville, Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez said the one thing that keeps the region together is our corazon.

“And our corazon is full of love for you, for Tamaulipas, for Mexico, as well as the entire United States,” Martinez said. “So, let’s all understand that we are all one family, and the best way that we know how to start a new beginning is by doing the same things we’ve always done; and that’s love one another, treat each other with respect, treat each other with dignity [as well as] go forth and do some good stuff for everybody.”

Donna Mayor Irene Muñoz applauded Cabeza de Vaca’s election victory.

“It is comforting, valuable and the opportune time that you be the next governor of Tamaulipas. Being a native of the Valley, holding positions in different levels of government, including once being the mayor of Reynosa, you have first hand experience and knowledge of the needs, the challenges, the vulnerability, the dangers, and the positive potential that the border holds,” Muñoz said.

“Because the City of Donna owns and shares a bridge with Rio Bravo, Tamaulipas, and also is a city that strives for economic development, it is encouraging to read articles of your desire to take action to improve law enforcement, promote border commerce, and economic relationships between two states, and your thoughts and support can make available the operations of commercial traffic through existing port of entries, operations instrumental to economic growth, that share and contribute to your vision. We look forward to you taking a position that will have a binational impact, and build relationships in working together.”

Also in attendance were other South Texas and Northeastern Mexico officials such as Kingsville Mayor Sam Fugate, San Benito City Commissioner Place 1 Antonio Gonzales and Mexican Consul Juan Carlos Cué Vega.

Cabeza de Vaca is the first member of the Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) to be elected governor of Tamaulipas. He takes office on Oct. 1, 2016. His term of office lasts six years.

Editor’s Note: TV personality Ron Whitlock and Rio Grande Guardian reporter Luis Montoya contributed to this story from Brownsville, Texas. The photos in the slideshow were provided by the City of Brownsville.