REYNOSA, Tamaulipas – Nearly 200,000 hectares of the 025 irrigation system are threatened by the 1944 International Waters Treaty, after the lack of availability of water from the Rio Bravo basin for agricultural use, asserted Governor Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca.

At a press conference held in Reynosa, the governor asked the general director of the National Water Commission (CONAGUA), Blanca Jiménez Cisneros to establish a discussion forum among farm producers of the 025 irrigation system, in an effort to satisfy their demands.

“We have asked the director of CONAGUA to come to Tamaulipas to discuss this issue which is not minor and personally I have been emphatic and we will not allow the conflict they have in Chihuahua to be transferred to Tamaulipas,” García Cabeza de Vaca said.

The governor said about 500 million pesos will be invested to modernize and equip Reynosa, a city considered the largest and most important in Tamaulipas.

The representative of the tamaulipecos specified that the package of infrastructure projects to be carried out will change the image of the city, in order to generate better living standards and higher confidence among investors and thus contribute to better paying of jobs.

Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca listed the eight projects for which 245 million pesos are being invested for the restoration and modernization of avenues and roads: 

  • Reynosa-Monterrey highway
  • Highway interchange for Matamoros-Monterrey
  • Hidalgo Boulevard
  • Tiburcio Garza Zamora Avenue
  • Highway interchange at Oriente
  • Luis Donaldo Colosio Boulevard
  • Reynosa-Rio Bravo highway
  • Reynosa-San Fernando highway

In addition, García Cabeza de Vaca underlined the construction of two additional structures: the Convention Center and the construction of the Coordination, Command, Control, Communication and Computer Center (C5).

The president also presented the COMAPA Reynosa Master Plan, a project in which 215 million pesos will be invested. He said that the hydraulic infrastructure will guarantee: 

a) The supply of raw water to water treatment plants for the next 20 years; 

b) The replacement of equipment with an estimated energy saving of 50 million pesos per year ;

c) The placement of 20 thousand linear meters of piping, saving more than 23 million pesos in losses of drinking water.

“I am personally determined to change the image of this city, not only in the main avenues, but also to find a way to engage the civil society and the productive sectors,” explained the governor. 

The governor said he holds the federal government responsible for maintaining a policy contrary to the interests of Tamaulipas. He said he may file a constitutional amendment on budgetary matters, since a cut of seven percent in real terms is foreseen for the state next year, in contrast to the federal government will enjoying a five percent increase.

On the topic of public safety, García Cabeza de Vaca said the recent decision to take control of the police in the municipality of Matamoros was due to local authorities’ failure to address recently blockages caused apparently by criminal groups. 

He said an “Elite” police group was instructed to serve a warrant for the arrest of an alleged criminal leader but the criminals responded with roadblocks. So, local transit personnel were called in to assist in the situation. However, these preferred to remain on the outskirts.

He asserted “Tamaulipas is not negligent” and stressed the political will exists to confront this type of problem.

García Cabeza de Vaca was joined on stage by three of his state secretaries: Subsecretaria de Legalidad y Servicios Gubernamentales, Gloria Garza Jiménez; Secretario General de Gobierno, César Verástegui Ostos; and subsecretario de Planeación y Proyectos Estratégicos de la Secretaría de Obras Públicas, Eduardo Gómez Leal.

Editor’s Note: The above story, penned by reporter Blanca Zumaya Escobedo, first appeared in The Rio Grande Guardian in Spanish. It was transcribed into English by editor Erendira Bautista.

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