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REYNOSA, Tamaulipas – The U.S. Consul for Matamoros, Otto Hans Maerssen visited the governmental offices for the City of Reynosa and dialogued with officials towards strengthening their bonds.

Hans Maerssen recently took over the post from Angela Kerwin.

During his visit, Hans Maerssen met with Reynosa Mayor Maki Ortiz Domínguez, city department directors and council members.

During a short interview with Rio Grande Guardian, the Consul highlighted his keen interest in learning more about cities under his diplomatic jurisdiction, such as Reynosa. He said he’s looking forward to working in the best interests of the Mexican community as well for U.S. citizens living in the region.

Hans Maerssen explained that the diplomatic office is in charge of a wide range of programs in this region, in areas such as social, academic, cultural, economic development, population growth and even public security.

“The intention is to continue with these already established programs, and even improve them if it’s possible,” he said.

Hans Maerssen also explained how preventive alerts sent to U.S. citizens planning to visit Mexico occur. He explained the Department of State is in charge of sending those alerts so U.S. citizens can be aware when traveling to foreign countries like México.

“We only support the instructions coming from the Department of State for our U.S. citizens, because the orders always come from Washington to the Consulate and Embassies, and we spread the security measures,” he said.

Hans Maerssen said the objective of his visit to Reynosa was to reinforce the bonds of friendship and cooperation the Consulate offices has in this region.

He mentioned the consulate has programs to promote economic growth and a sustainable development, but others in the academic and cultural areas, between universities and local and state representations.

Mayor Ortiz Domínguez said her administration looks forward to strengthening its relationship with the U.S. because Reynosa is a border city, and that of Mexico with the United States. She said there exists a bond of friendship and brotherhood.

“We welcome the new U.S. general Consul for Matamoros, Otto Hans Maerssen, with whom we talked about similarities and common interests between officials and citizens in the northern Tamaulipas border,” she said.

Ortiz said that along the border people share cultural, educational, social and trade programs, which makes it easier for Mexico to plan jointly with the U.S.

“Insecurity is a problem in México but also in the United States. That is why it needs to be solved together, and it should include a way to combat addictions but also economic investment to help the youth so they can avoid getting involved with drugs and finally provide them a better World,” she said.

Ortiz also explained that Reynosa is the biggest city in Tamaulipas and the most industrialized, and thus provides her administration a leadership position to continue moving along a more sustainable economic, social and cultural path.

Finally, Ortiz Domínguez invited all U.S. Citizens to visit Reynosa, to try out its great restaurants and visit different attractions the city has to offer, explaining that the federal government is there to provide security to all visitors.