... abla=miami

Gov. asks U.S. to reconsider
August 01, 2005

The governor of Tamaulipas, Eugenio Hernández Flores, on Sunday appealed to U.S. authorities to reconsider the decision to temporarily close the U.S. consulate in his state.

"It is necessary and important that we work together," Hernández told reporters. "We have a common goal, and we need to coordinate between our two countries so that we can improve on the development we have built up in the past few years."

The governor said that economic growth along the U.S.Mexico border was the result of a close working relationship between the two nations, and that cooperation needed to continue uninterrupted.

Hernández also pledged that he and the citizens of Tamaulipas would guarantee the safety of tourists, despite the high levels of drug-related crime that has plagued the state in recent months.

Last Friday, the U.S. Amabassador to Mexico, Tony Garza, issued a statement saying the U.S. government was closing its consulate in the city of Nuevo Laredo for a week in light of a recent spike in violence. More than 100 people have been killed in the city already in 2005, and the call to close the consulate came shortly after a shootout last week where assailants used machine guns, grenades and even a rocket launcher to attack a local home.

In a statement from Mexico City, Garza said "in light of this alarming incident and continued violence along the border, I have decided to suspend all operations except for emergency services," for one week beginning Aug. 1.

He said closing the consulate would allow officials to "assess the security situation for our employees, American travelers to the region, and visitors to the consulate."