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Border safety is conference topic

BY ROBERT GARCIA

Laredo Morning Times staff writer - 6/16/2000

The recent Rio Grande drownings of two Mexican nationals in the Rio Grande Valley, and a bogus homemade bomb discovery in Nuevo Laredo, have prompted local authorities to consider the issue of public safety along the area border. That will be the subject of discussion during an afternoon conference that will include the participation of Laredo and Nuevo Laredo authorities, along with state and federal officials from the U.S. and Mexico.

Mexican Consul Daniel Hernandez said that while the Laredo-Nuevo Laredo border has been one of the safest, the recent drownings of two men caught on film by a Mexican television network has created some tension. "When I speak of tension I am talking of the entire border, not necessarily Laredo. Fortunately, this is one of the areas where we have had the least problems," Hernandez said.

However, several alarming incidents have occurred recently along the Texas-Mexico border, such as the shooting of a Mexican national in Brownsville and the homemade bogus bomb found at a park in Nuevo Laredo, he said. "If we add these incidents up you find that tension is growing. Here we have the forum where authorities from both sides get to meet. It is here that we deal with our joint problems," he said.

Hernandez said the forum Friday will include discussions on just what actions can be taken here to offer public safety to the residents of both Laredos. Hernandez said that following the meeting the group will hold a press conference to discuss with members of the media the issues that were considered during the conference.

(Staff writer Robert Garcia can be reached at 728-2565 or by email robert@lmtonline.com)