by: Iris Karami
BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — On Wednesday evening, Mexican and U.S. officials toured undeveloped land along the border between Matamoros and Brownsville, scoping out potential locations for new parks.
U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar, Matamoros’ Consul General Yolanda Parra, and Governor of the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico Francisco Javier Garcia Cabeza de Vaca were some dignitaries lead through area.
The first stop was at the old Fort Brown Memorial Golf Course where the historic 19th century Fort Brown is located.
“Fort Brown was the origination of Brownsville, Major Jacob Brown was killed there during the U.S.-Mexico war, and as a result, that’s where Brownsville got its name,” said Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr.
In January of 2021, Congressman Filemon Vela filed House of Representatives Bill 268 that seeks to acquire the fort into the Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park.
“The property needs to be transferred from the International Boundary and Water Commission to the National Park Service,” said Ramiro Gonzalez, the former director of government and community affairs in Brownsville. “It was given to the IBWC under their mission of flood mitigation”.
The second portion of the tour looked at land near the port of entry from Brownsville to Matamoros.
“The development that would entail a river walk, hotel, shops,” said Parra to Ambassador Salazar.
Judge Treviño added that the county has already secured funding to improve the Brownsville-Matamoros gateway as part of planning the ‘Proyecto de las Americas,’ or the Project of the Americas, a new entertainment district.
“Even if they’re coming across for visiting, to site see, to hike and bike, it still requires for CBP to do our job,” said Tater Ortiz, Brownsville Port of Entry Director.
Judge Treviño added that the Project of the Americas will collaborate with Matamoros for a binational entertainment district.
“All the necessary permitting has been obtained to my knowledge,” said Treviño. “There’s a lot going on in Brownsville and Cameron County. This is one of the biggest projects we think we can get started.”
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