San Diego, Tijuana mayors sign new collaboration agreement
Pact looks to affect such areas as public safety, economy
The mayors of San Diego and Tijuana signed an agreement Wednesday to increase collaboration between the two cities in areas of shared interest, such as public safety, migration, environmental protection and economic development.
San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and Tijuana Mayor Montserrat Caballero signed the new memorandum of understanding at a ceremony held at the Casa Baloyán winery in Tijuana.
“Being a border city neighboring Tijuana is a huge asset for San Diego,” said Gloria, in what was his first visit to Tijuana as mayor.
The last time the two cities signed an understanding was in January 2020. The renewal had been delayed several times due to the pandemic, officials said.
“In the past this agreement has led to cross-border training between our police officers and firefighters, art exchanges at local libraries, joint promotion, and intelligence sharing between our respective communities,” Gloria said.
Other areas that will be jointly addressed are migration, border wait times and environmental issues, specifically the Tijuana River Valley pollution.
Caballero, who began her three-year term last October, pointed out that “more than neighbors, Tijuana and San Diego are great friends and partners”.
Recently San Diego and Tijuana won the joint bid as World Design Capital 2024. This recognition means that the cities will have global spotlight for one year.
Caballero emphasized that this honor “is the result of the commitment and collaboration between both cities.”
Officials from both sides of the border attended the ceremony, including, the consul general of Mexico in San Diego, Carlos González Gutiérrez.
“I think it’s a very healthy tradition that both cities have,” he said. “I don’t think there are two other cities more united than these. Although they are sister cities and that symbolically reflects a lot, they are actually much more linked than people realize.
“That’s why it’s very important that, at this level, this collaboration is established and reiterated in writing yearly.”
The two-year agreement is eligible for renewal upon its expiration in May 2024.
A modest one-story house in this northwestern Mexican border city served to conceal one end of a sophisticated narco-tunnel used to smuggle drugs to San Diego, California.
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