Border mayors meet to discuss violence

The violence is Mexico is not slowing down.

So far, at least 35,000 people have been killed in the drug cartel violence.

Mexican drug lords are basically running large areas south of the border.

But now, small steps are being taken by the United States to take border towns back from the hands of criminals.

The Rio Grande Valley Partnership held a bi-national regional Mayor TMs meeting was held at the Villa de Cortez in Weslaco on Tuesday.

Congressman Henry Cuellar, District 28, told Action 4 News there is no time for critics who say the problem is not the U.S. TMs to handle.

When 90% of the cocaine is coming into the U.S. comes from Mexico that is a problem. When you see $20 billion to $30 Billion dollars going back in profits to Mexico, we have a problem Cuellar said.

When you talk about spill over violence, it TMs not Mexico TMs problem. It TMs also a problem over here.

The hope is integrity would be brought back to Mexican law enforcement.

That is something the newly elected mayor for Matamoros, Alfonso Sanchez Garza agrees with.

At this time, the priority for me is to regain the trust of the people of Matamoros, he said.

Congressman Cuellar voted for the Merida initiative, which he said can help them with that goal.

The law calls for training for Mexican law enforcement on a local, state and federal level.

It also requires the Mexican government to hire trustworthy officers by doing random by doing random polygraphs, background checks.

Cuellar said it TMs time for the stereotypes of Mexico to be done away with.

The U.S. has to get rid of the mentality that everyone is corrupt. They have issues just like we have issues on this side. The thing is both sides must work together" Cuellar said.

Breaking down communication barriers is the first challenge.

The second is strengthening the prison and judicial systems in Mexico.

Congressmen Cuellar told Action 4 News there is 98% of capture and conviction rate in the United States, but if you are caught with drugs or even murder the percentage that you will be brought to justice is very small.

On the Mexican side they have less than a 2% prosecutorial rate according to Congressman Cuellar.

He adds if bad guys are captured and go to prison everyone knows that happens. They escape!

He added it TMs a running joke. Why did only 150 escape, because only 150 could fit on the bus..

Broken systems like these must be reviewed and restructured in order to effect change.

Mayor Sanchez Garza told Action 4 News municipalities signed a commitment last week that includes providing more training for law enforcement, and higher pay along with benefits.

Sanchez Garza stressed if both sides come together the economy, tourism, job creation and the region will improve and become more attractive.