FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                           PRESS CONTACT:

February 11, 2015                                                                                                   Brenda Rangel 956.564.1527


PRESS RELEASE: Mexican Businessmen Deliver Letter to Mexico’s Secretary of Interior Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong on behalf of Congressman Vela Wednesday in Matamoros


WASHINGTON – This afternoon, U.S. Representative Filemon Vela, D-Brownsville, sent a letter to Mexico’s Secretary of Interior, Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, urging the Administration of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to secure the state of Tamaulipas from violence associated with drug cartels.


He also asked Secretary Osorio Chong to help with the search of the two missing American veterans in Matamoros, the Garcia brothers; help find out what happened to Mexican Businessman Fernando Lugo, Businessman Carlos Rendon and the Alvarado siblings; and focus on special secure economic zones in northern states on the U.S.-Mexico border.


Secretary Osorio Chong was in Matamoros Wednesday afternoon meeting with local, state and federal officials following recent acts of violence in Tamaulipas. The letter was hand delivered to Secretary Osorio Chong by Mexican businessmen and friends of U.S. Rep. Vela.


Below is text of letter: 


February 11, 2015



The Honorable Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong

Secretary of the Interior


Dear Secretary Osorio Chong:


I write seeking your assistance.  Blocks away from where you are meeting today, in the Cathedral of Matamoros, lie the remains of my great uncle, Father Rogelio Sanchez.  My mother, who eventually became the first female mayor of Brownsville, attended elementary school at Don Bosco in Matamoros.  Since my childhood, I along with friends, family, and neighbors on both sides of this border have enjoyed the bicultural ties that those of us who live in the Rio Grande Valley, Matamoros and Reynosa have shared for generations.


I request your personal assistance and that of police and military forces to locate Ernesto and Jesus Garcia, brothers and United States Army veterans, who disappeared in Tamaulipas on February 2, 2015.  Furthermore, the families of Fernando Lugo, Carlos Rendon, and Erica, Alex, and Jose Alvarado deserve to know what happened to their loved ones, and it is critical to communities on both sides of the border that these crimes are fully investigated and that the perpetrators are brought to justice.


President Enrique Peña Nieto recently announced plans to implement special secure economic zones in southern Mexico, and I would respectfully request that the Mexican government move swiftly to implement these same zones in the Matamoros/Reynosa region.  Implementation of these zones should incorporate two courses of action.  First, there should be an immediate and forceful effort to bring violence in Tamaulipas to an end.  Second, enhancing employment and economic opportunities in Matamoros and Reynosa would help foster an environment that makes our border communities secure and prosperous over the long term.


I stand ready to provide whatever assistance may be necessary to accomplish what I know are these shared objectives.






Filemon Vela

Member of Congress