Notice, we didn't describe the beverage as tequila. Mexican laws state that tequila can be produced only in the state of Jalisco and limited regions in the states of Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas. Mexico is granted international right to the word "tequila". The United States officially recognizes that spirits called "tequila" can only be produced in Mexico, although by agreement bulk amounts can be shipped to be bottled in the U.S. Tequila or agave spirit is most often made at a 38–40% alcohol content (76–80 proof), but can be produced between 31–55% alcohol content (62–110 proof).
The meeting between Martinez and the two Mazatlan councilmen, Eric Reynoso and Sergio Romero, was to discuss the implication of the year-away opening of Mexico Superhighway 40 between Mazatlan and Matamoros.
|Ralph Cowen, Sergio Romero, Tony Martinez|
(Picture by Brad Doherty, Brownsville Herald)
Martinez continued that theme, calling the highway the most significant connection for the city’s economy since railroad tracks reached the Valley more than a century ago. Noting that the rural area surrounding the city of Mazatlan is often considered the “breadbasket of Mexico,” he suggested the new highway and relationship with Brownsville and its port could mean that moniker could be known worldwide.
“It is now time for Brownville to let it be the breadbasket of the world,” he said.
A Mean Mister Brownsville article, published August 20, mentioned some reservations with respect to Brownsville and Cameron County having the necessary infrastructure so as to be ready to benefit from a new highway connection to the "breadbasket of the world":
A Brownsville trucking company owner states that the primary commercial crossing at Los Tomates simply is not prepared to handle the large volume of produce expected to be trucked from the Pacific coast of Mexico. "We simply do not have the necessary cold storage inspection facility in Brownsville. Lettuce, limes, avocados, cantaloupes all need to be unloaded into cold storage for inspection or the loads will be ruined," stated the business owner.
"All the county commissioners care about is getting the credit for increased bridge revenue, but will not do what's necessary to get ready for increased traffic," continued the trucker. A Brownsville Herald article by Ty Johnson published August 17 estimated an increase of 1,000 trucks per day coming through the Rio Grande Valley with Veteran's International at Los Tomates getting 250 of that total, but the owner/operator does not see that happening.
"It's not just the cold storage problem, it's that Veteran's is a training facility for the Department of Transportation with rookie inspectors issuing more tickets to make a name for themselves. Why would you cross at Brownsville, wasting two hours of down time and fuel with the increased risk of a ticket that goes on your permanent driving record?"
Superhighway 40 has been under construction for a decade. As usual Cameron County officials are incredibly slow to react. As former Brownsville Mayor Pat Ahumada used to say: "McAllen is eating our lunch.'"
Well, even if Brownsville and Cameron County are not ready to handle a higher volume of trucks or inspect the produce from the world's breadbasket, at least Ralph and Tony got a bottle of agave spirit out of the meeting.