In the pole position for the race to develop the FM 550 industrial corridor and to reap short-term profits by scattering polluting liquefied natural gas plants from the the Port of Brownsville to the city limits of Port Isabel is IBC's congenial president, Fred Rusteberg.
While my eleven year old checks read International Bank of Commerce, Rusteberg's IBC is not actually an international bank. It does not even have any branches in Mexico, let alone any other country. It is essentially a Texas outfit with two small branches in Oklahoma. This reality may have spurred the bank's name change to International Bancshares Corporation. The corporation's website refers to "generations" of depositors in Mexico and "relationships with prominent correspondent banks in Mexico." Read into that what you will.
If IBC is the financial engine for Rusteberg's ambition, United Brownsville, a behind-the-scenes, unelected, but actually Brownsville's real City Commission, once declared as "informal," by City Attorney Mark Sossi, not bound by requirements of the Public Information Act, is the control mechanism used by Rusteberg and his cronies, Carlos Marin and Juliet Garcia, to organize and profit from industrial development in the region.
Rusteberg, Marin and Garcia couldn't ask for a more pliant, cooperative and subservient City Commission. At a City Commission meeting March 4, 2014, the commission yielded control of the industrial corridor to Imagina Matamoros (a copycat of United Brownsville), the damn City of Harlingen and, of course, United Brownsville in a resolution:
"Consideration and ACTION on Resolution Number 2014-034, in support of the creation of a Bioned(sic) Coordinating Board to be made up by Equal Representation from United Brownsville, Imagina Matamoros, and the City of Harlingen in order to promote and plan the development of the Bi-Ned Zone. (Commissioners D. Portillo/R. Gowen)"
Saturday, July 4, 2015
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