FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 4, 2002
AUSTIN, TX - In an effort to involve statewide and South Texas leaders to explore a means of getting Mexico to repay the water owed to the United States, State Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., D-Brownsville, today announced he will call a special meeting of the Subcommittee on Border Affairs immediately after the November 5 elections.
This hearing will bring together newly elected and re-elected statewide leaders, South Texas officials and agriculturalists, and state legislators to examine Mexico's refusal to comply with the 1944 U.S.-Mexico Water Treaty and to examine the crisis South Texas farmers now face. Sen. Lucio also wants to invite officials from the Mexican state of Tamaulipas to participate.
As reported by State Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander yesterday, Mexico's refusal to pay back the 1.5 million acre-feet of water is having a devastating effect on the people and economy of South Texas. In light of both the United State's and Mexico's inaction on the deadline for compliance yesterday, Sen. Lucio said that "we must move forward and plan our next course of action."
On November 6, Texans will have a clear picture of the state's leadership, and will at the very least have a new U.S. Senator, Lt. Governor, Land Commissioner and Attorney General. Sen. Lucio plans to "get those new leaders up to speed and enlist their commitment, as willing participants, to any action we consider."
Frustrated with the lack of response by both countries' national leaders, Sen. Lucio added, "The time for talk is over. I will also be calling on the various agencies involved, such as the International Boundary and Water Commission, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Texas Water Development Board, as well as farmers and citrus industry individuals to come to Austin and present us with a first-hand report of the economic devastation created by Mexico's refusal to honor its agreement and the U.S. Government's refusal to take any action that requires Mexico to comply."
The meeting will be held sometime between November 11 and 15, at the state Capitol.