Two countries share one mission, keep the border safe.
The Rio Grande Valley is unlike any other border region when it comes to the relationships on the other side of the Rio Grande.
“We have a river, that’s a boundary that divides us, but our relationship is strong,” said Agent Javier Rodriguez, U.S. Border Patrol Assistant Chief for Foreign Operations Branch, RGV Sector.
The U.S. Border Patrol is looking to make that relationship even stronger with a new training called the U.S./Mexico Anti-Transnational Criminal Organization and Border Violence Prevention Initiative.
The training began Tuesday morning in McAllen, with the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and the Government of Mexico’s Federal Police Gendarmerie Division.
“These officers work just south of us in Matamoros and Reynosa and we will continue to provide them with this type of training,” said Rodriguez.
That training entails tactics and techniques to teach Mexican federal officers how to patrol the border.
“They conduct river sweeps with us along the river, checking stash houses, setting up checkpoints, all that,” said Rodriguez.
Currently, the two police entities are working together to secure border communities, but say this is the first time they’ve had a training like this one, which will push them to the next step.
“Field training, tactical tracking, room entry, close border combat, going into rooms, police tactics,” said Rodriguez as he gave examples of the training.
Not only are Mexican police present, but so are several members of the United States Consulate General in Matamoros, Mexico.
“The training is extremely important,” said Jesus Gutierrez, Political and Economical Affairs Specialist with The United States Consulate in Matamoros. But he added it isn’t just the physical parts of the course that is crucial, “What we’re really doing is building relationships, with contacts they have, federal police, marine, relationship building is key for us.”
The training will continue for the next several days.