Mexican president plans to unveil anti-poverty program in Juarez

Border Report Tour

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — The president of Mexico says he’ll be in Juarez on Friday to talk about urban improvements and aid to working-class neighborhoods.

The president said he wants to bring those improvements to all major cities along the U.S.-Mexico border — were many residents still live in poverty despite their cities hosting hundreds of foreign-run factories that export billions of dollars in manufactured products and provide thousands of jobs.

“We have been to Reynosa and Matamoros. We are now going to Acuna, Piedras Negras and Nuevo Laredo,” Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Monday at a press briefing in Mexico City broadcast on YouTube. “I am also going to Ciudad Juarez this weekend. I will be there on Friday afternoon for this program.”

He was referring to the Urban Renewal and Marginalized Neighborhood Program, which is part of his national anti-poverty agenda. The president will also address the ongoing economic recovery and inaugurate the new Paseo de las Luces, or Path of Lights, which runs from Downtown Juarez to the Paso del Norte international bridge leading to El Paso, Texas, Mexican news media reported on Monday.

Overhead lights and arches on Juarez Avenue near the Paso del Norte U.S. port of entry are part of the Paseo de las Luces, or Path of Light project. (photo by Julian Resendiz/Border Report)

The president provided no more details about the visit nor did he say if he would address the ongoing international water crisis involving the state of Chihuahua, where Juarez is located.

Hundreds of farmers have taken over the state’s largest dam to prevent Lopez Obrador from using water from that reservoir to make payments to the United States under a 1944 binational treaty. U.S. and Texas officials say Mexico has until Oct. 24 to pay nearly a year’s worth of water in arrears. That water is intended for use by South Texas farmers and water districts.

Juarez Mayor Armando Cabada told local news media he welcomes Lopez Obrador’s visit and that he would ask for federal money for hospitals and public safety. Juarez is going through a spate of homicides and drug violence not seen since the drug wars of 2008-2012.

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