El Paso as a 'safe zone' for the Juarez mayor?
by David Crowder
Posted on February 26, 2009
The El Paso Police Department has backed away from a story in the El Paso Times that Juarez Mayor Jose Reyes Ferriz has moved to El Paso after threats against him and his family.
But people who have ties in Juarez say Reyes has long lived in El Paso and that he has come under criticism in Juarez for doing so.
So they say has Juarez’s previous mayor, Hector Murguia, and property records show that both men have owned houses in El Paso since the 1990s.
“Reyes has been living here, and so has the last mayor,” said an El Paso woman with contacts in Juarez who asked not to be named.
Police Spokesman Chris Mears took issue with two assertions in Tuesday’s El Paso Times: that the department confirmed Reyes’ move to El Paso and that the department is investigating threats made against him and his family in Juarez.
“We are not investigating any threats,” Mears said. “The threats that were made were made in Mexico.
“But we obviously took notes of the threats made against people that may be living in El Paso. We do believe the Juarez mayor moved his family here.”
NewspaperTree.com was told by an el Paso official over a month ago that Reyes had moved his family to El Paso but that he himself was living in Juarez and not coming to El Paso for his family’s safety.
“I am not aware of any foreign politicians or officials now living in El Paso,” Mears said, adding that he goes to multi-agency intelligence briefings and would know if a Mexican official or officials were living in El Paso.
Property records show Reyes-Ferriz and his wife have owned a house on El Paso’s Westside since 1993 and that Murguia has had a house in the Upper Valley’s Willows subdivision since 1996.
An El Paso businessman who works with maquiladoras in Juarez and who asked not to be named said people at management levels there have been saying for quite a while that Reyes lives in El Paso.
“People over here are just figuring that out,” he said.
To reach David Crowder, write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (915) 351-0605, ext. 30
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