TIJUANA- The mayor of Tijuana, Carlos Bustamante Anchondo, gave his third and final (most mayors in Mexico are term limited to a single three year one) "state of the city" address, a report about his entire administration's achievements on matters of public safety, public transport, infrastructure, social development, education, economic development, among others.
In a 40 minute speech, at the historic Jai Alai venue in downtown Tijuana, mayor Bustamante welcomed representatives from all three levels of government, from the state's other cities, social sector, family, friends, cabinet and city council members, thanking them for their help for, from his point of view, achieving their goal of a "orderly city" (the City Government's official motto).
The city charter states that the mayor is only required to hand in a written report of the executive's activities to the city council, not actually give a speech or statement, but tradition has evolved to even include a whole video production of the report or 'informe', as it's called in Spanish. The video lasted for a couple of minutes and, afterwards, the event continued with the national anthem and honors. Bustamante then began his "state of the city", a detailed defense of Tijuana's progress during the last three years.
From public transit reform to public safety improvements, the Municipal President (his official title) argued that Tijuana is undoubtedly more prosperous, safe and stable that when he entered. "The city that I hand over can be measured as a work of great human and material proportions; we devised and carried out the projects that families now bare witness to in front of their homes, every day and not just for feeding the egos of public officials," commented the mayor, and he did indeed leave out very little of those projects out of his speech.
He began outright with the improvements in public safety, which he says can be attested to by literally the entire world through the headlines of Tijuana's recovery from the heights of violence during the drug wars. "Everybody can see for themselves," a 34 percent reduction in homicides, 24 percent reduction in reported crimes. It wasn't all simply the work of the City Government he accepts, as "we can affirm that this was a collective effort that transformed our way of life."
The list of achievements continues, with an increase of 60 percent to the Municipal Art and Culture Institute's (IMAC in Spanish) budget during his term, congratulating also Elsa Arnaiz Rosas, its director, for her work in also helping to rescue and remodel existing cultural centers around the city, as well as opening new ones.
Video of the Mayor's final state of the city speech:
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