On Wednesday, Mexicali Mayor Marina del Pilar visited El Centro for a discussion with her municipal counterparts in the Imperial Valley, as she had just a few weeks prior with the County of Imperial. By all accounts, the binational discussions to crack down on COVID in our unique border region have been appreciated by all and a step toward better cooperation with our neighbors.
This sort of collaboration is exactly what the Imperial Valley needs more of, as I wrote in a letter to the editor this week. This as opposed to name-calling the same Mayor Marina as a xenophobe, as was written in an Imperial Valley Press column.
Mr. Bojorquez, the author of the column labeling Mayor Marina a xenophobe, responded to that simple call for binational cooperation and rebuttal of the unfair and offensive term in two ways.
First, personally. Labeling someone with a different point of view as having recently “[outgrown their] nappies,” a “rookie,” and “naive” is a way to fill column inches, but is no way to have an intelligent, adult debate about real issues in our community. Having been formerly referred to as a “manchild” with a “doe-eyed, smooth-skinned face” in an Imperial Valley Press column, I am accustomed to such epithets.
Second, that because “group therapy sessions,” as they are referred to in the column, with officials from Mexicali and Baja California have achieved little in the past, that focused regional discussions and planning in the future are fool’s errands.
Respectfully, I disagree. One of many examples is the renegotiation of the 2007 Colorado River Interim Guidelines. A new agreement between the seven Colorado River Basin states and Mexico will be negotiated over the next five years before the current guidelines expire in 2026.
To dismiss Mexico, namely the Mexicali Valley, in these negotiations and not to seek a broader coalition of interested rural, tribal, and agricultural water users for mutual benefit and defense would be asinine.
For success in both the Imperial and Mexicali Valleys, we are far better off establishing productive working relationships — not insulting our neighbors.
JB Hamby, El Centro, (760) 332-3352