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Brownsville The Herald (Newspaper) - January 20, 1996, Brownsville, Texas Super bowl Cowboys are relaxed .....Page 13 Please help Overcrowded animal shelter needs lots of help......Page 2 he Srmtm*mltt Strato ©1996 The Brownsville Herald. All tights reserved. Born on the 4th of July 1892 Saturday, January 20,1996 35 cents Crime rate falls in Brownsville By PATRICIA A. GONZALEZ Herald Staff Writer Help from the community and "great" police work dropped the city's crime rate by 15.5 percent in 1995, Police Chief Ben Reyna said Friday. "A lot of our citizens (are) getting involved with the city's Police Department," an elated Reyna said. Today is a good day for Brownsville. We must work together. These numbers prove it." A total of 8,411 crimes were reported in Brownsville last year, compared to the 9,960 in 1994. Those crimes include murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft and auto theft. Statistics show seven people were murdered last year, compared to 13 in 1994. Police made no arrests in connection with any of last year's killings but have warrants for suspects in all of them except for one in which the victim has not been identified. That compares to 10 people who were arrested for murder in 1994. Authorities are still trying to identify a woman whose remains were discovered off Tejon Road and determine who killed her. Auto theft dropped here for the sixth year in a row. A total of 534 reports of stolen vehicles were made last year, compared to the 720 from 1994. Chief Reyna credited the South Texas Automobile Theft Enforcement Task Force, state grants and his department for the decrease. The special operations conduct surveillances at international bridges. "We have an excellent program," Reyna said. "The funding is what's so important in order for us to pursue our endeavor in fighting automobile theft." Reyna praised Brownsville folks for installing anti-theft devices in their vehicles. "A lot of people are taking the necessary steps to protect their property," he said. Police arrested 10,051 people last year, compared to the 10,915 of 1994. Nineteen percent of the people arrested were under 18 years of age. Statistics indicate most crimes were reported between the months of July and November. ' Rapes dropped 16 percent. A total of 26 people were sexually assaulted, compared to the 31 reported in 1994. Robberies reported last year totaled 204, compared to the 268 from 1994, a (See CRIME, Page 12) Chief Ben Reyna Garcia Abrego's citizenship still an issue By TONY VINDELL Herald Staff Writer MATAMOROS — People on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border are claiming, and denying, that reputed drug lord Juan Garcia Abrego is one of them. A poster from the FBI shows reputed drug lord Juan Garcia Abrego was born Sept. 13, 1944, in La Paloma, or the dove, in the Rio Grande Valley, but his Mexican birth certificate states that his place of birth was in La Puerta, or the door, on the same date. La Puerta, about 15 miles west of here, is a ranch now owned by a farmer from the communal farm ejido Las Ru-sias. The small house where he reportedly was born is now empty and in a state of decay. A few chickens and a small hog wandered around it Friday. "I was told that he was born in there," said a woman who gave her name only as Maria, "and that his parents lived right here." La Puerta is a few miles across from La Paloma on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande, and that might be one of the reasons why Garcia Abrego seems to be a native of both places. Esteban Alvarado de los Reyes, director of the Bureau of Statistics here, said Garcia Abrego was born in La Puerta and not in La Paloma, as Mexican officials are saying. Herald photo by Brad Doherty This abandoned house, located at La Puerta, west of Matamoros, is where Juan Garcia Abrego was born, according to neighbors "They said that Juanito filed "What are the documents to document that shows his nation- in the clerk's office in Cameron for U.S. citizenship 20 years prove that he is a U.S. citizen?" ality is the one in his office. County, shows that Garcia De los Reyes said the only after he was born," he said. ality is the one in his office. But another certificate, on file Abrego was born in La Paloma. FBI agents also have obtained copies of a 1993 letter from the state of Texas instructing the county to void that birth certificate. "The question of Garcia Abrego's nationality is real clear," said Hugo Morales, who is in charge of the foreign press at the federal attorney general's office (PGR) in Mexico City. "He was turned over because he is a U.S. citizen, and Article 33 of the Constitution gives the president the right to expel any foreigner he considers to be as persona non grata." Morales said the Mexican government has certified documents showing Garcia Abrego's place of birth and nationality. Art Moreno, spokesman with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service for the Harlingen District, declined to comment on Garcia Abrego's status. "We are not at liberty to discuss the immigration status of a person," he said in an interview Thursday. 'There are other means available to find that out but all we can say is yes or no." Gilberto Vargas Muñoz, agent in charge with the PGR office in Tamaulipas, said Garcia Abrego is a U.S. citizen who faced a number of charges here. "We have several arrest warrants against him here," he said. "He faced charges of drug possession, homicide and for criminal association." Vol. 104, No. 198 (24 pages) Partly cloudy and warmer. Highs from the upper 60s east to lower 70s west. South to southeast wind 15-20 mph. Tonight and Sunday partly cloudy. Lows from the mid 40s west to near 50 east. Highs in the lower to mid 70s. UTB delivers on its promise by adding five new degrees AP photo These Zacatecas, Mexico, men wait to cross California border U.S. tries stemming flood of immigrants Abby 19 Classified 21 Comics 20 Entertainment 18 Horoscope 19 Lifestyle 19 Obituaries 2 Religion 4 Sports 13 Stocks 19 N TV log 19 Woather 2 Don Fri-edom T Fri-edom By REBECCA S. WEINER States News Service WASHINGTON — The Rio Grande Valley is one of the top three hot spots for illegal immigration, but the Immigration and Naturalization Service isn't dispatching extra guards and Marines with night vision goggles as they are in San Diego and Tucson, Ariz. For "mellow" South Texans, INS officials say, a more low- key approach is needed. The geography of the Valley and the attitude of the residents require the INS to retool the tactics used to guard the Texas-Mexico border. "Part of the reason South Texas has been more mellow is they are more concerned about economic transactions across the border," Baid Robert Bach, INS executive associate commis-(See STEM, Page 12) Pedro Says: "How refreshing to see that crime is down somewhere," Don Pedro said on entering the newsroom. "Especially our city," the city editor said. "My congratulations and thanks go to our Police Department, and to our community," Don Pedro said. "It just shows once again how much more we can accomplish by working together. Adios." And out he went. By MARO ROBBINS Herald Staff Writer Brownsville's university is about to deliver on an old commitment to local businesses. Area industry leaders told the school they wanted graduates who knew how to use the latest engineering technology two years ago. And now The University of Texas at Brownsville/ Texas Southmost College can provide that. The university was given its first engineering-related degrees by the state Thursday. The five new programs lead to bachelor's degrees in chemistry, physics, and engineering technology. Students in the engineering program will be able to special ize in manufacturing, mechanical, and electronic technologies. And they can start studying next fall. This means UTB/TSC's Science, Engineering and Technology Building won't sit empty when work on it is finished in September 1997. By that time students will need its laboratorie»to do required work, said Juliet Garcia, UTB/TSC president. UTB/TSC surveyed 55 companies on the U.S./Mexico border, asking what skills they wanted employees to have. Now that the programs are here they will meet again with these companies, as well as local school districts, Garcia said. They will try to make an easy transition for students going from high school to the program, and then into the work force. "It's so timely," said Rogerio Arredondo, administrator for technology at the Brownsville Independent School District. In 1992 BISD started a science and engineering magnet program at Porter High School, aimed at students interested in pursuing science-related careers. Now students ready to graduate from the Porter magnet can continue their studies in Brownsville, he said. In 1994 the state rejected UTB/TSC's request for these same programs. 'They didn't know if our facilities would be sufficient," Garcia said. Winter puts icy grip on nation By LARRY RYCKMAN Associated Press Writer The Winter of '96 whipsawed much of the nation Friday, sending Midwestern temperatures crashing 58 degrees in one Illinois town and melting blizzard snow into flash floods in the East. Several towns in West Virginia were warned to evacuate after the Greenbrier and Potomac rivers jumped their banks. In Keyser, helicopters were used to lift some people to safety, and some residents had to be removed by boat in Parsons when the Cheat River flooded. "We're stranded and no one can get to us," said Cindy McQueen of Marlinton, a town of 1,100 on the backbone of the (See GRIP, Page 12)
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