Miami police to train Merida counterparts as part of broader sister cities efforts
Miami police will advise their counterparts in Mérida in specialized areas such as investigations, homicides and frauds under the sister cities mechanism, Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado said Tuesday Dec. 6.
From last Thursday and until this Sunday, Regalado and Commissioner Wilfredo Gort visited Merida with the purpose of following the process of rapprochement between both cities, initiated five years ago by both Miami officials.
“The reason we went this time is, in the first place, because there is a new mayor (Mauricio Vila). Secondly, because the public security authorities of both Merida and Yucatan have a special interest in using the sister cities mechanism to search for police training, especially in specialized areas of investigation, homicide, fraud, and Internal affairs,” the mayor said.
He pointed out that Mérida has a municipal police force, “but it is very limited by the laws of the Federal Government and all criminal investigations rest on the state police, so the new mayor asked for help on this. Our police, at their cost, will have the possibility to help, as they have done with the police in Madrid and Buenos Aires.”
“Thirdly, because Mérida has been declared by UNESCO, starting next year, as a heritage city for the celebration of the arts and ask us for artistic embassies in Miami, because they will celebrate countries and cities every week. There are sponsors in Merida that would help a lot in expenses, because the city of Miami does not have the resources to send artistic embassies, but that will be important in terms of rapprochement,” said Mayor Regalado.
He also indicated that he met with people and organizations interested in investing in Miami such as the Chamber of Commerce of Merida. “There are dozens of Merida residents who already have business in Miami and they were very interested in expanding those investments,” he added.
Regalado also met with the Secretary General of Government of the state of Yucatan, and the Secretaries of Tourism of the city of Merida and the state of Yucatan, because “they are interested in intensifying tourism from Miami to Merida, taking into account that they have many similarities from the nostalgic point of view of the architecture there with Cuba, customs, music, etc.,” said Regalado.
During his visit, Regalado handed the keys of the City of Miami to his counterpart in Merida, Mauricio Vila, who in November of 2015 received in Merida the ruler of Cuba, Raúl Castro, to expand ties in tourism.
Consulted on the reason for having given this honor, Regalado said: “the mayor of Mérida has never been in Cuba. In addition, he is totally in solidarity with the Cuban people on the island and in exile. The reason we gave him the key is because this is a new mayor. We had signed the brotherhood with the past mayor. So, to renew ties, that is the protocol that is made with sister cities. ”
“There is ten times more Merida investment in Miami than in Cuba, and we plan to make it twenty times more. Here we have, from Merida, millionaire investments in Miami,” said Regalado.