Signs informing travelers on I-35 of the distance they are from Laredo can be seen along the freeway, but motorists traveling south have begun to notice a change over the past few weeks. Signs that proudly displayed the distance's carried both Laredo and Nuevo Laredo, but recently our sister city to the south has been blacked out. Ryan Bailey has more on this controversial decision.
It may look like this sign was vandalized with spray paint, but TX-DOT says they are the ones blacking out Nuevo Laredo in an effort to distance the two neighboring cities, and it started as a request from the chamber of commerce.
"Many of the problems that are attributed to Laredo Texas are in fact, derived from the fact that there are problems in Nuevo Laredo and other Mexican cities.”
“It's a decision Tx-DOT made and obviously we respect their decision. It's a family, not divided but united by a river and we keep that in mind as obviously they are going through some tough times.">>
The dilemma facing the city of Laredo now is how to distance themselves from the violence going on in Nuevo Laredo, but still show support for their sister city.
"Almost any family you talk to has relatives on the other side. People still do business with Nuevo Laredo, so we maintain that relationship but we want to clarify the geography."
"In the foreseeable future things will return to calm and that's why we have to work in a partnership."
The chamber says they've seen a drop not only in tourism but also concerns from students hoping to attend TAMIU or LCC.
"Always we seem to get the same kind of response from families out of town, is it safe? We hear there are shootings in the streets and so we are trying to dispel that image."
"They honestly don't know it’s a different country and we unfortunately inherited that image."
An image they are trying to change slowly but surely. Ryan Bailey, Laredo's pro 8 news.
TX-DOT says they started blacking out the signs around a month ago and that new signage is on the way. They expect to have the news signs up in about a month.