Betty Flores

On border security—and insecurity.

Evan Smith: Does the prospect of no longer being mayor of Laredo make you happy or unhappy?

Betty Flores: Neither one. I knew there was a beginning and an end. I worked as fast as I could, as hard as I could, and now I move on. I was a Laredoan when I started, and I’m a Laredoan when I leave. That’s the most important thing.

ES: Given what’s going on along the border right now, it has to be true that of all the mayors of your city in recent history, you’ve had the toughest go of it.

BF: It’s almost like, Be careful what you wish for. We’ve always wanted people to pay attention to the border, but some of the attention we’ve received has obviously not come in a good way because of the violence in Nuevo Laredo. For the most part, it does not define who we are. In fact, in my daily life it’s a very minute part of any discussion—even when I’m with the mayor of Nuevo Laredo. He and I just got back from Yuma, Arizona, promoting a rail bridge project we’re working on with the governor of Tamaulipas. We were together from seven in the morning until seven in the evening, and I don’t think we ever once talked about the

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