SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria made his first official visit to Tijuana since taking office in December 2020.

His stay south of the border was brief, but very productive, he said.

Gloria signed a memorandum of understanding with his counterpart from Tijuana, Montserrat Caballero, to work together on several issues facing the border region.

Tijuana Mayor Montserrat Caballero and San Diego’s Mayor Todd Gloria. (Jorge Nieto/Special for Border Report)

“This MOU strengthens the integral ties between San Diego and Tijuana,” Gloria said. “We are an interconnected region that is stronger together, and agreements like this are a symbolic representation of our binational strength.”

The two leaders agreed to increase collaboration in addressing environmental issues in the Tijuana River Valley, where decades of pollution and raw sewage from south of the border have plagued the area and devastated wildlife.

According to the MOU, both San Diego and Tijuana will continue working together to share “best practices and develop joint working programs in areas of common interest.”

Areas of collaboration include:

  • Environmental protection
  • Municipal and regional planning
  • Economic development
  • Police services
  • Fire services
  • Parks and recreation
  • Waste disposal and recycling
  • Emergency management
  • Immigrant affairs

More unites us than the walls that divide us. We are united by both cultures, we are united by the love for our countries and this region,” Caballero said. “With the signing of this MOU between Tijuana and San Diego, together we will build strong bridges of understanding in cultural, environmental, economic, touristic themes and many other areas we have in common.”

The accord between San Diego and Tijuana is a two-year agreement and is eligible for renewal upon its expiration in May 2024.

During his stay, Gloria received a birthday cake from Caballero to celebrate his birthday, which took place Tuesday.