U.S. Department of the InteriorOffice of the Secretary - U.S. Department of the Interior - www.doi.gov - News Release
Date: September 18, 2008
Contact: Shane Wolfe

Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne Expresses Condolences on the Death of U.S.-Mexican Officials in Plane Crash

WASHINGTON -- This afternoon, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne expressed his sadness on the loss of the United States International Boundary and Water Commissioner, Carlos Marin, and Mexico’s International Boundary and Water Commissioner, Arturo Herrera.

 “Carlos Marin was a warm, knowledgeable and professional colleague; a man of integrity.  Those of us at Interior who had the privilege to work with Carlos will deeply miss him,” Secretary Kempthorne said.   Commissioner Marin started his career at the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in 1975, and worked for the International Boundary and Water Commission for nearly three decades.  President Bush appointed Mr. Marin as the United States Commissioner in 2006.

“Commissioner Herrera was a skilled and respected leader who worked to improve relations between the United States and Mexico for many years.  He represented Mexico with honor and was a valued friend to many of us here at Interior,” Kempthorne said in expressing his condolences to the Mexican government.

On Monday, September 15, 2008, while inspecting flood conditions in the Rio Grande Valley along the U.S.-Mexican border, a plane carrying U.S. and Mexican officials crashed in the Sierra Madre mountain range in Mexico, killing all four men aboard.

Kempthorne noted that over the past year the United States and Mexico have been in productive bi-national negotiations to develop strategies for improved management of the Colorado River.  Kempthorne said, “These two leaders were working to develop better relationships between neighbors.  Through mutual respect, hard work and imagination, their efforts enhanced the relationship between the United States and Mexico.  Our thoughts and prayers are with their families.  We will miss them both.”

“I would also extend my condolences to their families and friends, and to those of the pilot, Matthew Peter Juneau, and Jake Brisbin, Executive Director of the Rio Grande Council of Governments, who were also on board,” Kempthorne concluded.

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