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IBWC Commissioner Carlos Marin was appointed to his position by President George W. Bush in December 2006 after 27 years of service to the commission. As U.S. Commissioner, he oversaw employees and projects in 12 offices along the U.S.-Mexico border. He also served previously as Deputy Commissioner and principal engineer of the operations department, among other positions in his lengthy career. He played a lead role in Commission projects related to flood control, sanitation, boundary demarcation and mapping.
On Monday, Sept. 15, Commissioner Marin, along with his Mexican counterpart Arturo Herrera, Jake Brisbin Jr., executive director of the Rio Grande Council of Governments (El Paso), and pilot Matthew Peter Juneau, departed El Paso International Airport on a charter flight bound for Presidio, Texas. Their flight plan also included a flyover of the Luis Leon Dam in Mexico. They were traveling to inspect flooding conditions in the Presidio area and to coordinate joint response efforts with local officials and the Mexican government.
The plane did not return. On Sept. 17 at 12:30 p.m. MDT, search and rescue worked located the downed aircraft in the Sierra Madre mountain range, a desolate area of West Texas. All four perished in the wreck.
Several Hidalgo County leaders who worked closely with IBWC Commissioner Carlos Marin have issued the following statements on his passing.
Hidalgo County Judge J.D. Salinas III:
"We are saddened by the sudden and tragic loss of IBWC Commissioner Carlos Marin, a friend to South Texas and the U.S.-Mexico border. We in Hidalgo County interacted weekly with the commissioner. He was instrumental in moving the levee improvements forward, and we are grateful for that. His cooperation and undivided attention during and after Hurricane Dolly, too, helped us save many residents from even more flooding. Mr. Marin’s dedication to his job was truly noteworthy, and his service to this community has been invaluable for our future."
Precinct 2 Commissioner Hector “Tito” Palacios:
"Carlos Marin was an admirable leader and will be missed in Hidalgo County. He worked tirelessly to reduce Mexico's water debt to the United States and made his biggest impact in helping Hidalgo County begin levee repairs that have been needed for years. Carlos Marin was resourceful and genuinely cared about the well-being of the people along the international boundary his agency oversaw. Our sympathies go out to the family of Commissioner Marin and the others who perished on that plane."
Hidalgo County Drainage District No. 1 director Godfrey Garza:
"Carlos Marin was a friend to South Texas. We worked with him closely on the rehabilitation of the levees. South Texas has lost a friend in the IBWC Commissioner, and our condolences go out to his family."