AMC through the decades: 1970s

Throughout the 1970s, the Arizona-Mexico Commission celebrated its twentieth anniversary and strengthened collaboration with its counterpart organization in Sonora.

Early 1970s

In 1970, the Friendship Airport-Industrial Complex was proposed as a concept to the Arizona-Mexico Commission (AMC) and various stakeholders.

The complex would have been located between San Luis, Arizona, and San Luis Río Colorado, Sonora with a runway in Sonora and a runway in Arizona.

A letter addressed to the AMC in February of that year said, “Friendship Airport will permit an easier method for General Aviation entering and leaving Mexico. The ‘Twin Airport’ concepts will provide a runway in Sonora and a corresponding runway in Arizona.”

In 1972, the AMC formed formal committees with a reorganization. The committees formed that year included Trade and Commerce, Banking and Finance, Agriculture and Livestock, Education, Tourism, Health, and Art and Culture.

That same year, the organization named Margaret (Pat) Lougee its first female board member.

In 1973, the Honorable Alfredo Valdez Montoya, former Governor of Sinaloa, along with a delegation visited Arizona to strengthen ties.

Mid 1970s

Former Sonora Governor Carlos Armando Biebrich Torres and delegation attended the Vesta Club Banquet in Phoenix in 1974.

The Vesta Club awarded scholarships annually to Hispanic student candidates who were nominated by Arizona institutions of higher education.

That same year, the Commission of Arizona – Sonora and Sinaloa Plenary Session was held.

The AMC and the Sonora-Arizona Commission held bi-annual plenary sessions to discuss issues and continue collaboration and relationship-building.

In 1975, the AMC published the first bi-monthly bulletin, which was designed to help inform members and stakeholders of the AMC’s different happenings.

That same year, the AMC co-sponsored the air-drop of 5,000 ping-pong balls over Hermosillo, Sonora as a goodwill gesture and trade promotion for Arizona.

Gift certificates for Arizona businesses valued at $12,000 were stuffed into 1,000 of the air-dropped ping-pong balls.

The outside of each ball read, “Para Sonora, Con Saludos – Raúl H. Castro, Gobernador de Arizona.”

Late 1970s

In 1977, President Jimmy Carter nominated former Arizona Governor Raúl Héctor Castro Ambassador to Argentina.

The state’s first Latino governor, Castro served as Ambassador from 1975 to 1977 and was actively involved in politics throughout his career.

In 1978, the University of Arizona published the Economic Impact of Mexican Visitors to Arizona.

Tourism from Mexico to Arizona- and vice versa- is still tracked annually to analyze the economic impact and opportunities.

In 1979, the AMC and the Sonora-Arizona Commission celebrated their 20th anniversaries in Phoenix and former Governor Alejandro Carrillo Marcor and former Governor Bruce Babbitt presided over the event.

Like the AMC, the Sonora-Arizona Commission was founded in 1959 and works to strengthen the relationship between Sonora and Arizona.

Today, it is comprised of 16 committees and has determined sustainability, quality of life, competitiveness and security as important issues to the region.  

Sierra Ciaramella

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