EUROPE

Madrid, Santo Domingo forge closer ties at cities forum

The mayor of Santo Domingo, Carolina Mejía, and her Madrid counterpart, José Luis Martínez Almeida, highlighted the good relationship between the two cities and the increased exchanges in technical cooperation, on Friday at the end of the XIX Assembly of the Union of Ibero-American Capital Cities (UCCI).

Mejía described Martínez Almeida as “a person close to us” who has shown his desire to work closely together in the development of public policies in favour of citizens.

“With Madrid we have a partnership that brings us closer together to build cultural exchanges and technical knowledge,” she told Spain’s Agencia EFE news agency in an interview.

One of the initiatives of most interest was the one that dealt with pavements in the capitals of Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean, where they want to use Madrid as a reference to create open, walkable spaces that bring the city closer to the people.

At the UCCI Assembly, held in the Spanish capital this week, Martínez Almeida said that “the cities were the hardest hit by the pandemic”, which is why forums such as this association, which brings together 29 large Latin American cities, are the necessary space to “build the future.”

On Friday morning, Martínez Almeida led the delegation of mayors who attended an audience with Spain’s King Felipe VI at the Zarzuela Palace.

They then went to the Directorate General of the Madrid Municipal Police, in the Casa de Campo park, to see a presentation of the latest security and emergency technology.

On show were drones of the Police Air Support Service, metal detector gloves, ballistic and anti-trauma vests and advanced life support units.

“They are very pleasantly surprised, both with the human resources we have and with the equipment with which they can carry out their work, especially the drone system and the mobile ICUs that are capable of taking a hospital ICU bed to the street,” Almeida told the press.

The XIX UCCI Assembly marked the return of the meeting to the Spanish capital after almost a 20-year absence, and was attended by the mayors of Andorra la Vella, Asunción, Bogotá, Lima, Lisbon, Montevideo, San José, San Juan, San Salvador and Santo Domingo.

Senior representatives from Brasilia, Buenos Aires, Cadiz, Guatemala, Havana, La Paz, Quito, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Sucre and Tegucigalpa also attended. EFE

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