Thursday, February 3, 2005
'Golden Couple' has Mexican media abuzz
By JEREMY SCHWARTZ
MEXICO CITY -- It is a wedding story that has captured
the imagination of this country and set tongues
wagging throughout the capital.
Ever since the news broke Sunday that U.S. ambassador
and Brownsville, Texas, native Tony Garza is engaged
to Mexico's wealthiest woman, the heiress to the
Modelo beer empire, the couple has been plastered
across front pages and subject to inquiring
speculations among the Mexican media.
Will the glamorous, 41-year-old Maria Asuncion
Aramburuzabala move with him back to Texas and help
with a possible run for governor? Will Garza, 45,
become a Mexican citizen? Will he switch from his
beloved tequila to Corona, the top-selling brand of
the Modelo company?
For now, Garza and Aramburuzabala, already dubbed the
"Golden Couple" by one of Mexico City's largest
dailies, are keeping mum.
That hasn't kept the Mexican media from talking.
"Finally something agreeable, beautiful, but more than
anything romantic. Hallelujah!" wrote Guadalupe Loeza
in a humorous column in Tuesday's edition of La
"Can you imagine what this means? ... Two neighbors
that sometimes have their little problems but in the
end still adore each other? Well sometimes they hate
each other ... but now it is love that will unite
Tuesday, El Universal devoted almost the entire front
page of its style section to the couple, complete with
pictures of them snuggling at a recent event.
El Universal was the first to report the impending
nuptials after learning of a wedding notice tacked
onto a church near Mexico City.
The pair apparently has been dating at least six
months, the paper reported.
A wedding date hasn't been set, but according to
Catholic custom in Mexico, the marriage could occur
within a few months.
The wedding will bring together some powerful
political and economic forces.
Forbes Magazine has reported Aramburuzabala's wealth
at $1.5 billion, and The Wall Street Journal has cited
her as among the world's most distinguished
She assumed management of the Modelo brewing group
after her father died in 1995 and also holds positions
with some of Mexico's largest companies, including
Televisa, Telefonos de Mexico and Banamex.
Garza, a longtime confidant of President Bush's, was
appointed ambassador in 2002 after serving on the
Texas Railroad Commission for four years. Before that,
he was then-Gov. Bush's secretary of state.
And Hispanic Business Magazine has twice named him one
of its Top 100 Most Influential Hispanics.
Jorge Chabat, an expert on Mexico-U.S. relations at
the Center for Economic Research and Teaching, said
that beyond being an interesting love story, the fact
that the U.S. ambassador is taking a Mexican bride
"makes the Mexican people feel proud."
Chabat said the wedding also resonates because for
some it symbolizes the marriage of the two countries,
bound by their common border.
A far cry from his time as railroad commissioner in
Texas, when Garza rarely made headlines, Garza's role
as ambassador has put him squarely under the glare of
the aggressive Mexico City media.