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  • Greg Cannon
    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/210499_garza03.html?dpfrom=th Thursday, February 3, 2005 Golden Couple has Mexican media abuzz By JEREMY SCHWARTZ
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      http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/210499_garza03.html?dpfrom=th

      Thursday, February 3, 2005

      'Golden Couple' has Mexican media abuzz

      By JEREMY SCHWARTZ
      HEARST NEWSPAPERS

      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
      Reforma.

      "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
      them."

      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
      businesswomen.

      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.
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