Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mexican Consul In Chicago Violated Law, Major Latino Community Protest Set For Friday

Consul didn't meet with protesters on August 3, as required by Mexican law, according to protest organizers

By H. Nelson Goodson
August 10, 2010

Chicago, IL - On Friday, a group of Hispanic community protesters will again march and protest in front of the Mexican Consulate in Chicago, according to a press release by Yvette Anna Soto one of the key organizers. Soto says, the protest will begin a 10:30 a.m. on Friday at the Mexican Consulate, 204 S. Ashland Ave. in Chicago. Organizers will continue to protest until the Mexican Civic Society (MCS) is allowed to participate as Co-presenters of El Grito as Consul Manuel Rodríguez Arriaga had promised before last June.
The protest organizers alleged that Consul Arriaga failed to meet with them or even come out of the Consulate on August 3 and ask protesters why they were there protesting as required by Mexican law. Arriaga did sent out a representative, but the Consul is required to do it himself.
Instead Arriaga called Chicago police to remove the protesters, but police were unable too, as they were exercising their rights and in a peaceful manner.
For the last three years the Mexican Consul had been reaching out to non-profits, museums, cultural arts institutes, universities and other entities, but failed to include a large portion of the Mexican community including MCS. MCS organizers say that they were part of the Bicenntennial Mexico's Independence celebration and Arriaga had included them, until early 2009 when they discovered Arriaga had excluded them from participating.
This year they were apparently left out of the Comite Fiesta Patrias (CFP - Holiday Festive Committee) planning and steering committee for the Bicentennial celebration. The CFP committee was created in 2004 by the Mexican Consulate and today is controlled by Consul Arriaga.
In June, the MCS held a press conference to announced their decision to cancel the Mexican Independence Day parade in September.
Last week, Evelia Rodríguez, Media and Public Relations of the Mexican Civic Society says, the MCS annual cost to hold both the parade and El Grito is about $138,000. The elaborate and elegant Azteca banquet to select the MCS queen was also canceled.
Since, Consul Arriaga has taken away El Grito from us and decided to exclude us from the bicentennial celebration, we can't offer sponsorship for both the annual parade and El Grito to corporations and local businesses, according to Rodríguez.
Scholarships to help students finance part of their college costs provided from the MCS fundraising events will be effected as well.
The parade is usually done on a Saturday, a week before September 16, and El Grito is done after September 15 at midnight on September 16.
In 2008, 21 community organizations representing the Mexican community sent a letter to President Felipe Calderón complaining about Consul Arriaga, who took office in April 2007.
The complaint alleged Arriaga was arrogant, disputes, disrespected people, and ignored the needs of the Mexican community in Chicago. Arriaga lacked to understand his responsibilities that come with the job. They even wrote Calderón that Arriaga verbally attacks and offends leaders of the Mexican community based organizations looking to divide the community, reported El Diario Hoy from the Chicago Tribune.
Numerous members of the Institute for Mexicans Abroad (IME) even supported the allegations made by the 21 community organizations. IME members alleged Arriaga was not fullfilling his duties by working with the community and had neglected to attend community events in Wisconsin when invited.
Arriaga supposedly represents the Mexican government in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. Arriaga failed to comment or respond to the allegations made by the organizations in 2008.
Arriaga or President Calderón and the Mexican government has yet to comment concerning the current bicentennial community celebration crisis that Arriaga is accused of dividing the Mexican community he was hired to serve as a whole.
The Mexican Consulate in Chicago has had a history of controversy under the direction of Consul Arriaga, who won't comment on current allegations raised by the Mexican community from Illinois and Wisconsin.

In brief:

In Wisconsin, complaints have been raised by Mexican citizens that members of the Mexican Consul in Chicago who visit cities in the state apparently express the same arrogant and disrespectful attitude as Consul Arriaga towards Mexican citizens seeking the Matricula and other services. The Consul and his staff are public servants hired or appointed to provide government services to its Mexican citizens, who in return pay for those services.
In both Wisconsin and Chicago, the Mexican Consulate failed for months to notify Mexican citizens residing in the tri-state area that a business operating out of Chicago "Legalización de Autos El Mexicano" was selling false legalization documents ranging in prices between $3,000 to $7,000, which included registration of vehicle and Mexican license plates to import vehicles into Mexico. Once people reached the border or made it into Mexico, Mexican authorities discovered the documents were false and detained the document holders and confiscated vehicles.
In May, the Consulate finally issued a press release warning people these types of businesses operating in the U.S. were illegal. The Consulate indicated they had been working along with the Illinois Attorney General's Office investigation, but despite knowning since December of 2009 of the fraud, Consul Arriaga and his staff allowed Mexican citizens to continue to purchase false documents.
In April, the Illinois Attorney General Office filed a lawsuit to keep Legalización de Auto El Mexicano from operating for scamming at least 50 people of more then $79,000, not counting Waukegan and the Wisconsin operation, but by then the business had closed at 3121 W. 26th St. in Chicago, 913 Grand Ave. in Waukegan and 1239 S. Cesar E. Chavez Drive in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Legalización de Autos business chain ended up closing due to exposure of its alleged illegal activities by Hispanic News Network U.S.A., who in December 2009 first broke the story and kept thousands of Mexican citizens from being scammed. 
In 2008, Global Search de México, S.A. de C.V. which operated Licencias Mexicanas (Mexican Licenses) in California was in Wisconsin and Chicago selling these type of illegal licenses. The fraudulant licenses were sold from the states of Veracruz, Aguascalientes, Hildago and Oaxaca for a price between $160.00 and $180.00.
Once again, the Mexican Consulate in Chicago failed to notify its Mexican citizens of the scam, eventhough they had received numerous complaints from Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana. Consul Arriaga and his staff were forced to finally release a statement warning people of the scam. But by then, Licencias Mexicanas had scammed people in the U.S. for more than $6 million dollars and no one was ever prosecuted or convicted in the U.S. or in Mexico.
Licencias Mexicanas Internet information on their prior web page stated a combine of more than 40,000 licenses from the previously mentioned Mexican states have been sold in the United States of America averaging a gross total of more than 6 million dollars in taxable earnings so far, since it was established.
The Mexican licenses had been sold in the following states Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, New Mexico Nevada, New Jersey, and Texas.

Related article:

Mexican Consul Calls Chicago Police To Disperse Latinos Protesting Arriaga's Decision To Oust Mexican Civic Society http://bit.ly/9FAPy9

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