Friday, January 28, 2011

Several Illinois Mexican Groups Calling For Three Chicago Consuls To Be Ousted By SRE

Chicago Mexican Consulate

The groups say the three consuls engaged in intimidation and intended to discredit Mexican organizations.

By H. Nelson Goodson
January 28, 2011

Chicago, Illinois - On Friday, the Hispanic Council (HC) in Hillside and the Casa Mexiquense (CM) from Waukegan announced that they will have a joint press conference on Monday, Jan. 31, beginning at 11:00 a.m. at the HC location, 4100 Madison St. in Hillside. The conference will also be aired live on WNDZ 750 AM Radio in the Chicago metropolitan area. Both the HC and MC are calling for the ouster of three Chicago Mexican Consulate consuls for their active participation to engage in tactics of intimidation and for their role in discrediting numerous community Mexican organizations, under the alleged direction of General Consul Manuel Rodriguez Arriaga. Luis E. Pelayo, Founder and President of the Hispanic Council says, they are requesting the Mexican Secretary of Exterior Relations (SRE) to remove Consuls Joaquín Pastrana, Community Organizing, Ioana Navarrete, Department Head of Protection and Dante Gómez, Social Support Coordinator at the Mexican Consulate in Chicago. 
Pelayo says, evidence of their unethical service to the Mexican community will be presented to the media.
Consul Arriaga is expected to be replaced in early March by the newly named Chicago Consul Eduardo Arnal Palomera currently at the Denver, Colorado Mexican Consulate. Palomera's nomination by President Felipe Calderon is still in the process of being approved by the Mexican Congress.
Arriaga who has been at the Chicago Consulate for almost four years was named as the Mexican Ambassador for Peru and will also have to be approved by the Congress. In the last several years, Consul Arriaga has been criticised and accused of deliberately shunning certain community based organzations. Even protests by groups during the Summer leading up to the Bicentennial Celebrations have been staged outside the Mexican Consulate calling for his ouster.
Pelayo indicated that the HC had provided Arriaga with a proposal to implement a 24 hour hotline for Mexican nationals seeking legal advice and other services. The proposal included adding two paralegals and an attorney.
Today, no one answers the phone lines once the Consulate closes for the day. If police try to contact the Consulate after closing hours, when they hold someone that is undocumented to let notify the Consulate, a person can be held and then deported without Consulate representation. "An unanswered call can leave a chlid without their father or mother, this is outrageous," Pelayo stated. The Hispanic Council and Casa Mexiquense have freed more Mexican nationals being detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement than the Consulate under Arriaga's direction, according to Pelayo.
The Consulate makes between $5 to $7 million U.S. annually on visas, Mexican legal documents and services to Mexican nationals from Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois.
Currently, the Mexican Consulate is being criticised for not acting or publically condemning the illegal deportations of thousands of Mexican nationals in the Chicago area and the illegal private corporation deportation of quadriplegic patient Quelino Jimenez Ojeda, 23, in December by AeroCare and Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. Community activists alleged both the AeroCare and Advocate might have falsified information to acquire Mexican government documents to deport Ojeda to Oaxaca, Mexico without his consent or families authorization. The SRE has launched an investigation into who provided unauthorized government documents to Advocate Christ Medical Center and AeroCare in order to privately deport Ojeda without anyone knowing.  

Article on Ojedas deportation:

Did AeroCare & Advocate Christ Hospital Falsified Information To Acquire Mexican Documents To Deport Quadriplegic Patient?

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