Monday, September 26, 2011

Mexican IME Advisor Elected To Represent Wisconsin

José de Jesús Cabrera Sandoval

Photo: HNG

Historic Mexican community election for IME advisor takes place in Milwaukee.

By H. Nelson Goodson
September 26, 2011

Milwaukee - On Sunday, José de Jesús Cabrera Sandoval was elected for a three year term (2012-2014) as an advisor for the Advisory Council (Consejo Consultivo) to the Institute for Mexicans Abroad (Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior, IME) during a one day election. Cabrera Sandoval was elected in absentia and is currently in Mexico. Cabrera's election campaign to IME advisor in Milwaukee was handled by his family while he remained in Mexico.
Mexican nationals in Wisconsin were given a rare opportunity to democratically cast their vote for a candidate to represent them in IME. Within the last ten years, IME advisors were selected among acquaintances in Wisconsin and very minimal information was made public.
Several months ago, Raul Ventura Ortiz from Chicago, Illinois, a member of the IME electorial process appeared in Nfoque Latino, a Spanish radio talk show on WJTI 1460 AM and invited people to participate in the IME election. It was actually the first time in a decade that Mexican nationals in the Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha and surrounding cities learned about an IME public election process.
The IME election took place on Sunday at Voces de la Frontera (VDLF), 1027 S. 5th St. in Milwaukee. The three canidates were Jaqueline Ramos Martínez, is the Vice President Assistant/Marketing Financial Officer at Mitchell Bank; Gilberto González Martínez is the General Manager at WJTI 1460 AM radio La Nueva Ritmo and José de Jesús Cabrera Sandoval, an Ecclesiastical Judge with the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Tribunal and Canon lawyer, all are from Milwaukee. Martínez received 108 votes, González 24 votes and Cabrera 120 votes.
Two people that voted apparently took the ballots with them after voting and the votes weren't registered, according to Juan V. Ruiz, an organizer for VDLF. Ruiz who was an observer in the IME election process said, some of the people showing up to vote thought that they were actually going to vote for a Mexican Consul. He was able to explain that IME and the Mexican Consulate are two separate entities.
The Consul is nominated by the Mexican President, the nomination is sent to the Secretary for Exterior Relations (SRE) for review, background check and then to the Mexican Congress for approval.
Other election observers at VDLF were, Jorge Mújica Murias, an IME electorial process member from Chicago and Ernesto Nava from Milwaukee, according to Ruiz.
Mújica Murias stated, We decided, at the local IME Election Committee in Chicago (which covers Wisconsin), that Wisconsin's election of the Council member should be open as we have always done it in Illinois. Also, that in Illinois there should be affirmative action and three women (out of six council members) should be elected regardless of the number of votes they got, because in the last three generations of council members (18 total), only two women had won in open elections.
The IME advisor when selected is assigned a committee within IME and he/she only serve in an advisory position and meet at least once a year in Mexico as a whole body. There are 111 elected IME members from the U.S., including three from Canada and 10 selected members from Hispanic organizations and Mexican social civic groups. They also get to meet the current Mexican president during their two year position.
An IME advisor doesn't work with the Mexican Consulate in Chicago, which is a separate entity. Advisors can provide information to the SRE about the needs of the Mexican community abroad. The SRE later decides, if the Mexican Consulate needs to address the issues an IME advisor presents.
In Illinois, Patricia Martínez Sandoval received 197 votes and was elected as an IME advisor. She is a radio personality and Production Director for La Campeona Radio on the Internet and WPJX 1500 AM radio, both transmitted from Waukegan and Northbrook. The other elected IME advisors were Elvia Torres, 291 votes; Frank de Avila, 255 votes: Juan Carlos Cisneros Vázquez, 239 votes; María de León, 227 votes and Gerardo Carlos Torres with 215 votes, according to Ventura Ortiz.
The Mexican government created IME on April 16, 2003 to help enhance the social and human asset of Mexican immigrants in the U.S. IME developed programs to aid Mexican nationals to integrate into the U.S. life style by providing civic, health, education, financial services, immigrant rights and political awareness for immigrants while living in the U.S.
About 95 percent of Mexico's immigrant population (more than 11 million) reside in the U.S. and 83 percent of them live in just ten states, according to a January 2010 IME report by the Migrant Policy Institute.

List of IME candidates for 2012-2014 (PDF) at link:

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