Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Mexican Nationals In Chicago Protested Against Lack Of Transparency By Mexican Consulate

Mexican nationals are disappointed that the Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations only provided a mere $3,350 for the annual Grito event, while the Consulate General of Mexico in Chicago generates more than $10M per year from services rendered to nationals.

By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.

May 6, 2015

Chicago, Illinois - On Wednesday, more than 100 Mexican nationals and supporters held a protest and rally in front of the Consulate General of Mexico in Chicago (CGMC) to demand transparency from Mexican Cónsul Carlos Jiménez Macias. Cónsul Jiménez Macias was out of town on Wednesday, according to the Consulate staff. 
It took Cónsul Jiménez Macias more than seven months to make public through the Fiestas Patrias Committee (FPC) that the Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations had allocated $3,350 to the Consulate for the Grito event. The funding now confirmed by Cónsul Jiménez Macias was not included in the fiscal report released by Carlos Tortolero, former President of FPC 2014 and Director and Founder of the National Museum of Mexican Art. 
El Grito de la Independencia de Mexico is the Midnight shout of the Mexican Independence celebration on September 16.
Tortolero had told HNNUSA that he didn't know how much the Mexican government gave the Consulate for the Grito event.
When contacted by HNNUSA after the Fiestas Patrias and Consulate press conference on Tuesday about the $3,350 Grito 2014 funds, which weren't previously reported in a fiscal report by the FPC. Tortolero stated, "The fiscal report that I released contained only the checks that had the Museum's name on them for deposit.  I did know that the Cónsul paid for the VIP reception, but since the funds were not deposited though the museum, then those funds could not be recorded by the Museum.  
"I did not know where the funds came from that the Cónsul used to pay for the reception, but very early on, he said that his office would pay for the reception."
So far, an $18,896.84 plus a $3,350 totaling $22,246.84 discrepancy is showing in the Fiestas Patrias 2014 El Grito fiscal report.
The Sin Censura radio program with Vicente C. Serrano in Chicago exposed the lack of transparency by the CGMC in regards to its technical support for the FPC in 2014. With the latest update by the FPC and Cónsul Jiménez Macias, including Alderman George A. Cardenas who told Serrano that the cost of El Grito at the Harrison Park in Pilsen hasn't been determined or it's not clear who will actually pay for it and the cost was not included in the fiscal report as well. Someone, the City of Chicago or entity must have paid for it, but who and how much?
HNNUSA contacted Javier Salas on Tuesday for a copy of the transparency report, but he has not responded. Salas gave the presentation of the FPC transparency report at the Consulate.
Mexican nationals seeking services (legal documents, passports, La Matricula ID and etc.) are a major funding source for the CGMC. The CGMC is also a major source for generating revenue for the Mexican government from services rendered to Mexican nationals in the tri-state area (WI, IN, IL). After all expenses and payroll is paid out to Consulate staff, including Consuls, the CGMC has about $8M in profit left annually. Which, the Mexican government helps fund other less revenue generating Consulates in the U.S., according to a source at the Secretary of Foreign Affairs.

For full story: Transparency of Public Information Signed Into Law By Mexican President Peña Nieto

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