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Consul of Mexico in Chicago hightlights the importance of his region

June 12, 2011

  • Foto de archivo
    El Consulado de México en Chicago es el segundo más grande del mundo, según el cónsul Eduardo Arnal.
    The Mexican Consulate in Chicago, is the second largest in the world, according to Eduardo Arnal, the Mexican Consul in Chicago.
  • Eduardo Arnal

CHICAGO - (EFE) The new consul general of Mexico in the city of Chicago, Eduardo Arnal Palomera, said he wants to use his experience as a politician and diplomat to have an open-door administration in what represents the fifth city with the greatest amount of Mexicans in the world.

"It's a great honor and recognition to my work to have been assigned the second largest Mexican consulate in the world (after Los Angeles)," said Arnal.

Born in Mexico City 41 years ago, a lawyer and former federal deputy of the National Action Party (PAN), Arnal was also for nearly four years the Consul General of Mexico in the city of Denver (Colorado) before coming to Chicago.

He has participated in various seminars in Political Management, Participatory Leadership, Electoral Campaigns, Government Marketing, Municipal Management Workshops, various Legal Issues, International Relations, National Development and Public Policy among others, in Mexico and many cities in countries like Venezuela, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Colombia, the U.S. and Taiwan.

"I know that the Mexican community here is very active, very influential, participatory and also very spirited," he said.

The young diplomat believes he has enough political skills to earn the trust of the almost three million Mexicans who live within the jurisdiction of the consulate general, which besides Illinois, also includes parts of the neighboring states of Wisconsin and Indiana.

Arnal said that before coming he heard many "terror and success stories" about the city of Chicago, "but I prefer to keep the ones about success which are really spectacular."

When asked about the difficult relations of his predecessors with some native clubs and associations, he acknowledged that "we are a very passionate nation and have differences about everything," and promised to work hard to end with "clichés."

"I want to work with the doors open to everyone, regardless of religion, if they are affiliated to PAN, PRD or are communists, or if they are fans of Chivas, Pumas, Cruz Azul or even the America," he said.

"We need to acknowledge that we are all in the same boat, in the midst of a big storm and we owe each other loyalty," he added.

In his opinion, once Mexican immigrants can accept that, "even though many arrived to this country by truck", and with the intention of going back, millions stayed here "for whatever reason."

"Lets generate then the conditions so that they can get organized, live better, assimilate and demand the rights that are legitimate," he said.

Arnal, whose first public act was to attend the inauguration of Chicago's new mayor, Rahm Emmanuel, on May 16, has already requested formal hearings with the new mayor and the governor of Illinois, Pat Quinn.

Also, in addition to meetings with some of the community leaders in the area, the consul will go on tour in Wisconsin throughout the 128 counties under his jurisdiction June 14-17, "because I want to be near the people, know how they are and not only have them tell me about it," he said.

Particularly, in the meetings with the Mexican community his intention is to highlight that the job of the Consulate General of Mexico goes far beyond only assisting with immigration issues.

"We are the second largest trading partner of Illinois and the United States worldwide", he said.

Arnal also wants to stress the great diversity of Mexico as "our most important strength and wealth," even though many would consider it can be hard to govern a country like Mexico, "where five thousand different types of tamales are made."

In his view, the lack of unity is the reason the Mexican community has not achieved the specific weight it deserves in the United States.

"Mexicans are ten times larger in size than the Cubans in south Florida, or one hundred times more financially speaking, but they have an enormous influence and political clout in this country because they are united," he said.

"The day that Mexicans come together and we start to agree for something higher, the world will tremble," he said.

The Consulate General of Mexico in Chicago is located at 204 S. Ashland Avenue, Chicago.

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