Friday, April 1, 2011

Is Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff too cozy with Mexico? - (Part 2)

Is Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff too cozy with Mexico?

This question was raised previously and it is important to pursue it further.

Another key question is:  What does Mexico see in Attorney General Shurtleff?

According to a press release from the Utah AG's office (11/9/06), Mr. Shurtleff was scheduled to receive the "Order of the Aztec Eagle" (Condecoracion del Aguila Azteca) award from President Vicente Fox of Mexico on  the following Friday. 

This press release is available at:

According to the press release: 

"The ceremony will be held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Mexico City and will be followed by a private meeting at the President's home."

Isn't that interesting?

Our own Utah Attorney General received this great honor in the capitol of a foreign nation and followed it with a private meeting with the President of Mexico!

This event received coverage in the Utah media. 

For instance, according to the Deseret News (11/9/06, "Mexico to give Shurtleff its top award"), the award is Mexico's "highest honor for foreigners who serve Mexico or humanity."

Mr. Shurtleff himself was "blown away" and stated that: "It's too big for me to even figure out." 

This article is available at:

The Mexican Consul Salvador Jimenez tells us that Shurtleff's receiving the award is due, in part, to it being a "reflection of his close ties with Mexico and his friendship toward Mexico, our community and our country."

According to Mr. Jimenez, President Fox was very impressed with Mr. Shurtleff's speech and the response to it from the most certainly predominantly Mexican audience in West Valley City where it was given during President Fox's visit to Utah in May 2006.

That must have been quite a speech!

Mr. Shurtleff's own observation was quite interesting, it included linking the award to the idea of immigration.  The Attorney General stated that "...I hope it adds a positive dimension to the immigration debate."

According to an observer at the end of the article, the award usually goes to people who have "done" - which appears to imply having accomplished great things, as foreigners, which are worthy of note to Mexico. 

The observer states further that " they [Mexico] are looking more at possibility of what people can do." 

Returning to our original question, we should once again ask: What does Mexico see in Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff?

Do they see someone who has already accomplished great things for Mexico or humanity?

Or do they see in him someone who can help them to accomplish their political goals for the United States and were schmoozing him for future cooperation?

Perhaps we can find a clue by looking at the official notice of the award in the Diario Official de la Federacion of the Mexican Government.

A key element of the recognition of AG Shurtleff's work, which was recognized by the Mexican government was:

"Que el señor Shurtleff, conocido por su posición a favor de la migración, ha manifestado constantemente una gran afinidad con México, su cultura y la comunidad mexicana en Utah, resaltando la importancia de la participación de dicha comunidad en la sociedad y sistema económico y político de su estado;"

("That Mr. Shurtleff, known for his position in favor of migration, has constantly expressed  a great affinity with Mexico, its culture and the Mexican community in Utah, emphasizing the importance of  the participation of that community in society and the economic and political system of his [or, their] state;")

The document is located at:

The immigration issue was noted by the Mexican government in awarding this honor to Attorney General Shurtleff.

Indeed, in Mr. Shurtleff's press release, the immigration theme was brought to the fore at the end of the release:

"Immigration is a very divisive issue and we should stop fighting and start working together to find rational solutions," says Shurtleff. "We need a uniquely American solution that respects the Rule of Law, the sovereignty of our nations and protects human rights and dignity. Helping Mexico succeed is in our best interest."

Did Mr. Shurtleff need to bring up immigration in his office's press release? 

No.  Yet, it was brought up.   

Again, what was Mexico seeking in Mark Shurtleff?

I will hazard a guess here. 

The answer to that question seems to be that Mexico was seeking an ally in its quest to normalize the status of millions of its nation's illegal immigrants in the U.S.

Having received Mexico's highest award to a non-Mexican...

Having hung out at the Mexican presidential residence with his good friend, President Vicente Fox...

...would our own Attorney General, Mark Shurtleff, be more or less likely to take a stance favorable to Mexico on immigration issues?

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