Thursday, October 9, 2014

Luz Robles' New Hubby Was Honored by Mexico in 2011

Juan Carlos Escamilla, Luz Robles' new husband, was awarded the prestigious "Ohtli" award in 2011.  

What is the Ohtli?

It is an award granted by the Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior (IME) through the Mexican consular network in the United States.

The IME, as you may recall, is the branch of the Mexican Foreign Ministry that coordinates the activities of the Consejo Consultivo del Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior (CCIME) - the advisory board that Luz Robles served on from 2006-2008.

From the IME website description of the award, we have the following:

"One of the objectives of the Institute of Mexicans in the Exterior (IME) is to strengthen relations with the Mexican community and those of Mexican origin residing outside of our country. To this end we have put into operation a great variety of projects that have allowed us to strengthen the links of Mexico with her diaspora."

("Uno de los objetivos del Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior (IME) es fortalecer las relaciones con la comunidad mexicana y de origen mexicano residente fuera de nuestro país. Con este fin se han puesto en operación una gran variedad de proyectos que nos han permitido estrechar los lazos de México con su diáspora.")

The IME description of this prestigious award also tells us:

"This award is given, to individuals who have dedicated most of their life and professional activity, to "open a path" abroad, so that the younger generations of Mexicans who have followed them, find a path relatively easier to walk."

("Este reconocimiento se otorga, a personas que han dedicado la mayor parte de su vida y actividad profesional, a “abrir brecha” en el extranjero, para que las generaciones más jóvenes de mexicanos y mexicanas que los han seguido, encuentren un camino relativamente más fácil de andar.")

Generally speaking, each consular area is permitted to award one Ohtli per year.  

The IME page describing the Ohtli award is at:

The newsletter ("Informe") of the CCIME also carried a story about Mr. Escamilla's Ohtli (see page six at the link below):

Some photos of Mr. Escamilla receiving the award are at:

How did Mr. Escamilla feel about receiving the award?

According to an article in the Yuma Sun about the event, Mr. Escamilla had this to say:

“I would like to thank the Mexican Consulate in Yuma and the consulate’s Institute of Mexicans in the Exterior for this profound honor,” Escamilla said in a prepared statement. “As mayor it is my most solemn obligation to serving others. It makes me so proud to be among those who have received this distinction and recognition in the past."

He also added this:

“I will accept this award on behalf of all the Hispanics who work tremendously in improving the lives of others. It has not been easy to persevere in the mission of preserving our Hispanic cultural heritage, our rights as Latinos, but we will continue to strive and be successful to achieve the place we deserve in the United States. Our history shows that if we work together, we can accomplish great things.”

The Yuma Sun article is available at:

It seems rather strange for elected officials in America to be receiving awards from a foreign nation for serving, in some sense, the interests of that nation.  

Mr. Escamilla, at the time he received this award, was the mayor of San Luis, Arizona.  

He is currently a member of the Arizona House of Representatives.  

Mexico, through its IME website, has stated that one of its goals is "to strengthen the links of Mexico with her diaspora."  The Ohtli award should be seen in that light - as a propaganda tool of the Mexican government to strengthen ties between itself and those of Mexican heritage in the United States.  

It is hard to fault the sincere efforts of well-meaning people who seek to better the lives of others.  I am not criticizing such efforts by Mr. Escamilla.

However, the ethnocentric politics being promoted in America by Mexico should be carefully examined and Mexico should be politely, but firmly, told to mind its own business.  

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