Mexican consulate touring all counties in Colorado
Special to the Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Eduardo Arnal, the Consul General of Mexico in Denver, visited Glenwood Springs Aug. 15 to meet with members of the city council and the Glenwood Springs Police Chief Terry Wilson. Arnal, 38, who was named to the post by Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon, arrived in Colorado in September 2007. His visit is part of a plan to tour all 63 counties in Colorado “he has visited 48 so far. Arnal is touring the state to create a more efficient relationship between the consulate and local authorities and to meet the Mexicans living in Colorado. The Post Independent met with Arnal at the Hotel Colorado during his visit:
Post Independent: What did you find when you arrived in Colorado last year?
Eduardo Arnal: A good, warm reception from the people and authorities, but certain contrasts in the state. There still are some leftovers of an anti-immigrant feeling in Colorado. Also, though I don’t have statistics, the Mexicans in Colorado are either leaving to go back to Mexico or are moving to other states in the country that are more friendly toward immigrants.
Although the attitude of authorities is in general pretty good, the legislation doesn’t help, it’s not friendly to the Mexicans here. There has to be an immigration reform from the federal government.
PI: What is Mexico doing to avoid the migration of its citizens?
EA: In Mexico we need to do our part “and we are doing it now” to generate better jobs and opportunities so that the Mexicans will stay there. We don’t want people to leave the country. We need them back now because Mexico’s economy has been growing very fast in the past 15 years. Mexico is a very rich country, the problem is that the wealth is in just a few hands. According to a study conducted in Mexico, if the Mexicans abroad don’t come back, we will need to import workers by the year 2040. To avoid this, the government of Mexico is making it possible for Mexicans abroad to finish their high school degree and it has also created several programs to train people in Mexico to work in different industries. People should call us to learn more about these programs.
PI: I have received some complaints that there is a a lot of bureaucracy at the consulate in Denver. A Mexican woman who lives in Glenwood Springs said about the Consulate recently: “They provide all the services that a Mexican needs, but not efficiently”.
EA: There have been a lot of changes since I arrived in Denver last year. And I believe the people who have recently visited us have a different opinion. Before my arrival, it took about seven months to get a power of attorney done. Now it takes two weeks. To get a birth certificate, the waiting time was six months, now that has been reduced to two months. We have been able to improve our services in the past months and we will continue to do so.
PI: What type of help can the Consulate offer a Mexican who is arrested here?
EA: We give free legal advice for criminal, civil or immigration cases. Though we can’t hire a lawyer to take the case, we can provide initial help and advice the “paisano” about what to do next.
PI: The previous Consul said that the Consulate in Denver can also facilitate the process to import Mexican products to the United States. How can you help somebody interested in doing that?
EA: We can certainly help. Recently we helped a woman from Puebla (Mexico) to sell all her production of Shiitake mushrooms to a supermarket in Colorado. Those who are interested in importing from Mexico should contact Laslo Caloy at the 303-331-1110 extension 121.
PI: What advice would you give to the Mexicans living in Colorado?
EA: That they take care of themselves and that they obey the laws of the country they are living in. That they don’t use domestic violence and that they don’t drive if they are drunk. I also want them to consider the possibility of returning to Mexico. We understand there is a big historic debt with them, but Mexico isn’t the same country of 10 years ago. It’s changing fast.
For more information on the services provided by the Consulate of Mexico in Denver, call 303-331-1110.
On the Web: http://www.sre.gob.mex/denver
Veronica Whitney is a reporter for the Spanish language newspaper La Tribuna
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