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Mexico names new consul

Activists oppose the removal of Santa Ana-based diplomat.

January 15, 2008|Jennifer Delson | Times Staff Writer

Even as community activists lobby to keep Luis Miguel Ortiz Haro in office as the Mexican consul in Santa Ana, the Mexican government has chosen a career diplomat to succeed him.

Carlos Alejandro Rodriguez y Quezada, who has worked in Cuba and Lebanon, will begin work next month.

Rodriguez y Quezada began his career with the Mexican Foreign Ministry in 1969. He currently works for the Foreign Ministry in a local government office, where passports are issued, in Mexico City.

The announcement comes as community activists are planning a meeting today to show their opposition to Ortiz Haro's removal. They credit Ortiz Haro with establishing an open-door policy in his office and with helping immigrants form cultural clubs that send money for public improvement projects in Mexico and conduct cultural activities in the United States. They also believe Ortiz Haro smoothed relations for immigrants with some local police departments.

"We have nothing against" Rodriguez y Quezada, said Janet Hernandez, a member of a Santa Ana club of immigrants from Mexico state. "But we would prefer that [Ortiz Haro] gets an extension. He's developed very strong relationships with the community."

Ortiz Haro, who was removed in what Mexican officials say was a routine change of offices, declined to comment. He has not been reassigned.

Rodriguez y Quezada said he would arrive in Santa Ana in mid-February. "I'll be there to serve Mexican citizens in the United States on behalf of the president and to promote commerce and culture," he said.

He did not say whether he was aware of the community opposition to Ortiz Haro's departure but said, "We will speak more about the details of how we will work when I arrive."

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jennifer.delson@latimes.com

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