Paisano Program for a Pleasant Return to Mexico

By Mario Conde

The Mexican government will be monitoring how its co-nationals are treated when they come back to Mexico for vacation through the “Paisano” program.

The Paisano program is made of 21 departments of the Mexican government that have the mission to welcome Mexican nationals that come from Mexico or Canada. The program was created 20 years ago thanks to an initiative from Mexican nationals living in the U.S. that complained that they were victims entering to Mexico and now it focuses to have better services to those that return to their home country.

Alejandro Orbezo Elizaga, consular representative of the Paisano program in Los Angeles said that there will be 1,000 volunteers for this year’s summer program that will run from June 28 all the way to August in every access point to enter Mexico such as airports, bus terminals in order to give orientation to everyone that is seeking information about rights and obligations as citizen. Last week, Orbezo was in Mexicali to give uniforms to the volunteers of the Paisano program and thanked them for their help in supporting Mexican nationals that come from the United States or Canada.

Orbezo said that this year over 1 million Mexicans will return to their country either for vacation or to stay there indefinitely. Last year, 300 complains were received by the Paisano program for abuse of public officials. He said that every complaint is followed through and some of the victories are the return of vehicles that were taken away without permission by authorities and some have even been layoff because of that, Orbezo said. He said that every complaint received is helpful to see in what areas they can improve.

When asked if the SIAVE program will affect the return the Mexican nationals to their home country due that this new surveillance program that the Mexican government is implementing that is making long lines to cross to Mexico, Orbezo said that this is a good program and citizens have to be supportive of this program since this is an initiative of the Mexican government to fight organize crime and prevent the introduction of illegal weapons to Mexico.

Former Calexico Consul Pablo Arnaud said in his last day as Consul in Calexico; thanked the hospitality of the people of the Imperial Valley and added that all the consulates are also open to get complains about the treatment of Mexicans coming home. He warned to Mexican crossing the border not to introduce stuff that is not permitted by the Mexican laws. He said Mexico is a country of laws that need to be respected and should not introduce things that are unlawful. If it happens a case will automatically be started.