August 31, 2001

Mexico starts radio outreach program for migrants

MEXICO CITY - Some 23 million Mexicans living in U.S. will be able to get closer to Mexican authorities by means of the radio program "De Paisano a Paisano," which started transmissions through the Internet from Mexico City on Friday.

Several federal offices joined the program of the Presidency's Internet General Direction, which will be re-transmitted through 50 U.S. Hispanic-oriented radio stations.

The program is divided into four main issues: business, education, health and welfare, and features a consultation office open to the public Juan Hernandez, coordinator of the Presidential Office for the Attention of Mexicans Abroad (OPAME), which created the program, said during the first session that the idea is to make Mexicans living in the United States feel that they are, like the rest of their countrymen, "first-class Mexicans.

"We want to give you the chance of coming back to Mexico, to be part of our country. We want to fight for your rights and treat you very well when you come back to the country. We want you to know that we miss you and that we are making every effort to improve the situation of Mexicans arrested in U.S. for not having documents.

One of the goals of the program, he said, is inviting immigrants who have achieved economic success to invest in their country.

Also during the program, Carlos Guillen, an OPAME official, stressed the fact that money orders from immigrants may reach 10 billion dollars by the end of the year, roughly equal to foreign-exchange earnings from Mexico's tourism industry.

The program will be transmitted every Friday at 1 p.m. Central Standard Time and re-transmitted at 6 p.m. through the Mexican presidency's website at www.presidencia.gob.mx.

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