Posted on February 27, 2006

Protests Bring Early End to Speech by Mexican Official

Arizona Daily Star (Tucson), Feb. 24, 2006

A high-ranking official with Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission was forced to cancel a talk at the University of Arizona today after several Tucsonans who favor a crackdown on illegal immigration became disruptive because he was speaking in Spanish.

Mauricio Farah, a national inspector for the Mexican commission, walked out of a packed room at the University Services Annex after some audience members demanded an interpreter or that he discuss the scheduled topic, “Migration, Shared Responsibility,” in English.

When their demands were not met, the group became loudly disruptive, accusing Farah and other Mexican officials of being disrespectful for speaking Spanish in a public meeting.

UA Police were called to the scene to restore order.

Farah’s visit comes less than a month after the commission cancelled an agreement with Tucson’s Humane Borders to publish thousands of maps showing highways, rescue beacons and water tanks in the Arizona desert.

The maps, which sparked U.S. criticism, were to be distributed in Mexico.