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New diplomat named to Mexican Consulate in L.A.

April 27, 2011 |  1:46 pm

The Mexican government has installed a new diplomat to run its consulate in Los Angeles, the largest it maintains in the United States.

David Figueroa-Ortega, 40, consul in San Jose, Calif., for more than two years, replaces departing Acting Consul Juan Carlos Mendoza, who held the post since October.

Figueroa-Ortega's father was a bracero, or contracted agricultural worker, in 1964.

Figueroa-Ortega, a member of Mexico's center-right National Action Party (PAN), is a former Mexican congressman and mayor of the city of Agua Prieta, Sonora.

He was attacked by gunmen in 2006 and 2007. In the first incident, he received bullet wounds to his arm. He survived the second attack unharmed and was made consul of San Jose shortly afterward.

Figueroa-Ortega said in a Wednesday news conference that he would focus on improving the organizational ability of Mexican immigrant groups and clubs.

He also said he would work to improve education and healthcare in immigrant communities and to strengthen ties to officials in Los Angeles County cities with large Mexican populations.

-- Sam Quinones