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Mexican consul Escobar retires
Miguel Escobar Valdez has retired as Mexico's consulate in Yuma, capping nearly six years as head of the office that serves area residents of Mexican nationality.
Escobar's retirement, which concludes a 22-year career with Mexico's Ministry of Foreign Relations, came with no prior announcement.
“Consul Escobar decided to retire from the foreign service effective Dec. 30, 2012,” Rocio Fregoso, spokeswoman for the Mexican Consulate, confirmed to Bajo El Sol.
Escobar, 77, could not be reached immediately for comment. Consular officials said Escobar, a native of Guaymas, Son., may have already returned to Mexico.
Santiago Ballina, who joined the Yuma consulate in September, is serving as interim consul until the Foreign Relations Ministry names a permanent successor.
Mexican consulates offer a variety of services to Mexican nationals living abroad, among them processing paperwork for passports, birth certificates and other official documents; providing referrals for health and other services in the community; and conducting absentee voting for Mexican elections.
The Yuma consulate serves residents of La Paz County as well as the Yuma area. Other Arizona cities with consulates are Phoenix, Tucson, Douglas and Nogales.
Ballina said he could not predict when the new consul will be in place but said the public will see no interruption in services provided by the consulate in the meantime.
Fregoso said the consul will meet with area leaders and community services organizations Jan. 15 to bring them up to date on the process of selecting Escobar's permanent successor.