Last updateFri, 22 Jul 2016 8am

Prestigious magazine discredits Chapala officials Press chief responds, ‘We are not criminals!’

A scathing report questioning the professional credentials of top Chapala officials appeared in the Jalisco supplement of the July 17 edition of Proceso, recognized as one of Mexico’s leading news weekly.  

City Hall press chief Antonio Manzano Uribe quickly produced evidence to refute accusations laid out in the article “Usurpación en Chapala,” published under the byline of Gloria Reza.  

The text suggests that Mayor Javier Degollado and a number of other high-ranking staffers pass themselves off as professionals in various fields without proper accreditation issued by Jalisco’s Dirección de Professiones or the federal Ministry of Education (SEP) Registro Nacional de Professionistas. It further implies that they may be operating in violation of Article 170 of the Jalisco Penal Code which establishes penalties for “usurpation of public functions or professions.”

“We are not criminals,” Manzano declared vehemently, labeling the article’s content as “inconsistent, inadequate, lacking veracity and sensationalistic.”

He explained that a professional holding a SEP cédula professional (professional identity card) is qualified to practice his or her occupations anywhere in the nation and abroad.  Those holding Jalisco IDs are accredited only within the state’s boundaries.

While acknowledging that the mayor has not yet processed his cédula, the press chief provided reporters with a copy of his certification as a titled graduate in public administration from the University of Guadalajara, dated December 10, 2012. 

Also fingered in the Proceso story is the municipality’s Síndico (legal representative) Oscar Alfredo España Ramos, who holds SEP credential 6484217 as an attorney at law, issued in 2010, demonstrated with physical proof and verification on the Registro Nacional website. 

Likewise, Urban Planning Director José Barajas Gómez, shows up in the online SEP registry with credential  9475828 as a graduate in civil engineering, issued just this year. 

Another official in a sensitive post is Luis Rodrigo Paredes Carranza, director of Public Works.  His name in fact does not appear in either the state or federal registries and the number on a copy of the credential Manzano showed is illegible. He did produce a University of Guadalajara diploma accrediting Paredes as a titled civil engineer.   

The Proceso reporter notes that Chapala’s medical director Dr. Sergio Ibarra Soltero is not registered by the state, while recognizing that he does possess a SEP cédula as a surgical and obstetrical physician, listed with ID 0514695 issued in 1978.

Reza’s story names and pictures many other city hall department directors who under state law and municipal regulations are not required to hold professional titles to exercise their respective positions.  All-in-all it smacks of a poorly researched hit piece aimed at putting the Degollado administration in a bad light. 

Nonetheless, the article does provide food for thought on the mayor’s campaign pledge to reorganize and streamline the government with highly qualified personnel in leadership jobs. Read the full text at http://hemeroteca.proceso.com.mx/?p=413611.

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