This article was published on 19 September 2014. It has been translated without permission for the Mexican Journalism Translation Project.
Municipality Sends Official to Cuba, Does not Know Why
By Juan de Dios Olivas (EL DIARIO DE JUÁREZ)
The legal director of the Ecology Department, Laura Yanely Rodríguez Mireles, has been absent this week from her duties in the Municipality for a trip to Cuba for a lawyers’ congress. Her immediate supervisor, Alejandro Gloria González, and the city’s mayor, Enrique Serrano Escobar, justified her absence by saying that she was representing local government. But they could not describe the type of representation or explain its purpose.
The official, who has already had several trips within the country or abroad this year, posted on social media networks that she would attend the Lawyering Congress (Congreso de Abogacía) from 16 to 18 September. This timing means that she used the national holiday but also workdays to absent herself.
“It’s an event that has to do with her official duties, but I don’t remember the name of the event,” said Mayor Serrano Escobar yesterday.
He indicated that the official was only going to represent the Municipality, and she did not have an official task to execute.
“She’s going in representation but I don’t remember what the event is called. I saw it once but right now I don’t remember,” he said.
When questioned about Rodríguez Mireles’s work absences the Mayor said that it was necessary to speak with her immediate supervisor, the director of the Ecology Department, Gloria González.
“You would need to speak with her boss because I don’t take care of the attendance record for all the employees. We are a workforce of 7,400,” the mayor emphasized.
In a separate interview with her immediate supervisor, Alejandro Gloria Gonzaléz said that he did not send her to Cuba and he said that he did not know why she went.
He emphasized that she was sent by the municipality’s administration.
“She’s going on the Municipality’s business, not directly that of the Department. In representation – that’s what it said on the form,” he said.
Gloria González confirmed that this year Yanely Rodríguez only had one authorized absence from her duties.
“This one and no more. I don’t have an official report for the others,” he noted.
However, the official has posted on social media about four trips this year related to her profession as a lawyer. One of these was to Puerto Vallarta from 23 to 26 July, during the workweek. Before that there were other similar trips to Monterrey and Aguascalientes.
El Diario tried to locate the official by cellphone but she could not be contacted.
Before coming to work in municipal administration Rodríguez Mireles was President of the Bar and Lawyers’ College and also a candidate for District 7 representative. She ran as a candidate of Mexico’s green party, Partido Verde Ecologista de México.
The Ecology Department is an agency where a month ago the Municipal Oversight Board (Sindicatura Municipal) reported at least a dozen unjustified absences based on a random, routine list sent to different organizations within the municipal government.
Journalist Juan de Dios Olivas reports for El Diario de Juárez. Follow him on Twitter: @JDOlivas. This article first appeared on 19 September 2014 under the title, “Manda Municipio a funcionaria a Cuba pero no saben a qué,” available at: http://diario.mx/Local/2014-09-19_c5f7688e/manda-municipio-a-funcionaria-a-cuba-pero-no-saben-a-que.
Translator Patrick Timmons is a human rights investigator and journalist. He edits the Mexican Journalism Translation Project (MxJTP), a quality selection of Spanish-language journalism about Latin America rendered into English. Follow him on Twitter @patricktimmons. The MxJTP has a Facebook page: like it, here.