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Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Mexican president to present award to Ford executive

Mexican president to present award to Ford executive


Mexican president to present award to Ford executive


The Associated Press
6/16/2004, 6:55 p.m. ET


LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Mexican President Vicente Fox will present an award Thursday to Ford Motor Co.'s chief operating officer, a naturalized Mexican citizen, during his three-day visit to the Midwest.

Ford's Jim Padilla will receive the Ohtli medal, which recognizes Mexican citizens living outside the country who have worked for the benefit of younger generations of Mexicans, the automaker said.

Padilla, a Detroit native whose grandfather immigrated from Mexico, became a naturalized Mexican citizen in December. He retains his U.S. citizenship as well.

Padilla has been active in supporting Mexican Americans in the United States. After he took citizenship, he obtained a matricula consular, a consulate-issued ID, in a symbolic gesture of support. The ID card has become controversial because of its use by illegal immigrants, but immigration advocates say it helps Mexicans in the United States lead normal lives.

Fox, who arrived in Chicago on Wednesday, will make his first stop in Michigan in Lansing on Thursday. He will present Padilla with the award at a Hispanic community meeting.

Fox is also expected to meet with Gov. Jennifer Granholm and other Michigan officials.

Later in the day, he is to travel to Dearborn, where he will attend a dinner at Ford's Rouge complex.

On Friday, Fox is expected to meet with Rick Wagoner, chairman and chief executive of General Motors Corp. and to give a speech at Oakland University before departing for Minneapolis.

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