More evidence the Mexican senator retained his Canadian citizenship

Bob Mackin

Mexican media are abuzz over the citizenship of the mining union leader who lived 12 years in exile in the Lower Mainland before returning home to become a senator.

Napoleon Gomez Urrutia fled north in 2006 and became a Canadian in 2014. In February 2018 he was appointed to the Senate and returned to Mexico for his swearing in August 2018. Senators in Mexico must be born in Mexico and n have no other nationality.

Napoleon Gomez Urrutia: Coming out of Canadian exile and entering the Mexican Senate, thanks to proportional representation.

According to a translation of a March 31 Reforma news agency article in El Diario, Gomez “did not carry out any procedures in Canada to renounce citizenship of this country.”

The story quoted Gomez’s March 4, 2021, testimony before the 14th District Court in administrative matters: “I have renounced all foreign nationality before the authorities that I consider competent, which in the case are the Mexicans, not the Canadian. […] there was no need to carry out procedures in Canada.

To renounce Canadian citizenship, a person must deal directly with Canadian authorities. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada requires a payment of $100 and a completed application with proof that one is or will become a citizen of a country other than Canada, will not live in Canada, be at least 18 years of age and not does not pose a security threat. The application form is available online and, for those who do not live in Canada or the United States, must be submitted to a Canadian Embassy, ​​High Commission or Consulate.

An email query to Gomez’s office did not elicit a response by the deadline.

Questions about Gomez’s citizenship status erupted more than two years ago after he was photographed at Vancouver International Airport. Gomez and his wife, Oralia Casso, flew first class on a January 2, 2020 Aeromexico flight from Mexico City to Vancouver and presented Canadian passports covered in dark blue. Those from Mexico are dark green.

Napoleon Gomez Urrutia during a Whitecaps FC game at BC Place Stadium (Facebook)

Gomez was the head of the National Union of Mining, Metallurgical, Steel and Allied Workers of the Mexican Republic, better known as Los Mineros, when he fled with his family to Vancouver in 2006. He blamed mining company Grupo Mexico and the Mexican government for ‘industrial homicide’ after an explosion at a coal mine earlier that year in Coahuila killed 65 workers. He was charged with allegedly embezzled $55 million from a union trust fund that had been dissolved in 2005. Gomez denied the allegations.In 2014, a Mexican appeals court ruled the charges unconstitutional and overturned an arrest warrant.

Gomez continued to lead Los Mineros from afar and enjoyed the support of Unifor and the United Steelworkers. Elections BC’s database shows he made seven donations to the BC NDP from 2009 to 2017, totaling $2,680. Gomez, an Oxford graduate, succeeded his father as union leader in 2000, but never worked in a mine.

In 2018, Gomez triumphantly returned to Mexico when he was named a senator under that country’s Mixed Member Proportional system following the election of new President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. At the time, Gomez claimed he had renounced his Canadian citizenship. At the start of his six-year term, Gomez said he wanted to rebuild Mexico and fight corruption.

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