Mexican President Vicente Fox Rejects NAACP Invitation

Regrets sent to Chairman Julian Bond

Milwaukee -- Mexican President Vicente Fox declined an invitation to attend the 96th Annual NAACP Convention. Julian Bond, Chairman, NAACP National Board of Directors, had invited the Mexican President to address the annual NAACP Convention being held July 9 -14 in the Midwest Airlines Center.

Bond said the Mexican Counsel General informed him this week that Fox would not be attending the convention. Bond first invited Fox to speak to NAACP delegates to explain his comments about Mexican migrants doing work that 'not even blacks want to do.' A second invitation was extended after a disgraceful racially insensitive postal stamp was issued by the Mexican government. "We thought his remarks and the issuance of the stamp were unworthy of a nation with a rich history of diversity, and we are saddened he cannot be with us to try and open dialogue," said Bond.

Ger?nimo Guti?rrez Fern?ndez, Mexico's Undersecretary for North America, said in a letter to Bond: "Due to previously arranged events on the presidential agenda, I regret to inform you that the President will not be able to pay a working visit to [Milwaukee] in upcoming days. I appreciate your commitment to promote a better understanding between Mexico and the United States, and I want to make clear to you and to the NAACP members, the great respect and recognition in which the Mexican government holds the Afro-American community in the United States and this distinguished organization."

The NAACP is the United States' oldest and largest civil rights organization, dedicated for 96 years to achieving equality for African-Americans and fighting racial discrimination against anyone. Its half-million members in 2200 local units scattered throughout the 50 states, Europe and the Pacific are the front-line grass roots troops for racial justice in their communities.

CONTACT: NAACP Office of Communications 410.580.5125

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