CISPES statement on the new US Ambassador to El Salvador
On August 19th, President Obama appointedMaria del Carmen Aponte to be the new U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador. The President’sappointment during the Senate’s August recess broke a hold on hernomination by a few right-wing Republicans like Jim DeMint (R-SC). Herappointment will last until January 2012, when she would be re-nominated andapproved by the Senate.
Ms. Aponte is a Puerto Rican lawyer andformer director of the Puerto Rican Federal Affairs Administration (2001-2004).She has also served on the boards of the NationalCouncil of La Raza (NCLR), the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund,and the University of the District ofColumbia.
Last summer, CISPES issued somecriteria for a new Ambassador to El Salvador,in consultation with Salvadoran community organizations in the U.S.We noted that, “Given the vast importance of the Salvadoranimmigrant community in the US,the new ambassador should be prepared to work in support of immigrant rights...”
It is exciting that the U.S. government has finally named a bilingual womanto be the new Ambassador to ElSalvador, especially someone like Ms. Apontewho, through her work with the NCLR and other organizations, has advocated forrights of Latinas/os.