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12.12.13

A Unique Study of Azeri Lobby in Mexico

An extensive study by Dr. Carlos Antaramian, a professor and researcher in Michoacan College of Mexico, has been published in the Winter 2013 issue of the Mexican journal Istor. It shows in detail the mechanism and works of Azeri political lobbying in Mexico.

Antaramian asks at the onset: "Why has Mexico, a country that has not recognized any other genocide in parliamentary statements (except the Holocaust), recognized Khojaly, a debated issue?" After the approval of such statements by both chambers of the Parliament, two squares renovated by the Azeri government were opened in Mexico city in 2011. The first, called "Mexico-Azerbaijan Friendship Park," had a huge statue of late Azeri leader Heydar Aliyev, father of the current president of Azerbaijan, which was removed on January 26, 2013 after various protests, and the second one, called "Tlaxcoaque-Khojaly Square," still has a monument of a woman raising her arms and a pedestal that reads "Khojaly Genocide." "Both parliamentary statements and squares correspond to effective lobbying by the Azeri ambassador Ilgar Mukhtarov," Antaramian explains, considering that Azerbaijan threatened to withdraw the investments when they decided to remove the statue of Aliyev. Mukhtarov stated that "so far, Latin American countries were a free field for Armenians, since Azerbaijan was not represented in the region."
Antaramian, author of a book on the Armenian community of Mexico and of a documentary on Mexican Armenians, as well as of scholarly articles on the Armenian Genocide, notes that one of the examples of Ambassador Mukhtarov’s lobby were the lectures organized at various Mexican universities to present the Azeri version of what had happened in Khojaly. In the report, Dr. Antaramian carefully presents the network of manipulations, distortions of history and lies woven by Azerbaijan: "It is well known that history is sometimes manipulated and rewritten to be used as a powerful tool of territorial struggle and even denial of the culture and identity of other groups." At the same time, Antaramian recalls that "any Azeri who dares to challenge the official version of Azerbaijan’s history is considered a traitor by the government of that country."
The author also cites the visit of Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian to Mexico, who said that "the parliamentary statements issued by the Chambers of Mexico contain distortions of the facts of the conflict in Nagorno Karabakh."
"These documents were written with the sole use of the viewpoints of the Azeri Embassy in Mexico, thanks to Ambassador Ilgar Mukhtarov’s lobbying. As Azeri roving ambassador in Latin America, he has also taken the same document to be ratified by other parliaments in Latin America," explained Antaramian, citing the case of Colombia, where the Senate made a statement "condemning the 'Armenian occupation' and saying that what happened in Khojaly was a genocide."
Denouncing the various political actors that promoted the parliamentary statement on Khojaly and agreed to the construction of statues of Heydar Aliyev and "Khojaly genocide," Antaramian has presented a unique document that exposes all the stages of the work of Azeri diplomacy to rewrite and lie about their own history.


"Asbarez," December 11, 2013

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