The second assignment for the People’s Reporter comes from reader Roy Evans, who’s wondering about all those Mexican government radio commercials he hears on local stations.
Over the past few weeks I have heard numerous advertisements (in different variations) that seem to be targeting Mexican Nationals to contact various Mexican agencies for help of some kind if they need it. At first I thought they were asking them to vote for various candidates in Mexico, but some ads are about getting help in obtaining information from various Mexican political entities.
I am curious as to why these ads would be aired so prolifically on local radio channels.
I called up Alberto Diaz, a spokesman at the Mexican Consulate in San Diego, to see if he could help.
He said Mexican federal law requires radio stations based in Mexico to devote a percentage of airtime to commercials for the Federal Electoral Institute, which is responsible for organizing the country’s federal elections and promoting civic participation among Mexican citizens.
Those commercials are encouraging Mexican citizens to register to vote, or to report electoral fraud.
So why do you hear them on English-language stations in San Diego?
Many San Diego radio stations transmit from antennas based just across the border in Tijuana, so they’re subject to Mexican broadcasting requirements.
“Because they cover this area, they translate the message into English, even though it is for Mexican citizens,” Diaz said. “But mainly it has to do with the regulations that stations have to follow regarding broadcasting.”
It’s late in the day, but keep your questions coming if there’s something you want answered about your neighborhood or anything else. My contact information is below.