New Tlaxcala Mayor Addresses Mexican Immigrants in Jackson

The new mayor of Tlaxcala, a Mexican municipality with deep connections to Jackson Hole, discussed his political aspirations and outmigration to Jackson in an exclusive interview with KHOL.
Corichi Fragoso, mayor of the capital of Tlaxcala, is promising to bring growth and excitement for the municipality's residents. (Alicia Unger/KHOL)

by | Sep 22, 2021 | Elections, News

The city of Tlaxcala, Mexico, has a new mayor: Corichi Fragoso. KHOL Spanish-language correspondent Alicia Unger attended his recent swearing-in ceremony and has been reporting on what new leadership means for an area with so many connections to Jackson Hole. Reporter Will Walkey interviewed Unger for this piece, and her full feature story is available in Spanish.

The following transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.

Will Walkey: Alicia Unger, thanks for coming into the KHOL studios.

Alicia Unger: Thank you.

Walkey: So, you were in Tlaxcala recently, which, as a reminder for folks, is a state in Mexico that has really strong connections to Jackson Hole. Can you tell me about that trip and what you reported on?

Unger: Yes. Tlaxcala is northeast from Mexico City, about an hour and a half of driving. And most of the [Latino] people that live here in Jackson come from Tlaxcala and from a little town that is outside of the capital called San Simeon. And it was just a wonderful experience to be able to be there and talk to the new mayor, who was very kind to accept an interview one-on-one.

And he represents the change in Mexico that they call, “La Cuarta Transformación.” He represents this new movement that is an extension of the federal government. The party is called “Morena.” And for the first time in Tlaxcala, the party is representing the national level, the state level and [the] local level with him. So, he’s very optimistic that all his goals that he wants to do in the city will be able to be realized. He has a background of working [as] the secretary of tourism. So, he understands perfectly the importance [of making] the city look better to bring jobs and to bring tourism.

Walkey: And so you watched his swearing-in ceremony prior to the interview. Can you take us there in terms of the scene? What was that like there?

Unger: Well, it was in the convention center of Tlaxcala. It was very proper. They had the national anthem [play]. It was very well done. And the most important is that everybody took precautions to prevent any contagions from the pandemic.

Walkey: Thank you. And you also talked to several members in the crowd, local people from Tlaxcala who are watching the swearing-in ceremony. What sorts of things were they telling you?

Unger: Well, there were the artisans that were doing the expo, and the mayor stopped by to say hello to them. To give their regards. And they [local artists] are very hopeful that for the first time their art is going to be exposed to the world. So, they’re very eager that this new mayor will help them to accomplish that.

Walkey: You talked about how Corichi Fragoso talked about the connections between Jackson and Tlaxcala, sort of about the state of people going there [Jackson Hole], maybe because they don’t have the opportunities in Tlaxcala where they’re from. What was his message to those sorts of people?

Unger: Yes, he understands the problem that past administrations for 70 years have left the state and the capital of Tlaxcala in poverty. So, the new generations always have to seek opportunities outside of the country, and they have left their family and friends to risk their lives to come to the United States. And finally, here in Jackson.

His message to the immigrants was first an apology. He apologized to all the people who have left the state and city because [of] the lack of opportunities. And he seemed very sincere that he’s going to try his best to start helping to stop that immigration. And he is asking for the residents of Jackson that [were born in] Tlaxcala to be patient with him and to not lose hope that someday they will see their city in a way that they can be proud [of].

Walkey: Well, Alicia, thank you for reporting this. This is a really exciting story for KHOL, and we’ll now take the listener to your story en español. Gracias.

Unger: Gracias. And I hope you guys enjoy it.

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About Alicia Unger

Born in Mexico City, Alicia is a multi-platform journalist with more than 20 years of experience in radio and television. As a news producer, anchor and reporter, Alicia has earned several Emmy nominations and awards.

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