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Farewell Don Luis Ferro

Don Luis Ferro de la Sota 2 de febrero 1983

Luis Ferro de la Sota

By Jesús Aguado

During both his terms as mayor of San Miguel de Allende, Don Luis Ferro de la Sota was always a gentleman. Unceasingly gracious and polite, he always granted interviews to Atención San Miguel whenever requested.

Don Luis passed away on March 4, but his legacy will remain alive in his adopted city, not only though the many public works he accomplished while mayor but also through the event he started that each year brings representatives from all over México and the world to San Miguel to engage in cultural exchange.

Born on June 8, 1936, in San José Iturbide, Don Luis always demonstrated a pure and deep love for San Miguel. With the party PRI (Revolutionary Institutional Party), he was mayor from 1970-1972 and 1983-1985, but his relationship with the city did not end once he was out of office. He continued to work tirelessly to advance San Miguel’s status in the world.

A lot has changed since Don Luis was last mayor: After he won for the second time in 1983, in an interview granted to this paper, he made it clear that he could not work miracles with the budget of 57 million pesos he had to work with. These days the budget is about a billion pesos. The city at that time had 60,000 inhabitants, whereas nowadays the numbers is close to 200,000. The mayor’s salary at that time was 40,000 pesos a month, whereas now it is 101,478 pesos.

His main goal was to prevent the city from uncontrolled growth, and he will probably be best remembered for his work as mayor to create housing for middle-class citizens, with the Ignacio Ramírez, La Luz, and Insurgentes developments. But his administration also brought San Miguel other local institutions, such as the baseball and football stadiums in town and the first commercial plaza in San Miguel, the Plaza Real del Conde.

After he left office, he kept working for the city through his nonprofit organization, Sociedad Civil en Marcha. He organized the Encuentro Internacional de Convivencia y Hermandad Universal (International Congress of Coexistence and Universal Brotherhood), which brought representatives from many other countries to San Miguel. As mayor, he had signed several sister-city agreements, and years later, his organization used his many connections with these other cities to bring foreign representatives to San Miguel to be exposed to the city’s beauty and significance and engage in cultural exchange.

For 15 years now, the International Congress has brought other cultures to San Miguel and sent a bit of San Miguel out into the world.

In an interview, Ferro once told Atención that this International Congress continued to be held because San Miguel de Allende is a special city, one of those few places in the world where there are people from more than 40 countries. This event, he told us, let the world know all that is vibrant about San Miguel—its arts, its culture, and its social programs.

“Here there are no conflicts,” he said in that interview. “People work to help others, and that is incredible.”

May he rest in peace. He will be truly missed

 

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