After four years of wear on the Arizona-Sonora relationship because of SB 1070, the state’s immigration enforcement law, Mexico awarded its Ohtli Award to Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, the highest recognition it can bestow on U.S. citizens.

At a morning ceremony in Sunset Park, outside of City Hall, Ricardo Pineda, the Mexican Consul in Tucson, lauded Rothschild for his advocacy of a stronger bilateral relationship. “The future of the region depends on him,” he said.

Ernesto de Lucas Hopkins, director of the Institute of Mexicans Abroad, presented the award, which previously was presented to five Tucsonans.

Lucas noted that a large number of Mexicans daily cross into Arizona, which receives a significant economic boost.

“Thank you mayor, thank you city of Tucson, for believing in Mexico,” Lucas said. “Mexico also believes in Tucson and also believes in its people.”

Since his inauguration in 2011, Rothschild has traveled several times to the Mexican states of Sonora and Sinaloa, and Mexico City to promote trade and cultural exchange.

“Tucson has long taken the path of friendship with Mexico,” Rothschild said, “litigating against the wrongheaded legislation of SB 1070 and declaring ourselves an ‘immigrant welcoming city,’ for example.”

Contact reporter Liliana López Ruelas at 807-8479 or