Media with Jorge Mújica

Jorge Mújica is an immigrants rights activist in Chicago.

He was born in México City in 1955. He has been married to María Teresa Pizarro since 1994, and lives in Berwyn, Illinois. He studied at the National Autonomous University of México (UNAM,) and Preparatoria #6. In México, he worked at the Independent Labor Union Front, as Youth Secretary, and at the Mireles and Esparza Law Firm, representing labor unions. He also worked at the Fondo de Cultura Económica (FCE), the largest editorial house in Latin América, and organized the National FCE Labor Union, serving as Labor and Grievances Secretary until 1977.

In 1978 participated in the foundation of CICAST (Research, Training and Advisory Center on Health and Safety,) a non-profit organization dedicated to advice labor unions on Health & Safety issues. In 1984 CICAST evolved into the Centro de Salud Laboral (Labor’s Health Center) in which he was President until 1987. At the same time, he taught Labor Legislation on Health and Safety at the Postgraduate Division of the Medicine School at UNAM, and undergraduate courses on Health & Safety Research Methodology at the Colegio de Bachilleres, and wrote the text book for the class.

Mújica represented México at several conferences at the American Public Health Association in the United States, and starting in 1987 organized courses and seminars on Health & Safety in the workplace for Latino workers and labor union members in several places in the United States, particularly in California. Immigrated into Los Ángeles in 1987, and helped the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, OSHA, to open its first Spanish language “Hotline” and to publish their first Spanish language posters, and worked in translations into Spanish of manuals, guides, Material Safety Data Sheets and education materials for Latino workers in the United States.

Mújica moved to Chicago, in 1988, to work as Editor of the newspaper Sin Fronteras, published by the Midwest Coalition in Defense of Immigrants, and taught English, Civics and United States History classes at the Centro Sin Fronteras to immigrants who had taken advantage of the 1985-87 reform of the Immigration Law that allowed them to regularize their status in the country.

For two years, Mújica worked at the Illinois Migrant Council, recruiting agricultural workers to the health system run by the Council, and helped organize them with the Farm Labor Organizing Committee. In 1989 Mújica took the position of Executive Director of CACOSH, the Chicago Area Committee on Occupational Safety and Health; started the first bilingual programs of the organization, and created the first Spanish Language Health & Safety Library. He was a co-founder and a collaborator of the Chicago Lung Association’s Health & Safety Program in 1990-1991. At the same time, Mújica participated in many labor union campaigns, elections and organizing drives with the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, Service Employee International Union and United Electrical, Radio and Machines Workers, U.E., and translated dozens of collective bargaining agreements and labor unions’ by-laws for the Latino membership of these organizations. In 1991, Mújica was elected president of the General Press Unit of the Chicago Newspaper Guild, Local 71, helping in the unionization of many Latino journalists.

Since 1990, Mújica worked in HIV-AIDS related issues with the Midwest Hispanic AIDS Coalition and later the Hispanic Health Alliance. He was the first elected President of the Chicago Hispanic Health Coalition, over 100 clinics, hospitals, health centers and non-profit organizations servicing the Latino community, and collaborated on the first edition ever of the “Directorio de Servicios de Salud” (Health Services Directory) in Chicago.

He started working in Univisión in 1995, as a news writer, and then promoted to News Producer. He organized the workers at the TV station with NABET, Local 41, and was part of the first contract negotiating team. During his work in Univisión Mújica won a prize for his collaboration in a special immigration program. In 2000 started working for Telemundo, as a Desk Assignment Editor, and for a year served as interim News Director, including in his work the coverage of the fatidic September 11, 2001 attack to New York, and the first visit to Chicago, as President, of Vicente Fox Quezada.

Being a founding member in 2000, and until 2005, Mújica was the Secretary General of the International Coalition of Mexicans Abroad, organization which created the first program to open bank accounts using an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN,) for immigrants without a Social Security number, facilitating money transfers at low cost between México and the United States. Twice, lobbied and successfully amended México’s Constitution, so 5 million immigrants naturalized as US citizens could recover their original nationality. He also lobbied for the right of Mexicans abroad to vote in the election in their original country.

From 2003 to 2006 worked as a reporter and editorialist of the largest Spanish language newspaper in Chicago, La Raza, covering relevant news for the Latino community, and received the First Place Journalism Awards in 2004 and 2005 from the National Association of Hispanic Publishers. Since 2003, Mújica publishes an opinion column titled “México del Norte”, covering immigration issues, in bilingual and Spanish language newspapers in several countries, mainly México and the United States.

On March 10, 2006, Mújica was elected as spokesperson of the Movimiento 10 de Marzo, coalition of over a hundred organizations collaborating in the immigrant’s demonstrations since that year and into 2009.

In 2007 Mújica received the John Altgeld Award to the Freedom of Expression from the Newberry Library in Chicago.