14ymedio, Mexico, 9 August 2023 — At least 21 foreign players, including two Cubans, who play in the Mexican Baseball League (LMB), have fake birth certificates. A report from the weekly Proceso revealed that the guantanamero Onelki García of the Yucatan Lions has a document that recognizes him as Mexican thanks to the fact that his father, Osmani García Maso, is a native of that North American country.
However, García Maso, a farmer who lives in Guantánamo, has never been to Mexico, much less seen Concordia, a small town located in the municipality of Sinaloa, where Onelki García’s birth certificate as Mexican was allegedly issued.
On the roster of the Yucatan Lions appears the infielder Lázaro Alonso, from Pinar del Río, who also has an apocryphal birth certificate that endorses him as Mexican. The Civil Registry officer, Eduardo Lizárraga, who attested to the records of these Cubans, does not exist. Nor can the book and folio of the birth certificates be found in the office.
In this Yucatán team there is a history of these cases, such as that of Josh Fuentes, of Cuban descent, who in 2022 signed a Minor League contract with the Atlanta Braves. During his stay in Mexico, he presented documents that accredited him as Mexican.
This scandal occurs at the start of the playoffs, where the Yucatan Lions, with the line-up of the designated players, beat the Tabasco Olmecas 7-1 on Tuesday. Another of the indicated teams is Tecolotes of the two Laredos. American and Dominican baseball players are also on the list of altered documents.
The case has already transcended the sport. The director of the Civil Registry of Sinaloa, Margarita Villaescusa, ordered the revocation of the birth certificates of 13 players of the Yucatan Lions and asked the National Population Registry to annul the Single Population Registry Key, an official identification document for residents in Mexico.
The fake birth certificates have home addresses in the records of Concordia (Sinaloa), Castaños (Coahuila) and La Huacana (Michoacán). Since January of this year, the LMB entrusted to the Álvaro Magaña and RCH offices of Ricardo Chew everything related to the review of passports and birth certificates, but so far there is no position on them.
Faced with the series of anomalies, the businessman and owner of the Tecolotes of the two Laredos, José Antonio Mansur, demanded a review of the birth certificates of 230 players who are part of the dual nationality group in the LMB.
This Wednesday, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador acknowledged that he knew about the scandal but didn’t mention a punishment. “The teams are cheating,” he said. “They are hiring imposters” to reinforce themselves. “They got them the birth certificates and then they violate the regulations about the number of foreigners per team.” The LMB allows the hiring of seven foreign players.
López Obrador urged the teams and players to “rectify the issue of the birth certificates” and commissioned the head of the National Sports Commission, Ana Gabriela Guevara, to investigate the case.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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