Sept. 10, 2020 – Consul Yury Imanol De la Flor Patiño, a 2015 LL.M. graduate of the University of Houston Law Center, passed away on Saturday Sept. 5, in Washington D.C., where he was serving in the Mexican delegation at the Organization of American States. He was 30.
Consul de la Flor devoted his all-too-short career to the field of international legal and political relations, with particular emphasis on the social function required of lawyers to represent underserved persons. As Consul General from Mexico in Raleigh, NC., and Consul de la Flor’s supervisor in Houston, Claudia Velasco Osorio, stated, "Imanol had a passion for law, both in Mexico and the United States. He was regularly writing about it and sharing his findings".
Before becoming a diplomat, Consul de la Flor received his J.D. from the Veracruzana University in Mexico. His J.D. thesis, awarded honors in 2012, dealt with "Human Rights for Central American Migrants in Mexico," one of the topics to which he would dedicate his intellectual work afterward. Well versed in human rights in Europe and America, he was a constant contributor to the Center for U.S. and Mexican Law at the University of Houston Law Center. Among other programs, he had a persuasive performance in November 2018, in front of an audience of 240 people persons at the Seminar "Human Trafficking 2018 and Beyond: A Multi-Factorial Practical Approach." He spoke about the decisive steps that should be taken by Mexico and the United States in order to fight human trafficking collaboratively.
Consul de la Flor was a team player. He knew from early in his career that "there is strength in unity." He took seriously the Mexican Constitutional disposition stating "everyone has the right to health," working against the clock to seek medical care for four children burned in the 2019 explosion of the Tuxpan-Tula pipeline in Tlahuelilpan, Mexico. De la Flor collaborated with border patrol authorities to grant access to the U.S. bringing the four children by helicopter to a hospital in Galveston. Following press echoes and when asked about it, he would humbly acknowledge the success of this effort for U.S.-Mexico relations.
Before moving to Washington D.C., Consul de la Flor spent several years as Consul General of Mexico's office in Houston, working on Consular protection to Mexican nationals, and before that at the Instituto Matías Romero (Mexican Diplomatic School) in Mexico City and the Mexican Consulate in Santa Ana, Calif.
An opera and classical music lover, it was common to hear him sing arias in the Mexican Consulate to perfection. He was always positive, and ready to give his best to every task he performed.
"He had an auspicious diplomatic career in front of him," said Alfonso López de la Osa Escribano, Director of the Center of U.S. and Mexican Law. "He was a paradigmatic diplomat, cautious and determined at the same time when approaching positions and making decisions about U.S. and Mexico diplomatic relations. On behalf of the Law Center, we extend our thoughts and prayers to Imanol's loved ones."
He is survived by his mother Soledad Patiño.