I am who I am and that's all that I am
Mexico was one of the first countries in the world to set up a national population registry in the late 1850s, as part of the church-state separation that was for long years one of the national sources of pride.
Forty four years ago, when I was born, keeping track of the population was still mostly a manual task. When my parents registered me, my data was stored in page 161 of book 22, year 1976, of the 20th Civil Registration office in Mexico City. Faithful to the legal tradition, everything is handwritten and specified in full. Because, why would they write 1976.04.27 (or even 27 de abril de 1976) when they could spell out día veintisiete de abril de mil novecientos setenta y seis? Numbers seem to appear only for addresses.
So, the State had record of a child being born, and we knew where to look if we came to need this information. But, many years later, a very sensible tecnification happened: all records (after a certain date, I guess) were digitized. Great news! I can now get my birth certificate without moving from my desk, paying a quite reasonable fee (~US$4). What’s there not to like?
Digitally certified and all! So great! But… But… Oh, there’s a problem.
Of course… Making sense of the handwriting as you can see is somewhat prone to failure. And I cannot blame anybody for failing to understand the details of my record.
So, my mother’s first family name is Iszaevich. It was digitized as Iszaerich. Fortunately, they do acknowledge some errors could have made it into the process, and there is a process to report and correct errors.
What’s there not to like?
Oh — That they do their best to emulate a public office using online tools. I followed some links in that link to get the address to contact and yesterday night sent them the needed documents. Quite immediately, I got an answer that… I must share with the world:
Yes, the mailing contact is in the
@gmail.com domain. I could care
about them not using a
@….gob.mx address, but I’ll let it slip. The
mail I got says (uppercase and all):
GOOD EVENING, WE INFORM YOU THAT THE RECEPTION OF E-MAILS FOR REQUESTING CORRECTIONS IN CERTIFICATES IS ONLY ACTIVE MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY, 8:00 TO 15:00. *IN CASE YOU SENT A MAIL OUTSIDE THE WORKING HOURS, IT WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY DELETED BY THE SERVER* CORDIAL GREETINGS,
I would only be half-surprised if they were paying the salary of somebody to spend the wee hours of the night receiving and deleting mails from their GMail account.