Today the Pima County government announced that late District 5 Supervisor Richard Elías will receive a posthumous award from the Consulate of Mexico in Tucson.
The Othli Award—which will be given to Elías’ family on Friday, Sept. 18—is described as the “highest award granted by the Mexican government to community members in the U.S. who have contributed to the development of the Mexican community living abroad,” according to a county press release.
Elías died unexpectedly on March 28, at the age of 61. He is survived by his wife, Emily and daughter, Luz. According to appointed consul Enrique Alfonso Gómez Montiel, this award is intended to recognize Elías’ work on migrant rights. Elías served on the Board of Supervisors from 2002 until his death.
The consulate had nominated Elías for the award before he died and it was only recently approved. His family will receive the award on his behalf during a private reception this Friday, which will be livestreamed on the consulate’s Facebook page.
“Richard was not only a dear colleague of mine, but a friend and a brother,” said District 2 Supervisor Ramón Valadez in the press release. “I was fortunate to have known Richard for three decades and during that time he was always a steadfast ally and passionate advocate for the migrant community. This award is well-deserved and exemplifies Richard’s dedication to the underrepresented in our community. We miss him dearly.”