Committee of Latino Professionals

Assisting Communities to Voice Their Concerns



From Left to Right: Hon. United States Judge Carlos Bea, Maria B. Gonzalez, Jess Angulo, Ricardo Lopez Esq., Renee Saucedo Esq., Julio Ramos Esq., Hon. Ruben Angulo. Sworn in as officers of the Mexican American Political Association - Greater Bay Area (serving nine San Francisco Bay Area counties), September 1, 2004.

A decendant of the family of Alvaro Mendes of Mitylene born 1520 at Tavira, Portugal. The expulsion of the Mendes family in the late 1400's by the Inquisition. The Mendes were sent to Turkey during the Spanish Inquisition. Alvaro made his fortune in India, was made a Knight of Santiago by Joao III and settled in Constantinople. He worked to create alliance between England and Turkey against Spain. Was rewarded by the Sultan and made (created) him Duke of Mitylene. It was made necessary to move to Italy to parts not under Spanish rule. A report of 1564 states that there was no city in the penninsula (Spain/Portugal) in which refugees from the Inquisitions of Spain and Portugal could hide. During the period of England expansion Queen Elizabeth, the foreign mercantile colony in London increased. Many were these new Christians from the penninsula. The Marrano community developed and one of the most important families was Jorge Anes (Ames) who had settled in London since 1512; Dunstan Ames, purveyor to the Royal Court, traded extensively with Spain and was the financial agent in London to Dom Antonio, Prior to Crato, Pretender to the throne of Portugal. Dunstan's eldest daughter, Sarah, was the wife of Dr. Roderigo Lopez, the Queen's physician.  He was connected by marriage with Alvaro Mendes, Duke of Mitylene who was in continuous diplomatic exchange with the English Court. Alvaro Mendes, Duke of Mitylene was one of several who exercised enormous power at the Turkish Court. Decendant Rodrigo Mendes da Silva lived in Celorico in Portugal, earned the name of Spanish Livey for his vast number of historical works, and the post of Historiographer Royal to the King of Spain as well as the Seat on the Privy Council. The Mendes family developed their fortune at Lisbon out of a comparatively small business in precious stones. The export trade of Portugal was largely in Marrano hands.  In the Army the number of new Christians was considerable and some rose to high rank. Many went into the clergy to avoid persecution. Nuns, Monks and Friars some attained great distinction in the church. 
 Alvaro Mendes died in 1603.

The Campbells disappeared from Spain during the Inquisition and reimerged as part of the Peres family of Barcelona. Families of The Peres family remained in Barcelona until the war of the Carlistas, when at last they received an offer from Mexico's dictator Porfilio Diaz to buy land and settle in Mexico in the mid 1860's. Together with the Vargas family they settled in the state of Tamaulipas where they grew sugar cane, processed it in their factory for export. They founded the town of Salem, later renamed by the town citizenry to Sailan, situated near Ciudad Victoria. In 1910 the Mexican Revolution created a hostile atmosphere for the families. The Peres family became the Perez family, owners of the sugar fields were murdered buy the revolutionaries. All but two survived; Don Alvaro Perez a businessman and his younger brother Manuel Perez, an attorney, the brothers escaped to the USA. Prior to reaching the United States Manuel Perez was shot in the back by the revolutionaries and was killed instantly. Alvaro escaped into the United States and remained there until the Depression of the late 1920's. He returned to Mexico as a poor man but managed to climb out of poverty within a few years. He remained in Mexico until his death at 107 yrs. Maria Gonzalez was raised by her Grandmother in Mexico for the first 5 years of her life, a very comfortable life until she was brought to California by her parents. Her brother is a successful entrepreneur in Los Angeles involved in politics, Labor unions and international trade. Her eldest brother runs a successful inport/export corporation in Los Angeles.

Maria Gonzalez is now the President of the Mexican American Political Association - Greater Bay Area Chapter she served on the Board of Directors for the International Diplomacy Council, is a frequent host for international government officials sent by the State Department through the International Visitors Program of the International Institute of Education. Is a member of the Commonwealth Club, the World Affairs Council, Jewish Community Federation, and the United Nations Association of San Francisco. Is Chartered President of the Latino Professionals San Francisco Lions Club in San Francisco, 

In Politics she has received numerous awards including Certificates of Appreciation from the Democratic National Committee, Certificates of Honor from the Board of Supervisors, of San Francisco, letter from Lt. Governor, Cruz Bustamante, Certificate of Recognition Small Business Advocacy from Majority Whip,Tom Delay 2003 letter of recognition from Congresswoman Barbara Lee and a Certificate of Recognition from Minority Whip, Nancy Pelosi.

References: History of the Marranos and my family's personal information handed down from generation to generation.


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