A leading source for news and analysis about Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican border.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

MexicoPerspective Editorial:

Hillary, name an ambassador to Mexico who is married!

Carlos Pascual mugU.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who announced the resignation of U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual on Saturday, should name a new ambassador who is married and will not become another character in a Mexican soap opera.

Pascual, right, resigned in large part because of his analysis of Mexico's drug fight that became public as a result of Wikileaks. President Felipe Calderón of the National Action Party announced his displeasure about the contents of the leaked diplomatic cables March 3 during an interview with the Washington Post.

But a contributing factor may have been Pascual's romance with Gabriela Rojas Jiménez, the daughter of a prominent member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), Francisco Rojas. Pascual and Rojas Jiménez attended the state dinner President Barack Obama held for Calderón in Washington last May. Francisco Rojas is the PRI's leader in the federal Chamber of Deputies.

The previous ambassador to Mexico, Tony Garza, also had a romance while serving as envoy, and married Mexican beer heiress María Asunción Aramburuzabala in 2005. They divorced in 2010, a year after he left his post.

By many accounts, including that of former Ambassador Jeffrey Davidow, the departing head of the Institute of the Americas in San Diego, Pascual was doing an excellent job in Mexico City. However, the next ambassador should be a diplomat whose focus stays solidly on the U.S.-Mexico relationship — not diverted by his or her relationship with a Mexican of the opposite sex, however much additional insight into Mexico that may give him or her. Mexicans love their soap operas, or telenovelas. Please, however, let's keep U.S. ambassadors out of them.

Denise Dresser sees resignation as a case of "killing the messenger" bringing the truth
Leo Zuckermann thinks Pascual's ouster could cost Mexico dearly