On Saturday, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual resigned from his post. President Calderón’s quite public animosity limiting his effectiveness, the ambassador chose to place binational priorities above individual interests and stepped down.
This is a blow to U.S. -Mexico relations, in that the personal overcame the institutional. It is also a blow as it will remove an important interlocutor and champion for the U.S.-Mexico relationship. The confirmation process for a new ambassador will be a challenge, to say the least. It is possible, indeed likely, that there will be no replacement for months.
The United States and Mexico face numerous mutual issues, many of which Ambassadors Pascual and Sarukhán discussed when they spoke at CFR in November 2010. Both stressed the interdependence of our countries and the need to transform the way the bilateral relationship figures in the public debate in the United States and in Mexico – essentially, that the two countries will succeed or fail together. This latest episode just highlights the importance of – and the distance from – achieving this goal.