Shannon K. O'Neil

Latin America's Moment

O'Neil analyzes developments in Latin America and U.S. relations in the region.

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U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Resigns

by Shannon K. O'Neil
March 21, 2011

Ambassador Pascual and Sarukhan at a Council on Foreign Relations symposium in November 2010.

Ambassadors Pascual and Sarukhan at a Council on Foreign Relations symposium on U.S.-Mexico relations in November 2010.

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.

Post a Comment 2 Comments

  • Posted by Cecilia Rodriguez-Bush

    “You can’t save a drowning friend unless you are standing on solid ground first”, my mother! Meaning, you have to take care of yourself before you try to help others or else you will both go down. Good lesson.

    Mexico is drowning and will continue to until the people have an uprising such as Egypt’s. Where they overthrow the corrupt government, oust the corrupt police, re-allocate the wealth and use part of the money to hire professionals to maximize their oil, tourist and other resources.

    In the mean time, both countries need to decriminalize marijuana which will cut the income for the cartels.

    They need to nationalize the mammoth land holdings of their “Kings” and give the land back to the people for farming etc..

    They SOULD NOT weaken contracts with outsiders such as American land holders (This gets sticky). One real asset for them is investment by foreigners who would rush across the border if they new they could actually be assured contracts would be honored.

  • Posted by ADAR

    I live in México and this was something that really bothered me. It’s incredible how a president can take things to such a personal level. Mr Calderón got what he wanted, to avenge himself and the Mexican army on the man who simply said (privately) what many already knew: the Mexican army isn’t being efficient in combating organized crime. Maybe this will convince WikiLeaks’ defenders about how dangerous that kind of information can really be.

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