1676402774 Lopez Obrador intervenes in the dispute between Foreign Minister Ebrard

López Obrador intervenes in the dispute between Foreign Minister Ebrard and former ambassador Martha Bárcena

Detention of migrants by US Border Patrol in the border town of Yuma, Arizona.Detention of migrants by US Border Patrol in the border town of Yuma, Arizona John Moore (Getty Images)

With a border of more than 3,000 kilometers between the United States and Mexico, the migration issue is one of the toughest politics between the two countries, coming to the fore from time to time, almost always with controversy. The recent tensions are linked to the past and arise after statements by Martha Bárcena, Mexico’s ambassador to that country between 2019 and 2021, who said Secretary of State Marcelo Ebrard was secretly working with the Donald Trump administration on the “Stay in Mexico” program have negotiated . Mexico”, through which thousands of migrants have been repatriated while their procedures in the United States are being clarified. Secretly, Bárcena said, this means that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador was unaware of the negotiations that avoided imposing trade tariffs on Mexico, and that she herself, as a diplomat, was also deceived. Ebrard came out this morning to defend himself, accusing Bárcenas of harboring an “obsessive grudge” against him and affirming that he always kept the President and Senate informed of everything that happened in those days. To complete the defence, López Obrador accuses the diplomat of finally placing herself “in the conservative bloc”.

“The Ambassador has devoted herself to defamation wherever she could since leaving office. His big goal is not the truth, but to see how he hurts me every day,” Ebrard explained in the morning conference, where he argued that he would not be doing it today if he had not informed the President of the procedures being carried out be Chancellor. “There has never been a decision or action I have taken to withhold the information from the President.”

Bárcena has claimed in public interviews that the controversial measure, known by the euphemism of “safe third country,” through which Mexico has cooperated with the United States to prevent migrants from entering its territory, was not an imposition on Trump, but the result was a bilateral negotiation. He accepts Trump’s former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s version as well. However, Ebrard has stated that he promptly informed the Senate of US intentions to “impose” the measure. He told them, as he said, that they were threatening tariffs for this and that for this reason “a unanimous political agreement was necessary, which was also reached, there are documents for that,” emphasized the foreign minister.

Martha Bárcena, former Ambassador of Mexico to the United States, during an interview with EL PAÍS in June 2022. Martha Bárcena, former Ambassador of Mexico to the United States, during an interview with EL PAÍS in June 2022. Mónica González Islas

Ebrard has framed these statements in what he believes the former ambassador’s hostility towards him and has implied that the controversy has to do with election and campaign issues. “She’s right, but it seems very sui generis that she’s questioning the government she was part of and I would say why didn’t you say it then, why now…”.

Bárcena was the first ambassador of López Obrador’s six-year tenure to the United States. She is a career diplomat, but her relationship with the President has deteriorated over time. From the López Obrador government, he has criticized certain appointments of ambassadors to which PRI governors have been appointed, such as in the case of Quirino Ordaz. “It has happened in all previous six-year terms. The really sad thing is that López Obrador promised the opposite,” Bárcena told this newspaper when this appointment took place. However, in a tweet, the diplomat reiterated her “respect and gratitude to the President of the Republic,” whose statement seems “irrelevant” to this controversy. He has a bitter discussion with Ebrard: “[El canciller] Attacks, lies and slander from the mighty lectern of the morning. I’ve been keeping the truth in my house since retirement. Without the symbols of power,” he wrote on social media.

When asked by the President if he regretted appointing Martha Bárcena as ambassador in his time, he has denied this extreme, adding: “He says things that are not true, it is nothing more than exercising the right to.” counter-notification. We raised it and what Marcelo says, I support it, they do campaigns and they write their books. López Obrador believes that “we must not remain silent but enforce transparency, the golden rule of democracy”. “Before, you couldn’t talk about these issues, now there’s nothing to hide. Go on with the controversy, the debate is good because it shows what conservatism means, outside of masks we will clearly define ourselves, not to robbery politics,” he stressed.

The President believes that “everyone is responsible for their actions and history will judge them for them.” Bárcena, he said, was free to act, believing “it’s much better than hypocrisy, than simulation”.

Subscribe here to the EL PAÍS México newsletter and receive all the important information about current events in this country