Mexican Congress Confirms Medina Mora as Ambassador to U.S.

Mexico’s Congress today confirmed Eduardo Medina Mora, the former attorney general and envoy to the U.K., as the nation’s next ambassador to the U.S.

Medina Mora, who served as Mexico’s top legal official when President Enrique Pena Nieto’s predecessor, Felipe Calderon, started the nation’s war on drug cartels in 2006, will replace Arturo Sarukhan, whom Calderon sent to Washington. Medina Mora is also a cousin of Manuel Medina-Mora, who was named a co- president of Citigroup Inc. this week and was previously head of Banamex, the lender’s Mexican unit.

The selection of Medina Mora shows the importance of U.S. cooperation in turning the tide on Mexico’s war on drug cartels that resulted in more than 58,000 deaths under Calderon, said Jorge Chabat, a political science professor at the Mexico City- based Center for Economic Research and Teaching. Medina Mora will provide expertise on security without letting the U.S. control Mexico’s strategy, Chabat said.

“Even if you don’t want to talk to the U.S. about security, you have to talk to the U.S. about security, and you need someone who can manage it,” Chabat said in a telephone interview. Medina Mora will “prevent the U.S. perspective from dominating on this issue.”

In his first meeting with President Barack Obama in Washington on Nov. 27, Pena Nieto said he wanted to help strengthen security along the 2,000-mile border that separates the two countries and that he supports Obama’s aim to change immigration law to resolve the status of 6 million undocumented Mexican immigrants living in the U.S.

Senator Marcela Guerra Castillo, a member of Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party, said Medina Mora will play an important role in negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement between Mexico and 10 other countries in the Americas and Asia, including the U.S.

“He has the diplomatic credentials necessary,” she said during a debate on his nomination in Congress today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Martin in Mexico City at emartin21@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jonathan Roeder at jroeder@bloomberg.net.

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