Foreign Ministry, to the Mexican Foreign Service

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By. Ah-Muán Iruegas

Diplomacy is a trade that cannot be learned in six months or six years. To master it, it is necessary to have experience for much longer than a simple six-year term. Almost no Mexican politician can show that on his service sheet.

On the other hand, the announcement of the departure of the chancellor Marcelo Ebrard of the Ministry of Foreign Relations, has unleashed a wave of sleight of hand exercises to guess, like a "psychic", the identity of the new chancellor.

However, that is of little use, except to train in time to kiss the hands.

Before that, a preliminary reflection on what to do is more useful, not only in the office of the new chancellor, but in the entire Chancellery, in these moments of major political turbulence.

The President pointed out a few days ago that the performance of Marcelo Ebrard, is commendable even in our relations “with the United States”. I believe that the twist used by the president is, in this case, a rhetorical achievement, rather than an analytical one.

Current relations between Mexico and the United States may be the worst in the 21st century today. Several legislators from that country have proposed military actions in Mexico due to the government's failure to control a large part of "their" territory, now in the hands of drug traffickers. Attorneys from various US states have expressed positions contrary to Mexican interests. And Secretary of State Blinken himself had to acknowledge some problems related to his neighbor to the South, during an appearance.

Even the former president donald trump He pointed out that the one who "doubled down" the most before him was the Mexican foreign minister, when apparently they exchanged US trade advantages in exchange for Mexican migratory repression, which remains in Don's biography. Marcelo Ebrard Like a shadow that follows you.

The foregoing, coupled with the humorous errors of the Villamelones Club that promoted ebrard in the chancellery, justifies the reflection on a possible reorientation in that dependency.

The reorientation that this brief text proposes, for the last part of this six-year term, is the assignment of all the main positions of our Chancellery, to members of the Mexican foreign service.

In this way, the president and his political circle will not have to bother with international issues that do not interest the electoral political sphere. And they will be able to focus entirely on winning their political campaigns.

Meanwhile, SEM officials will be able to straighten out all the wrongs this government has gotten itself into. Our relations with Spain, Peru and even the Ukraine, for example, can be significantly improved if they are handled by professionals.

SEM officials enter that body by public competition. They have no partisan or merely political or factional allegiances. Their commitment is with our country and not with a particular party or government, which is why they are more reliable officials (than the "shackles" put on diplomats) in defending the interests of the Mexican State.

Undersecretaries, General Directorates, Embassies, Consulates and other offices should all be occupied by the experienced members of the SEM, as a guarantee that childish mistakes will not continue to be made in the Mexican Foreign Ministry during the remainder of this government.

Among those mistakes, there is the "organization" (that is to say) of international conferences, such as the shameful meeting of the Celac that Mexico "led", where representatives of various countries ended the party practically with "trumpets and jitomatazos" among the guests. . Rarely had such a solid and remarkable failure been seen. They did not know how to prepare, agree on or hold an international meeting, not even because it was held in their own home.

For his part, the “feminist” foreign policy that Ebrard promoted, although he apparently had good intentions, does not resist a photograph or “poster” of Félix Salgado Macedonio stuck on the door of the Foreign Ministry. The Obrador senator was accused of rape and other unfortunate women who had the misfortune to cross the path of that beast.

Returning to the Ebrardista management, I must say that there were some diplomatic achievements in this six-year term, which were rather obtained by the Mexican ambassador and the Permanent Mission to the UN. In addition to the good Mexican performance as a non-permanent member of the Security Council.

I am referring to negotiations for a treaty on disarmament, which Mexico has promoted remarkably since 2017 at least (with which, it would be an achievement shared by the administrations of Lopez Obrador and Pena Nieto). But unfortunately, this issue is completely ignored by the general public.

The lines of command, in order to achieve an efficient bureaucracy, should be respected in the SRE and in all State secretariats. But if officials request a line directly from the National Palace, as has happened in this six-year term, instead of following the instructions of their immediate superiors, the institutional functioning of the Foreign Ministry is diminished by this disorder. And it can even affect the chancellor himself, to whom some ambassadors "skip it" and deal directly with the Office of the Presidency.

None of the latter will happen if the main offices of the SRE are occupied by members of the SEM, who tend to follow the institutional paths, rather than the paths of influence or cronyism. So that the next Chancellor can find more allies among career diplomats than among the "politicians" who are going to jump their bars.

The position of Chancellor, last but not least, may or may not be filled by a career diplomat. It is not a requirement that the secretary be a member of the SEM, although it helps to have been one of its members.

In various countries, the ownership of the foreign affairs portfolio, as well as various embassies, are held by a politician close to the president. Which is valid. Although in the current circumstances, it would be very useful for the next head of the Mexican Foreign Ministry to have some diplomatic experience and not reach the post, again "to learn" (as has already happened in other six-year terms, sadly).

In the Mexican pre-democracy regime, when the dispute over the presidential succession began or the political class entered into a crisis for this or that reason, the main posts in the Foreign Ministry came to be held by members of the SEM. That happened, for example, in 1993, when the irruption of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), caused the departure of the "chancellor for a day" (as if he were Don Gato), Manuel Camacho Solis and his team -among them, Marcelo Ebrard– and the arrival of the chancellor Manuel Tello as holder of the SRE. And with him, many members of the Mexican Foreign Service.

Currently, the fight for the presidential candidacy has begun. The pro-government politicians have eyes only for their personal projects. Perhaps you'd better stop looking at the Chancellery for a while and let it function properly.

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