Almost a year later, Mexico sentenced the controversial appointment of an ambassador in Panama. The president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, announced this Thursday that the actor Alejandro Bichir will occupy the position, after the also actress, activist and former senator for Morena Jesusa Rodriguez rejected the position. It has taken the Executive a return to the calendar to resolve the appointment, after the original candidate, the historian Pedro Salmeron, was denounced for sexual harassment. When the president announced in mid-January that the position was for Salmeron, a campaign was unleashed by feminist groups, students, and former students of the academic who raised their voices against at least one formal accusation of sexual harassment and a handful more of anonymous presumed victims. Although it has yet to be approved by the Senate, the president settles a controversy that over time had all but vanished from the public conversation.
“Jesusa Rodriguez did not accept, it is that she is very happy in Mexico with everything she is doing to protect the environment. Bichir, Alejandro Bichir, is going as ambassador, if the Senate approves it,” Lopez Obrador declared in his daily press conference, in the morning, from Quintana Roo, where he is to supervise the works of the Mayan Train and announce an investment of 42,000 million pesos for infrastructure, roads, airports and the Mayan Train itself.
It is the first public position of responsibility that falls on Bichir, without experience in diplomatic work. A Mexican of Lebanese and Spanish origin, he has worked as an actor and director, both in film, television and theater, the sector where he has worked the most. His best known work Forbidden kisses, is a telenovela premiered in 1999 on TV Azteca. It only had one season and 54 episodes.
The candidate for ambassador is part of the Bichir family, a popular dynasty of performers made up of his ex-wife, Maricruz Najera, and their three sons, Demian, Bruno, and Odiseo, better known than their parents, who have international productions and works to their credit. in Hollywood, especially Demian. The family is close to the president’s entourage and has ruled in his favor on more than one occasion, which has generated criticism of them from a sector of the opposition and the cultural scene. Bichir has yet to publicly comment on the charge.
Jesusa Rodriguez has taken almost a year to reject the position as ambassador of Panama. Lopez Obrador offered it to him in February, after accusations of sexual harassment prevented Salmeron’s appointment. Then, the Foreign Ministry of the Central American country, alerted by the complaints, asked Mexico not to appoint the academic as ambassador. Even so, the Mexican president closed ranks with the historian and described the campaign against him as “lynching.” “I consider him a first-rate historian, one of the best in the country. It turns out that we proposed it as an ambassador in Panama and as if it were the Holy Inquisition, the minister or chancellor of Panama was dissatisfied and asked us not to send the request for approval,” he charged then.
With the appointment of Bichir, the Government hopes to reduce the tension that arose between the two countries after those exchanges and finally replace the previous ambassador, Luis Manuel Lopez Moreno, a career diplomat. Lopez Obrador came to recommend to Erika Mouynes, the then Panamanian foreign minister, a book by Graham Greene, Discovering The General, in which he talks about the former dictator of Panama Omar Torrijos: “There is a part in which he talks about that, journalists and other people become inquisitors. I recommend it with all due respect to the chancellor,” declared the leader. Salmeron ended up formally resigning by letter, although he denied the accusations of sexual harassment.
The president has also taken the opportunity to ask the Upper House for the approval of Carlos Joaquin Gonzalez as ambassador of Canada, a decision that the president announced in September. “I do want the Senate to resolve and hopefully they approve Carlos,” he reiterated. Gonzalez, former governor of Quintana Roo, is also a controversial decision. Accusations of having harshly repressed a feminist demonstration in Cancun during his tenure weigh on him. Several attendees denounced having been raped and tortured, in a case that has reached the UN.
Cecilia Solis, a reporter affected by that demonstration, has rebuked him about it: “We want to ask the majority of victims of police repression not to grant the Canadian embassy to former Governor Carlos Joaquin, because he is the main person responsible for the repression that is being carried out. lived that November 9 and until today that person continues to enjoy impunity.” “I have other data and we are free. I think the former governor of Quintana Roo did his job well, but I also respect your point of view, ”Lopez Obrador responded.
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