Mexico has nominated a former government pollster with close ties to President Enrique Pena Nieto’s home state to be its new ambassador in the United States. Mexico had put forward Miguel Basanez, an academic from outside the diplomatic service, who worked closely with a distant cousin of Pena Nieto, Alfredo del Mazo Gonzalez, in the State of Mexico. Both del Mazo, a second cousin to Pena Nieto’s father, and the president were governors of the state. Both are associated with the Grupo Atlacomulco, a powerful group within the ruling party that bears the name of the town where Pena Nieto was born. The Mexican government said the designation of the next ambassador was still underway. “Until the process is completely finished, the foreign ministry will make no comment on decisions that are not official,” a foreign ministry spokesman said. The nomination of a man who since the 1980s has been known chiefly as a political scientist and pollster suggests that Pena Nieto is keen to have control of the important diplomatic post among trusted allies from the state he governed from 2005 to 2011.
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