Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Mexico

Newsline: US Embassy warns about threat to Mexico resort town, issues travel ban

The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City received information about a security threat in Playa del Carmen Wednesday, leading to a travel ban for U.S. government employees. Embassy officials did not release details about the threat in the Yucatan resort town, south of Cancun. The report comes just as schools and universities prepare for spring break. The U.S. Consular Agency in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo was closed until further notice.



Newsline: US Ambassador To Mexico Is Latest Career Diplomat To Resign

Roberta Jacobson, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, has handed in her resignation. The career diplomat, with more than 30 years in government service, says it was a difficult decision to leave. Jacobson, 57, is the latest in a string of high-level diplomats to depart the State Department since President Trump took office. In a note to embassy staff, Jacobson said, “The decision is all the more difficult because of my profound belief in the importance of the U.S.–Mexico relationship and knowledge that it is at a crucial moment.” She said her resignation will be effective May 5. Jacobson, who was appointed by President Obama and assumed her post in 2016, did not give a reason for her resignation. But according to former U.S. and Mexican diplomats, the strain in the countries’ relations made her job particularly difficult.


Newsline: Number of staff at Mexico’s North Korean embassy down to three

Only three members of staff remain at the DPRK’s embassy in Mexico, the country announced in a February implementation report to the UN Sanctions Committee on North Korea. In a report detailing Mexico’s implementation of UNSC Resolution 2371, the Directorate-General of Protocol of the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs said that while the country had hosted “five accredited diplomats” in 2016, the DPRK embassy was now “composed of three staff members.” It remains unclear whether the three remaining staff members are fully accredited diplomats, and numerous requests for further clarity to the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs went unanswered. It also remains unclear whether the reported reduction in staff also includes the North Korean ambassador, who was deported last year.



Newsline: US diplomat killed while climbing Mexico mountain

An American citizen who works for the U.S. diplomatic mission in Mexico was killed while climbing Pico de Orizaba mountain, the State Department confirmed to ABC News. The staffer was climbing with another U.S. citizen and embassy employee was evacuated to a hospital, according to a Mexican official in Puebla state. “We are extremely grateful to the government of Mexico for its prompt assistance in the operation,” a State Department official said in a statement to ABC News. “Unfortunately, one of the climbers passed away. Our deepest sympathies are with his family and friends.” The embassy employee was rescued Monday afternoon and is currently hospitalized in Mexico City, according to the Mexican official. The staffer’s body has been recovered, taken down the mountain by foot Tuesday morning.



Newsline: Canadian Embassy Officials in Mexico Accused of ‘Supporting’ Corrupt Miners

Mexican and Canadian activist and civil organizations are demanding the Canadian government investigate its embassy in Mexico for supporting the mining company Blackfire Exploration despite corruption allegations. Organizations such as the Mariano Abarca Environmental Foundation, Otros Mundos Chiapas, Chiapas Autonomous University Law School Human Rights Center and the Affected by Mining Mexican Network, along with Mining Watch Canada made the petition to the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner (PSIC) of Canada, an independent oversight office, hoping the embassy and its personnel will be investigated. Now, the PSIC has 90 days to decide if they will investigate the case. This is the first time the PSIC, which can ask for sanctions or make other recommendations, has been invited to investigate an embassy. The complaint states that the embassy continued to support Blackfire even after Mariano Abarca, an environmental activist opposing the company activities in Chiapas, southeastern Mexico, was killed in 2009. He was shot in front of his restaurant in Chicomuselo by armed people on a motorcycle. A week before his murder, Abarca had notified authorities that he was receiving death, which he believed were linked with Blackfire. One employee and two former employees of Blackfire were detained as suspects following the murder. Only one of them was sentenced at the time, but all three of them are now free. The organizations are now asking the PSIC to investigate the embassy and have also demanded that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights investigate what happened in 2009. The Mexican government halted Blackfire operations after Abarca’s murder, but they were able to continue after a few days. The embassy supported their activities through 2009 and afterward as other controversies showed up.



Newsline: Philippine embassy in Mexico damaged by quake

There are no reports yet of any Filipino casualty in the 7.1-magnitude earthquake that struck Mexico on Tuesday, September 19, but the quake has damaged the country’s embassy there, Malacañang said. “The Philippine embassy in Mexico City has been damaged by the earthquake. All our embassy officials and staff are safe, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs,” said Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella in a statement on Wednesday, September 20. Embassy personnel are continuously monitoring the situation and are coordinating with the Filipino community in Mexico. The earthquake has killed nearly 140 people after toppling buildings and sowing panic in the capital.



Newsline: Mexico Expels North Korean Ambassador After Latest Nuclear Test

Mexico ordered North Korea’s ambassador to leave the country in 72 hours in response to the Asian nation’s latest nuclear tests. Ambassador Kim Hyong Gil was declared persona non grata and will have to vacate the embassy in Mexico City, the Foreign Ministry said in an e-mailed statement. Mexico said it absolutely rejects North Korea’s nuclear activity, calling it a serious risk for peace and international security and a growing threat to the region, including its “fundamental allies” of Japan and South Korea. The expulsion comes as U.S President Donald Trump’s administration presses countries to cut diplomatic and economic ties with Kim Jong Un’s regime over the nation’s missile and nuclear weapons program. Vice President Mike Pence urged Latin American leaders last month to break all diplomatic and economic ties with North Korea during a trip to the region. The U.S. wants the United Nations Security Council to tighten economic sanctions at a meeting on Sept. 11. The U.S. is circulating a draft resolution at the U.N. that would bar crude oil shipments to North Korea, ban the nation’s exports of textiles and prohibit employment of its guest workers by other countries, according to a diplomat at the world body.