Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Mexico

Newsline: Ex-Medical Student Sentenced in US Diplomat’s Shooting

Prosecutors say a former medical student has been sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for the 2017 shooting of a U.S. diplomat. A news release from the U.S. Department of Justice said 33-year-old Zia Zafar of Chino Hills, California, was sentenced after previously pleading guilty in a federal court in Virginia to attempted murder of an internationally protected person and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. According to prosecutors, Zafar was living in Guadalajara, Mexico, in January 2017 when he followed vice consul Christopher Ashcraft from the U.S. Consulate in Guadalajara. Authorities said as Ashcraft drove away from the consulate, Zafar fired a shot into the vehicle and hit the vice consul in his chest. Ashcraft survived, but the bullet remains lodged in his spinal column.

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/virginia/articles/2018-11-07/ex-medical-student-sentenced-in-diplomats-shooting-in-2017

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Newsline: Mexican consulate in San Bernardino caught in money fraud scandal

The chief deputy of the Mexican consulate in San Bernardino has been accused of giving more than 25,000 dollars to Caminemos Juntos USA-Mex, a non-profit whose reputation is questionable. This scandal comes after Proceso, a national magazine in Mexico, published a story that accused Salomon Rosas, the chief deputy at the Mexican consulate in San Bernardino, of embezzling Mexican federal funds intended to teach workshops to undocumented immigrants. In 2017, the Mexican government allocated $400,000 of federal funds to the consulate in San Bernardino, which was used to pay 14 local nonprofits and organizations. Rosas said he thinks the accusations are “defamatory and offensive.”

Mexican consulate in San Bernardino caught in money fraud scandal

Newsline: Man pleads guilty to shooting US diplomat in Mexico

A California man has pleaded guilty to shooting a U.S. diplomat in Mexico. Zia Zafar entered guilty pleas in a Virginia federal court Friday to attempted murder of an internationally protected person and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. The 33-year-old Zafar, of Chino Hills, California, admitted shooting and wounding a vice consul in Guadalajara on Jan. 6, 2017. Zafar is scheduled for sentencing Nov. 7. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for attempted murder and a mandatory minimum of 10 years on the firearm charge. The charges were filed in Virginia because Zafar was brought into the country in the Eastern District of Virginia, where Dulles International Airport is located.

https://wtop.com/virginia/2018/07/man-pleads-guilty-to-shooting-us-diplomat-in-mexico/

Newsline: US ambassador to Mexico officially departs

The United States’s top diplomat to Mexico left Mexico City on Saturday for the last time in her official capacity, capping off a nearly two-year tenure in the post. The U.S. Embassy in Mexico announced Ambassador Roberta Jacobson’s departure from the Mexican capital, saying that she was flying back to the U.S. on a commercial plane. “I am sad to leave Mexico, but take with me a deep affection for this marvelous country and the Mexican people. I believe we have made great strides in our bilateral relationship,” Jacobson said in a statement. “I am not saying goodbye, but rather so long for now.”

http://thehill.com/policy/international/386378-us-ambassador-to-mexico-departs-to-begin-retirement

Newsline: New US Consulate in Matamoros, Mexico has $176 million price tag

Construction of the new U.S. Consulate General in Matamoros has begun on a new $176 million, 7.6-acre consulate site. The multi-building campus will include a chancery, Marine security guard residence, support buildings and facilities for the consulate general community. Completion is expected in May 2019. Tony Garza, the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico from 2002 to 2009, said this project was in the works during his tenure. And despite some harsh words toward the border, Mexico and Central America from President Donald Trump, this project shows a good relationship between the United States and its southern neighbor, Garza said.

http://www.themonitor.com/news/local/article_1076d352-45d8-11e8-972b-2f810110b266.html

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.

https://www.abc15.com/news/national/us-embassy-warns-about-threat-to-mexico-resort-town-issues-travel-ban

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.

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/03/01/590081271/u-s-ambassador-to-mexico-is-latest-career-diplomat-to-resign