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Luis Videgaray Returns to Cabinet as Mexico’s Foreign Relations Secretary

LADB Article ID: 80172
Category/Department: Mexico
Date: 2017-01-04
By: Carlos Navarro

Luis Videgaray, a close ally of President Enrique Peña Nieto, has returned to the Mexican Cabinet after a four-month absence to assume the role of foreign relations secretary. Videgaray had left his Cabinet post as finance secretary after reports emerged that he was a prime mover behind Peña Nieto’s surprise meeting with then-US presidential candidate Donald Trump in Mexico City in late August. Trump is deeply unpopular in Mexico. Videgaray was chosen to head the Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE) to help build a bridge between the Mexican government and President-elect Trump, who won the US election despite a myriad of polls that had predicted a victory for rival Hillary Rodham Clinton. He replaces Claudia Ruiz Massieu as Mexico’s top diplomat. Ruiz Massieu attempted to step down in the wake of Trump’s controversial visit to Mexico, but Peña Nieto declined to accept her resignation. Videgaray stepped down instead. Mexicans are also concerned about Trump’s threat to deport large numbers of undocumented Mexicans living in the US and about his proposal to expand and strengthen a wall along the US-Mexico border to deter illegal immigration. Given the challenge of dealing with the president-elect, Peña Nieto said he instructed Videgaray to initiate contacts with key officials of the new administration in order to establish the basis for dialogue on Inauguration Day, which is on Jan. 20.

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