Almost five months after his appointment by Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Quirino Ordaz is officially the new ambassador of Mexico in Spain. The delay in achieving the placet by the Government of Pedro Sánchez had fueled speculation about a possible blockade of the former governor of Sinaloa amid recent diplomatic tensions between the two countries. Despite the controversy, López Obrador trusted from the first day that the go-ahead would arrive and sources from the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed to this newspaper in December that the process was already underway.
Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard has been in charge of the announcement this Friday. “I share with you, on the instructions of President López Obrador, the approval granted to Quirino Ordaz as Ambassador of our country to the Kingdom of Spain. I proceed to turn it over to the Ministry of the Interior for the purposes of the law”, he has published on his social networks. Along the same lines, Ebrard also thanked the Spanish Foreign Minister, José Manuel Albares, “for his good offices and sympathy for Mexico.”
I share with you, on the instructions of President López Obrador, the approval granted to Quirino Ordaz as Ambassador of our country to the Kingdom of Spain. I proceed to turn it over to the Ministry of the Interior for legal purposes. pic.twitter.com/xrG0pIZ1gL
– Marcelo Ebrard C. (@m_ebrard) January 28, 2022
The controversy around Quirino had several derivatives. In the first place, because he was a PRI veteran who had just been defeated in his state by Morena, the president’s party, and because he was also one of the the first moves to attract opposition cadres to the diplomatic corps. The signings caused a stir both because of the recruitment of opposition politicians and because of the lack of experience in diplomatic work of most of the appointments.
As for Ordaz, the Mexican president assured two weeks ago that he had the right profile to solve the “misunderstandings” with Madrid. “There is no reason why it should not be accepted,” said López Obrador. “Of course, our opponents would like our proposals to be rejected, for there to be a lawsuit with the Spanish government. Well, no, relationships are fine.”
The Mexican president always maintained his confidence in the PRI veteran to “fully reestablish relations” with Spain after the tensions that have marked his mandate for demanding apologies for the conquest. These tensions began in 2019 and continued until last September, coinciding with the celebrations of the Bicentennial of Independence and in the midst of several outbursts by opposition leaders of the extreme right and the Popular Party.
However, the absence of senior officials from the Sánchez Executive, from the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE), was a clear sign of the coldness between the two Administrations. The routine of bilateral cooperation, despite everything, has never been affected by these frictions, not even in the institutional dialogue and less so in consular and administrative coordination.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.