Washington, Jan 18 (EFE).
U.S. diplomat Roberta Jacobson will be in charge of managing the border relationship with Mexico on behalf of President-elect Joe Biden, his main advisor for Latin America, Juan Sebastian Gonzalez, confirmed on Monday.
“I have always admired Roberta Jacobson. Respected, experienced, and capable, few care as much or have worked as hard to advance U.S.-Mexico relations to their full potential,” said Gonzalez, who has been appointed to lead Latin America issues within Biden’s White House National Security Council, in a message on Twitter.
Jacobson, who served as U.S. ambassador to Mexico from 2016 to 2018, will be the coordinator for the southwest border at the National Security Council.
This is a newly created position from which she will coordinate national security issues for Mexico and Central America.
The United States’ relations with Mexico are experiencing an increase in tension after Mexico exonerated former Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos last week, after he was extradited to Mexico and accused by Washington of links to drug trafficking.
Cienfuegos was captured last October in Los Angeles and later transferred to New York, where he was accused of having protected and received bribes from the now extinct Mexican H-2 cartel, a spin-off from the Beltran Leyva criminal group practically unknown until the general’s arrest.
In November, the Mexican Attorney General’s Office and the Justice Department reached an extraordinary agreement whereby the United States dropped the drug trafficking and money laundering charges against Cienfuegos, in exchange for him being investigated in Mexico.
His exoneration in Mexico represents major blow to the investigations of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), who were already angered by the Mexican government’s decision to limit the work of that and other foreign security agencies.
These tensions continue to simmer just two days before Biden takes office, and increase uncertainty about the direction of the bilateral relationship.