U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Resigns
The U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Roberta S. Jacobson, has announced her decision to resign from her position in May. Jacobson is among several high profile officials from the State Department to announce in recent months their decision to leave the drug-torn country.
Jacobson made the announcement in a tweet on Thursday, writing: “I do it knowing the U.S.-Mexico relationship is strong and vital and that this amazing Mission Mexico team will continue to ensure it remains so.” She ended her tweet with, “Together we are stronger!”
In previous positions, Jacobson was closely involved with the Obama administration’s efforts to reopen diplomatic relations with Cuba. She also played a role in brokering a peace deal between the Colombian government and the guerrilla group FARC.
State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters at CNN that they are grateful for Jacobson's service. “She has certainly done a tremendous job in representing U.S. interest with the government of Mexico.”
According to the New York Times, her departure will be deeply felt by both American and Mexican officials as she was “one of the most experienced Latin America experts in the State Department, having spent most of her 31 years there focusing on the region.”
Her departure comes at a tense moment in U.S.-Mexico relations. Mexico has disputed Trump’s insistence on having them pay for a wall between the two countries. Furthermore, Trump’s plan to get rid of the NAFTA agreement and his promise to deport millions of Mexicans who crossed the border illegally is divisive for most Mexicans as well as Latino-Americans.
Just last weekend, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto called off an official trip to Washington after a tense phone call with President Donald Trump. This is perhaps an indication of worsening diplomatic relations between the neighboring countries.
Jacobson joins a rather large group of foreign service officials who have left the State Department in recent months. For example, John Feeley the ambassador to Panama also resigned this year. In a statement to Reuters, Feeley said he was leaving a long career in the government service because he felt he could no longer serve under Trump.
According to The Guardian, the U.S. has lost over half of its ambassadors and many other senior diplomats since Trump took office, just over a year ago.