Report: Mexican officials say Salazar will be next US ambassador to Mexico

Report: Mexican officials say Salazar will be next US ambassador to Mexico

The Biden administration will nominate former Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar (D) as its next ambassador to Mexico, according to a report in Mexican daily La Jornada.

The report cites Mexican Foreign Ministry sources, who confirmed knowledge of the upcoming nomination.

While Salazar's nomination has not been made official by the White House, his name has been publicly tied to the role in various reports, and the official nomination is expected to come soon.

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But the leak to a major Mexican news outlet raises questions about shared information at high levels between the two governments. 

Diplomatic nominations can be made known in advance to smooth the path for approval by the recipient state, but that privilege is granted on a case-by-case basis.

A Democratic aide panned the leak, referencing former Mexican Defense Secretary Salvador Cienfuegos, whom American authorities arrested in Los Angeles in October without giving advance warning to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's administration.
 
“Between leaking privileged nomination information and sensitive legal files protected under a bilateral treaty, the López Obrador government seems to be signaling that it has no problem publishing its private communications with the US Government," said the aide.
 
"And they wonder why Mexico didn’t receive advance notice about General Cienfuegos’ arrest,” added the aide.

Salazar, a former secretary of the Interior under President Obama, would take over the Mexico City embassy at a moment when relations between the two countries are both more active and more strained than usual.

Vice President Harris is due in Mexico City next month as part of her program to address root causes of regional migration from Mexico and Central America.

Harris will meet with López Obrador a day after the country holds midterm elections, which López Obrador hopes will maintain his constitutional majority in Congress.

López Obrador has shot barbs at the Biden administration ahead of the midterm, including accusations that the United States Agency for International Development is funding "coup plotters" in Mexico, but Harris and U.S. diplomats have avoided confrontation so far.

The Hill reached out to officials from the Mexican Foreign Ministry and the State Department for comment on this story.