Ambassador from Mexico: Who Is Eduardo Medina-Mora?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Mexico sent a new ambassador to its northern neighbor in January 2013, who will have to navigate the thickets of immigration reform, the drug war, and other issues that divide Mexico and the U.S. Eduardo Medina-Mora Icaza presented his credentials to President Obama on January 14, formally succeeding Arturo Sarukhán, who had served as Mexico's man in Washington since February 2007.

 

Born January 30, 1957, in Mexico City, Medina-Mora followed in the footsteps of his father, a prominent attorney who was president of the Mexican Bar Association, by earning a law degree at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and practicing law at the family firm of Medina-Mora y Asociados.

 

In the private sector, Medina-Mora was corporate director of Strategic Planning and deputy director general of DESC Group, a large Mexican conglomerate in automotive parts, petrochemicals, agribusiness and real estate, from 1991 to 2000. He also coordinated the legal advisory team to the Mexican Government during the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations, focusing on the areas of Agriculture, Rules, Unfair Trade, Investment and Rules of Origin.

 

After serving as chief of staff to the Undersecretary of Fisheries, Medina-Mora held several cabinet-level positions in the Mexican federal government, including service as director general of the Center for Investigation and National Security (the Mexican CIA) from December 2000 to September 2005, as secretary for public security from September 2005 to November 2006, and as attorney general from December 2006 to September 2009, serving ex officio as a member of the Public Security Cabinet and of the National Security Council, which he chaired from 2006 to 2009.

 

As attorney general, Medina-Mora faced directly the intertwined issues of the flows of drugs, money, guns and undocumented immigrants between the two countries, and the violence of the war against the drug cartels that engulfed northern Mexico. There were even rumors that Medina-Mora—a key negotiator of the Merida Initiative that provides U.S. funding to the drug war in Mexico—was replaced as attorney general because officials worried the government could not protect him and his family in Mexico, although it was also said that he was forced to resign after a top deputy was arrested for taking bribes from the drug cartels.

 

Shortly after his removal as attorney general, Medina-Mora was appointed ambassador to the U.K., where he served from November 2009 to January 2013. He has also participated in international forums and negotiations, serving as a member of the High-Level Group on Border Security for Mexico-Guatemala and Mexico-Belize; chief negotiator for the Mexico-U.S. Border Partnership Agreement in 2002; and as negotiator for the Alliance for Prosperity and Security in North America from 2004 to 2005. He also served on a number of delegations and bilateral task forces on security cooperation between Mexico and the U.S., Canada, Colombia and Guatemala.

 

Medina-Mora is co-editor of the book Legitimate Use of Force (2008), and author of the book Fisheries in the Exclusive Economic Zone, published by the Ministry of Fisheries in 1989. He has also been a member of the Mexican Bar Association and of the American Bar Association.

 

He and his wife, Laura Medina-Mora, have three children.

-Matt Bewig

 

To Learn More:

Official Biography

Personalidades: Eduardo Medina-Mora (es mas) (Spanish)

Destaca Medina Mora retos e intereses comunes de Mexico y EU (Novedades Acapulco)

En entrevista con Ciro di Constanzo, el embajador de EU Eduardo mora: “La relación más importante que el pais tiene” (by Ciro di Costanzo, 98.5 FM) (audio in Spanish)

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