Mexicans are not pleased that their government is giving its highest award for foreigners to Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of a man who's repeatedly denigrated Mexicans as rapists and criminals.
Kushner, a Trump adviser, will receive the Order of the Aztec Eagle, a distinction that’s been bestowed on the likes of Nelson Mandela and Cesar Chavez, for his part in negotiating a replacement for the longstanding NAFTA trade agreement between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The new deal, which adds elements on auto manufacturing, dairy farming and digital property, is called the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement.
The award to Kushner is one of the last moves under outgoing — and extremely unpopular — Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, and comes at a time of extreme friction between the two countries over immigration.
“Mr. Kushner played a key role throughout the process, decisively supporting the development of trade talks between the two countries, thus achieving satisfactory results in a new economic agreement for the three countries,” Mexico’s foreign ministry said in a news release. Separately, Peña Nieto on Tuesday called Kushner a “great ally” to Mexico.
President Donald Trump is also extremely unpopular in Mexico, with just 6 percent of respondents saying in a recent poll they had confidence in his leadership. Prominent Mexican scholars and media personalities promptly condemned the decision to honor Kushner.
“The Aztec Eagle to Kushner? Really? That is how the government of indignity bids farewell,” Jesús Silva-Herzog, a prominent Mexican journalist and political analyst, said on Twitter. “A perfect crowning to its indecency.”
Historian Enrique Krauze called the decision a “supreme act of humiliation and cowardice.”
And Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal tweeted that giving the award to Kushner was a “self-inflicted humiliation” that brought shame to Mexico.
Cover image: White House adviser Jared Jared Kushner attends a signing ceremony on job training in the East Room of the White House, July 19, 2018 in Washington, D.C. Photo by Olivier Douliery/ Abaca Press(Sipa via AP Images)