News
Mexico's pavilion in Dubai Mexico's pavilion in Dubai seen as opportunity to show off Mexico's cultural wealth.

Mexico hopes to clean up its narco image at Expo 2020 Dubai

Mexican Pavilion intended to broaden people's perceptions

One of Mexico’s objectives at the world expo currently being held in Dubai is to broaden people’s perception of the country, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said Tuesday.

He lamented that Mexico is best known internationally for its portrayal in television series that focus on the lives of drug traffickers such as Narcos México and El Chapo.

But Mexico’s participation at Expo 2020 Dubai, which began October 1 and will run through March 31, gives the country the opportunity to show off its cultural wealth, Ebrard told an event at which the program of events to take place at the Mexican Pavilion was presented.

“We can go to the other stands and defend, promote and publicize the interests of Mexico. What are they? First, its image,” he added.

Ebrard claimed that out of every 3,000 people who visit the Mexican pavilion, 2,900 or “maybe more” will only know about Mexico through “narco series.”

“They have no idea what Mexico [really] is,” the foreign minister said. “… The Dubai World Expo represents a unique opportunity to promote Mexico to faraway countries,” he said.

“We’re going to be able to be in contact with 100 countries where we don’t even have an embassy, … a lot can be achieved for Mexico.”

It wasn’t the first time that Ebrard has bemoaned the negative portrayal of Mexico by narco-related television series.

“Today the image of Mexico that is seen in almost the whole world is from narco series or similar [shows],” Ebrard said in 2019.

“I tell you this because prime ministers, high-ranking officials and representatives from the whole world have spoken to me about it and that [image] doesn’t do us justice.”

The Foreign Ministry said in a press release just before the start of the Dubai Expo that the Mexico Pavilion – known as the Weaving Life Pavilion because its exterior design was inspired by Mexican fabrics – “will have spaces that connect history, modern times and a proposal for the future of the country.”

“The pavilion has an area of 900 square meters divided into three levels to carry out cultural activities, and promote SMEs [small and medium-sized enterprises] investment and Mexican cuisine,” it said.

Numerous artists will present their work in the pavilion and singers such as Lila Downs, Natalia Lafourcade and Javier Camarena will offer performances.

With reports from Excélsior and Milenio

Reader forum

The forum is available to logged-in subscribers only.