Friday, March 1, 2024

Panama rejects nominee for ambassador accused of sexual harassment

The government of Panama rejected the federal government’s nominated ambassador to that country, President López Obrador revealed Tuesday.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced last month that Pedro Agustín Salmerón, a National Autonomous University-trained historian, would be Mexico’s next ambassador to the Central American nation.

But the appointment was condemned by feminist collectives and others because Salmerón, a former professor at the Autonomous Technical Institute of Mexico (ITAM), is accused of sexual harassment.

López Obrador told reporters at his regular news conference that the Panamanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejected the academic’s appointment.

“As if it was the Holy Inquisition, the foreign affairs minister of Panama [Erika Mouynes] didn’t agree [with the appointment] because they opposed it at ITAM,” he said.

“… She asked us not to send the approval request. I really regret it because [Panama] is the land of [leftist dictator/supreme military leader] Omar Torrijos, who returned sovereignty to Panama,” López Obrador said before recommending the Graham Greene book Getting To Know The General.

The president claimed that political scientist and columnist Denise Dresser led a “lynching campaign” against Salmerón.

He said that former Morena party senator Jesusa Rodríguez – an activist and actress known for controversial statements and political stunts – would be nominated instead.

“She will be the ambassador of Mexico in Panama if the government of Panama accepts her, if it gives its consent,”López Obrador said.

He said he will seek to appoint Salmerón – who wrote to the president to express his “willingness” to turn down the ambassador position amid what he described as a “media lynching” –  to another government position.

“We’re going to look for a way to use Pedro’s knowledge in another field, let’s see if the conservatives don’t get angry,” López Obrador said.

“I would really like him to help us with everything to do with the [national] archives, I’m very concerned about leaving them well … protected because since the [2017] earthquake [the National Archives] building has been [in a] poor [state],” he said.

“… I would like him to be my advisor to make … a story for young people about electoral fraud in Mexico – it would be really great, all the frauds, at least 100 years of frauds,” López Obrador said, adding that Salmerón could be appointed to undertake “any other historic activity he would like to accept.”

Mexico News Daily 

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