- By David FrancisDavid Francis is a staff writer for Foreign Policy, where he oversees FP's breaking news blog, The Cable. An award-winning journalist, David has reported from all over Europe, Nigeria, Kenya, Mexico, and Afghanistan on terrorism, national security, the geopolitics of energy, global economics, and the European financial crisis. His work has been published in outlets including the Christian Science Monitor, the Financial Times Deutschland, Slate, and SportsIllustrated.com.
Just hours after Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump visited Mexico to meet with President Enrique Peña Nieto last week, he told a cheering crowd in Arizona that if he’s elected, the United States is going to build a wall on the southern border, and Mexico is going to pay for it.
But Peña Nieto quickly denied that any such arrangement was agreed upon in their meeting, and now, fallout from Trump’s visit has continued with Mexican Finance Minister Luis Videgaray’s resignation on Wednesday.
It’s been widely reported in Mexican media that the invitation to Trump was Videgaray’s idea, a claim disputed by both the now-former finance minister as well as Peña Nieto. Many Mexicans condemned the visit and saw it as a humiliating, citing Trump’s controversial comments calling immigrants from the country “rapists” and “criminals.” The businessman has also said Mexico will pay for a border wall to keep illegal immigrants from Mexico out of the United States, and has generally been hostile toward America’s southern neighbor.
Videgaray is a former investment banker and state finance official with a doctorate from MIT. He has long been Peña Nieto’s right-hand-man, and was responsible for a series of reforms including opening Mexico’s closed oil industry to private investment for the first time since 1938. In recent years, however, Videgaray has been under fire for overseeing slow growth in Mexico, and took flack from some in the business community for raising taxes.
A Mexican government spokesperson confirmed to the Associated Press that Videgaray was out. He’ll be replaced by former finance chief José Antonio Meade, who served in that post from 2011 to 2012 under former President Felipe Calderón.
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