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US ambassador joins governors of Mexico’s southeast for bilateral summit in Mérida

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
The summit’s press conference was held in Yucatán’s International Convention Center and hosted by the American Embassy of the United States in Mérida and the Yucatán state government. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

The US ambassador to Mexico, Ken Salazar, joined the governors of Mexico’s southeastern states for an official bilateral summit in Mérida.

During a press conference led Tuesday by Yucatán Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal, the ambassador and lawmakers discussed new opportunities to strengthen ties between the two nations and bring greater development to the region.

Topics addressed during the summit included environmental initiatives, investment in information technology, and infrastructure.  

“Mexico’s southeast was long considered an afterthought, a remote and forgotten corner of the country; this is surely not the case anymore. But there is still much work to be done,” said Salazar.

Also in attendance was Mexico’s secretary of foreign affairs, and frontrunner for Mexico’s 2024 presidential election, Marcelo Ebrad. 

The secretary emphasized the importance of Mexico’s relationship with the United States on both a human and economic level and praised ambassador Salazar for his proactive approach.

Secretary Ebrad praised the bilateral efforts of both President Obrador’s administration, as well President Biden. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

During the questions-and-answer segment of the press conference, another issue broached was that of the growing caravans of refugees from Central America and the Caribbean transiting through Mexico to the United States.

Earlier: Yucatán’s new Consul General has had a fascinating career

“These are good people and they deserve the right to stable, secure lives. Our enemy here is not the people but rather the instability which is forcing them to take such drastic measures,” said Ebrad.

Given the status of the dignitaries in attendance, security was afforded not by Yucatán’s state police, but rather Mexico’s national guard. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

The secretary took the opportunity to highlight Mexico’s investment in the Sembrando Vidas reforestation project in Central America, which seeks to plant over 3 billion trees and generate 1.2 million jobs.

Critics of this project argue that the tree-planting program actually results in more deforestation than it prevents. Recent reports also have suggested that the initiative is also directly benefiting cocoa plantations owned by the children of the sitting president, and the program’s main champion, Andrés Manuel López Obrador. 

On the topic of information technology and the digital economy, Yucatán’s governor highlighted the soon-to-open  Amazon logistics center in Umán

“The new logistics center will create many jobs, but will also offer an international platform for businesses in Yucatán,” said Vila. 

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