The Mexican Ambassador to Chile, Alicia Bárcena, said she asked President López Obrador to withdraw her nomination to head the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB). The nomination could have secured her a spot in one of the most important financial institutions in the region. Gerardo Esquivel has been nominated as the new candidate.
Bárcena said on Twitter that she asked López Obrador to withdraw the nomination due to personal reasons. According to her, the president responded positively. Bárcena added that she is grateful for the support from the Minister of Finance, Rogelio Rámirez de la O, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marcelo Ebrard, who supported her nomination.
Bárcena’s announcement comes a day before the deadline IDB set for members to submit their candidates. Right after Bárcena announced her departure from the process, the government nominated the Central Bank’s (BANXICO) Deputy Governor, Gerardo Esquivel, as the new Mexican candidate for the institution. Sources close to the matter appear to question that the decision was made by Bárcena personally: Bloomberg News reported that US concerns regarding her political stance formed part of why the Mexican government wanted to pick a different candidate. Meanwhile, Reuters highlighted the whispers that key IDB shareholders would have embraced a woman at the helm of the bank.
Esquivel is currently part of BANXICO’s board and is considered the most conciliatory member of the institution. Nonetheless, his term will finish in December 2022. At the time of writing, Esquivel has not commented on the nomination, which he is allowed to reject.
IDB has commented on the government’s shift. To date, the only candidate formally registered is Brazil’s former Central Bank Chief Ilan Goldfajn. According to IDB, the voting process will be carried out on Nov. 20, 2022.
Esquivel holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, (UNAM), a master’s degree in economics from the El Colegio de México and a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University. He has a broad experience in research and worked at several international financial institutions. He also worked as a researcher at the Harvard Institute for International Development (HIID) and at the International Monetary Fund as an invited researcher. Esquivel has also been an advisor for the World Bank, the IDB, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the OECD and the UN’s economic programs.
IDB is one of the most important multilateral financial institutions in the Americas. Its goal is to improve the continent’s health, education and infrastructure through financing and technical support. In Mexico, it works along with the Ministry of Finance to support the development of the Interoceanic Corridor, one of the key federal infrastructure projects. IDB will launch financial stimuli for companies moving to the corridor’s industrial parks.