President López Obrador nominated Alicia Bárcena Ibarra as the Mexican candidate to head the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB). With this move, Mexico is the first country that expressed its will to head one of the most important regional financial institutions.
During his daily morning press conference, López Obrador said that his administration will propose Bárcenas, who is currently the Mexican Ambassador to Chile, to head IDB. López Obrador said that she is a well-prepared public official since she has previously served as Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribean (ECLAC).
López Obrador emphasized that Bárcena is principled and that she has a conciliatory personality. “Mexico has a proposal: Alicia Bárcena. She worked for the UN and headed ECLAC for a long time. Besides, she is an exceptional woman, highly respected, with good relations with all the governments [in the region],” said López Obrador.
Bárcena holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in ecology, both from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), as well as a master’s in public administration from Harvard University. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in economics at UNAM. Bárcena has been a professor and researcher at UNAM, where she published articles regarding sustainable development, public policies, the environment and citizen participation.
The proposal of López Obrador comes after members of IDB’s board voted to remove Mauricio Claver-Carone as Director of the institution after they found him guilty of maintaining a relationship with an employee. The affair is a violation of the institution’s ethics code. Reina Mejía was appointed interim Director, but now member States have 45 days to nominate their candidates.
Claver-Carone was the first IDB President coming from the US. According to some experts, this opened a rift between the US and Latin American countries since this position had always been occupied by a Latin American representative. For this reason, US President Joe Biden announced that he will not propose a candidate.
BID 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 for its members.
In Mexico, BID is working along with the Ministry of Finance (SHCP) to support the Interoceanic Corridor, one of the main infrastructure projects of López Obrador’s administration. Both institutions will launch financing and tax stimulus packages for those companies that want to move their operations to the corridor’s industrial parks, as reported by MBN.