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Mexico

Mexico to bestow highest honour to Jared Kushner, putting him in same club as Nelson Mandela, U2’s Bono and Bill Gates

  • Past recipients of the Order of the Aztec Eagle include U2 frontman Bono and former South African president Nelson Mandela
  • Announcement met by criticism in Mexico, where Trump is widely disliked for his comments about Mexican migrants and promises to build a border wall
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 November, 2018, 11:28am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 November, 2018, 11:43am

Mexico’s outgoing government announced that it will bestow the country’s top honour for foreigners on Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, a decision quickly met with derision by critics on social media.

Kushner, who also serves as a senior White House adviser, will be admitted into the Order of the Aztec Eagle due to “his significant contributions” to a new North American trade pact agreed to in August, the government said.

Trump had threatened to axe the 24-year-old Nafta, calling it the “worst trade deal ever” and a “rip-off” for American workers.

But he ultimately agreed to an updated version, dubbed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

Mexican media reported that President Enrique Pena Nieto would bestow the honour on Kushner, 37, during the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina this week, where the leaders of all three countries are expected to sign the new deal.

The honour was a trending topic on Twitter, where it appeared to be mostly criticised by prominent Mexicans.

“Giving him the Aztec Eagle reflects a supreme attitude of humiliation and cowardice,” Mexican historian Enrique Krauze wrote in one post, noting that Trump called Mexican migrants murderers and rapists during his 2016 presidential campaign.

Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal wrote that the decision to honour Kushner was “tremendously shameful”.

Past recipients of the Order of the Aztec Eagle include U2 frontman Bono, Hollywood director James Cameron, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Colombian Nobel literature laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez and former South African president Nelson Mandela.

Kushner, who is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka, has used back room diplomacy and a close relationship with Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray to smooth relations between the two neighbours in the face of Trump’s sometimes virulent anti-Mexican rhetoric and vows to build a wall on the border.

But the relationship may also have landed Kushner in trouble.

He lost his top-level security clearance in February, reportedly after multiple foreign governments -including Mexico’s – sought to take advantage of his business and political vulnerabilities.

Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will be inaugurated on December 1 after winning a landslide victory in July.

Ivanka Trump is expected to attend the swearing-in along with other US officials, including Vice-President Mike Pence.

Reuters, Agence France-Presse