Mexico’s outgoing government has conferred the country’s highest civilian honour for foreigners to US President Donald Trump‘s son-in-law Jared Kushner, a decision that has caused a social media outcry.
President Enrique Pena Nieto is expected to bestow the Order of the Aztec on Kushner, who is also a senior White House adviser, in a ceremony on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires on Thursday, Mexico’s Reforma newspaper reported.
Peña Nieto defended his decision during a work tour in the State of Sinaloa.
“It is an attribution of the president and I want to give it to him,” he told reporters who asked to justify the announcement. “I want to recognise [the person] who has been a great ally of Mexico,” said the president.
The 37-year-old has been credited with renegotiating the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Mexico, the United States and Canada.
The revised agreement, known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), replaced the nearly 25-year-old NAFTA, which the US president had labelled a disaster and promised to cancel.
“Mr Kushner’s participating was decisive in initiating the process of renegotiating NAFTA, preventing a unilateral exit from the United States of said treaty, and his constant and effective involvement was key to achieving a successful conclusion of the negotiations,” read a Mexican foreign ministry statement.
US National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said on Tuesday that leaders from the three North American countries are expected to sign the new trade deal during the G20 summit.
Mexicans on Twitter, however, seemed to be of a different opinion, with many questioning the reasoning behind the decision.
We Mexicans, DON’T support @EPN Peña’s decision to honor Jared Kushner with the Orden del #AguilaAzteca which is meant to recognize foreign citizens for their trajectories and legacies.
It’s a complete disgrace, from the most corrupt government ever
— Rocío Gurtubay L.𓃒𓅂𓍝 (@gurtufly) November 27, 2018
Mexican historian Enrique Krauze said awarding Kushner the Order of the Aztec “reflects a supreme attitude of humiliation and cowardice”.
Kushner es el yerno de quien llamó a los mexicanos “asesinos y violadores”. Darle el Águila Azteca es una actitud supremo de humillación y cobardía.
— Enrique Krauze (@EnriqueKrauze) November 27, 2018
Translation: Kushner is the son-in-law of [the man] who called Mexicans murderers and rapists. Giving him the Aztec Eagle is a supreme attitude of humiliation and cowardice.
Mexican intellectual Fernando Belaunzarán dubbed the decision an “unprecedented nonsense”.
Me opongo absolutamente al inaudito despropósito de @EPN, quien pretende darle el mayor reconocimiento que entrega el Estado mexicano a un extranjero, la Orden del Águila Azteca, al yerno y cómplice del racista iliberal y antimexicano, Jared Kushner.
— Fernando Belaunzarán (@ferbelaunzaran) November 27, 2018
Translation: I am opposed to the unprecedented nonsense of @EPN, who intends to give the highest recognition given by the Mexican State to a foreigner, the Aztec Order of the Eagle, to the son-in-law and accomplice of the illiberal and anti-Mexican racist, Jared Kushner.
Qué nivel de humillación auto infligida, demeritando cualquier valor agregado que esa condecoración pudiera tener. Vergüenza. Tremenda. Y ni se diga del encabronamiento que nos causa. https://t.co/Ab6MFbJNyo
— Gael García Bernal (@GaelGarciaB) November 27, 2018
Translation: What level of self-inflicted humiliation, de-meriting any added value that the decoration could have. Shame. Tremendous and do not even mention the angriness you have caused us.
Past recipients of the honour include Colombian Nobel literature laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez, former South African President and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, Cuban leader Fidel Castro, Walt Disney and former Argentinean first lady Evita Perón.