Mexico: economy head resigns, ally of López Obrador

MEXICO CITY (HPD) — Almost two years after Tatiana Clouthier was appointed Mexico’s economy secretary, in what analysts saw as an attempt by the government to have a better dialogue with the business sector in times of crisis due to the pandemic, the politician announced his resignation.

“One must know when to withdraw,” he said Thursday during the morning presidential conference without giving clear explanations of the reasons for his departure, although he assured that it was not abrupt because the cabinet had known his intentions for a few weeks.

“My opportunity to add him to the team is exhausted,” he added, unable to hold back his tears and after assuring that he would continue to support the official project. Faced with the emotionality of her speech, a certain coldness of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador caught the attention, who allowed himself to be hugged by her but without reciprocating her gesture.

Although he came from political sectors completely different from those of López Obrador, Clouthier joined his ranks in 2018 and was the one who led the electoral campaign that brought him to power that same year.

She is “a woman with convictions, with criteria,” stressed the president, who did not say who will replace her at a time when the Mexican economy is suffering from rising inflation and disputes with the United States persist over Mexican energy regulations.

Precisely those convictions are what could have led her to resign, according to the official Twitter account of her brother, Manuel Clouthier. “Congruence of Tatiana vs. the inconsistency of López ”, wrote the opposition politician after linking her resignation to the growing militarization of the country.

Specifically, he stated that the passage of the National Guard into the hands of the army “must have weighed heavily on his decision” although he clarified that he had not spoken to her about the subject.

The former opposition deputy Martha Tagle considered the same hypothesis. “Since you were a deputy you opposed militarization, today in consistency and with conviction you leave the government of @ lopezobrador— which has deepened militarization,” she tweeted.

Tatiana Clouthier, 58 years old and a deputy on several occasions, always had a more political than economic profile. Before joining the Morena project, the ruling party, she was linked to the National Action Party (PAN), the conservative group with a large business base of which her father was a presidential candidate in 1988.

Later, she was an independent politician who aspired to the mayorship of San Pedro Garza García, the richest municipality in the country in the northern state of Nuevo León. After the 2018 elections, she was a deputy for Morena until she was appointed Secretary of the Economy in December 2020.

In that position, and in the midst of the crisis exacerbated by the pandemic, she was considered a key player in recovering the government’s dialogue with the business sector after the resignation of Alfonso Romo as head of the Office of the Presidency, who was the main link of the Executive with the businessmen.

As Secretary of the Economy, she had to negotiate with the United States the discrepancies that arose in the North American free trade agreement, the T-MEC, especially in energy matters.

Various business organizations, including the Mexican employers, lamented his departure and praised his “openness and willingness to dialogue” in a government that insists on the motto of “first the poor.”

PAN senators recalled in a statement that in addition to the energy issue, the resignation is due to a “failed plan to combat inflation and the abandonment of companies” for which they demanded that the new head be someone “with capacity, experience and autonomy”.

Clouthier has a degree in English Language and a master’s degree in Public Administration.

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