Ministers of Foreigns Affairs
ALFONSO GARCÍA ROBLES
José Alfonso Eufemio Nicolás de Jesús García Robles was born on March 20, 1911 in Zamora (today Hidalgo), Michoacán. He studied law at the University of Jalisco, the UNAM and the Institute of Advanced International Studies of the University of Paris, and became a university professor. Within the Foreign Ministry, he was third secretary in the Mexican embassy in Sweden; section chief of Post-war Affairs; head of the political division of the United Nations Security Council; president of the preparatory commission for the denuclearlization of Latin America and “architect of the Tlatelolco Treaty;” ambassador in Brazil and Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs among the many positions that he held both in the United Nations and the Mexican Foreign Service. From December 29, 1975 to November 30, 1976, Alfonso García Robles was the Secretary of Foreign Affairs. His 338 days as Foreign Secretary were intense ones. Among his achievements were the establishment of a 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic area; an emphasis on the New International Economic Order, world peace and international cooperation. Within the international forums, Mexico presented and adhered to programs on the environment, food, the population explosion, human rights, the elimination of nuclear arms and the right of the state over its natural resources.
After serving as Foreign Secretary, García Robles was designated permanent representative of Mexico to the conference of the disarmament committee located in Geneva, Switzerland. Amongst other literary works, he wrote 338 días de Tlatelolco (338 Days in Tlatelolco), La asamblea general del desarme (The General Assembly on Disarmament) and Seis años de política exterior de México (Six Years of Mexican Foreign Policy). In September 1982 he was awarded the Decoration of the Mexican Foreign Service and in October 1982 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Alfonso García Robles died on September 4, 1991 in Mexico City.
SANTIAGO ROEL GARCíA
Santiago Roel García was born in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon in 1919 and received a law degree from the Monterrey Law School. He taught in the University of Nuevo León and, as congressional deputy, was president of the legislative commission and the commission of foreign affairs.
He was appointed Foreign Secretary in 1976 by President José López Portillo y Pacheco. As Foreign Affairs Secretary, he received authorization to incorporate into the Foreign Ministry’s budget the income earned through consular services. Also during his time in office, at Mexico’s request, a clause renewing our respect for the sovereignty of states was included in the protocol of the Torrijos-Carter Treaty between Mexico and the United States regarding the hand-over of the Panama Canal. In addition, diplomatic relations were renewed with Spain after dissolving those that Mexico had maintained with the Spanish government in exile. Given the country’s increased income from oil exports, Mexico’s international position was enhanced and Foreign Secretary Roel created an Undersecretary for Economic Affairs in the Foreign Ministry. During these years, an agreement on the sale of natural gas was signed with the Carter administration. Bilateral and regional relations acquired a strategic importance. Fifty meetings of joint commissions for cooperation in the areas of trade, industry, investment, education and technology were held in order to strengthen ties in both the north and the south. Roel is the author of Historia del Senado de la República Mexicana, Pedro Garfias, poeta y El cura de tamajón.
JORGE CASTAÑEDA Y ALVAREZ DE LA ROSA
Jorge Castañeda was born on October 1, 1921 in Mexico City. He received a law degree from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and was a professor in the Free Law School, the UNAM, El Colegio de México and various universities abroad. He entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1950. He was vice consul to the United Nations, president of the legal commission of the United Nations General Assembly, general director of International Organizations in the Foreign Ministry, deputy representative to the United Nations, ambassador of Mexico to Egypt, and was posted as well to many international organizations and conferences.
Jorge Castañeda was appointed Secretary of Foreign Affairs by President López Portillo in April 1979, where he remained until the end of the presidential term on November 30, 1982. One of his decisions as Foreign Secretary was that Mexico would not enter the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. At a meeting of the OAS, he defended the right of the Nicaraguan people to decide their own destiny. This position was supported by other Latin American countries and led the United States to suspend aid to the Somoza dictatorship and to the subsequent victory of the Sandinista revolution. Within this context, Castañeda and his French counterpart issued a joint statement recognizing the Frente Farabundo Martí de Liberación Nacional in El Salvador.
Foreign Secretary Castañeda was the principal force behind one of the great achievements of Mexican foreign policy: the agreement to extend the law of the sea over an exclusive economic zone beyond the 12-mile territorial limits already agreed on. Further, a meeting of heads of state was held in Cancún, Quintana Roo in October 1981, the North-South Summit Dialogue, to establish the conditions for inter-governmental cooperation to develop possibilities for coexistence and cooperation amongst nations in different developmental stages. Foreign Secretary Castañeda also promoted a firmer commitment amongst the countries party to the Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Arms in Latin America, known as the Tlatelolco Treaty, and the unconditional defense of the right to asylum, both for well-known Latin American political exiles and for the most humble Guatemalan peasant.
At the end of the presidential term, Jorge Castañeda was named Mexican ambassador to France, and in 1988 retired from the Mexican Foreign Service as ambassador emeritus. Among other books, he wrote México y el orden internacional (Mexico and the International Order) y La no proliferación de las armas nucleares en el orden universal (Nuclear Non-Proliferation in the Universal Order). He died in Mexico City in 1997.
BERNARDO SEPÚLVEDA AMOR
Bernardo Sepúlveda Amor was born in Mexico City in 1941. He received a law degree from the UNAM and a masters degree in international law from Cambridge University, later teaching in El Colegio de México. He was underdirector for legal affairs in the office of the Mexican president; general director for international treasury affairs in the Ministry of Management and Budget; secretary of international affairs for the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI); and ambassador of Mexico in the United States.
Bernardo Sepúlveda was Foreign Secretary for the entire presidential term of Miguel de la Madrid. During that time, he created the Contadora Group to work for peace in Central America. The parties involved in the conflict embraced this new mechanism for negotiations and dialogue. In Mexico’s view, the origins of the conflict lay in poverty, deeply-rooted social shortcomings, militarism and the incipient regional political development. In August 1985, the so-called Contadora Support Group was created, consisting of Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Uruguay. It was the forerunner of the present Rio Group (the Mechanism of Political Consultation and Cooperation in Latin America, which currently has 11 members). Also during this period, the Group of Six was created, consisting of Argentina, Greece, India, Sweden, Tanzania and Mexico, and designed to promote the complete ban of nuclear tests and to prevent the escalation of the arms race. In 1986, Mexico entered the GATT, increasing its possibilities of international trade. Membership in the Cartagena Consensus, together with 11 other Latin American countries during the most critical period of the foreign debt crisis enabled Mexico and the other members of the group to make more flexible the hard-line position of the creditors during the 1980s. During this period, other important issues included the new United States immigration legislation known as the Simpson-Rodino Law, about which Mexico made known its disagreement; Mexico’s cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking and drug addiction after the assassination in 1985 of a DEA agent. Within Mexico, the custom of having the Foreign Secretary appear annually before the Senate began, and the guiding principles of Mexican foreign policy were incorporated into article 89 of the Constitution: non-intervention, self-determination of nations, the peaceful solution of controversies, the prohibition of the threat or use of force in international relations, legal equality amongst States, cooperation for development and the fight for international peace and security. After his time as Foreign Secretary, Bernardo Sepúlveda was ambassador of Mexico in Great Britain, and is currently the director of the law firm Bufete Jurídico Sepúlveda y Asociados. Among other books, he has written La inversión extranjera en México (Foreign Investment in Mexico) y Las empresas trasnacionales en México (Transnational Companies in Mexico).
FERNANDO SOLANA MORALES
Fernando Solana Morales was born in Mexico City in 1931. He holds degrees in civil engineering, philosophy, political science and public administration from the UNAM, where he was a professor and the secretary general. He has been the editor, writer and director of various publications. He was the underdirector of planning and finance of Conasupo; Trade Secretary; Education Secretary; general director of the National Bank of Mexico and president of the Mexican Association of Banks while the banks were being nationalized.
He was Secretary of Foreign Affairs from December 1, 1988 until December 1993. During this time, the Soviet Union disappeared, the Berlin Wall fell and Germany united in 1989, changing the international system completely.
From 147 countries, Mexico expanded its diplomatic ties to include 176 countries in 1993. In April 1993, a free trade agreement was signed between Mexico and Costa Rica. In June, a free trade agreement between Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela was signed in Cartagena, Colombia, strengthening the understanding and cooperation within the Group of Three. In 1993, the North American Free Trade Agreement was signed with Canada and the United States, entering into force the following year.
During his time as Foreign Secretary, Mr. Solana created the Mexican Communities Abroad Program in order to improve Mexico ’s ties with the Mexican communities and those of Mexican origin abroad. During this time, there was friction with the United States due to its desire to apply its laws outside of its territory, a practice rejected by Mexico. International cooperation treaties to fight drug trafficking and drug addiction were signed with almost all the Central American countries. In addition, after 133 years, diplomatic relations were re-established with the Holy See. After leaving the Foreign Ministry, Fernando Solana was Senator, first alternate president of the Latin American parliament and member of the steering committee of the World Inter-Parliamentarian Union. He wrote La planeación universitaria de México (Mexico’s College Planning), Historia de la Educación Pública en México (History of Public Education in Mexico) y Tan lejos como llegue la educación (As Far as Education Can Go). He is a member of the College of Political Science and Public Administration and of the Barros Sierra Foundation, and president of the Association for Education and Development.
MANUEL CAMACHO SOLÍS
Manuel Camacho Solís was born in Mexico City in 1946. He received a degree in economics from the UNAM and a masters degree in public affairs from Princeton University in the United States. He was a professor in the Center of International Studies of El Colegio de México. In addition, he was the underdirector of political studies of the IEPES and coordinator of the state rector commission. Within the federal government, he was advisor to the general director of Nafinsa in 1978, undersecretary for regional development of the Budget Ministry, Secretary of urban development and ecology, and mayor of Mexico City.
Manuel Camacho Solís was Foreign Secretary from December 1993 to January 1994 during the presidency of Carlos Salinas. On January 10, 1994, he was named as Commissioner for Peace and Reconciliation in Chiapas.
In 1999, he founded and currently leads the Central Democratic Party (PCD). He is the co-author of México y Argentina Vistos por sus jóvenes (Mexico and Argentina as Seen by their Youth) and author of El Futuro Inmediato (The Near Future).
MANUEL TELLO MACÍAS
Manuel Tello was born in Mexico City in 1935. He received a degree in international relations from Georgetown University and a masters degree in the same area from the Institute of Advanced International Studies in Geneva. Within the Foreign Ministry, he has been the general director for international organizations; undersecretary for multilateral affairs; ambassador of Mexico to Great Britain and France, and Mexican representative to various international organizations.
He became Secretary of Foreign Affairs at the invitation of President Salinas from January 10 to November 30, 1994. During his time as Foreign Secretary, Manuel Tello signed, with the Secretary General of the OECD, Jean Claude Paye, the OECD’s formal invitation to Mexico to join as its 25th member in full standing. This document was signed during a special session of the OECD’s council in Paris. Manuel Tello Macías is the author of La política exterior de México (Mexico’s Foreign Policy) and Documentos de política internacional (Documents of International Policy), among other books.
JOSÉ ÁNGEL GURRÍA TREVIÑO
José Ángel Gurría was born in Tampico, Tamaulipas in 1950. He received a degree in economics from the UNAM, and pursued postgraduate studies in Leeds University ( England ), Harvard University and Southern California University. He has been secretary for international affairs; Mexican delegate to the International Coffee Organization and general director of Bancomext and Nafinsa. In the Treasury Ministry, he was underdirector of public debt, coordinator and director of external financing, general director of public credit and participated in negotiating NAFTA.
He was named Secretary of Foreign Affairs by President Ernesto Zedillo from December 1, 1994 to January 1998. He participated in the 8th Africa-Latin America Seminar to promote the development of these two regions with similar international problems and perspectives.
While he was Foreign Secretary, the Mexican government expressed its disagreement with the so-called Helms-Burton Law and sent several diplomatic notes to the United States government:
1) Expressing its concern because several chapters and sections of the draft law were unacceptable given international law, as were the commitments contained in several bilateral instruments (April 11, 1995), and
2) Expressing its concern regarding the approval of the Helms-Burton Law, especially as it would violate the sovereignty of states, the free trade agreement and the goals of the World Trade Organization (May 1, 1995).
During his time in office, a law was passed protecting trade and investment from foreign laws that contravene international law.
In addition, Mexico reiterated its position in favor of immediately lifting the Cuban blockade; was in favor of including Cuba in the principal regional and inter-American forums; and re-affirmed its position, based on the principle of self-determination of nations, that Cuba’s political and democratic evolution was exclusively a matter for the Cuban people. During Gurría’s time as Foreign Secretary, studies were undertaken for the new Nationality and Naturalization Law. After leaving the Foreign Ministry, he was named Secretary of the Treasury. He is a member of the National College of Economists.
ROSARIO GREEN MACÍAS
(1998 - 2000)
Rosario Green was born in Mexico City in 1941. She received a degree in international relations from the UNAM and masters degrees in economics from El Colegio de México and Columbia University, where she also did postgraduate studies in Latin American studies. She has been a professor and researcher at El Colegio de México, the UNAM and the Iberoamericana University; general director of the Foreign Ministry’s Matías Romero Institute of Diplomatic Studies; and president of the Colosio Foundation. She was Mexico’s ambassador to the German Democratic Republic; executive secretary of the National Human Rights Commission; Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs; deputy secretary general for political affairs at the United Nations; and Senator for the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). She became the first woman to occupy the post of Foreign Secretary in January 1998 under President Ernesto Zedillo; she remained until November 30, 2000.
In January 2000, Foreign Secretary Rosario Green gave a speech before the plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France to inaugurate Mexico ’s participation in the Council of Europe as an observer. She also participated in the 9th ministerial meeting between the Rio Group and the European Union in Vilamoura, Portugal. She made an official visit to Russia and met her counterpart, Igor Ivanov, with whom she signed a joint declaration on bilateral cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking. She also visited Spain, and met with Foreign Minister Josep Piqué to further strengthen the political dialogue, the economic and commercial ties and cooperation with Spain. On behalf of President Ernesto Zedillo, Foreign Secretary Green participated on December 19-20, 1999 in the hand-over ceremony of Macao to China and in the installation of the Macao Special Administrative Region. Rosario Green gave impetus to the negotiations leading to the signature of the trade agreement between Mexico and the European Union.
After her time as Foreign Secretary, Rosario Green was named by President Vicente Fox to her current position as Mexican ambassador to Argentina. Among other books, she is the author of Estado y banca trasnacional en México (The Government and Transnational Banks in México), Los mitos de Milton Friedman (The Myths of Milton Friedman), La deuda externa de México. De la abundancia a la escasez de créditos (Foreign Debt in México: From Abundance to Scarcity), and Lecciones de Deuda Externa de México: 1983-1997 (Lessons of the Foreign Debt in México: 1983-1997).
JORGE G. CASTAÑEDA GUTMAN
Jorge G. Castañeda was born in Mexico City on May 24, 1953. He received a B.A. degree from Princeton University in the United States and a doctorate in economic history from the University of Paris. He has been a full-time professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) since 1979 and has taught political science and Latin American studies at New York University since 1997. He was a co-founder of the San Angel Group in 1994.
Jorge G. Castañeda was appointed Secretary of Foreign Affairs on December 1, 2000 by President Vicente Fox. As part of a bold, active, realistic and innovative foreign policy, some of his first actions were:
The creation of a high-level group for negotiations with the United States to reform migratory policies, control the flow of workers, legalize the status and residency of undocumented individuals; Mexico ’s entrance onto the United Nations Security Council as a non-permanent member for the 2002-2003 period; The suspension of the United States anti-narcotics certification; The creation of a commission to reform the Mexican Foreign Service and the presentation of a corresponding draft law to the Mexican Senate; Acceptance of the Mexican consular identification document as a primary piece of identification by some financial and police authorities in the United States; To implement an information system that permits various procedures to be conducted via the internet. Jorge G. Castañeda is the author of more than a dozen books, many of which have been translated into English and other languages. Among them are: Nicaragua: contradicciones de una revolución; La casa por la ventana; Sorpresas te da la vida; La herencia: Arqueología de la sucesión presidencial (The Legacy: An Archeology of the Presidential Succession in Mexico) and La vida en rojo. He has also written for more than twenty publications around the world, including the newspapers Reforma and El país and Newsweek magazine.
LUIS ERNESTO DERBEZ BAUTISTA
Nació en la Ciudad de México el 1 de abril de 1947. Doctor en Economía por la Universidad Estatal de Iowa, Estados Unidos. Estudió Economía en la Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí y realizó una maestría en Economía en la Universidad de Oregon. Ha sido consultor del Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo y del Banco Mundial, trabajó durante catorce años para el Banco Mundial como responsable de áreas regionales de impacto e interés internacional y dirigió programas de Apoyo Económico Multilateral. De 1997 al año 2000 se desempeñó como consultor independiente de la oficina del Banco Mundial en la Ciudad de México y del Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo en la ciudad de Washington. Fue secretario de Economía del 2000 hasta su nuevo cargo.
El Dr. Derbez ha combinado sus actividades profesionales con actividades académicas. Ha sido profesor de la Escuela de Graduados en Administración de Empresas del Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey en la Ciudad de Monterrey, Nuevo León; profesor visitante en la Escuela de Estudios Internacionales de la Universidad de Johns Hopkins y Director del Departamento de Economía y de la Unidad de Estudios Econométricos del ITESM en Monterrey; también se ha desempeñado como Vicerrector Académico de la Universidad de las Américas en Cholula, Puebla.
Luis Ernesto Derbez fue nombrado secretario de Relaciones Exteriores por el presidente Vicente Fox el 10 de enero de 2003 y tomo posesión del cargo el 15 del mismo mes. Desde el inicio de la presente Administración, se estableció como objetivo de la agenda de política exterior el apuntalamiento de los esfuerzos de promoción económica, comercial y cultural, en aras de un desarrollo nacional sustentable y a largo plazo; un mayor activismo de México en los foros internacionales y la promoción de la democracia y la defensa universal de los derechos humanos, en especial de los mexicanos en cualquier parte del extranjero.
El canciller Derbez concibe a México con una posición geoestratégica y con instituciones sólidas, modernas y democráticas como los instrumentos básicos de su política exterior.
Documentos del Acervo Histórico Diplomático.
Informes de Labores 2001-2002, Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores.
Comunicado de Prensa No. 001, 15 de enero de 2003, Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores.