In what will likely be his final action while in office, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto triggered a wave of outrage among his countrymen Tuesday when he announced that he was awarding the nation’s highest honor for foreigners to … Jared Kushner.
Peña Nieto, whose six-year term ends on December 1, will bestow the Order of the Aztec Eagle to Kushner, a senior White House adviser and Donald Trump’s son-in-law, for his role in the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement between Mexico and Canada, calling Kushner “a grand ally of Mexico.”
But Mexicans are not happy.
“Giving the Aztec eagle to Trump’s son-in-law is an aberration only comparable to the government of Peña Nieto. Ashamed,” tweeted Mexican author and journalist Ángeles Mastretta.
“I thought it was a joke, a bad joke. And no, it’s not. A disgrace,” said Valeria Moy, a professor of economics at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, on Twitter.
Many took to social media to decry the Trump administration’s disrespectful actions toward Mexico and Mexicans. On the campaign trail, Trump said of Mexicans, “some are rapists and some are killers.” Once in office, he has continuously threatened to build a wall across the U.S.-Mexico border and make Mexico foot the bill. Most recently, the Trump administration authorized the U.S. border patrol to use lethal force at the border. This past weekend, troops fired tear gas at the migrant caravan as it made its way across Mexico to the border.
“The order of the Aztec Eagle will hang from the son-in-law of a lord who has called us all murderers and rapists. That’s how you say goodbye,” one person tweeted.
“The United States launches tear gas to Mexican territory in Tijuana and there is no government protest [against Peña Nieto],” tweeted journalist Jorge Ramos. “On the contrary, they will give the Aztec Eagle Medal to Trump’s son-in-law … he chose to ally with Trump and not defend the Mexicans.”
Others shared memes and cartoons depicting the outgoing Mexican president’s disrespect toward the award and the country of Mexico.
El Águila Azteca. pic.twitter.com/jAY9guEZDK
— Darío Castillejos (@Dariomonero) November 27, 2018
— antonio rodriguez (@rodriguezmonos) November 27, 2018
The newly negotiated North American Free Trade Agreement, which has been criticized for lacking adequate enforcement of labor and environmental standards and for potentially hurting the automotive industry, is expected to be signed at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires this week, where Kushner is also expected to receive the Aztec Eagle award.