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Mexican finance minister forced to quit after reports he played a key role in Trump visit

More than 88% of Mexicans expressed displeasure at Trump’s visit.

Donald Trump, right, and Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto.
Donald Trump, right, and Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto.
Image: Dario Lopez-Mills

MEXICO’S FINANCE MINISTER Luis Videgaray stepped down, a surprise move that follows his reported key role in Donald Trump’s controversial meeting with President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Pena Nieto said he had accepted Videgaray’s resignation and replaced him with Social Development Minister Jose Antonio Meade, a former foreign minister who held the finance job between 2011-2012.

Pena Nieto, flanked by both men at the presidential residence of Los Pinos, praised Videgaray as a public servant who has been “committed to Mexico and loyal to the president.”

The Mexican leader made no mention of reports that Videgaray played a crucial role in setting up US presidential candidate Trump’s 31 August meeting with Pena Nieto, which drew scorn in the country.

The Washington Post, citing Mexicans familiar with the deliberations, reported last week that Videgaray was a leading advocate for the sitdown at Los Pinos.

Videgaray, an economist who earned a doctorate from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), saw the meeting as a political risk that was worth taking, in case Trump was elected, the Post said.

Videgaray was reportedly the behind-the-scenes liaison to the Trump campaign.

Trump’s visit backfired on the president, with Mexicans voicing outrage that a US politician who has branded Mexican migrants as “rapists” would get such a prestigious invitation.

More than 88% of Mexicans expressed displeasure at Trump’s visit, according to a survey by the Mitofsky polling firm.

- © AFP, 2016

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