We welcome the appointment of Ernesto De Lucas Hopkins to lead the Institute for Mexicans Abroad (IME). We have repeatedly pointed out how important this position is for immigrants; it now seems to be stabilizing, a year after a new Mexican administration took office.
The mission for De Lucas Hopkins is very clear: “assist the Mexican communities abroad to raise their standard of living, become part of the communities in which they reside and maintain close ties with Mexico,” all according to the official press release that accompanied his appointment.
It was very important to fill the spot that became vacant after the short tenure of Arnulfo Valdivia Machuca, the current ambassador to Colombia. However, the appointment of De Lucas Hopkins raises many doubts about his ability to do the job adequately.
This is mainly because De Lucas Hopkins has the doubtful honor of having been the first official in the Peña Nieto administration to have had to “resign” because of his poor performance leading ProMéxico.
In just a few months, this official stood out because he tried promoting imports to Mexico, when the work of ProMéxico is exclusively promoting exports and foreign investment. He also stood out because of extremely high expenses during his trips abroad and within Mexico. The worst waste of money was his reported effort to take 100 PRI party members from Sonora to a PRI meeting in Mexico City with public funds.
The appointment of De Lucas Hopkins at the IME makes it seem intended to keep the political career of a young party supporter goingsomeone who failed in his first appointed job but whose loyalty to the PRI backs him up. His ambitions to move forward politically are very clear.
That being said, there is no reason why De Lucas Hopkins should not be able to do a good job leading the IME. We hope he does it with transparency, focusing on the mission that he was clearly entrusted with: work with his fellow citizens abroad. Political ambition is not necessarily at odds with a good public administration.