Mexico nominates Gerardo Esquivel for IDB presidency


Mexico has nominated Mexican central bank board member Gerardo Esquivel for the presidency of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), four people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, November 9th.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had previously said Alicia Barcena, former head of the United Nation’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, would be the country’s candidate for the role.

Barcena said on Twitter on Wednesday, November 9th, that she had spoken with Lopez Obrador to withdraw her nomination “for personal reasons.”

Headquartered in Washington, the IDB is a key investor in Latin America and the Caribbean. It was responsible for $23.4 billion in financing and other financial commitments in 2021.

The IDB had no comment on the report.

Esquivel, 56, is regarded as perhaps the most dovish member of the board of the Bank of Mexico (Banxico), and his term there is currently scheduled to conclude in December.

Still, Esquivel could potentially be asked to stay on at Banxico.

Esquivel is a respected academic with a profound understanding of the challenges in combating poverty in Latin America, said one of the sources, who all spoke on condition of anonymity.

It was unclear why Mexico had changed tack on Barcena, who was only recently appointed as Mexican ambassador to Chile, especially given rumblings that key shareholders would welcome a female leader at Latin America’s largest multilateral development bank.

Former IDB President Mauricio Claver-Carone, the only American president in the bank’s history, was fired in September after an investigation showed he had an intimate relationship with a subordinate, Reuters reported.

The only other candidate formally registered so far is Brazil’s former central bank chief Ilan Goldfajn, a source familiar with the matter said.

Chile’s Finance Minister Mario Marcel last week said the South American country would nominate former Finance Minister Nicolas Eyzaguirre as a candidate.

Countries must register their candidates by 11:59 p.m. EST on Nov. 11, with the bank’s governors to vote on the next president early on Nov. 20, an IDB official said.

U.S. Assistant Treasury Secretary Alexia Latortue last week told Reuters that the United States, the bank’s largest shareholder, wanted to see a president who embraced reform, including a greater focus on climate change and tackling inequality.

Latortue said the U.S. Treasury hoped for a strong slate of diverse candidates from the region, including a woman. Ultimately, she said, the decision would be made on the basis of the candidates’ qualifications.

Source: El Financiero

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