November 28, 2018 / 3:05 AM / 17 days ago

Mexico to bestow top honor on Trump son-in-law, sparking Twitter outcry

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s outgoing government said on Tuesday it would bestow the country’s top honor for foreigners on Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, a decision quickly met with derision by critics on social media.

White House senior advisor Jared Kushner (C) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (L) wait in the Rose Garden prior to President Donald Trump's news conference on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) at the White House in Washington, U.S., October 1, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo

Kushner, who also serves as a senior White House adviser, will be admitted to the Order of the Aztec Eagle because of “his significant contributions” to a new North American trade pact agreed to in August, the government said in a statement.

Kushner has often played a key diplomatic role in Trump’s administration, meeting with Mexican and other foreign leaders and helping broker the deal to update the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement. Canada joined the pact in late September.

The award is expected to be formally presented to Kushner on Thursday by outgoing President Enrique Pena Nieto on the sidelines of the G-20 summit of world leaders in Buenos Aires, Mexican newspaper Reforma reported on Tuesday, citing unidentified government sources.

The summit is also where the leaders of Mexico, the United States and Canada are expected to sign the revamped regional trade deal.

The honor bestowed on Kushner was a trending topic on Twitter, where it appeared to be mostly criticized by prominent Mexicans.

“Giving him the Aztec Eagle reflects a supreme attitude of humiliation and cowardice,” Mexican historian Enrique Krauze wrote in one post, noting that Trump called Mexican migrants murderers and rapists during his 2016 presidential campaign.

Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal wrote that the decision to honor Kushner was “tremendously shameful.”

Past Order of the Aztec Eagle honorees include Colombian Nobel literature laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez and former South African President Nelson Mandela.

Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will be inaugurated on Saturday after winning a landslide election victory in July. Kushner’s wife, Ivanka Trump, is expected to attend the swearing-in along with other U.S. officials, including Vice President Mike Pence.

Reporting by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall and Peter Cooney

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