The administration of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, in its last days, has granted a high honor to Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser and one of the most important figures for U.S.-Mexico relations since Trump won the White House.
Peña Nieto awarded Kushner the Order of the Aztec Eagle, which the Guardian described as the “highest honor for foreigners” granted by the Mexican government. Kushner’s father-in-law literally kicked off his presidential campaign with demagoguery aimed at Mexico, which he said was “sending people that have lots of problems,” including “rapists.”
From almost the moment Trump took office, Kushner took charge of his emerging relationship with the Mexican government, including reportedly encouraging his father-in-law to stop demanding that Mexico pay for a wall on the U.S. border. Kushner was also one of the lead figures in renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement and helped head off Trump’s impulse to abruptly withdraw the U.S. from it.
The Mexican Foreign Relations Department said the award was specifically for Kushner’s “significant contributions in achieving the renegotiation of the new (trade) agreement between Mexico, the United States and Canada,” the Associated Press reported.
Since Trump won the election, the Peña Nieto administration has frantically worked to keep him and his administration happy, with uneven results—up to and including honoring Kushner.
The award comes in the dying days of Peña Nieto’s time in office before populist President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador takes over on Dec. 1.
Many people in Mexico take a less sanguine view of Kushner’s actions and honor for work his done on behalf of Trump. One Mexican academic told the Guardian that the award was “the final kick in the crotch for Mexicans.”