Mexico values relationship with Arizona

Gov. Doug Ducey

Gov. Doug Ducey

PHOENIX – Mexico’s ambassador to the United States said Wednesday those concerned about deteriorating relations between his country and ours need to speak up.

At an event organized by the Arizona-Mexico Commission, Geronimo Gutierrez Fernandez said he came to Phoenix as a showing of how his country and its government “value its relationship with Arizona and especially with the governor.’’

But Gutierrez is making an active effort to reach out not only to Doug Ducey and Arizona but also to leaders of other border states, with recent trips to California and Texas, as he attempt to deal with what he said is a “critical’’ state of U.S.-Mexico relations.

“Unless we do the right thing, the status quo is going to be different,’’ Gutierrez said. And he told his audience that’s going to require those opposed to the direction of relations to say something – and soon.

“This is a good time for those of us who believe in the importance of a good relationship between Mexico and the United States, it’s a good time to be vocal,’’ he said.

“It’s a good time to raise our voices, the ambassador continued. “It’s a good time to educate about what the relationship between Mexico and the United States is – and what it’s not – about.’’

Gutierrez had no direct criticism of the administration or the president who during his campaign and even as the president has lashed out at Mexico and Mexicans for everything from sending drugs and criminals across the international border to taking U.S. jobs through an unfair North American Free Trade Agreement.

“It’s no secret that the Trump administration and President Trump has what I would say is a basic concern about employment and investment in the United States,’’ he told his audience.

But Gutierrez took pains to say that’s not necessarily a bad thing.