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Jeffrey Davidow joins Mexican Academy of International Laws

The News - Mexico City
October 3, 2000

U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey Davidow last week became a member of the Mexican Academy of International Law. Davidow received the title of Caballero and was granted membership in the Order of Law, Culture and Peace.

Davidow was honored for his excellent work to create "a spirit of convergency, permanent partners, and a future podium for Mexico-U.S. relations.

Academy members, attorneys and special guests attended the ceremony at the U.S. Embassy's official residence to hear Davidow read his detailed thesis on international law.

Davidow said the most important question at the time is: Will North America be able to witness a process that will turn "cohabitation" into a true "convergence" in order to give nations added strength and prosperity over the next few years?"

"The answer is yes," according to Davidow. "But there is a big 'but.' Convergence will not come naturally. Dedication and hard work will be required to promote common values and a better understanding of our nations and possible partners.

He said it's perfectly valid and healthy to discuss the possibility of a common currency for the continent now that we are beginning a new century and while we are "waiting" for our governments to take office. He also stressed dialogue on open borders, immigration and the opening of all economic sectors to investors.

In respect to U.S. ties with Mexico, Davidow said that unfortunately people on both sides of the Rio Bravo generally feel that they are the victims of mutual relations.

He said a "political cartoon" mentality exists in the United States that pictures Mexico as the aggressor, and the United States as the victim no matter what case it may be -- immigration, drug trafficking or Mexican trailers which are considered unsafe to travel U.S. highways. He said this way of thinking stems from a bye gone simplistic past.

According to Davidow, the United States and Mexico share the responsibility in most cases and therefore, should share the task of finding the solutions required.

He said power is not a synonym for reason, and added that the size or strength of an economy cannot obligate a nation to adopt a determined posture. He called for no more villains or victims.

The ambassador said Mexico and the United States welcome Benito Juarez' wisdom when he said that "respect for the rights of others means peace. However, Davidow said these principles are ignored or violated constantly.

Davidow said: "Mexico stresses respect for other laws. But it's questionable if this believe extends to a general perception that immigrants should respect the law and not enter the United States illegally."

Davidow's statement came on the heels of Foreign Relations Secretary Rosario Green's report to the Chamber of Deputies, blaming strict U.S. immigration laws for 388 deaths reported along the border so far this year.

Davidow admitted that the immigration problem has been a sore spot in Mexico-U.S. relations, but that authorities on both sides of the border have reached agreement on some main points in the midst of frequent media sensationalism and political criticism.

He said both nations coincide that individual rights have to be respected to dignity and justice, according to applicable laws.

Congratulations to the his excellency, the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, for becoming a member of such a respectable Academy!