By KELIN DILLON
On Wednesday, Nov. 24, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) nominated Undersecretary of Expenditures of the Secretariat of Finance (SHCP) Victoria Rodríguez Ceja to head the Central Bank of Mexico (Banxico) despite her inexperience, in what many said was a snub to former SHCP head Arturo Herrera, who had been informed of his loss of the position by the executive the week prior.
Though Herrera was the anticipated nominee and had been proposed since July 2021, López Obrador claimed to have changed his mind in favor of Rodríguez Ceja in an effort to put more women in positions of power within the Mexican government, mentioning that the undersecretary has “been acting very well” in her current role, though her post at the SHCP only covers budgetary issues and not financial ones.
“We want women to participate in the government, facilitating this change by recognizing the work that Rodríguez Ceja has completed as the undersecretary of expenditure,” said AMLO during his daily morning press conference Wednesday morning. “It is due to her that we have financial stability, that we have not resorted to additional debt. She is a very good public servant.”
“My commitment is to combat inflation, not touch international reserves and comply with the autonomy of the Bank of Mexico,” said Rodríguez Ceja in a video after the public announcement of her nomination.
Despite López Obrador touting Rodríguez Ceja’s supposed financial prowess, experts quickly responded to the nomination, saying that Mexico’s currently less-than-ideal economic status and sky-high inflation will not be helped by appointing an inexperienced person to lead Banxico.
“The profile of Victoria Rodríguez fits in with the rest of the AMLO’s cabinet: She does not meet the qualifications in terms of knowledge and experience that the position requires,” said political analyst Alfredo Tomasini. “It is an abysmal leap in her career, but she offers blind servility to the executive at any cost.”
Experts likewise pointed out that Rodríguez Ceja does not meet the law’s requirements for the post, which mandate full competence in monetary matters, at least five years in high-level positions within the Mexican financial system or equivalent institutions, thresholds that Rodríguez Ceja does not reach with her own resumé.
“A woman without any experience in monetary matters has been nominated to Banxico, while Mexico experiences the highest inflation it has seen in 20 years and all while the cycle of monetary normalization of the United States is just around the corner,” added economic and political consultant Carlos Ramírez.
AMLO is expected to send his nomination of Victoria Rodríguez Ceja to the Mexican Senate for ratification on Thursday, Nov. 25.