Ken Salazar, cowboy, diplomat, Mexico City


To say that Ken Salazar is distinguished in United States politics only by his cowboy image, perhaps it would be to detract from the merits of who was a senator and attorney general for his state, Colorado, as well as secretary of the Interior in the administration of Barack Obama, and that If so determined by the Senate, he will become the next North American ambassador to our country.

A “diplomatic” cowboy in Mexico City.

Border relationships are about building trust, not walls. President, the wall is bad, ”Salazar claimed on Twitter to then-President Donald Trump in January 2017 after the announcement of continuing the construction of the border wall on the border with Mexico.

Salazar is a 66-year-old man, born in Alamosa, Colorado (March 2, 1955), with Hispanic blood for 12 generations, when Juan de Salazar arrived from Spain in 1543 and three centuries later his great-grandfather, Phillip Cantú.

My family did not cross the border, the border crossed them ”, the lawyer for the University of Michigan comments on a recurring basis when he talks about his origins.

A member of the Democratic Party, Kenneth Lee Salazar was elected to the Senate in 2004 and became one of the two Hispanic legislators, along with Mel Martínez, a position he held until 2009 when he responded to the invitation made by then-President Barack Obama. to occupy the Secretary of the Interior.

In this portfolio, Salazar was in charge of managing the natural resources of the United States, the administration of national parks, as well as the federal government’s relations with indigenous communities. He was a promoter of Obama’s environmental policy prioritizing renewable sources to attack climate change.

This is how he let it be seen from his participation in the congressional hearing that endorsed him in office in January 2009.

There is no doubt that climate change and global warming are having an impact on a whole series of natural features of this world, including the endangered species that we have, ”he said in his speech.

However, in 2012, his decision to grant permits to the oil company Shell for exploitation in the Arctic sparked an outcry from various environmental organizations, who accused him of having strong ties to the business sector of mining and agribusiness, although he left well spared.

He is a defender of the fracking method to achieve the extraction of natural gas.

He is also remembered for his role in Colorado River water management negotiations to ensure responsible use on both sides of the border.

When you have Ken Salazar, you have a true friend, “said President Obama in 2013, thanking him for his collaboration in the federal cabinet.

I appreciate your patriotism and your belief that we have a responsibility to care for the land with which we have been blessed, ”said the president.

Six years earlier, in 2007, Salazar promoted the immigration reform proposed by Senators John McCain and Edward Kennedy, but which did not prosper due to the rejection in the debate of the US society and the Republican majority in Congress.

In Joe Biden’s recent campaign, the man who professes the Catholic religion served as co-chair of the Latino leadership committee to advance the worth of migrants in the United States. He has known the current US president since 2000 when both were in the Senate.

Joe Biden understands that the Latino community is key to our democracy and the future prosperity of the United States. ” We are proud to support him to put an end to the Trump Administration’s onslaught against 60 million Latinos throughout the country, ”he stressed.

Ken Salazar’s political career began in 1986 (five years after leaving the University) when, under the guidance of his brother John, he became legal adviser to the Democratic governor of Colorado, Roy Romer.

I told him ‘I’ll do it, but I’ll only do it for a year, because I don’t want to be in politics, and I don’t want to be in government,’ ”Salazar recalls. But one year turned into two, then four, and in 1990, Romer made Salazar head of the Department of Natural Resources.

After returning to the private sector in 1994 and spending five years litigating, between 1999 and 2005, Salazar served as Colorado’s attorney general.

At the end of their mission, the Salazar brothers entered the United States Congress together in 2005, John in the House and Ken in the Senate. John served for six years, but after losing his re-election bid in 2010 he returned to his native Colorado.

The man in the hat and denim shirt, emerged from the countryside, recognizes the work of men and women who take their communities forward. He is remembered for an anecdote during a 2011 encounter with ranchers in Ovando, Montana, in the heart of the Blackfoot Valley.

Let me see your hands again, ”Salazar asked one of the workers. “I love them,” he said, taking back his callused and dirt-stained fingers. “Do you see these hands? They are the hands of the earth ”.

At the conclusion of his term in the Secretary of the Interior under Obama, in 2013, Ken Salazar joined the international law firm Wilmer Hale, where he was practicing until last May.

He is considered a measured man who, in his speeches, maintains a low, slow and sometimes even “boring” tone – his critics describe him – has not been diplomatic and represents a break in the list presented on June 15 by the House Blanca with the 19 ambassadorial candidates sent to the Senate, 13 of them career diplomats.

Mandela, you will continue to be an inspiration ”, reads one of his messages written on Twitter in 2013.

After a year with five months in our country as ambassador, Christopher Landau left office on January 20, just with the departure of Donald Trump and the arrival of Joe Biden.

Since then and even before, when the transition took place between the resignation of Roberta Jacobson in May 2018 and the arrival of Landau in August 2019, the diplomatic representation in our country has been in charge of the charge d’affaires, John Creamer, who will have to wait for the appointment of Salazar to be confirmed.

Priority Issues for Joe’s Administration

Biden that the next Ambassador Salazar will have to discuss in Mexico are migration, border security, the economy and the promotion of clean energy.

So, if ratified, Salazar will become the fifth ambassador of the American Union with Hispanic blood, after Julián Nava (1980), John Gavin (1981-1986), Tony Garza (2002-2009), and Carlos Pascual ( 2009-2011).


The man who has made the shirt and jeans topped by his bowling tie and hat, Greeley Hat Works,

A registered trademark in the politics of his country, he is married to Hope (Esperanza) Salazar, with whom he had two daughters: Melinda and Andrea, the latter made him a grandfather for the first time after the birth of Mireya, who is now over 12 years old. .

She is the great joy of our lives, ”says the politician who lives in Washington and who returns to his ranch in the San Luis Valley, Colorado, every two or three weeks to be with his family.

It is a 210-acre (84-hectare) property located less than 20 miles (193 kilometers) north of the New Mexico border.


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