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Politics

Could Donald Trump be the best thing that ever happened to Mexico?




Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump walks with Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto at the end of their joint statement at Los Pinos, the presidential residence, in Mexico City.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump walks with Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto at the end of their joint statement at Los Pinos, the presidential residence, in Mexico City.
Dario Lopez-Mills/AP

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Last January, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto was scheduled to visit the new administration in Washington. Then, he had a phone conversation with President Trump. The US President told his counterpart if Mexico was willing to pay for a border wall, then maybe he shouldn't bother coming to Washington.

Nieto, whose approval numbers in Mexico were pretty dismal, cancelled his trip. Immediately, he was embraced and applauded by Mexicans across the political spectrum.

Taking not of this, long-time Mexico observer Sam Quinones came up with a theory. Writing in Foreign Policy ($), he explains that the acrid distaste for Trump might be exactly what Mexico needs to put infighting aside and address some of the country's long-standing problems.

Expanding on that contrarian view, Quinones believes a large-scale deportation of Mexicans in the US will be a huge plus. He notes that many Mexicans who came to the US have developed a wide variety of skills, and a broader world view that could energize Mexican institutions and its economy. That is, if, he says, that energy can be properly channeled by Mexican businesses and government.

Click on the blue bar above to listen to the full interview with writer Sam Quinones.