It seems Cayman Islands Governor Duncan Taylor has had his eye on Mexico for quite some time.
The governor, now serving out a one-year contract extension in Cayman that lasts to mid-January 2014, bid for the United Kingdom’s Mexican ambassador position in late June 2012 – not long after Britain approved a contract extension for Mr. Taylor.
As is usual for such posts in the UK foreign service, the bids for the Mexican ambassador’s position went through a Foreign and Commonwealth Office board, which makes a recommendation to the UK secretary of state and prime minister. Mr. Taylor’s appointment was confirmed on 14 January.
However, after that confirmation the appointment still had to be approved by both Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and also agreed upon by the Mexican government. Mr. Taylor said that happened last month.
“I am honoured and delighted to have been appointed ambassador to Mexico, a beautiful, vibrant and dynamic country,” Mr. Taylor said. “The UK has a rich and friendly relationship with Mexico.”
The governor said he expected to leave Cayman sometime in August, or perhaps late July. Mr. Taylor has served as the British-appointed governor to the Cayman Islands, a UK overseas territory, since January 2010.
He said he wasn’t sure who his replacement will be, but his staying on until August should give the British government and the Queen enough time to choose one.
It also means Mr. Taylor will stay on to supervise the May general elections in the Cayman Islands and a few months afterward while the new government gets into place. “Oh yes, not going to miss that,” he said.
The governor has extensive experience in Latin American speaking countries, having served in Havana for four years in the 1980s. He later served as the foreign office’s director of Latin American affairs. Both Mr. Taylor and his wife, Marie-Beatrice, speak Spanish.
Mexico continues to suffer extensive violence with drug cartels operating in the northern and central parts of the country, in particular. Mexico’s murder rate is one of the highest in the world and the country has a massive economic divide.
Also, Mr. Taylor’s role as ambassador will be quite different from his position in Cayman, where he serves in essentially a territorial administrator’s role.
“I realise it will be fundamentally different from the job here,” he said. “Mexico is really a very interesting country; they have their crime problems and it affects the image of the country, but they’re fast becoming one of our most important trading partners, I believe their economy is now the 13th largest in the world.
“It’s certainly a nice job to go to,” he said.