Mari Carmen Aponte confirmed as ambassador to El SalvadorTop Highlights, Breaking News Friday, June 15th, 2012
Mari Carmen Aponte is officially the Ambassador to El Salvador, the White House announced Friday.
Aponte faced political heat last year after writing an op-ed piece for the Salvadoran newspaper La Prensa Grafica that supported the LGBT community in the nation. The editorial written Nov. 2011 praised El Salvadoran president Mauricio Funes for signing a law that would prohibit discrimination against LGBTs by the government of El Salvador. After the piece was published, Aponte faced harsh criticism by U.S. officials including U.S. senator Jim DeMint who attacked her credentials and rallied against her reinstatement.
President Obama praised Aponte following Friday’s announcement of her reinstatement:
“Ambassador Mari Carmen Aponte has been a highly effective advocate for the United States in El Salvador, earning respect from across the political spectrum, from civilians and military leaders, and from public and private officials. As an honest broker, she has helped advance programs and policies to enhance citizen security in El Salvador while weakening transnational crime links that affect our own national security.
Ambassador Aponte has also been a strong voice for democratic governance throughout the region. She should have never been forced to leave her post. I am grateful to Ambassador Aponte for her service, and for the hard work that took place alongside our partners in the U.S. Senate, in particular Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senator Robert Menendez, to achieve her confirmation. Today’s vote is a testament to the value of perseverance, and a reminder that our national security must be bigger than politics and that Congress can still do the right thing.
I look forward to continuing to work with Ambassador Aponte to build on our partnership with the people of El Salvador and advance our partnerships throughout the Americas.”
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