Esteban Moctezuma

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Esteban Moctezuma
Firma de Convenio con Fundación Azteca (cropped).jpg
Ambassador of Mexico to the United States
Assumed office
16 January 2021
PresidentAndrés Manuel López Obrador
Preceded byMartha Bárcena Coqui
Secretary of Public Education
In office
1 December 2018 – 15 January 2021
PresidentAndrés Manuel López Obrador
Preceded byOtto Granados Roldán
Succeeded byDelfina Gómez Álvarez
Secretary of Social Development
In office
13 May 1998 – 4 August 1999
PresidentErnesto Zedillo
Preceded byCarlos Rojas Gutiérrez
Succeeded byCarlos Jarque
Secretary of the Interior
In office
1 December 1994 – 28 June 1995
PresidentErnesto Zedillo
Preceded byJorge Carpizo McGregor
Succeeded byEmilio Chuayffet
Personal details
Born (1954-10-21) 21 October 1954 (age 68)
Mexico City, Mexico
Political partyNational Regeneration Movement
Other political
Institutional Revolutionary (1977–2002)
EducationNational Autonomous University of Mexico (BA)
University of Cambridge (MA)

Esteban Moctezuma Barragán (born 21 October 1954 in Mexico City) is a Mexican diplomat and politician, formerly affiliated with the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and is a member of MORENA. He is a former Senator and served as secretary of social development and secretary of the interior in the cabinet of President Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León. From that position, early in January 1995, he pursued peace talks in Chiapas with the EZLN insurgents; in February the government pursued a strategy of military intervention, followed by a resumption of peace talks with the insurgents.[1] In 2018, he was appointed by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador as secretary of education. On 16 December 2020, Moctezuma was nominated ambassador of Mexico to the United States and confirmed by the Senate on 16 January 2021.[2]

1995 Zapatista Crisis[edit]

With President Carlos Salinas de Gortari economic and political reforms and the North American Free Trade Agreement, Mexico was being propelled into the world economy as an important player. The Zapatistas uprising occurred at a time when the unsolved ethnic situation was brewing in the Mexican county. The Mexican Government started immediate peace talks. In the early days of the new government administration, President Zedillo took a series of erratic decisions that completely broke with the previous administration agreements and with his own previously defined action plan.

On 5 January 1995, as secretary of interior, Esteban Moctezuma began a series of secret meetings with Subcomandante Marcos, called "Steps Toward Peace," that took place in the village of Guadalupe Tepeyac, belonging to the municipality of Pantelho, Chiapas. Important specific agreements were reached to which both parties agreed: that the Mexican army withdraw from certain points, such as San Andres Larrainzar, and that Marcos make a concession that a group of citizens be involved in a formal negotiation to start a couple of weeks later. Because of the fast progress of the negotiations in the "Steps Toward Peace", and with the possibility of an agreement looking very close, Marcos wrote: “I am being threatened with unemployment,“[3][4]

Secretary of Public Education[edit]

Esteban Moctezuma became secretary of public education (SEP) under President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) in 2018. As secretary, he supported the reversal of the controversial educational reform instituted by President Enrique Peña Nieto in 2013, instituted a "neutral uniform" that allows girls to wear pants to school, and sponsored the publication of a free geography textbook. During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic in Mexico, Moctezuma oversaw the institution of distance learning.[5]

In an October 2020 appearance before the Senate of the Republic, Moctezuma Barragán said that a SEP survey had increased confidence in public education from 5.8 on a scale of 0–10 in January 2019 to 7.7 in August 2020. He testified that the distance learning program Aprende en casa I had achieved its goals, in that pupil exam results for high school were as good in 2020 as in previous years, despite three months of home education. He pointed out that distance learning involved a combination of online classes and televised classes, in that 94% of Mexican households have a television. Broadcasts are made in Spanish and twenty-two indigenous languages, and the SEP distributed 700,000 notebooks and other school supplies. The SEP provided training for online classes for 1,200,000 teachers and parents and provided email accounts to 19,500,000 students. Televised classes of Aprende en casa II for the 2020–2021 school year reach 30.4 million users with another 1.2 million pupils who have classes via radio.[6]

Moctezuma also announced that 140 campuses of Universidades para el Bienestar (Universities for Well-Being) offer 36 different majors and serve 32,000 students.[6]

Speaking with United States Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh in July 2021, while serving as Mexican ambassador to the United States

Personal life[edit]

Esteban Moctezuma is the son of architect Pedro Moctezuma Diaz Infante and María Teresa Barragán Álvarez. He is married to Cecilia Barbara Morfín. Esteban Moctezuma received a bachelor's degree in economics from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and a master's degree in economic policy from Cambridge University (United Kingdom).

Esteban Moctezuma joined TV Azteca in 2002 and currently serves as chief executive officer of Fundación Azteca of the Grupo Salinas.[7] and is a columnist for El Universal[8] and El Economista.[9]

He is a direct descendant of Moctezuma II, 9th Tlatoani of Tenochtitlan, 6th Emperor of the Mexica, 9th Emperor of the Aztec Empire.[10]


  1. ^ Thomas Legler, "Ernesto Zedillo" in Encyclopedia of Mexico. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn 1997, p. 1642
  2. ^ Rodriguez Garcia, Arturo (December 16, 2020). "AMLO nombra a Moctezuma Barragán como embajador de México en EU". (in Spanish). Proceso. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  3. ^ Zedillo rompió acuerdo de paz con el EZLN»
  4. ^ "Renuncia en Gobernación". Archived from the original on 2017-08-02. Retrieved 2013-07-25.
  5. ^ "¿Quién es Esteban Moctezuma? El nuevo embajador de México en EU". (in Mexican Spanish). Milenio Digital. December 16, 2020. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  6. ^ a b González, Lourdes (16 October 2020). "Esteban Moctezuma Barragán: comparecencia, retos y desafíos". Educación Futura (in Spanish). Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  7. ^ "Fundación Azteca".
  8. ^ "Esteban Moctezuma Barragán".
  9. ^ "Opinión y Análisis Esteban Moctezuma Barragán". Archived from the original on 2014-11-01. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  10. ^ "Mexique: les descendants de Moctezuma II se battent pour des indémnités et leur honneur". France 24 (in French). 2021-08-13. Retrieved 2023-02-12.
  • Diccionario biográfico del gobierno mexicano, Ed. Fondo de Cultura Económica, Mexico, 1992.

External links[edit]