Photo: Ambassador Carlos Pascual and Hillary Clinton
The U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Carlos Pascual, stepped down late last night amid open criticism and pressure from Mexican President Felipe Calderon. Calderon has not been timid in voicing his displeasure of Pascual’s comments, that came to light through WikiLeaks, about his administration.
In confidential diplomatic emails and cables Pascual described the Mexican army ‘risk averse’ in terms of how they were fighting drug cartels. The cable leaks also exposed how inept some of the Mexican law enforcement agencies are and that they are incapable of working together. All the commentary clearly indicated that the U.S. felt Mexico was unable to really win the war with the violent drug cartels. Publicly of course President Obama and his administration has had nothing but praise for Calderon and his anti-drug cartel initiative.
Upon Pascual’s resignation, the first high-ranking U.S. diplomatic WikiLeak casualty, Secretary Hillary Clinton offered these comments:
Carlos has relayed his decision to return to Washington based upon his personal desire to ensure the strong relationship between our two countries and to avert issues raised by President Calderon that could distract from the important business of advancing our bilateral interests.
Carlos partnered with his counterparts to reach beyond the Merida Initiative’s initial focus on disrupting cartels to building institutions for the rule of law in Mexico and engaging Mexican civil society in advancing their security.