Paul Lachine

Felipe Calderón’s Two Faces

Mexican President Felipe Calderón has finally gotten what he wanted: the resignation of US Ambassador Carlos Pascual, who wrote sharply critical assessments of the "war on drugs" that Calderón unleashed four years ago. But Calderón's blustering disregard for the only ally he has is likely only to make matters worse.

MEXICO CITY – Mexican President Felipe Calderón has finally gotten what he wanted: the resignation of United States Ambassador Carlos Pascual. Calderón shot the messenger for delivering bad news through confidential cables released by WikiLeaks. Pascual’s harsh assessments of the “war on drugs” that Calderón unleashed four years ago infuriated the president.

The revelations also annoyed the Mexican army, for they pointed out that the military frequently doesn’t act on intelligence provided by the US, and displays a strong aversion to risk. Moreover, Pascual’s candid assessments described a dysfunctional situation in which Mexican security agencies fight each other more than they fight organized crime.

Essentially, Pascual was forced to leave for describing a reality that Calderón does not want to face, and that his government would prefer to ignore. In other words, he lost his job for doing it properly.

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